ALABAMA (WIAT) — Governor Robert Bentley’s push to send a lottery vote to the people is raising questions about where the money would go towards. Fixing the state’s financial problems and Medicaid are two things the governor mentioned in his push. One state nonprofit is hoping that the children in the state aren’t forgotten in all of this.
Alabama Children First is a nonprofit that monitors the state house to make sure laws and funding don’t negatively impact children. With talk of a lottery, they hope if the revenue starts coming in, that it helps fund departments that have been severely cut over the years.
Christy Cain, Children First Foundation said, “We are talking about children’s safety, child abuse and neglect, they need to be looked at in a timely manner. We are talking about trying to get children with department and youth services back on the right track. Hopefully they can be productive citizens in the state of Alabama. And we are also talking about mental health.”
They are also pushing to fully fund Medicaid.
“A child that’s sick and cant go to the pediatrician for the proper medicine they need, they can go to school and get other children sick. they can go to the ER and catch something there. It’s a ripple effect, not to mention the economic impact of it. If the pediatrician needs to lay off people in their office we are talking about parents of children not having jobs,” Cain said.
Medicaid is facing an $85 million shortfall. A lottery wouldn’t impact that shortfall because a vote would come too late, but a lottery could generate revenue for the next budget.