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Democrats in Senate urge Republican Supermajority to consider budgets before any other business

Staff Report

Montgomery, AL–Today, Democrats in the Alabama Senate publically urged the Republican Supermajority to take up the Education Trust Fund Budget and the General Fund Budget before conducting any other business this session. Finally, after hours of pressure from Democrats, a calendar was adopted late in the afternoon that contained the Education Trust Fund budget immediately before recessing.

“The Senate Democratic Caucus agreed that we do not want to work on any other bills until both budgets are passed,” said Senate Minority Leader Vivian Davis Figures (D-Mobile).  “Even though so many Republicans ran on the platform of passing the budgets by the 15th Legislative Day, it is the 28th Legislative Day and we have not seen the most current version of the education budget, and there is a floor substitute of the budget that has not even been seen by the Legislative Fiscal Office.”

Early in the day, Senator Rodger Smitherman (D-Birmingham) made a motion to bring the Education Trust Fund Budget up out of order, but Republicans prevented by objecting.

“After several weeks of the Minority Party requesting to consider the budgets, we are on the 28th Legislative Day and finally getting the opportunity to address the education budget for the first time,” said Sen. Smitherman.  “Our paramount responsibility as legislators is to balance and pass both budgets, and we have failed to do that with less than two and a half legislative days remaining this session.”

Legislators have one constitutional duty during a legislative session: balance and pass the Education Trust Fund and General Fund Budgets.  Neither of the state’s budgets have been passed or sent to the Governor for his consideration even though the 2013 Regular Legislative Session is coming to an end.

“As former chairman of the General Fund, I truly understand the importance of passing budgets in a timely manner which the Republican supermajority has failed to do this session,” remarked Senator Roger Bedford (D-Russellville).  “We absolutely cannot wait any longer to consider these budgets, and we should not focus on any other matter until balanced budgets are passed out of the legislature.”

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