From the Office of House Minority Leader Craig Ford
Montgomery, AL – House Democrats this evening voted against the General Fund Budget, arguing the budget would endanger the lives of thousands of Alabama children, seniors, and others who depend on services such as Medicaid and the Department of Human Resources.
“Cutting the Medicaid budget by 30 percent means people – many of them children – are going to die,” said House Minority Leader Craig Ford (D-Gadsden). “Elderly people are going to be kicked out of their nursing homes, people won’t get their medication, and dialysis and hospice services are going to be put on the chopping block.”
Democrats added that the budget eliminated funding for the Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention and the Department of Children’s Affairs, as well as cut over 24 percent of funding for the Department of Human Resources.
“The Department of Human Resources oversees the state’s child support and food assistance programs,” said Rep. Thomas Jackson (D-Thomasville). “Families all over Alabama are depending on these programs to survive. These people can’t just ‘tighten their belts’ or ‘suck it up.’”
Democrats also expressed concern that the General Fund budget would leave thousands of women in Alabama without adequate access to health care.
“In addition to the cuts to Medicaid, this budget cuts more than 32 percent from the Department of Public Health, including funding for the early detection program for breast and cervical cancer,” said Rep. Merika Coleman (D-Birmingham). “It is clear that the Republican Supermajority in Montgomery is waging a war on women’s health, and this budget is just another battlefield in that war.”
“Even the Governor’s own spokeswoman said the cuts to Medicaid are irresponsible,” concluded Rep. Darrio Melton (D-Selma). “House Democrats will never support a budget that puts Alabama’s working families, children, and seniors at risk.”