Special Session Ends with Passage of BP Bill
Yesterday afternoon HB 36 passed both Houses and has gone to the Governor for his signature. HB 36, the BP Oil Spill Bill, has been contentious on how the settlement money from BP Oil would be spent. Yesterday, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives came together in the spirit of compromise and passed this bill. They agreed to pay off a significant portion of General Fund debt that would fund Medicaid for FY 2017 and would provide $105 million to Medicaid for FY 2018, lessening an expected even deeper short fall in Medicaid and the General Fund going forward. Most feel this was the best compromise that could legislatively be reached.
A resolution was also passed, HJR62, which creates the Joint Legislative Task Force on Budget Reform. This task force will study and evaluate current budgeting practices, budgeting cycles, un-earmarking funds and reviewing state tax credits, among other items. As you can expect, ASEA will monitor this committee and look after state employee interests.
One critical reminder for state employees, please note that the October 1 payday has been moved to Monday, October 3. Because the payday fell on a Saturday and is the beginning of the fiscal year, Alabama statute mandates that the payday is moved to the following Monday. This only affects an October 1st payday. ASEA wanted to remind you in case you needed to change any bank drafts that could conflict with this date change.