Amended legislation appropriating $1.06 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding passed the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund committee on Wednesday.
According to the legislation filed by State Rep. Rex Reynolds (R-Huntsville), $660 million of the $1 billion-plus total would go to water, sewer and broadband spending. The legislation would send $100 million each to hospitals and nursing homes. $55 million was earmarked for “programs or services in response to the negative economic impacts of the public health emergency” such as food banks, domestic violence victim assistance and summer education. Finally, $40 million each would go to reimbursements to the Public Education Employees’ Health Insurance Board and the State Employees’ Health Insurance Board.
The legislation now includes an amendment by State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Josephine) that allows some Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) funding in the bill to be used for stormwater infrastructure and adds a matching grant requirement from local utilities for a portion of the ADEM funding.
The amended ARPA funding legislation will now head to the Senate to be considered at 9 a.m. Thursday.
Governor Kay Ivey called the legislative special session last Wednesday to allocate ARPA funds and transfer nearly $60 million from the state’s General Fund to pay off the remainder of a debt to the Alabama Trust Fund.
This special session was called in the middle of the regular session, which is scheduled to resume on Tuesday.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email caleb.taylor@1819News.com.
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