House passes “austere” budget plan by 66-36 vote

Alabama State House

A barebones budget plan to fund government services is on its way to the Senate, having passed the Alabama House Tuesday by a vote of 66 to 36. The plan assumes no new sources of revenue for the state and just $1.64 billion available to spend from the general fund, an 11 percent decrease from 2014.

The budget plan includes level funding for Medicaid, the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Human Resources, and the Administrative Office of the Courts. Other agencies that are appropriated through the General Fund would see a 2 percent budget cut.

House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Steve Clouse has said that the budget “isn’t what anyone likes” but that the deep cuts were necessary in the absence of a plan for new revenue.

Gov. Robert Bentley has already said he would veto the plan should it arrive on his desk.