The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

April 11, 2014

Governor signs education budget without raise

Associated Press

— Gov. Robert Bentley signed the education budget for the next fiscal year today even though it did not include the 2 percent raise that he sought for teachers and school employees.

Bentley also announced that he would not force lawmakers into a special session over the issue of the raise. The governor cited the cost of a special session to taxpayers and the "attitude of the Legislature at this time." However, Bentley said he would continue to push for the raise and did not rule out a special session later in the year.

"My strong push for a pay raise was to support our teachers, our bus drivers, our lunchroom workers and our janitors across this state because we have asked of them a lot," Bentley said.

The governor said he might call lawmakers back to Montgomery in the fall if state revenue collections remain solid.

"We are not giving up on this," Bentley said. "A special session and a 2-percent raise is not off the table, it just is at the present time."