Legislative session focuses on financial issues

MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) - State lawmakers are preparing for the first day of the new legislative session. It is expected to be one that centers a lot of attention on the money.

The session starts just one day after Governor Bentley declared proration for Alabama schools. He is cutting education budgets by 3% starting immediately. Teachers and students could really be affected when lawmakers begin to trim fat from the budgets during the new session.
Some of the big issues that are expected come up include cutting back on holidays for state employees, making teachers and state employees pay more for health benefits, increasing the share workers pay on their pension and reducing tenure for teachers

Also on the table is cutting back on the number of school days and increasing class size. Though this is devastating for school systems, the good news is that they were warned by the state about the possibility of proration and some already planned ahead.

Despite the fair warning, the Alabama Education Association is getting ready for a big legislative fight.

"Our biggest fear is that the Republican leadership in Montgomery will continue its attack on public education employees and try to fight us for our activities in the Republican gubernatorial runoff," said Lance Hyche with the Alabama Public Education Association.

In that Republican runoff, the AEA helped now Governor Bentley defeat Bradley Byrne.

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