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State to pay $70M to Rainy Day Account

Gov. Robert Bentley announced on Thursday that the state will repay $70 million to the Education Trust Fund’s Rainy Day Account.

By law, Alabama was required to pay a minimum of $35 million to the debt in fiscal year 2014, but Bentley released a conditional appropriation for an additional $35 million, bringing the total amount to $70 million paid back to the Rainy Day Fund this fiscal year. The fiscal year ended Sept. 30.

Full repayment is required by September 30, 2015.

The state transferred $437.4 million from the Rainy Day Account to support the Education Trust Fund in the 2009 fiscal year.  Last year, $260.3 million was repaid.

“I have prioritized Alabama’s commitment to restore the Rainy Day Fund,” Bentley said. “Together with a conservative, Republican majority in the Legislature, and working closely with House and Senate Budget Chairmen, we have made substantial progress in the state’s commitment to repaying the fund, thanks to an improving economy and stronger revenues. This year’s reimbursement is one of three payments we have made since Fiscal Year 2012 and totals more than $344 million.”

House Ways and Means Education Chairman Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa) said he is pleased the state has completed another fiscal year in which all education appropriations were fully funded.

“Thanks to Republican’s pro-growth, conservative budgeting principles we have not had a single education budget suffer from debilitating proration, while at the same time repaying the debt owed to the Rainy Day Account,” Poole said.

The Rainy Day Account is part of the Alabama Trust Fund.