STATE LEGISLATIVE SESSION WRAP-UP
By WVUA 23 Student Reporter Ashlyn Irons
TUSCALOOSA- The state legislature ended their session Wednesday, and despite tension in Montgomery, crucial decisions were made.
One decision included passing the general fund budget $85 million short of the $785 million officials say is needed to properly run the program and generated controversy.
State Rep. Bill Poole believed his colleagues skirted the issue.
“Compared to last session, wherein we were not able to get a General Fund budget passed in the regular session, we had two special sessions over the ensuing months,” Poole said. “We got both budgets passed relatively early in the session.”
State Sen. Gerald Allen said he believes the fight over Medicaid isn’t over yet.
“It’s been a very successful session when you look at the budget itself,” Allen said. “Although we do have some issues to deal with. I’m not certain whether the governor is going to call a special session or not, and not if he does, I certainly think that Medicaid is one of those issues that he may want to address.”
In addition to the budget, legislators passed teacher pay raises, a ban against setting local minimum wage rates, and they legalized the use of medical marijuana oil.
Also at the session enough signatures were collected to attempt to impeach Gov. Robert Bentley.
The house judiciary committee is investigating to see if there are grounds to remove the governor from office.