Robert Bentley weighs possibility of legislative special session

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Robert Bentley, Bill Haslam, Special session

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley hinted at the possibility of a Special Session of the State Legislature to make up a shortfall in the state’s Medicaid funding, which fell short of the agency’s requested budget by $85 million.

“I have not made a decision on that yet. I met yesterday with my commissioner for Medicaid. You know, there’s some real problems there,” said the governor during a visit to Birmingham Wednesday, adding he has several months left to make his decision.

Depending on the breadth of the governor’s call for the special session, any number of measures that were shot down in the Regular Session could be back on the table.

Among the issues mentioned by Bentley were the $640 million BP oil spill settlement compromise and a $800 million prison construction bill.

The governor, who has been mostly avoiding questions from the media in the last several weeks, also took the time to reiterate to reporters that he believes he has done nothing improper in his alleged relationship with former senior aide Rebekah Mason.

It would be the second year in a row with a Special Session, should the governor follow through with his threat to call one.

Meanwhile, a special legislative committee is currently investigating the claims made against Bentley in the articles of impeachment filed during the legislative session.

Impeachment of the Governor is one of the few mechanisms through which the Legislature can call itself into session.

Should that happen, and the House pass the articles of impeachment, there is some question on how to adjudicate the issue in the Alabama Senate. Under normal circumstances, the hearings would be presided over by the chief justice of the state’s Supreme Court, but Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended this week by the Alabama Judiciary Inquiry Commission for his attempts to block gay marriage following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling

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