MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The legislature passed the BP bill that will pay down debt and keep Medicaid funded fully through 2017 and partially for 2018. That is the good news.
The reality though is that this is mostly a short-term fix for an enormous long-term problem.
Paying down the debt is always a good thing, but there is still over $183 million in debt owed to the Alabama Trust fund, and without a long-term solution, they could be dipping right back into that bucket.
The legislature will be back in February and will again be faced with cash strapped agencies, including a failed prison system, a woefully understaffed Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, an almost unfunded mental health system, public schools that are surviving at best and the list goes on and on.
I will tell you that next year is the pivotal year because 2018 is an election year, and no incumbent running for reelection is going to increase revenue streams in an election year.
So I say congratulations to the Legislature for paying down the debt, but there is still so much that needs to be done to get Alabama back on its feet financially. The can continues to be kicked, but the road is coming to a financial dead end.