Budget proposal called ‘good starting point’

But key lawmakers stressed the proposal they adopted for the fiscal year that begins July 1 is simply a blueprint for the final budget approved in the upcoming session.

“It’s the best we could come up with,” Sen. Terry Burton, R-Newton, said after the Joint Legislative Budget Committee adopted its budget recommendations Tuesday. “This is probably the most uncomfortable budget I’ve had to vote on.”

Nearly all budget committee members expressed some reservations over the proposal.

“It is a good starting point,” Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant said. “We’re all trying to get to the same place.”

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Johnny Stringer, D-Montrose, echoed that sentiment.

“I’m not turning cartwheels over it,” he said. “This is the best we could do with the amount of money we had.”