MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- A House committee has approved an education budget aimed at giving teachers more money for their health insurance instead of a raise or bonus.
The House Ways and Means - Education Committee voted 10-4 for the budget Wednesday morning.
The spending plan strips away a one-time 1 percent bonus for public education employees approved by the Alabama Senate.
House Minority Leader Craig Ford called the budget a travesty. He said teachers have gone years without raises while being asked to pay more for health insurance and retirement benefits. Gov. Robert Bentley is seeking a 2 percent raise.
Chairman Rep. Bill Poole, R-Tuscaloosa, said lawmakers want to put more money into insurance to try to avoid large premium increases for employees.
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