On Tuesday, the Alabama House of Representatives passed the State General Fund budget (SGF).

State Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) is the sponsor of the bill that originated in the Senate. He chairs the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee that prepares the budget.

Following House passage, Albritton urged that the Alabama Senate vote to non concur with the House changes to the budget, which funds non-education-related state agencies.

The body accepted his recommendation, and the legislation now goes to a conference committee to hammer out the disagreements between the two legislative bodies.

The SGF is part of the state general fund package of bills that passed the House Tuesday.

The SGF package includes a supplemental appropriation, a four percent pay raise for state employees and a one-time bonus check for state retirees. Appropriations for private groups thus cannot be part of the SGF budget itself, and appropriations of both federal ARPA COVID-19 relief dollars, as well as tobacco settlement revenues, are in their own trust fund.

The budget for fiscal year 2023 is the largest SGF in state history.

According to the Legislative Services Agency, the State General Fund budget (SGF) for 2023 that the House passed is $2,735,852,379. That is $50,141,770 more than in FY2022. Ten years ago the state only took in $1,684,779,549. The general fund has grown $1,051,072,830 over 10 years, not counting the supplemental appropriations the legislature has been recently passing with surplus revenues from unanticipated tax collections. This year’s SGF supplemental appropriation is $119,225,398, which is in addition to the FY2023 $50,141,770 increase in the general fund.

On Thursday the House will appoint its members of the conference committee. That conference committee could potentially reach a settlement as early as today. When and if the conference committee comes to an agreement, that compromise budget would still have to be voted on by both Houses of the legislature before it could go to the governor’s desk.

Alabama has two budgets. The Education Trust Fund budget (ETF) passed the Alabama House last week. The Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee is presently working on their proposed changes to the House-passed ETF. Passing the budgets is the primary constitutional function of the regular legislative session.

Thursday will be day 23 of the 2022 Alabama Regular Legislative Session.

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