State agencies submit budget proposals to lawmakers
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - State agencies are asking lawmakers for millions of more dollars for their budgets. As federal pandemic dollars dry up, state leaders plan for future funding.
State Superintendent, Dr. Eric Mackey requested about $984 million in new money for the department of education. Mainly for classrooms and new teachers.
“We do have those side issues,” said Mackey. “Inflation is absolutely eating us up on transportation, we have to buy tires for buses, and we run 83 million miles a year on our school buses. And that’s a lot of tires.”
The Education Trust Fund is $8.26 billion. There doesn’t seem to be an immediate concern about the size. This year the ETF has a surplus of money.
“We’ve been very, very careful in the way that we budgeted the past several sessions with all the money that’s coming into the state, we’ve not spent the cap for two years, we’ve spent well below the cap,” said Representative Danny Garrett, chair of the Ways and Means Education Committee.
The current general fund budget is $2.4 billion, and Senator Greg Albritton, chair of the general fund committee, is worried about how this adds up.
“I’m concerned with what the future may hold economically if we have a downturn,” he said.
Some of the increases requested include a $31 million increase for the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, a $95 million increase for the Alabama Department of Corrections, and an $84 million increase for the Alabama Department of Human Resources.
“When we’re looking at where we might be as far as next year or in two years, we’ve got to be cautious. We don’t want to get a difficult financial situation right now,” said Albritton.
Governor Kay Ivey still has to submit her budget proposal ahead of the March 7th legislation session.
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