MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) - Governor Robert Bentley delivered his first State of the State speech on Tuesday night.
In the speech, Bentley outlined a plan on Tuesday night that will stop the state from spending millions of dollars it does not have. He said he will focus on the state's limited money on essential services. The governor also made it very clear in his address that sacrifices will have to be made.
Education was on many people's minds after the governor declared proration Monday for this year's education fund. Bentley said that school systems and teachers may have to give some things up next year. Teachers and state employees may be required to pay more for their healthcare benefits and retirement plans.
Along with school cuts, Bentley said that all state agencies will be cut between 15% and 45%. However, he did say there are some areas that will be spared including prisons, Medicaid and the military. Bentley noted that some things in education will not be touched next budget year either.
"Nothing is more important to me than protecting our classroom teachers and, though there will be sacrifices that must be made, I will not sacrifice one single teacher's job," said Bentley during his speech.
"It's not an easy task to ask them to pay a little bit more towards their health insurance," said Vestavia Hills Senator Jabo Waggoner. "But if we don't make these hard, difficult, painful, challenging decisions, there may not be a retirement system some day, there may not be a job there."
Along with not cutting any jobs, Bentley said class sizes will not increase either.
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