Digital Media Center
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Gate 61
920 Paul Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0370
(800) 654-4262

© 2024 Alabama Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

House debates Medicaid cuts, U.S. Senate looks at coal ash bill

The Alabama House of Representatives is debating a large cut to Medicaid after a plan for filling a budget hole unraveled in a tension-filled special session.

Legislators will consider a $156 million funding reduction to Medicaid, the health care program for the poor and disabled.

The Republican proposal comes after a committee voted down an increase in the state's cigarette tax. But Democrats and some Republicans are opposing big cuts to Medicaid.

State Health Officer Don Williamson says he is uncertain whether the state could maintain a Medicaid program with such a reduction.

Lawmakers have so far failed to resolve a projected $200 million budget shortfall. Many legislators already are predicting a second special session.

The U.S. Senate is looking at a bill that could have some serious implications in regards to the handling of coal ash.

The legislation would largely bypass a federal rule issued last year by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Lisa Evans is Senior Administrative Counsel for Earth Justice. She says Alabama has a good reason to keep an eye on the legislation…

“Alabama is 14th in the country in coal ash generation. The problem in Alabama is that you have many dangerous coal ash impoundments and these are earthen structures that contain millions of tons of toxic sludge.”

The house has already passed a similar bill. President Obama has threatened to veto either bill if it is brought to his desk.

The Tuscaloosa County Parks and Recreation Authority HELD a ceremony this morning to mark the official opening of the new space net playground in Snow Hinton Park.

Becky Booker is PARA’s Public Relations and Marketing Manager. She says the space net provided exactly what they wanted.

 “We wanted to do something impressive, something exciting. We researched a while trying to figure out what we wanted to do. Our director saw this type structure and said that would be something impressive to bring to Tuscaloosa. So it’s kind of a landmark feature in a park that is a gateway to our city.”

 Booker says Tuscaloosa’s space net and slide combination is the tallest in the country.

News from Alabama Public Radio is a public service in association with the University of Alabama. We depend on your help to keep our programming on the air and online. Please consider supporting the news you rely on with a donation today. Every contribution, no matter the size, propels our vital coverage. Thank you.