On Tuesday the Alabama House of Representatives will address the State General Fund budget (SGF) on the House floor. The budget and legislation that travels with the budget in the legislative process will be considered by the full House of Representatives. Preparing the SGF and the Education Trust Fund budget (ETF) for the 2023 fiscal year, which begins on Oct. 1, is a primary constitutional purpose of the regular legislative session.
Senate Bill 191 (SB191) is a $97,943,015 supplemental appropriation from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) - State Small Business Credit Initiative Fund for the 2022 fiscal year. The ARPA dollars are federal monies appropriated by Congress to the state.
Senate Bill 108 (SB108) is a supplemental appropriation for the 2022 fiscal year of $119,225,398. The money will be divided among several state agencies:
$362,611 to the Legislature, of which $100,000 is for reapportionment litigation expenses and $262,611 for special session expenses.
$30 million to the Alabama Corrections Institution Finance Authority (ACIFA) Program.
$1.5 million to the District Attorneys.
$2,995,111 to the Bureau of Pardons and Paroles.
$3.5 million to the Department of Economic and Community Affairs, of which $500,000 is for emergency sewer repairs in the City of Brewton, $500,000 for an economic development project in Crenshaw County, $2 million for renovations at Anniston Airport, and $500,000 for a survey and evaluation of dams in Alabama.
$500,000 to the Educational Television Commission for one-time capital outlay expenses.
$5.3 million to the Department of Forensic Sciences for a forensic laboratory in Dothan.
$5,587,531 to the Department of Human Resources for the new SNAP and TANF system.
$6 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs for construction of new veterans' home.
$9.5 million to the Department of Agriculture and Industry, of which, $7 million is to construct a new laboratory facility, and $2.5 million for rural utility infrastructure.
$7,043,500 to the State Law Enforcement Agency, of which $1 million is to repair hurricane damage to the Orange Beach Marine Patrol facility and $6,043,500 for radio and communications improvements.
$1 million to the Department of Senior Services to open an elder abuse shelter.
$3.5 million to the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission.
$700,000 to the Department of Mental Health for a crisis residential unit in Region 1.
$3 million to the Alabama Department of Tourism, of which $2.7 million is for the World Games, and $300,000 for the Birmingham Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
$7,377,000 to the Department of Environmental Management, of which $1.5 million is for the Coastal Program building at the Mobile Field Office, and $5,877,000 is for state matching funds required for the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Funds.
$3.5 million to the Alabama Forestry Commission, of which $1.5 million to procure and maintain vehicles and equipment used for preventing and fighting forest fires, and $2 million for an operational training center.
$1.5 million to the Alabama Historical Commission, of which $500,000 is for an Alabama ecotourism study, $500,000 for the Alabama Veterans Museum & Archives, and $500,000 for Fort Morgan.
$24,696,745 to the General Fund Budget Reserve Fund.
$162,900 to the Department of Public Health for Kick COVID.
$1.5 million to the Office of Prosecution Services.
$222,465 from the Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling Fund to the Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling
$30,000 from the Alabama Board of Examiners of Assisted Living Administrators Fund to the Alabama Board of Examiners of Assisted Living Administrators.
This is a House Committee substitute of the version passed by the Senate. This is on top of the money already appropriated in the 2022 SGF – essentially unexpected surplus windfalls to the state from excess taxes collected due to the robust economic conditions.
SB106 is the actual general fund budget for the FY 2023
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. This is the largest SGF in state history.
House Bill 269 (HB269) is the FY2023 appropriation for the Children First Trust Fund and is revenue from tobacco.
According to the fiscal note, the FY 2023 appropriations from the CFTF are:
Alcoholic Beverage Control Board $426,500
Children's Trust Fund $2,415,288
Department of Forensic Sciences $494,309
Alabama Department of Human Resources $11,000,000
Juvenile Probation Services Fund $4,646,647
Alabama Medicaid Agency $1,643,289
Alabama Department of Mental Health $2,142,457
State Multiple Needs Children's Fund $4,358,550
Department of Public Health $4,717,267
Department of Rehabilitation Services $246,763
Department of Youth Services $8,107,318
The total appropriation is $40,198,388 and is additional to any dollars that those agencies may have received from the SGF, the ETF, the supplemental appropriation to the SGF, the supplemental appropriation to the ETF, funds generated by the agency’s activities, federal ARPA dollars, and/or federal or local matching funds.
These funds are conditioned upon receipt of tobacco revenues. Any remaining sums at the end of the fiscal year shall remain in the CFTF and shall not revert to the General Fund or to any other fund. This act also transfers approximately $11,700,000 in Children First Trust Fund money allocated to the State Board of Education to the State General Fund for FY 2023.
In addition to the above appropriation, this act also appropriates $52,239,843 from additional tobacco settlement funds for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2023, to the following entities:
Department of Early Childhood Education $500,000
21st Century Debt Services $16,000,000
Senior Services Trust Fund $1,413,775
Alabama Medicaid Agency $32,333,121
Department of Senior Services - Medicaid Waiver $1,992,947
This act also requires that any additional tobacco revenues available for FY 2023 are conditionally appropriated, conditioned upon the recommendation of the Finance Director, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee and Chairman of the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee and the approval of the Governor and that notification be provided to legislators representing an area where a grant from the Children First Trust Fund is to be awarded ten days before the funds reach the recipient agency.
Senate Bill 107 is just the Senate companion bill to HB269 and simply repeats what the previous bill says.
House Bill 166 (HB 166) appropriates $169,633 from the State General Fund to the Coalition Against Domestic Violence for the 2023 fiscal year.
Senate Bill 109 is HB166’s Senate version.
House Bill 202 (HB202) is the four percent cost-of-living increase for state employees beginning October 1, 2022.
Senate Bill 110 is HB202’s Senate companion bill.
House Bill 404 (HB404) provides a one-time lump-sum additional payment to retired state employees. The retired state employees would receive a one-time lump-sum bonus of $2 per month for each year of service. This bonus will be paid in April 2022. This bonus will cost an estimated total of $15 million, of which the State General Fund portion is estimated at $4.2 million. For fiscal year 2024 only, the Employee's Retirement System (ERS) employer rate paid by state agencies will increase by 0.98% of payroll for state employees, and the ERS employer rate paid by state agencies will increase by 1.18% for state police.
This bill further provides that retirees of cities, towns, counties, or public or quasi-public organizations of the state that are members of ERS shall receive the bonus in October 2022, if their employer elects to bear the cost of the bonus.
Senate Bill 111 is the Senate version of HB404.
House Bill 352 creates a permanent trust and investment account to fund periodic bonus checks for state employee retirees.
The bills that are in the SGF package all passed the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee, which is chaired by State Rep. Steve Clouse (R-Ozark). Clouse and members of the committee will carry the budget bills on the House floor. Since the Committee substituted the SGF and the supplemental appropriation, those bills will have to go back to the Senate for their consideration of the House changes. The education budget (ETF) passed the House last week and has been referred to the Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee.
Tuesday will be day 22 of the Alabama Regular Legislative Session.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.