Bentley won’t sign budget without teacher raise

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley delivers his State of the State address in the historic Old House Chamber in the State Capitol building in Montgomery, Ala., Tuesday, Jan. 14 2014. (AP Photo/Kevin Glackmeyer)
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley delivers his State of the State address in the historic Old House Chamber in the State Capitol building in Montgomery, Ala., Tuesday, Jan. 14 2014. (AP Photo/Kevin Glackmeyer)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Gov. Robert Bentley says he won’t sign the education budget unless it includes a 2 percent pay raise for teachers and public education employees.

The governor said Wednesday that he will send the budget back to lawmakers if they do not approve the raise plus full funding for the teachers’ insurance program.

Bentley recommended a 2 percent cost-of-living raise for public school employees. Instead, the Alabama Senate last week approved a 1 percent bonus.  The Senate budget chairman said the state can’t afford the $74 million cost of a 2 percent raise.

Bentley maintains his proposal is sound.

Lawmakers could override a Bentley veto if a majority of the elected members in both chambers agree.

The House Ways and Means-Education Committee is expected to vote on the budget next week.

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