The Alabama Legislature wrapped up its 2010 session last Thursday, the same day Gov. Bob Riley signed into law one of the two bills that make up the 2011 state budget.

Riley signed the $1.6 billion general fund budget as passed by lawmakers. He also said he would sign the $5.5 billion education budget, but he did not indicate when. The fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

During the legislative session lawmakers passed a measure that allows voters in November to decide whether the state should spend $100 million a year over 10 years on transportation projects, such as roads, bridges and railroads by the state and local governments.

The pay-as-you-go funding would come from the $2.5 billion Alabama Trust Fund, which receives royalties from companies pumping oil and natural gas offshore.

While the details are not available about all bonding measures in the new budget, lawmakers did pass a bill authorizing the Alabama Corrections Institution Finance Authority to issue up to $60 million of new debt to purchase and renovate the privately owned Perry County Correctional Center, which is near Uniontown, west of Montgomery.

The bill authorizing the debt for the Perry County prison specifically forbids the finance authority from using swaps.

The end of the nearly three-month-long legislative session enabled lawmakers to begin campaigning.

It is a major election year in Alabama with Riley unable to run again due to term limits.

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