Gov. Robert Bentley releases bills aimed at reducing budget shortfall

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT)– WHNT News 19 has obtained copies of Governor Robert Bentley’s latest bills aimed at the budget shortfall affecting the General Fund.

It involves budget reforms along with revenue increases.

His plans include un-earmarking around $400 million from other General Fund agencies to transfer to the General Fund, amending the Rolling Reserve Act to remove certain restrictions, and using the one-time BP settlement funds toward the General Fund debt.

It also would increase the tobacco tax by 25 cents per pack, and include a 25 cent/fluid milliliter tax on vaporized products. Right now, there is no tobacco tax on vapor products that have nicotine in them. In the bill, he states the bill would also adjust the discount allowed on tobacco stamp purchases and also require wholesales and retailers of consumable vapor products to buy a privilege license.

A summary provided by the governor's office says the governor's proposed Fiscal Year 2016 budget would leave prison reform fully funded at $26 million, increase the corrections budget by $6 million for "capital needs," provide $60 million more to Medicaid/RCO Implementation, and level funding for most other departments and agencies.

You can click the following links to read some of the bills:

-Cigarette Tax

-Deep Water Horizon Settlement

-Elimination of Income Tax Withholding Exemption Certificates

-Gulf State Park Bond Issue

-Business Priv Tax

-Rolling Reserve