You are here: Home - Group Watch - November 2015 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

November 2015 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

The holidays are approaching, and we’re all looking forward to some relaxation with family and friends, but there’s still a lot of work to do around the state. Here’s what’s been happening this month so far.

Governor Says Healthcare Plans in Works for Rural Alabama
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, who has opposed expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, has indicated that the state’s Medicaid reform efforts could eventually make healthcare coverage available to more people. The governor said that he will be announcing in his State of the State address in early 2016 a plan to expand healthcare for rural Alabama.

Under the governor’s new plan, Medicaid would pay regional care organizations (RCO’s) a designated amount per recipient rather than pay doctors and hospitals for each service provided. Alabama is working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to obtain a waiver and money to help make the transition. The governor says the state could get between $600 million to $1 billion to help develop the regional care programs. The governor’s State of the State address will be at 6:30 p.m. on February 2, the first day of the 2016 regular session of the legislature.
Alabama Senate Budget Chairs Swap Positions
The chairs of the Senate budget committees will swap their positions overseeing $7.6 billion in state spending. Senator Arthur Orr of Decatur, the current chair of the Senate Finance and Taxation Committee-General Fund, will switch with Senator Trip Pittman, who is currently the chair governing education funding. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said the change presents an opportunity to have a fresh set of eyes examining each budget.

The swap comes after a protracted budget battle that took the regular session plus two special sessions to pass budgets. Neither Pittman nor Orr discussed any plans for their committees. They acknowledged that the General fund budget will be a challenge with little appetite among legislators to pass revenue generating bills and even less to transfer monies from education to shore up anticipated shortfalls in the General Fund. Analysts are projecting at least $30 million in new revenues are needed to adequately fund General Fund obligations, which include Prisons, Medicaid, Mental Health and the Department of Human Resources.
Alabama Gets “A” For Teaching Personal Finance
Alabama recently earned an A in teaching personal finance. According to the 2015 Report Card on State Efforts to Improve Financial Literacy in High Schools, Alabama is one of five to receive the grade of A for teaching the course. Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia require a semester-long course in personal finance in high school. The report evaluates how states teach the basics of need-to-know life skills involving finance. States are graded on the belief that students should have certain financial management skills before entering college or the workplace.


Comments are closed.

The Bloom Group, Inc.

401 Adams Avenue, Suite 710
Montgomery, Alabama 36104
Telephone: (334) 244-8948
Fax: (334) 213-0688

Live Audio Feed

Listen to your senators and representatives at work. Click here to find links to live audio of the House and audio plus video of the Senate.

Alabama Civil Justice Reform Committee

Alabama Civil Justice Reform Committee

The News You Need

Find the latest information on all things Alabama politics on Alabama Today.