Gov. Bentley urges lawmakers to focus on lottery, Medicaid funding in Special Session

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Governor Robert Bentley on Monday released details of his call for the Special Session of the State Legislature.

“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 began at 4:00 p.m. on Monday August 15. Read the signed document of the governor's call here.

In a news conference late Monday, Gov. Bentley said he's hoping for success. "I'm cautiously optimistic, but I'm always optimistic," he said ahead of the session.

He's clearly pushing for a lottery, and wants that money to fund the General Fund, pushing for more revenue for Medicaid.

"I want the legislators to think about [children] when they are trying to come up with long term solutions to fund the General Fund," he said.

The lottery is the biggest thing on Governor Bentley's list for this session. He has high hopes, saying that legislators wouldn't be voting on a lottery, but to allow the people to vote on a lottery.

"If we can get something out of both [the Senate and the House,] and let the people vote on it," he explained. "We'll just wait and see." He called his own proposal simple and clean. "My push is for a clean, simple lottery," he explained. "It is so clean and so simple that there isn't something hidden in it."