April 14, 2016
The Alabama Legislature met for two legislative days in Montgomery this week. The House will reconvene on Tuesday April 19th at 1:30pm and the Senate will reconvene the same day at 2:00pm.
Next week the legislature will meet for three legislative days. They are expected to meet for three legislative days the following week, and complete the last days of session the week of May 2nd.
Senate Passes Education Trust Fund Budget
This week the Alabama Senate passed the Education Trust Fund on a 32-1 vote. The $6.3 billion budget and its accompanying bills will provide teachers and education employees making less than $75,000 annually a 4 percent raise. School principals and assistant principals would also get a 4 percent raise. Education employees making more than $75,000 would get a 2 percent raise.
As passed out of committee, the budget would have included $12 million for the PREP Act, a bill that would have lengthened the time required for teachers to attain tenure and required annual evaluations. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said Tuesday he was setting the legislation aside due to a lack of support in the Senate.
A substitute from Orr took $7 million from that allocation and split it between increases for school transportation and Other Current Expenses (OCE), money given to school districts. $1.5 million would go to the state’s pre-kindergarten program, bringing its total year-to-year increase to $16 million. Pre-kindergarten’s total budget would go from $48 million to $64 million; the Alabama School Readiness Alliance, which advocates for the program, said it would enable 2,800 more four-year-olds to enroll and help with salaries for teachers.
The budget now goes back to the House of Representatives where they are expected to send the budget to a conference committee to work out minor differences in the Senate and House plans.
Legislator Plans To Establish Committee To Investigate Impeachment Of Governor
Representative Ed Henry said in a press conference Wednesday afternoon he expected to propose a new rule in the House next week to establish an impeachment committee. The committee, he said, would have subpoena power and would meet after the Legislature adjourns in the next few weeks.
Representative Henry filed articles of impeachment against Bentley last week. The articles accuse the governor of willful neglect of duty, incompetence, corruption and moral turpitude, based on allegations made by former Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Spencer Collier.