Budget deal still elusive in final days of regular session

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Alabama Today is hearing that as we round out the end of the Regular Legislative Session the plan is to be in session two days this week, three days the next week, then skip a week, and finish the week after that.

Then, of course, it’s looking like a Special Session is inevitable to address pending budget proposals. This schedule has not been finalized but is what members and staff are talking about.

The Legislature is no closer to reaching a budget deal that both the House and Senate will pass than all session, and they might as well be worlds apart.

Thanks to some strong-willed and principled members in the House they weren’t able to bring to a floor vote the tax increases Gov. Robert Bentley and Speaker Mike Hubbard wanted. It doesn’t look like that’s going to change in the next several weeks.

That doesn’t mean the discussion about those issues or new ones are dead. We’re hearing lots of talk about possible tax proposals for the Special Session, including a soda tax.

Despite loud protests to the contrary, the budget passed by the House was not intended to be the final version. It was the House punting to the Senate, so the governor can breath easier and put his veto pen down for a moment.

Check back for updates on the schedule and proposals to solve the budget crisis.

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