LWVAL 2016 First Special Session Legislative Report
Reporting on the First 2016 Special Session
of the Alabama Legislature
Last updated September 9, 2016.
The First Special Session 2016 of the Alabama Legislature has adjourned sine die. The LWVAL Legislative Report on this session remains posted for your review.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley called for a special session of the Legislature to propose a constitutional amendment that would establish a state lottery. The special session convened on August 15, 2016. If passed by the legislature, the constitutional amendment referendum would be on this Fall’s general election ballots, and Alabama citizens will decide whether the state will have a lottery when they go to the polls on November 8. UPDATE: The legislature did not pass legislation in time on the lottery allowing for a constitutional amendment referendum to be placed on Nov. 8 ballots. And such legislation did not pass after that deadline in this special session.
According to the Washington Post, Alabama faces a $200-$300 million shortfall and $700 million if state loans are included. Bentley proposed that a lottery would resolve the state’s financial problems by raising $225 million or more. The governor stated that the most pressing need is funding for the Alabama Medicaid Agency. The budget passed in the 2016 regular legislative session leaves the agency with an $85 million shortfall. According to an al.com article dated July 29, 2016, Governor Bentley said, "I will not, as your governor, and also as a physician, watch as our most vulnerable and most helpless, go without a doctor's care.
"I can't bear to think of a half a million children who through no fault of their own are born into poverty and have no way to get basic medical treatment that they need to grow and to be healthy and strong."
The League of Women Voters of Alabama kept members and the public informed about legislation introduced in the special session. This LWVAL Special Session Legislative Report was regularly updated. For each bill, the report included bill sponsors, bill summary, complete bill text, current status of the legislation, LWVAL's position on the legislation, and LWVAL's action. The League pledged that Action Alerts urging citizens to contact their legislators would be posted in this report at times when their voice would be most effective.
LWVAL’s coverage of the 2016 First Special Session remains posted here for your review along with
LWVAL's coverage of the 2016 regular legislative session.