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GF budget proves state’s finances sound


Special to Atmore News

The Alabama Senate recently passed the largest General Fund budget in state history, a $2.7 billion spending plan that includes repaying all money borrowed from the state’s education trust fund, an increase in mental health funding and a pay increase for state employees.

Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore), who chairs the senate’s Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee, said he was more than satisfied with the state’s financial footing under its Republican majority.

“The state of Alabama has never had a more sound financial basis than we do right now,” Albritton said. “After a decade of implementing several conservative measures and making drastic modifications to the budget process, we are financially one of the top states in the nation, and that is something that all Alabamians can be immensely proud of.”

The District 22 State Senator said he was equally as satisfied with the continuing progress that has been made in the budget process under GOP control.

“Because of the fiscal responsibility and budgetary discipline methods we have executed under Republican control of the legislature, Alabama has dramatically transformed for the better and is positioned to tackle any problems that may come our way,” he said. “Not only are we adequately resourced to take on these issues, but we are well-equipped to address ongoing problems, even crises, that have yet to be seriously handled, like reforming our prison system.

“This budget proposal will help resolve several significant matters, and one that I am most proud of is that we will be able to pay off every penny borrowed from ourselves and the people of Alabama through the Alabama Trust Fund, in full and ahead of schedule. We can finally say that we kept our pledge by repaying these funds. In our efforts, we are attempting to serve the people of Alabama in the best fiscal way possible, and it clearly seems to be working.”

Both Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Reed (R-Jasper) and Senate Majority Leader Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville) commended Albritton on his diligent work and congratulated him on the broad support the budget received from the Senate body.

“I am proud to support this General Fund budget package, which represents not only the largest General Fund budget in Alabama’s history but also importantly continues the Senate’s record of fiscal conservatism and responsibility,” Reed said. “From a sizable increase in mental health funding to accomplishing fully funding the General Fund’s Budget Reserve Fund, this is a great day for Alabama. I would like to thank Chairman Greg Albritton, the Finance and Taxation General Fund committee members, and my colleagues for their diligence, input, and hard work throughout the budget process.”

Reed also pointed out that Albritton “continues to provide thorough leadership for our members and our state” in his role as chair of the General Fund Committee.

Scofield praised Albritton for bringing the budget before the Senate during the early stages of the current session.

“Chairman Albritton worked exceptionally hard to get this budget on the Senate floor so early on in the session, and I applaud him for his tireless effort to take our state forward and provide for Alabamians,” Scofield said.

The Senate-approved budget includes $2,297,963,806 for the executive branch; $185,214,276 for the judicial branch and $43,926,548 for the legislative branch. Money designated for other expenditures totaled $169,723,724.

The package now heads to the House of Representatives for its consideration.