GOP: Runoff candidates say no new taxes, cut costs

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama's next governor will have to design the first state budgets without federal stimulus money, a potentially huge hole.

The two candidates in the Republican runoff for governor July 13 say they would do it by cutting spending rather than increasing taxes.

Robert Bentley and Bradley Byrne supported Gov. Bob Riley's $1.2 billion tax referendum in 2003, when the state was in another financial pinch. But both say they are not going to raise taxes if elected governor.

Bentley said Alabama must do more to control rising costs for public employees' benefits, including possibly requiring workers to pick up more of the expense of their health insurance. Byrne also wants to look at requiring education employees to pay a little more for their insurance, particularly those who are retired and not Medicare-eligible.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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