Legislators address concerns about possible budget cuts heading into second special session

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MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT)-- The clock is winding down for Alabama lawmakers to come up with a budget by October 1 when the new fiscal year begins.

State lawmakers head to Montgomery next week for a second special session. They tell us many of you are emailing or sending letters to express concerns about possible budget cuts. Senator Arthur Orr, Representative Terri Collins, and Rep. Mac McCutcheon have each told WHNT News 19 people have contacted them with concerns about a variety of agencies' proposed cuts, from Medicaid to  state parks, and mental health within the past few weeks.

"People got a lot more engaged. And I think a lot of the advocates got more organized," explained Rep. Collins. But she says, lawmakers don't want these cuts either. "I don't believe anybody wants those worst case scenario things they've heard, to happen. Please be informed that's not ever what our thought was."

"Legislators, I think, understand now that a purely cut budget is not a viable option," said Sen. Orr. "The implications of a lot of those cuts-- that education has taken place."

These lawmakers tell WHNT News 19 that cuts need to happen, but they also have to be strategic and also, coupled with revenue options.

"It's going to take a combination of everything. There is still waste to be cut. There is," said Rep. Collins.

"A solution usually in politics means that not everybody gets what they want, but they each give some," explained Sen. Orr. He says he's confident that lawmakers will have a budget before October 1st. "I don't think we're going to play a game of high stakes chicken and not get it done."

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