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Lawmakers approve budget with prisons boost

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers have given final approval to a general fund budget that steers additional money to the prison system as the state tries to comply with a federal court order to improve mental health care for inmates.

The Alabama Senate on Wednesday voted unanimously to go along with House changes to the budget. The spending plan now goes to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey.

The appropriations bill includes an additional $55 million for the prison system next fiscal year. Lawmakers have also approved an additional $30 million for this year.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled last year that mental health care in Alabama’s prisons was “horrendously inadequate.”

The budget also includes a 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment for state employees. It is their first such increase in a decade.

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