What will the Alabama Legislature tackle in the final three days of special session?

Alabama state capitol

After an 11th-hour Hail Mary attempt to save it, Gov. Robert Bentley‘s proposed state lottery failed in the Alabama Senate Friday night.

Bentley called the special session in July and tasked lawmakers solely with considering a state lottery.

After a week of back-and-forth on various bills, Senators voted 23-7 to reject changes the Alabama House of Representatives made to the bill. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Jim McClendon, on Friday proclaimed the legislation is “dead” for the special session. “It’s over,” he said.

In the wake of the lottery bill’s failure, both chambers adjourned until Sept. 6.

Meanwhile, Alabama Medicaid continues to face an $85 million shortfall in funding — an issue expected to be fixed with the BP settlement bill.

In the first week of special session, the House of Representatives cleared a major hurdle in approving a bill to use the state’s settlement funds from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to pay debts and build roads in south Alabama.

Lawmakers approved the bill 88-10.

Whether or not that bill will clear the Senate remains to be seen.

When the special session resumes after Labor Day, lawmakers will only have three days to land on a solution to a lottery and the issue of what to do with BP settlement funds.

Bentley has not ruled out the possibility of another special session to bring the lottery back up as a permanent fix.


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