2015 Special Session
August 11, 2015
The Alabama Legislature adjourned Sine Die today concluding the 2015 Special Session without giving final approval to a General Fund Budget. Governor Robert Bentley called this special session in July giving the legislature an opportunity to pass a General Fund Budget after he vetoed their budget earlier this summer. With his call to pass a General Fund Budget were a number of tax increases and budget reforms aimed at finding a long-term solution to a General Fund budget with weaning sources of revenue.
House And Senate Fail To Approve General Fund Budget
When the House met on Monday, many believed the only thing left to do was pass the General Fund budget the Senate had approved earlier in the day. However, many members took the opportunity to chastise the Senate for passing a budget with nearly 18.5% in cuts to most state agencies, while still cutting Corrections, Department of Human Resources, the Courts, and Medicaid substantially. Although the House was expected to concur with the Senate approved budget, a budget that would have undoubtedly been vetoed by the governor, House members voted 92-2 to non-concur with the Senate changes effectively killing it.
The legislature decided to come back into session on Tuesday and tie up what loose ends they could. The House had time to give final approval to SB24 which would require entities who are exempt from paying state sales, use, and lodging taxes to annually receive an exemption certificate from the Department of Revenue.
Now that the legislature has adjourned without passing a General Fund budget, the governor will have to call another special session before the beginning of the 2016 fiscal year, which begins October 1, 2015. When the governor decides to call the next special session remains unknown.