By KIM CHANDLER
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama lawmakers return to Montgomery on Tuesday to begin the 2018 legislative session that comes at the start of an election year.
The session is expected to be dominated by two major budgetary issues: prisons and the Children's Health Insurance Program.
Alabama is facing a court order to improve conditions in Alabama prisons after a federal judge last year ruled that mental health care was "horrendously inadequate." State lawmakers will deal with the price tag of trying to comply with the ruling against the state.
House Ways and Means Chairman Steve Clouse said whether Congress will continue funding for the children's insurance program is the "big unknown" for the session.
Other issues expected to come before lawmakers include daycare regulations and ethics law revisions.