Representative Williams Talks Medicaid, ASMS Closed Until Wednesday

Aug 17, 2015

Selma Interpretive Center

It’s been almost one week since the Legislature ended a special session without a general fund budget.

Governor Robert Bentley is expected to call another special session to deal with a projected $200 million shortfall in the state’s coffers.

As both chambers remain divided on the issue, the house did vote in favor of cutting $156 million from Medicaid before passing their version of the budget.

Huntsville Republican Representative Phil Williams says he was ashamed of that vote, but he believes the move sent a message throughout Montgomery.

“I think it worked because suddenly the target that the Medicaid requirement was, was reduced down: ‘Oh we can live just fine if you give us x instead of y.’ So there were some successes as a result of the antics of the week, but no, I’m not proud of that vote.”

The Senate threw out the House’s version of the budget and approved the same budget that was vetoed by Governor Bentley at the end of the general assembly. Bentley is expected to call another session sometime in the next month and a half.

The big clean up continues at the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science.

Students were sent home last week because of an unknown illness. The Mobile County Department of Health says test results show the illnesses were due to the Norwalk virus.

Reopening was set for today, but school officials wanted extra time to finish sanitizing the facility before bringing students back on Wednesday.

School spokesperson Amber Day says the campus took extra precautions to ensure the safety of their students.

“We had a cleaning crew on campus to go out and sanitize everything, going through the entire campus to make sure everything is completely safe for our students.”

The Alabama School of Mathematics is an on campus housing school. The 253 students are being urged to use hand sanitizer just to be careful.

A Selma institution explaining the history of the civil rights movement in the area will receive $150,000 of renovations.

The Selma Interpretive Center received the funding last week from the Delta Regional Authority. It’s the last piece of a $1.65 million renovation project to the Interpretive Center’s second and third floors. Those will soon feature new exhibits explaining local civil rights history in Alabama and the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which recently saw its 50th anniversary.

The funds will also allow the National Parks Service to hire an additional employee to manage the exhibits.

It hasn’t yet been announced when the new renovations to the Selma Interpretive Center will begin.