Lawmakers Tackle Budgets

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The Alabama House and Senate Thursday accepted a technical amendment that the governor added to the education budget, and that completed work on the $4.5 billion appropriations bill.

The budget will completely fund teachers' benefits, expand the state's reading program, and restore funding for school textbooks, libraries and computer purchases.

Riley's technical amendment says no money will be used from the state's Capitol Improvements Trust Fund will be used in the budget if there is sufficient tax revenue to balance the budget.

In the meantime, most of the work at the Mississippi Capitol was being done behind closed doors Thursday. Budget analysts were meeting with top lawmakers to try to find enough money to fund state government without making deep cuts.

Legislators have already warned that some state employees could lose their jobs, but it's not clear how many. The House and Senate are facing a Sunday night deadline to finish the working on the budget.

Education and Medicaid are still two of the big sticking points. The new state fiscal year starts July 1.