What to Expect This Legislative Session


By Jessica Gertler

The legislative session is less than a month away, but what can you expect?

CBS 8 News sat down with CBS 8 Political Analyst Steve Flowers and asked him to break down the upcoming session. He says the issues that will come up will be primarily financial issues, not social issues like we've seen in past two years.

"The budgets will take priority," Flowers says.

Flowers says money problems have not gone away. State officials say because of federal changes, the state's Medicaid funding will need $30 million for 2014.

"They are going to deal with a Medicaid issue, because Medicaid is a money eating monster in the general fund budget, which is where the problems are in the state finances," says Flowers.

Flowers says legislators will also have to decided how Obamacare fits into the Medicaid program.

In a School Safety Hearing held by state lawmakers on Wednesday, you got a taste of the what Flowers says could be another hot topic in the upcoming session.

After 20 children were shot and killed in an elementary school shooting in Newtown, state and community leaders have been tossing around ideas on how to prevent school violence.

Some lawmakers say the answer is to arm teachers and administrators with guns.

Parents weigh in.

"I think the most effective way to stop a bad guy with a gun is probably a good guy with a gun on the scene," says Steve Lincoln, who's daughter is in high school.

Parent Althea Brown says she would like to see "more school patrol. More of a uniform officer at the schools."

Flowers says it's hard to tell what lawmakers will pass, but if he had to guess, "Alabama is a very conservative state. A very pro-gun state, so any legislation that passes the legislature will be very pro-gun."

Flowers says because Alabama is a very conservative state, and because this session, republicans are the majority, he says there will be no new taxes.

The regular session will start Feb. 5 at noon.