House approves budget after hours of debate - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

House approves budget after hours of debate

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama House approved a general fund budget after hours of debate over the lack of a raise for state employees.

Representatives voted 72-28 for the $1.8 billion budget late Tuesday. It now moves to the state Senate.

Montgomery lawmakers tried unsuccessfully to add a raise or bonus for the employees who haven't had a cost-of-living increase since 2008.

Rep. Napoleon Bracy of Prichard says lawmakers wouldn't expect to work 10 years without a raise.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Steve Clouse countered that the state needs to be conservative. He says the state is about to exhaust oil spill settlement funds, and there is uncertainty about what changes federal officials will make to Medicaid.

Clouse says employees have gotten merit raises and the state is paying for health insurance increases.

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