At least work is getting done

Published 8:57 pm Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Alabama Legislature gave final approval Thursday to the state’s General Fund budget. Anytime lawmakers can work together well enough to get a budget passed is cause for celebration, and a look at this budget’s history is a lesson in politics.

The Senate voted 19-10 to pass the $2.5 million budget for non-education services after the House of Representatives voted 55-38 in favor. Between votes, however, some House members complained the Senate had cut funding for corrections and other agencies while adding funding for special projects.

The Senate did cut $9 million from corrections, but a House-Senate conference committee gave $3 million back to prisons. That committee also placed $6.5 million in community service grants that House members can use for projects in their districts.

Confused? This budget has actually been a much simpler task than most. All that remains now is Governor Bob Riley’s blessing.

And Riley and the Legislature are always one big happy family, right?