Alabama House Approves Vote on General Fund Budget
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – The Alabama House of Representatives has approved a General Fund budget that Gov. Robert Bentley already has threatened to veto over Medicaid funding.
Representatives approved the spending bill on a 65-35 vote Tuesday after a five-hour filibuster by black lawmakers. Democrats harshly criticized the proposed spending plan, which is $85 million short of the amount Bentley says is needed to adequately fund Medicaid.
Montgomery Rep. John Knight says Medicaid provides medical care to 1 million vulnerable Alabamians and has few programs to trim.
Republican legislative leaders say there isn’t an appetite to raise taxes or cut other agencies for the sake of more money for Medicaid. Rep. Steve Clouse, (R) Ozark said, “It’s getting 301 million dollars more this year than what they got 10 years ago. So this trajectory is going in the wrong direction where we are just destroying the rest of state government.
The governor has said the budget jeopardizes a planned transition to managed care next year.
The budget now moves back to the Alabama Senate.
Even with hours of debate, lawmakers did agree on one thing- moving more than 330 thousand dollars from the Governor’s budget to help fund Medicaid. That appears to be a jab after the governor’s staff received almost $340 thousand in raises this year.
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