Alabama lawmakers working on how to spend remaining ARPA funds

Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 4:32 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 10, 2023 at 6:18 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - This week, lawmakers started the 2023 regular legislative session that was put on pause by a special legislative session called by Gov. Kay Ivey to allocate the remaining American Rescue Plan dollars.

There are $1 billion in federal funds on the table, and House members say they want to invest the money into Alabamians.

“Expanding broadband and expanding sewer and water and cleaning up some of our problems we have with sewer and water, and also putting it in areas we don’t have it,” said House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter.

A bill passed a committee Thursday that will do all of that and invest in health care.

“$339,175,000 to support the delivery of health care and related services to citizens of Alabama,” said Rep. Rex Reynolds, R-Madison County, chair of the general fund committee.

“I think we’re in a good place, and the House is ready to move it, and I think the Senate’s been working with that, and we look forward to getting it to them,” said Ledbetter.

Senate leadership is ready for their chance to review the bill.

“We can only spend the money in so many different places. So we have to do it that way,” said Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton. “And so I think it kind of brought people back in versus the money that we had to what we can utilize it in a way we want to spend it in the first tranche.”

“A personal priority that I have tried to interject as the discussions have gone forward in that there are specific projects that are for individual members in their communities that they’re going to want funded,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Reed.

The earliest this bill would be in the Senate chamber is Wednesday. Lawmakers expect the bill to be on the governor’s desk by the end of next week.

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