Alabama Gov. Bob Riley made political history Tuesday when he signed into law a $1.65 billion general fund budget for the coming fiscal year.
On Oct. 1 there will be major funds to enhance health care and mental health programs, better budgets for the ever expanding state prison system and new government services for residents.
Tax collections and state finances are in much better shape for fiscal year 2007 because of a stronger economy and an influx of new well paying jobs.
Another beneficiary will be the state's forensic sciences unit. Gov. Riley said he will sign legislation Wednesday that will provide an income tax break for many Alabamians.
The $60 million tax break got approved by the Legislature last week. It will raise the income tax threshold for a family of four from $4,600 annually to $12,500.
The tax break will take effect in January 2007.