Legislation is in the works to remove $5 million in funding to the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) after it hosted a luncheon about Alabama's LGBTQ+ history.
Despite backlash from state lawmakers, the ADAH event went as planned on Thursday. The event highlighted notable Alabamians, such as Ma Rainey and Nell Carter, who are believed to have been gay and provided a brief history of LGBTQ+ activism in Alabama and the South.
According to State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Josephine), the legislature gave an additional $5 million in supplemental appropriations to ADAH from the Education Trust Fund during this year's legislative session. Elliott told 1819 News he intended to introduce legislation during the upcoming special session to remove the funding.
"There's some discussion going about this right now," Elliott told 1819 News. "I think there will be, if not one, a number of different pieces of legislation to try to reallocate about $5 million from the Education budget supplemental to some other purpose."
He continued, "I know a number of legislators that expressed their concern about this event prior to it occurring. I know a number of legislators, including myself, asked the director to cancel that program and to not move forward with it, and they have doubled down on their position and went ahead with the program despite numerous concerns. And that's fine, but the legislature also has the ability to manage appropriations, and I think that there's an appetite to do that here soon."
Elliott said that he had asked Gov. Kay Ivey to halt the disbursement of the $5 million appropriation until the legislature could reallocate the funds in July when the legislature is slated to redraw the congressional map due to a recent Supreme Court decision.
"I have not talked directly to the governor, but I do not think that she is supportive of what the Archives and History has been doing of late," Elliott concluded. "And I would be surprised if the governor is not supportive of reallocating some of this supplemental funding to perhaps a better source."
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