The Alabama House of Representatives will consider the fiscal year 2023 State General Fund budget (SGF) on Tuesday. Preparing the two state budgets is the primary purpose of the annual regular legislative session.

Senate Bill 108 (SB108) is sponsored by State Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) who chairs the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund committee, which is tasked with preparing the budget. It is being carried in the House by State Rep. Steve Clouse (R-Ozark) who chairs the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee.

The 2023 fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. The Ways and Means General Fund budget that passed out of committee on Wednesday is $2,735,252,379, which is $38,593,658 more than the SGF budget passed by the Senate. The SGF Senate budget was $2,696,828,354 for FY2023.

This is the largest SGF in state history.

House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter extolled “conservative budgeting” for accomplishing this result.

There are also conditional appropriations of $40 million to fund the Alabama Department of Corrections facility maintenance fund and $3,500,000 for the State Port Authority. If revenues are lower than expected the conditional appropriations will not occur.

The largest project that the state has tackled in years is the building of the two new mega prisons, which were funded in a later 2021 special session. This budget includes $30 million for the Correctional Institution Finance Authority which is the 2023 payment on the $1 billion bond issue.

The House committee substitute bill would award $40,882,397 to the Alabama District Attorneys which is $5,000,000 more than the Senate appropriated.

The House committee substitute would award $158,832,284 to the Unified Judicial System, which is $1,148,228 more than the Senate appropriated. The Committee also would appropriate $12,315,651 to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management - $1,500,000 more than the Senate version. The Committee would give $74,915,734 to the Alabama Department of Public Health - $1,500,000 more than the Senate. The Alabama Department of Human Resources would receive $105,167,369, $1,200,000 more than in the Senate version. Some $80,264,859 would go to the Alabama Department of Law Enforcement - $5,000,000 more than the Senate. Also, $193,144,897 would go to the Department of Mental Health, which is $10,128,571 more than the Senate. Medicaid would receive $793,000,000, $4,000,000 more than the Senate. Finally,$3,500,000 to the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission, $1,000,000 more than the Senate would give the agency.

To read the latest budget spreadsheet:

Education will be addressed in the education trust fund budget (ETF). The House passed the ETF last Tuesday.

SB106 passed the Senate 29 to 1.

State employees will be a four percent raise and state retirees will get a one time bonus check if this budget is passed and signed into law by the Governor.

The state of Alabama has a budgeting system where over 90% of the funds are earmarked and there are two separate budgets. The SGF is for non-education agencies and the education trust fund budget (ETF).

If the House passes the Committee substitute, the SGF will have to go back to the Alabama Senate for their concurrence.

Tuesday will be day 22 of the 2022 Alabama Regular Legislative Session.

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