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February 8, 2016 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

A new session has started, with the Alabama Legislature meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 2 to get things going.

General Fund Still Not Fixed
While the sparring over tax increases has mostly subsided, it’s not because the General Fund budget is fixed. There remain tough choices ahead to figure out how to pay for state services. Despite raising about $180 million in 2015 for the General Fund, revenue receipts are down an estimated $40 million for the year going forward. The legislature is likely to consider a lottery proposal that will allow the people to vote on the issue, but there would be no immediate financial impact for the next budget cycle.

There appears to be a consensus that teachers are overdue for a pay raise, but there are varying thoughts about who would receive raises and how much. Business groups and local government officials are calling for a gasoline tax increase to support road construction and maintenance.

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