Bentley issues official call; special session expected to include lottery, BP funds

Published 10:16 am Monday, August 15, 2016

Gov. Robert Bentley this morning released details of his call for the Special Session of the State Legislature.

Governor-Robert-Bentley“This call is designed for the Alabama Legislature to address adequate support of essential state services including children, the elderly, people with mental illness and support for men and women in law enforcement,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “A primary focus of this special session is for legislators to allow the people within their district the right to vote on a statewide lottery. I am looking forward to working with lawmakers over the next few days as we address legislation that is simple, clean and transparent.”

The governor’s call includes the following:

• A constitutional amendment enabling a state lottery to support the General Fund.

• Legislation providing funding for Medicaid, infrastructure investment, and/or debt repayment.

The Special Session will begin at 4 p.m. today, Mon., Aug. 15.

While Gov. Bentley announced his plan to call the legislature into session today more than two weeks ago, he had yet to issue his official call. In a special session, the legislature can only address items detailed by the governor in the call.

Most legislators expect legislation to be introduced using Alabama’s portion of BP settlement funds to help solve current General Fund woes. One possible use of the BP funds is the repayment of debt, freeing up money in the General Fund currently allocated to debt service.