(WDHN) — The 2022 legislative regular session has come to a halt for the next week after Gov. Ivey called a special session to handle the task of appropriating the American Rescue Plan Act money.
“They want to separate and budget separately from the regular general fund and the trust fund budget all legislative leadership including the chairman of both budget committees are all on the same page about this,” Political Analyst Steve Flowers said.
Last year, Alabama received a billion dollars from the ARP, and 400 million was used for prison construction which received some criticism, and 80 million to nursing homes and hospitals. Now, the state is trying to figure out what the remaining $580 million dollars should go towards.
“The federal government would like it to be spent on big-ticket items like water and sewer especially for cities who can’t afford big projects like that and the second would be expanding broadband,” Flowers said.
Political analyst Steve Flowers said the democratic party preferred to spend the money on health-related expenditures like expanding Medicaid in the state of Alabama.
“We know a healthy Alabama is a basic foundation for our wellness. Simply put, there has never been a more important time to expand Medicaid. We need to do everything we can to ensure access to affordable and quality health care,” Pebblin said in a quote on Al.Com.
But overall, Flowers said there hasnt been much disagreement in the house regarding how to spend the relief money.
“Actually, a lot of the sewer and broadband money will go to democratic districts so its hard to bite the hand that feed you because black belt in the state is where broadband expansion needs to be done,” Flowers said.
Flowers said he doesnt expect the house to get heated until they address topics like gambling, permitless carry, and abortion when they reconvene for the regular session.