Alabama lawmakers are back in Montgomery today to begin the 2017 legislative session.
One major priority will be redrawing legislative districts, after federal courts ruled the boundaries of 12 Alabama voting districts relied too heavily on race. Federal judges say they want new lines in place for next year’s elections, so lawmakers will need to work quickly to get a new legislative map in place.
Another main focus will be once again figuring out how to fund the state’s Medicaid system. State Medicaid commissioner Stephanie Azar says the system will need a $44 million funding increase just to maintain current services. The state had planned to shift Medicaid to a managed care model last year, but had to delay implementation due to budget issues. Azar says the switch can’t be delayed again.
Finally, the House Judiciary Committee's investigation of Governor Robert Bentley to examine the potential for impeachment is currently on hold. House leaders say they want the committee to finish their investigation and make a recommendation to the House as to whether Governor Bentley’s alleged misconduct warrants impeachment. The committee was investigating whether Bentley committed any impeachable offenses in his relationship with a former staffer.