AL lawmakers question to spend now or save for later - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

AL lawmakers question to spend now or save for later

(Source: WSFA 12 News file image) (Source: WSFA 12 News file image)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Alabama lawmakers are considering holding money from the 2017 budget to help support the 2018 budget. While that money could go to support agencies like Medicaid, mental health, and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, lawmakers say the hold is for good reason.

Lawmakers hope the 97 million they want to hold will help the state from falling off a fiscal cliff next year. As costs are expected to rise, the state the state is expected to lose out on 105 million dollars of revenue.

The 2016 budget was one of the easiest to deal with, thanks in large part to 105 million dollars of the BP settlement money propping the budget up. The issue is that after this year all that money goes away. If no cash is held over, some say the state could face a $190-million hole on just Medicaid alone.

Alabama usually spends every dollar in its budget but with a rainy-day looming, the debate will be on what to do with the 105 million of settlement money.

“We want to carry some of that money over and I think that is being responsible it is good budgeting and let’s not spend every dollar we have,” House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said.  “Because we know going into next year we will not have that money available to us.”

All of the pre-planning could be thrown off based off what happens in Washington with programs like Medicaid. This could have lawmakers looking for more money soon.

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