Legislators will return over a week after the
It's a proposal no one pretends is anything more than a patch job, and no one is willing to fix odds on its chances of passage.
"BP is not the solution to the
Under a bill sponsored by
If passed, the moves should free
The major question over the bill may not be the
The death of the lottery bill could increase pressure on legislators to put more money toward debt payment and provide some money for future program needs.
That could be hard for south
"There are some people that don't want the coast to receive any," said Sen.
House members have warned that major changes to the BP bill could affect its chances of passage. Clouse said last week he believed the lower chamber could live with the
"I don't see that being a problem," he said. "If something passed that was significantly different than what the House sent up to them, we'll be going to conference committee, and see where that goes."
The changes would cut back to some extent the road projects envisioned in
"I can support this amendment, but the more we change this bill, the more likely it's going to fail in the House," he said.
The never-ending problem
The lottery bill, according to Bentley's office, could have brought in
Legislators in bothchambers of the Legislature approved the bill, but
With the lottery closed off, the remaining options to find long-term solutions are limited. State income and property tax rates are both dictated by the Alabama Constitution and would be difficult to alter. Sales taxes are set by statute, but the Legislature in 2015 rejected a plan from Bentley to raise some of those taxes by a few percentage points.
Transfers of the use tax from the education budget to the General Fund -- and elimination of a FICA deduction on income taxes to make up the difference -- could occur by law, but would run into strong opposition in both chambers. A compact with the
"I think the governor should look at that compact, negotiate one and determine what one would look like," Pittman said. "It would make sense to me that that would be first place to look for generating revenue."
But rumors that Bentley was on the brink of signing one led to strong denials from the governor's office last week, and any compact would like draw opposition from legislators with dog tracks in their districts.
"He is looking at options to fund the RCO program, because it's something important to him," said
Other always-a-bridesmaid-never-a-bride proposal -- like budget unification or looking at existing credits, deductions and exemptions -- is also on some legislators' minds. But the likelihood of that is unknown.
"They'll find millions of dollars in economic incentives throughout the state," Knight said. "They don't have a problem finding that money and voting on it. When it comes to funding basic services of the state, there's extreme difficulty."
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