Senate Approves Budget With Prison Funding Boost

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – The Alabama Senate has approved a state general fund budget that gives additional money to the state prison system to try to comply with a court order to overhaul mental health care to inmates.

Senators voted 26-2 for the budget on Tuesday. It now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.

The proposed spending plan would send an additional $51 million to the Department of Corrections next fiscal year. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled last year that mental health care in state prisons was “horrendously inadequate.”

Senators delayed a vote on a proposed three percent pay raise for state employees. Pittman said there were ongoing negotiations because some senators also want a cost-of-living increase for state retirees.

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