With lottery dead, Alabama lawmakers focus on oil spill funds

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers will resume a special session on Medicaid funding with a focus on dividing settlement money from the 2010 oil spill.

With lottery legislation dead, the settlement funds are being eyed as an indirect way to help fill an $85 million hole in next year’s Medicaid budget.

State senators on Tuesday will debate a House-passed bill.

The House plan would use $450 million to repay money borrowed during past budget shortfalls and $191 million for roads in coastal counties. Paying debts early would free up $70 million for Medicaid in the next fiscal year.

Senators have been divided over the best use of the money, particularly how much to spend on roads and how much to use for debts. Other lawmakers have proposed sending more money directly to Medicaid.

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