Bentley hints at possible special session on Medicaid, UA's "Alternative Break"

Mar 10, 2016

Gov. Robert Bentley is hinting that lawmakers could be back in special session if they fail to pass a budget that he feels adequately funds Medicaid.

Bentley says he would veto any budget without an additional $100 million for Medicaid. While lawmakers could override his veto, Bentley says that did not preclude a special session.

Commissioner Stephanie Azar says Medicaid needs that amount to avoid cuts and continue a switch to managed care.

The Alabama House of Representatives will vote Tuesday on a budget that gives Medicaid an additional $15 million.

House Speaker Mike Hubbard says the state can't continue to sacrifice over state agencies for the sake of Medicaid.

Hubbard says he expects a special session on Medicaid "at some point."

The Alabama outdoors is going to see a bit more green. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service is giving nearly $24 million to the Yellowhammer State for promoting outdoor recreation, conservation efforts and job creation.

Mike *Piccirilli is the spokesman for the fish and wildlife service. He says that the money received affects Alabamians ability to hunt and fish.

“The majority of their public hunting grounds, their public shootings ranges and their research projects are essentially funded through the Wildlife Restoration Program. And likewise there is a tremendous economic impact from the public access that’s provided by these programs for sportsman to hunt and fish.”

Piccirilli says when the economy slows they see more people hunting and fishing which leads to a demand in ammunition and fishing supplies, helping with jobs.

Spring break means a lot of college students are hitting the beaches for spring break. But, not all of them. Some University of Alabama Students will be giving their time to volunteer with “Beyond Bama Alternative Break.” 

These young people will be traveling to areas needing help and providing different services. 

Gretchen Moore is the Assistant Director for the Center of Service and Leadership. She says this is an opportunity for the students to grow…

“I would say for them to learn more about different cultures, and learn more about food insecurities and be able to apply those to their majors, whatever their major is.”

Moore adds that a major goal is working alongside the community and for students to experience and absorb more about different cultures.  Students will be going to Nicaragua, Peru, and various locations in the South eastern U.S.