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Special Session Updates

© Krantz News Service, September 12, 2016


Alabama concluded a special session with an agreement on budget matters but without passing a lottery bill, which Gov. Robert Bentley had requested.

Alabama lawmakers had looked at a lottery as a possible revenue source for the state's rainy day fund and some struggling state services, including the state's Medicaid program; funds from the BP oil settlement resolved the issue.

North Dakota held a special session early in August to resolve a $310 million budget shortfall.

In other special session news:

-- New Mexico may have a short special session to address fiscal issues.

-- Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin reversed herself on her suggestion earlier in the summer that a special session could be held to increase teacher pay.

-- Minnesota had tentatively scheduled a special session for late August to address transportation issues, but the governor and legislative leaders could not agree on a plan.

-- Mississippi lawmakers approved a plan early in the summer to authorize the governor to access the state's rainy day fund to balance the budget.

-- Louisiana lawmakers agreed to a temporary sales tax to solve a budget shortfall, but observers said budget problems would return.

-- Following a special session to resolve school funding issues, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill to keep schools open in his state.

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