Lawmakers resume talks on budget, education transfer

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MONTGOMERY, Ala.  — Alabama lawmakers are resuming budget talks after a late-night meeting failed to get an agreement.

A conference committee will meet Tuesday morning to resume negotiations on a proposal to shift education funds to the cash-strapped general fund budget.

The Alabama Senate on Monday evening debated a proposal to take $100 million of $225 million in use tax funds that now go to the state’s education budget. This passed through the Senate  19-11.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said many senators see that as a reform to get growth revenue into the perpetually cash-strapped general fund budget.

A House and Senate joint conference committee about the use tax funds and rolling reserve, was postponed until 10:30 AM Tuesday. They worked a late evening, adjourning at 10:30 PM Monday.

Senators could also vote on a House-passed bill that would put a 25-cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes tomorrow.

Lawmakers are in a special session to address a $200 million general fund shortfall for the fiscal year that begins in 16 days.

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