SB178, otherwise known as the proposed budget, appropriates funds for functions of government, debt service, and capital outlay for fiscal year ending September 30, 2019. According to the Governor’s office, the it does so “sensibly” and “funds state government with prudence and care.”
Ivey applauded Pittman’s introduction of the budget.
“I am pleased to learn that my budget was introduced today by Senator Pittman,” Ivey said. “My proposed budget is a strong, manageable budget, and is highlighted by the bright spot of a lower than expected Medicaid appropriation. Improving Medicaid delivery and controlling costs is central to my budget; that is why I instructed Commissioner Stephanie Azar in October 2017, to begin working on implementing work requirements and increased copays for Medicaid recipients. That process has been ongoing, and I look forward to future implementation of those policies.”
Recent changes by the Trump Administration, have enabled states, like Alabama, to seek Medicaid work requirements. After instructing Commissioner Azar to implement work requirements and increased copays for applicable Medicaid recipients, the governor notified Pittman of the new policies shortly thereafter. The governor’s instructions are aimed at continuing to increase efficiency and decrease costs related to Medicaid, all in an effort to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.
“Since my meeting with Governor Ivey in October, we have been working hard to prepare for this change and ensure our recipients will continue to receive an adequate level of care,” said Commissioner Azar. “Last week, during my testimony to the General Fund Budget Committee, I illustrated how the work requirements and the copay increases will benefit the Alabama Medicaid Agency. Thanks to the improved economy and continued efforts to seek efficiency and decrease cost in the program, Medicaid is requesting less money than expected. We are certainly moving in the right direction to take care of the Alabamians that depend on our services.”
The General Fund Budget is expected to start making its way through the legislative process, beginning in the Senate Committee on Finance and Taxation General Fund this week.