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House Majority Ldr Ledbetter urges caution on future state budgets as federal money dries up, economic hurdles arise

During an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) discussed concerns that could create a challenge for the legislature during the budgeting processes in the near term.

According to the Republican Dekalb County lawmaker, while Alabama state government has had record budgets for the general fund and education trust fund, headwinds could come as federal money ceases to be pumped into the economy and as economic pressures, including supply chain issues and inflation, arise.

“[I] think when you look at the federal level and some of the things that are happening, I think we’ve got to be prepared,” Ledbetter explained. “I know — we’ve got very good budgets. We’re blessed. We’re one of the few states in the Southeast or in the country not furloughing teachers or not having to cut back. We’re being conservative in our budgets, and these two budgets we’ll see come out are certainly no exception to that. They’re going to be very strong. I talked to one of our budget chairs this last week.”

“The thing we’ve got to be cautious of, Jeff, is the fact that just because we’ve got good budgets today — a lot of that has got to do with the amount of federal money that has been dumped in our state that has drove those numbers up,” he continued. “It is not going to be there next year. And secondly, the supply chain that you’re speaking of and some of the things that are going that we’re seeing around this, inflation being one of them. This is a simple economy. You can’t be giving away this much money without something to back it up. I can see inflation continue to grow unless something changes.”

“I think we’ve got to be very cognitive of that and be aware — just because the budgets are good today, we better be conservative, so if it does go southways, we’re ready and can handle down the road one year, two years or three years for our state in financial hardship,” Ledbetter added.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.