State House

Lawmakers agreed to give Gov. Kay Ivey control over the states $1.8 billion in coronavirus relief funds.

Lawmakers agreed to an amendment Ivey proposed that would put the money into different categories including $300 million to reimburse state agencies and $250 million to local governments. The money can be dispersed into different categories however, only with approval of a committee of legislative leaders.

“I commend the Alabama Legislature for their cooperation by supporting my Executive Amendment to SB161. This friendly amendment ensures the CARES Act money will be immediately available to the people of Alabama and put to use under the intent of the U.S. Congress and President Trump,” Ivey shared in a statement following the passage of the bill.

The senate voted 30-1 to accept the amendment then the house approved it by a vote of 73-1. The vote ended the 2020 legislative session.

St. Clair County Commission called for representatives to vote yes to the bill to provide local governments with necessary reimbursement for COVID-19 expenses. “County budgets must be replenished in order to continue essential county services and programs,” the commission tweeted out.

St. Clair County representatives Jim Hill, Craig Lipscomb and Randy Wood voted yes to the bill.

“Alabama’s total share of the CARES Act funds is a little over $1.9 billion. That’s a lot of money for sure, and if spent wisely, it could very well help us pay for many legitimate expenses incurred by cities, counties and the state, nursing homes and hospitals, schools and colleges — and other worthy expenditures – that are directly connected to COVID-19,” Ivey said in a statement.

The amendment allocates the funds to different categories: reimbursing up to $300 million to state agencies for COVID related expenses; $300 million to support citizens; $250 million to local governments; $250 million for health care services; $200 million to the prison system and $10 million to the court system.

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