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Layoffs Possible In Alabama

By Associated Press

The Alabama House debated into the night an austere $1.39 billion "General Fund" budget that could mean layoffs of hundreds of state employees and the possible elimination of key services such as medicine and dialysis treatments for Medicaid patients. A program that provides income to low income Alabama residents could be eliminated.

Lawmakers debated the budget late into the night Tuesday and lamented about the cuts to almost every non-education agency.

"Unfortunately this is where we are today," said House Ways and Mean-General Fund Committee chairman Rep. Jim Barton of Mobile as he explained the state's dire financial condition.

The proposed budget is $430 million less than the spending plan for the current fiscal year. Once approved by the House the budget will go to the Senate for review.