Gov. Ivey calls Alabama Legislature into special session

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey will get the state's legislature started on its first full day of the 2023 term with a special session to focus on ARPA funds.
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 7:09 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 7, 2023 at 7:52 PM EST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Gov. Kay Ivey opened her 2023 State of the State address by announcing she’d immediately called for a special session to decide what the state would do with the remaining funds from the American Rescue Plan Act or ARPA.

During her speech, Ivey said she made the decision to call the special session, which will begin on Wednesday, so the legislature could “urgently address” how the funds will be used.

“Let’s wisely invest these federal monies to overcome some of our biggest challenges while also paying off our debts,” Ivey added.

It’s not yet clear which priorities the lawmakers will focus on as it divides up the remaining funds, which the state must spend by the end of 2026.

“And I’ll say again: This is not “free money,” and we must invest these one-time funds wisely,” Ivey said. “Last year, thanks to you, members of the Alabama Legislature, we put these dollars to work, meeting some of Alabama’s biggest challenges. I commit to the people of Alabama we will once again take a smart approach and put it towards major and needed endeavors like expanding broadband access, improving our water and sewer infrastructure and investing in our health care – including telemedicine.”

During the 2022 special session, Alabama lawmakers allocated funds for a number of projects, including broadband expansion, healthcare reimbursements and water and sewer projects.

The state previously made headlines in 2021 after legislators voted to allocate $400 million from the funds to fix the state’s prison infrastructure by building new mega prisons.

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