MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Late Thursday night, the Alabama Senate fulfilled its constitutional duty and passed a responsible General Fund budget for Fiscal Year 2018 by a 24-4 vote. The $1.8 billion budget level-funds most agencies, with a targeted $3.3 million increase for the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA). It contains no tax increases on the hard-working people of Alabama. The General Fund is the budget for all non-education state spending.
“This budget funds the core functions of state government while protecting taxpayers from any tax increases,” said Senator Trip Pittman (R-Montrose), Chairman of the Senate Finance & Taxation General Fund committee. “The increase for the ALEA will put an additional 30 state troopers on the roads, making our highways safer.”
State prisons, Mental Health, and Public Health are all level-funded.
“Alabama is fortunate that, unlike the federal government, our Constitution requires that we balance our budgets and not spend more than we take in,” Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) said. “In the past few years the Legislature has made significant strides toward reducing the overall size and cost of state government. No stone has been left unturned as we’ve identified ways to cut spending and operate more efficiently and effectively.”
“I thank Senator Pittman and members of the General Fund Budget Committee for crafting a sound, fiscally-responsible budget that makes the most of limited taxpayer resources,” Marsh continued.
In the wake of Kay Ivey’s move from Lt. Governor to Governor, the Lt. Governor’s office will remain vacant until the 2018 election. Since the departure of Ivey, Pro Tem Marsh has served as Presiding Officer of the Senate and his office has assumed nearly all of the Lt. Governor office’s duties. Despite the additional responsibility, the Pro Tem’s budget contains no increases for the upcoming year.
“This budget reflects a strong commitment to the taxpayers of Alabama: Republicans in the Senate deliver on our promise to govern as conservatives, and we will require state agencies to live within their means,” Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed (R-Jasper) said.
Senator Trip Pittman represents District 32 in the Alabama State Senate, which is contained fully within Baldwin County, and is Chairman of the Senate Finance & Taxation-Education Committee. He is a small business owner and a former member of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education.