LAWMAKERS READY FOR NEW YEAR, NEW BUDGET

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It’s the first day of the 2018 Alabama legislative session, and lawmakers aren’t wasting any time.

The biggest thing on their minds? Budgets. Namely, the general fund and education trust fund, which state Sen. Gerald Allen says are in great shape.

Lawmakers said they believe some legislation passed in recent years is responsible for the state’s 4 percent unemployment rate, and that’s a trend they want continued.

“We need to just take time out, carry on a very good dialogue about priorities,” Allen said. “That’s the most important issue facing this body this session.”

Another big issue up for debate? Prison reform. Gov. Kay Ivey is expected to address her proposed plans during her State of the State address at 6:30 tonight.

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