With 10 legislative days left in the session, negotiations over the state's General and Education budgets are heating up.

Jason Johnson, deputy director of communications for the city of Mobile, told 1819 News on Monday, "(Mobile) Mayor (Sandy) Stimpson hopes the legislature can find a way to secure the funding ($31 million) that was initially earmarked for the Mobile International Airport in Gov. Ivey's proposed budget." 

"Those dollars would go toward the new terminal for commercial flights out of downtown Mobile," Stimpson said. "In a statement earlier this month, Mayor Stimpson called the airport project "a major economic development opportunity for South Alabama." He also said, "The Mobile Airport Authority has already proven that creating a new terminal at the Mobile International Airport will have positive impacts felt far beyond Mobile. The city, county and federal governments are also helping to fund the project."

Johnson said, "Another important economic development item for our area is the $25 million initially earmarked for the Port of Mobile." 

"Those dollars would support new coal loading/unloading equipment to help the Port of Mobile's McDuffie Coal Terminal expand its ability to export metallurgical coal," Johnson said. "Both of these allocations support significant economic development opportunities that would benefit Mobile and the State of Alabama."

Both state budgets and supplementals for the General Fund and the Education Trust Fund have each passed one chamber. South and Central Alabama lawmakers have complained about the "geographic disparities" in funded projects.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email caleb.taylor@1819News.com.

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