The Alabama Legislature has now used 12 of the possible 30 meeting days for 2018. Except for a few minor issues, the session has remained relatively quiet with the goal of passing the budgets and leaving early still a good possibility.
On Tuesday, the House passed the $6.63 billion Education Trust Fund Budget by a vote of 102 – 0. The budget is $216 million greater than the 2018 ETF, and the largest since the dark days of the great recession. Included in the budget is a much deserved 2.5% pay raise for teachers and an increase for insurance premiums so the pay raise will not be absorbed by an increase in premiums. House Bill 175 by Representative Bill Poole will now move onto the Senate for consideration.
Up in the Senate, the Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee gave a favorable recommendation to the Senate Bill 178, the 2019 General Fund Budget. Senator Tripp Pittman presented the approximate $2 billion dollar budget to the committee for consideration on Wednesday. The budget is nearly $160 million larger than the 2018 budget the state is operating under. An expected increase in revenue for 2019 plus $92 million set aside last year, have the general fund budget in the best shape it has seen for many years. Included in SB 178 is a proposed 3% cost of living pay raise for state employees and $50 million extra for the prison system.
Bills of Interest to Concrete Industry
House Bill 40 by Representative Kyle South is awaiting final approval by the Senate. The legislation would allow vehicles that utilized CNG technology additional weight when driving on the interstate system.
The legislature will reconvene Tuesday, February 20th. Should you have any questions about this report, please contact our office.