5 Facts You May Not Know about the House Version of the General Fund Budget

The House version of the State General Fund Budget for fiscal year 2018 passed on March 14 before the Legislature went on Spring Break. For fiscal year 2018, the House version of the budget would appropriate $1.84 billion in state spending, nearly the same amount of funds as last year. The House budget now goes to the Senate for approval where additional changes could be made. The Senate is expected to start reviewing the budget this week. While most agencies received level funding in the budget, here are 5 facts you may not know about the recently passed House Budget:

1. Governor Bentley included $1 million in his budget proposal to assist with matching funds for local governments to assist with dilapidated buildings in the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs’ budget. The House budget doesn’t allocate specific funding for this program.

2. In the Forestry Commission Budget, the Governor proposed $1,042,810 to assist with rural and community fire protection. The House Budget includes $1,141,910, a $99,100 increase for this program.

3. The House Budget includes $60,000 in funding to support a pilot program through the Department of Corrections to support small business development by ex-offenders. The Governor’s budget didn’t appropriate specific funding for this program.

4. The Agriculture and Industries Department received an increase of $2,549,377 to fund the Resource Conservation and Development Program, which was removed from the Soil and Water Conservation Committee in the House Budget. Governor Bentley recommended $8,434,124 for total department spending while the House budget calls for $10,983,501 in total spending.

5. The State Building Renovation Authority received $600,000 less in funding in both the Governor’s and House budget than the amount budgeted. The budgeted amount was $2,061,459. Governor Bentley and the House both recommended $1,461,248 in funding.

Overview of the General Fund Budget

The State General Fund Budget provides funding for all non-education programs. Revenues credited to the State General Fund are used to fund the expenses of the executive, legislative, and judicial departments of state government, for debt service on certain general obligation bond issues, and for capital outlay. The State General Fund also supports state programs, such as child development and protection, criminal justice, conservation efforts, economic development, public health and safety, mental health, Medicaid, legislative activities, and the court system.