Budget and healthcare are main issues for legislative session on - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Budget and healthcare are main issues for legislative session on Wednesday

MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) - Lawmakers are back at the Statehouse getting to work after Governor Bentley's State of the State Address. Two big talking points for lawmakers on Wednesday have been federal healthcare and a different way to create the state's budget.

Budget has been the talk of the Statehouse since Governor Bentley declared proration on Monday. On Tuesday morning, the first steps were taken in reforming the state's budget process when a proposal was made for a rolling reserve bill. That bill would have the state build a budget based on how much was spent in past years rather than creating a budget off how much the state is projected to make in the coming year.  Governor Bentley says the problem we are having now with our budget is that it's based off of unreliable projections. The sponsor of this proposal says that working on a rolling reserve would end proration forever and possibly result in a surplus.

On Monday night, Governor Bentley said that changes and cuts are necessary to get Alabama back in the black.  Many lawmakers were happy with Bentley's message.

"Dr. Bentley came forward with some very realistic, some very common sense and some very necessary proposals," said Representative Thad McClammy from District 76.

Another talking point that was touched upon on Wednesday was federal healthcare.  The House Health Committee passed an opt-out bill on federal healthcare, which could be the first step in Alabama trying to opt out of the federal plan.

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