Ala. House passes bill to allow state agencies to raise fees

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – The Alabama House has passed a bill allowing state agencies to increase fees every five years to fund agency operations.

The bill on Wednesday initially failed a procedural vote before being resurrected in a second vote and passing 61-38.

Legislation would allow agencies to request fee increases based on a percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index since the last fee adjustment, or over a 10-year period.

The bill would not apply to some state agencies.

Alabama lawmakers are continuing to search for ways to fill a $200 million deficit in the state’s general fund budget.

Republican House general fund budget chairman Steve Clouse says he’d guess some state agencies haven’t increased certain fees in 30 years.

Democratic House Minority Leader Craig Ford says the bill equates to raising taxes.