MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) - The Alabama Legislature convened the second special session Tuesday. Both sides adjourned within 20 minutes.
It was like a setup to the rest of the week. Lawmakers filed proposals they hope will make it into a budget, and Wednesday committees will take them into consideration.
Senator Arthur Orr, (R) of Decatur, summarized what committees will take up in the Senate: "In the Senate we'll have a lot of what I'd call efficiency bills and also some cost-saving bills," he said.
Over in the House, a number of revenue proposals were filed Tuesday. They include a controversial cigarette tax the House voted down last month, a title certification tax, an auto rental tax, a business privilege tax, a pharmacy provider tax, and a porn tax. The House General Fund Ways and Means committee will begin voting on these Wednesday morning.
Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) is not convinced the cigarette tax has what it takes to pass through the Senate. "The cigarette is the one that, to me, is a wild card," he said, but added, "There's some support in the senate for some of the [other] measures. I can't say there's support for all of those."
Rep. Phil Williams (R-Madison County) explained,"We're not here to just raise their taxes if government can be further reduced."
An estimated revenue range goes from $140 to $200 million, said Marsh. But other things will be needed to have a complete budget proposal, added Senator Arthur Orr: "I think cuts are going to be part of the dynamic, regardless of House, Senate, whatever version."
Senator Paul Sanford said he also filed a lottery bill, and there could soon be a companion one making its way through the House.
Legislators say at this point, they know it's their job to pass a budget. And they're very ready to do it. The heat is on, now, with just three weeks left until the October 1 deadline.
"You don't have the affordability of another special session occurring. It's this one, or, bad things do happen," said Senator Orr.
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