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Some Facts About Governor Riley’s Budgets

January 14, 2010

MONTGOMERY - Governor Bob Riley and State Finance Director Bill Newton discussed details of the Governor’s proposals for the General Fund and Education budgets on Wednesday. Today, we are re-iterating the following facts about the Governor’s budget proposals that were mentioned Wednesday.

• Governor Riley’s budget proposals do not rely on $1 billion from the federal government in order to be balanced. Roughly $500 million of the $1 billion that is anticipated for the state is for transportation projects. That money is not needed in order for the budget proposals to be balanced. If Congress ended up not sending that $500 million to Alabama for road projects, it would not affect the budget. It would only mean we would not have that money for transportation projects. The Governor’s budget proposals would remain balanced.

• The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed this bill with funding for Alabama and other states and the U.S. Senate is expected to take action on it soon. Governor Riley and members of his Cabinet have been in regular contact with officials in Washington about the contents of this bill and its status.

• The approach Governor Riley is taking on the budgets (including the anticipated federal funds in his budget forecast) is exactly the same approach we used last year. When Governor Riley presented his budgets proposals in February 2009, Congress was working to pass the federal stimulus bill. That bill had not passed yet, but we knew approximately what Alabama would receive and we factored that into the budget proposals. The Legislature’s leaders, its budget committee chairmen and its members agreed that was a reasonable approach to take back then. This year, we are taking exactly the same approach. So if some legislators now say they don’t think that’s a good approach to take, they have changed their position.

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