MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Well it is over.
The lottery bill died on Friday as the Senate voted overwhelmingly against the House version of the bill.
Over the last few days, I have read many different accounts on why the legislation failed but in the end, our elected officials decided that Alabama citizens should not vote on a lottery. The final no vote ended up not being about the lottery at all. It ended up being on language that would have had an effect on other gambling institutions including the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and their casinos in Alabama.
Lawmakers will now turn their attention to another in a long long line of short-term band-aids, the BP settlement.
According to every story I have read, the only way for the BP money to do its short term job with Medicaid is to short the gulf coast region of money to fix infrastructure that was damaged as a result of the cleanup of the spill, i.e. What the money was meant for.
So let's recap where we are today. The general fund is woefully underfunded. Our prison system is among the worst in the country and may be in jeopardy of being taken over by the federal government. ALEA is understaffed by as much as 400 officers. The court system is so stripped down that long delays are a way of life. Medicaid is in need of a long-term solution for the state funding in order to keep federal, or the bulk of the funding.
If you are thinking that this is where we were two years ago, you are correct. I have heard several lawmakers talk about how hard they all worked over the special session to get something done. In the end they are no closer to solving the state's financial problems than when they started.
I will finish with this quote from Albert Einstein:
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.