(WDHN) — Alabama lawmakers are preparing to return to Montgomery on January 11th for the first legislative session of the year — a session with many issues to tackle.

Lawmakers are expected to discuss the “Constitutional Carry’ law, which would do away with needing a permit for handguns, and The Alabama Heartbeat Act, similar to the law passed in Texas that would ban most abortions and allow anyone to file civil lawsuits against violators and collect damages.

While those are life-changing issues needing answers, legislators believe the focal point of the session will be discussing how to spend more than $1.5 billion dollars in state relief funds from the American Rescue Plan.

“We received a little over a billion dollars last May and spent about $480 million so far so approximately $580 million left there so one thing will be trying to prioritize is capital projects,” Rep Clouse said. “One-time spending so there is no reoccurring revenue.”

Representative Clouse expects money to go towards hospitals and health care providers that took a big hit due to the pandemic and another portion for water and sewer projects in underserved areas around the state.

But he hopes the largest amount of the millions of dollars will be steered towards broadband in rural areas of the state like the Wiregrass.

Its been a huge need for quite some time but the need has grown greater as the pandemic pushed children to learn remotely. Clouse says it can also benefit telemedicine which some medical practices closed down too.

“A lot of patients had to interact with the doctors over the computers with telemedicine and that’s going to be something that continues to grow especially when a doctor has to stay in touch with another doctor in another part of the state,” He said.