Governor Bentley rolls out special session plans

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Gov. Robert Bentley (file)

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says the state must solve a budget crisis to avoid deep cuts in government services.

Bentley on Friday rolled out his plans for a special legislative session focusing on the state budget.

The governor said he is seeking “fair minimal taxes” including a cigarette tax increase, changes to business privilege taxes, and either a soft drink tax or small changes to a state income tax deduction.

Bentley says he believes voters are adamantly opposed to the funding cuts in state parks, Medicaid and mental health that will happen Oct. 1 without new revenue.

The governor said he will not consider expanding gambling.

Bentley has called lawmakers into session beginning Monday, weeks earlier than lawmakers expected. Bentley said he believes lawmakers are ready to solve this problem.

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