December 16,2008 – State officials are beginning work to implement budget cuts. This after Governor Bob Riley announced proration of the Education budget by 12.5 percent and an across the board cut in state government spending, including a hiring freeze. The declaration of proration was the result of lagging sales tax collections.

Proration of the state education budget means tri-county school systems will face more than $25 MILLION dollars in budget cuts. In Montgomery, Schools Superintendent John Dillworth says public schools will see a reduction of state support by $15.3 MILLION dollars. Despite the cuts, Montgomery Public Schools has an $18.5 MILLION dollar reserve and will be able to make payroll.

Alabama Congressman Artur Davis is holding a meeting Wednesday in Birmingham focusing on the economy. Davis, who reportedly is being vetted by President-elect Barack Obama for a possible position within his cabinet, says that he wants to hear input from elected officials, business leaders and economic developers.

Former Gov. Guy Hunt is hospitalized in Birmingham and using a respirator. Keith Hunt said Monday his 75-year-old father had gall bladder surgery three weeks ago in
Birmingham and has been on a respirator since then.