Governor Bentley discusses his decision to meet with lobbyists

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Governor Robert Bentley addresses a crowded room at Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge on Monday, April 20. (Photo: Laura Christmas/WHNT News 19)

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Governor Robert Bentley recently met with about 20 lobbyists in his Montgomery office. In the past, the governor has made it clear that he does not rely on lobbyists, but he is hoping they will better resonate with the state’s lawmakers.

“Many of the people they represent will be hurt if we don’t fund the general fund adequately, so that’s why we’re using them,” Governor Bentley explained. “I’ve just never been influenced particularly by a lobbyist, but if they can help us get the things accomplished that we want to get accomplished, we’re going to let them work.”

The governor said those lobbyists represented certain medical interest groups and those with a vested interest in whether Medicaid is funded.

“Almost all the ones that came have some connection with an agency, or some connection with a group of people that will be affected by the loss of money out of the general fund, like hospitals for instance,” Governor Bentley said.

Governor Bentley said the current budget crisis impacts every household; a reason it’s critical to solve it.

“If medicaid is not funded, hospitals will not be funded and you know all of us get sick unfortunately,” Governor Bentley said. “You know, many of our children wont be immunized, our mentally ill they won’t be treated, our troopers won’t be on the road to help us if we have accidents so this is going to affect people.”

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