With budget estimates that appear to be higher than projections for the Legislative Fiscal Office, Gov, Robert Bentley’s office Wednesday unveiled 2014 budget proposals that would provide pay raises for teachers, increases to pre-kindergarten and the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative, and level funding for most state agencies.
Acting Finance Director Bill Newton, outlining the proposals at a press conference Wednesday morning, said the governor’s office believes the proposals to be fair.
“The Governor and Finance Department consider funding for each department and agency to be adequate,” he said.
The proposal, almost certain to be rewritten by the state Legislature, provides about $73 million to fund a two-percent pay raise for the teachers in the state; a $70 million increase for the Alabama Medicaid Agency and a $10 million increase for pre-kindergarten. However, the governor’s budget proposal also level funds most state agencies, nearly all of which sought increased funding for staffing and pay raises.
The governor’s office estimates 3.5 percent growth in the Education Trust Fund and two percent growth in the General Fund. The LFO said Monday that it expects receipts in the General Fund to contract.
Overall, the governor is proposing a $5.98 billion Education Trust Fund and a $1.8 billion General Fund.
– posted by Brian Lyman