While there were a number of issues left over when the Alabama Legislature completed the Regular Session last month, I don’t believe Gov. Robert Bentley should call a Special Session unless a definite plan to address two specific issues is agreed upon in advance. First, it’s abundantly clear that Medicaid must be properly funded. Too many mistakes have already been made in dealing with the Medicaid program to compound the problems by bringing the Legislators back to Montgomery without an agreed-upon plan to adequately fund the program.
I have mixed emotions about the proposed $800 million bond issue to build new prisons. We have 16 existing prisons and the state should be able to bring them up to standards without having to build three new prisons at a tremendous cost. In my opinion, the state already has enough debt. I might add that a no-bid $800 million construction project is sort of scary. Nevertheless, those in state government must deal with the prison problems. However, I am not sure a huge bond issue – without a bidding requirement – is the answer. My preference would be to work toward improving what we already have in place.
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