MONTGOMERY — After a long day that ran into the night hours and the following day, the Alabama Legislature voted to approve the $8.8 billion Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget and $2.8 billion supplemental for the 2024 fiscal year.

The bill took up lengthy debate in the House on Thursday, in which the body applied several committee and floor amendments to the respective budget bills. After the Senate declined to concur with the House amendments, the two bodies met in conference committee to negotiate differences.

The conference committee ran so long that the legislature gaveled out Thursday, only to gavel back in at 12:01 Friday morning.

After all was finished, the legislature approved the state general fund and education trust fund for FY24, along with the supplemental appropriations for both budgets.

The ETF maintained over $100 million in prison funding, which education budget committee chairman State Rep. Danny Garrett (R-Trussville) insisted was for educational facilities for inmates.

Attached to the ETF supplemental were the long-debated tax rebates, which went through several fluctuations through the

The House changed the initial rebate to $210 for a single filer and 420 for married filing jointly. After the conference committee between the House and Senate, the number was changed to $150 for single filers and $300 for married voters filing jointly.  

Both the ETF and the ETF supplemental passed the House unanimously.

In the House, the only "no" vote came from State Rep. Tracy Estes (R-Winfield), who opposed the $100 million in appropriations for prisons. Estes opposed the bill before it went to the conference committee but says he accidentally voted "yes" when it came for a final vote in the House.

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