Alabama Legislature convenes special session, immediately adjourns until August

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Legislature convened Monday for the beginning of a special legislative session addressing the state budget crisis. Shortly after, lawmakers voted to adjourn until August 3rd.

Bentley brought lawmakers into special session after the regular session ended in a political stalemate and no budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. However, lawmakers say they still have work to do before they can convene.

"In the Senate we have a group that`s meeting at various scheduled times through the month of July to see if we can`t come to some kind of consensus," explained Sen. Arthur Orr.

The general fund is facing a shortfall of about $200 million, plus increased needs for Medicaid and state prisons. The governor last month vetoed a budget that would have slashed funding from state agencies.

Now Governor Bentley has proposed an increase in cigarette taxes and changes to income tax deductions, among other measures.

"Some I think have a good chance of passing as far as the various components of his package, others may have a more difficult time. It`s [too] early to tell," said Orr.