Governor Robert Bentley vetoes general fund budget

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — This Thursday, Governor Robert Bentley vetoed the General Fund Budget that passed the Alabama Legislature on Wednesday.

Bentley stated in a press release that he was vetoing the budget because it “lacks adequate funding for essential government services.” The Governor specifically cited the budget falling short of the necessary allotment needed for the “over million Alabamians covered by Medicaid.”

His office also stated that the Department of Corrections would need more funding to address the prison crisis in a long-term fashion. He believes that insufficient funding hinders the department’s efforts to build on top of the “strong reforms” that they’ve already put in on the system.

Bentley’s comments about the lack of state Medicaid funding comes after the state opted out of the federal medicaid expansion in 2014. At the time, Bentley stated that he would be willing to work with the federal Medicaid expansion dollars in order to craft a plan that was specific to Alabama.

The corrections facility comments come after a slate of prison riots and violence in the past couple of weeks, after which Bentley introduced the Alabama Prison Transformation Act. The act would provide $800 million bonds to be paid back over the course of 30 years, which would be used to build three new men’s correctional facilities.

There is no word just yet on when the next budget will be proposed.

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