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AL State Budget Could Hinge on CHIPs Program

Matt Boster

Viewed: 1557

Posted by: Matt Boster
Date: Jan 05 2018 7:35 AM

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA)State lawmakers held budget hearings ahead of the legislative session starting next Tuesday.

The group, made up of members of the House and Senate general fund committees listened to presentations by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Corrections, The Department of Public Health, the Department of Mental Health, and Medicaid.

Corrections was the big ask, as a court order is forcing both the DOC and lawmakers to address both correctional and healthcare staffing levels. Commissioner Jeff Dunn said the department needed $80 million, spread over fiscal year 18 and 19 to cover the plan.

Dunn said much of the $30 million for this year would be to carry out a healthcare contract for the rest of the year. In FY 19, the $34 million would be needed for the contract and the remaining funds would be focused on the hiring and retention of correctional officers.

Dunn said the department may need to hire more than 1,000 correctional staff down the road as part of the lawsuit.

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