Gov. Ivey proposes plan for how lawmakers should use CARES Act money

Gov. Ivey proposes plan for how lawmakers should use CARES Act money
The Alabama Capitol (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Gov. Kay Ivey has proposed an executive amendment to the general fund budget outlining how she wants state lawmakers to use $1.9 billion in CARES Act money.

Ivey sent a letter to lawmakers Thursday informing them she intends to sign the general fund and education trust fund budgets, but she is proposing an amendment “to ensure that the CARES Act money is immediately put to use for the purposes Congress and President Trump intended.”

In the amendment, the governor outlines how the funds should be allocated.

It includes up to $300 million to reimburse state agencies for COVID-19 expenditures, $250 million to reimburse local governments, $300 million to support businesses and organizations, and $250 million to support the delivery of healthcare and other services to Alabamians.

“Alabama’s total share of the CARES Act funds is a little over $1.9 billion. That’s a lot of money for sure, and if spent wisely, it could very well help us pay for many legitimate expenses incurred by cities, counties and the state, nursing homes and hospitals, schools and colleges — and other worthy expenditures – that are directly connected to COVID-19,” the governor stated.

The CARES Act money has been a point of contention between the governor and state lawmakers.

Legislative leaders sent the governor a list of potential uses for the state’s CARE Act funding, and it included spending $200 million for a new Statehouse. The idea was met with immediate backlash.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh’s office confirmed Wednesday the idea was off the table after receiving federal guidance that they could not use the funds for capital improvements

One week ago the governor gave control over the money to the legislature, but also issued a stern warning that they should be prepared to show the people of Alabama their detailed receipts.

“My firm opinion remains that most members of the Legislature want to do the right thing while making certain this money helps the people of Alabama who have been harmed by this disease,” Ivey said in a statement Thursday.

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