Members of the Legislative Council approved a resolution to begin negotiating a lease agreement for a new State House with the Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) in July.

State Sen. Sam Givhan (R-Huntsville), a member of the five-person legislative delegation negotiating the lease with the RSA, told 1819 News on Tuesday he hadn't seen a proposal from RSA yet but was expecting one soon.

Givhan said it was possible the Legislative Council would meet in late September to consider such a proposal.

RSA CEO Dr. David Bronner said at an Alabama Employees Retirement System meeting on Tuesday the new State House was "long overdue."

"The Highway Department would not have moved out of the building to begin with if it was a good building so it has lots of problems with it. It goes back to flooding. It goes back to mold. It goes back to asbestos. Lots of problems and it doesn't function for what it was worth," Bronner said. "We've started the work with the Legislature to see if we could come to an agreement. If we do it, they would pay us 8% from day one our money goes in to when they have the ability to buy it back or rent it, which is fine. I did that for the Bar Association. I've done that for a number of plants in Alabama so that's not a problem."

The estimated cost of the possible project hasn't been announced yet, but Bronner said the cost would be comparable to federal buildings built in Mobile and Tuscaloosa within about the last decade.

"I got into it with the architects a little bit because they had never done this sort of thing and it was ridiculous numbers. We've got that all cleared up because I brought in the person that works with me. He hasn't done all of these buildings in Montgomery but he's done most of them," Bronner said. "We've got it priced down to comparable things that have been built by the feds."

Legislation was passed into law in the 2023 regular session to place more land next to the current Alabama State House under legislative control for the possible construction of a new State House. The new law gives the Legislative Council "authority to contract with an appropriate party, including, but not limited to, the Retirement Systems of Alabama, to construct and maintain a building that, upon completion, would be designated as the Alabama State House."

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