News & Updates

February 1, 2016

2016 Legislative Session Begins February 2nd

Last year, after 3 special sessions, a budget was finally passed which cut spending by 4.5 percent for this year.  However that budget protected Medicaid, Corrections, Mental Heatlh, Human Resources and the state court system from those cuts.  Those protections may not be possible for next year.

Governor Robert Bentley says he will not seek any tax increases for the General Fund this year and it will be up to the Legislature to figure out how to balance the budget.

Medicaid alone needs $157 million increase just to keep services at the current level.  Corrections faces serious challenges to reduce overcrowding.  And many agree that teachers are overdue a cost of living raise.

Proponents of a state lottery say they plan to introduce a lottery and casino bill this year with revenues slated to go to both the General Fund and the Education Trust Fund.  A constitutional amendment would require a three-fifths majority of the members of the House and Senate in order to be put on the ballot for voters.

Some lawmakers say counties and business groups across the state are calling for an increase in the state’s gasoline tax to support road and bridge construction.  The gasoline tax is currently 16 cents a gallon and has not been raised since 1992.  A 12 cent tax is being proposed.

Amid a variety of other bills and local bills, there are proposals to change teacher tenure, further protect gun rights, debate minimum wage, expand the use of medical marijuana, and protect the unborn.

The Session will conclude no later than May 16th.

For More Information Visit This Website: Key Issues for Alabama Lawmakers

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