Senate to Debate Oil Spill Settlement, Medicaid Fix

state-house.jpgState senators will debate a division of Alabama’s oil spill settlement funds that could help fill an $85 million hole in the state’s Medicaid budget.

The Alabama Senate is expected to take up the bill Wednesday. The debate could get contentious as senators have squabbled over how much should help Medicaid and how much should go for road projects in south Alabama.

The House-passed bill would use $450 million to repay money borrowed during past budget shortfalls and $191 million for roads in coastal counties. Paying debts early frees up an additional $70 million for Medicaid in the next fiscal year.

Some senators will push to change the bill, arguing the money should be used for debts and Medicaid, not roads. Lawmakers from south Alabama said they will oppose that.

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