MONTGOMERY - On Tuesday, the Alabama House passed the state's proposed $1.7 billion General Fund budget with a 75 - 27 vote.
Republicans promised Alabama taxpayers that we would repay the Alabama Trust Fund, and the passage of this budget continues to deliver on that promise with the first installment of funds allotted to repayment.
The budget proposal largely provides level funding for state agencies and includes increases for the Department of Corrections, the state court system, the Department of Human Resources and the Alabama Department of Commerce.
"It has been over 3 years since President Obama and Congress passed any budget, let alone a common-sense, fiscally responsible budget like this one," stated Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn). "While the federal government continues on their unchecked spending spree, we are making tough decisions in Alabama to ensure that we're living within our means and using tax dollars in the most efficient manner possible."
This year's General Fund budget also includes measures to ensure that the state's Medicaid system is run more efficiently and effectively. Most notably, HB454 will change the delivery of Medicaid services to a regional care structure.
"Doing more with less requires more and more tough decisions to be made," said House General Fund Co-Chairman Steve Clouse (R-Ozark). "It is imperative that we continue to ensure that Alabamians receive the vital services they need and this budget is a great compromise to ensure those services are prioritized and adequately funded."
"With a ballooning Medicaid budget and decreasing revenues we've been dealt a difficult hand," stated House General Fund Co-Chairman Jim Barton (R-Mobile). "I'm proud of the work we've done to maximize our state's resources all while continuing to streamline and reduce the size of government."
The proposal now goes back to the Senate for consideration.