Capitol News & Notes: May 19, 2020

Capitol News & Notes: May 19, 2020

On Monday, May 18, 2020, the Legislature met for its final day of the 2020 Regular Legislative Session.  While no amendments were needed for the budgets themselves, Gov. Ivey did submit an executive amendment for SB 161, which deals with the supplemental appropriations to the General Fund budget from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act for COVID-19 mitigation.

Gov. Ivey submitted the proposal on how to spend the $1.8 billion in coronavirus relief funds based on the federal government’s requirements as follows:

  • $300 million for reimbursement of expenses to state agencies for expenses directly related to the COVID-19 outbreak;
  • $300 million to support businesses, non-profits, faith-based organizations and individuals impacted by the outbreak;
  • $300 million for expenses related to remote learning and technology;
  • $250 million to provide health care services to state residents;
  • $250 million to reimburse cities and counties for coronavirus expenses;
  • $200 million for reimbursement of expenses to the Alabama Department of Corrections;
  • $118.3 million to be used as needed for any lawful purpose;
  • $53 million for remote work and public access expenses incurred by the state government, which includes the Legislature;
  • $10 million to reimburse the court system for additional costs incurred; and
  • $5 million back to the General Fund for supplemental appropriations that were made to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

The CARES Act requires that any funds left unspent by December 30 or deemed spent on unrelated expenditures must be paid back to the federal government. Due to the urgency in getting the distribution process for these funds approved, the Senate swiftly passed the executive amendment 30-1, after which it moved to the House and passed with a 73-1 vote. Following legislative passage of this bill, Gov. Ivey signed the state’s FY 2021 budgets for the General Fund and Education Trust Fund, as well as the supplemental appropriation bills.

After an unprecedented legislative session upended by the coronavirus pandemic, the Legislature adjourned sine die on Monday afternoon. With several big legislative items remaining unaddressed, one or more special sessions  may be needed later in the year. The Alabama REALTORS® Public Policy team would like to thank the Public Policy Committee for their hard work during the Legislative Session and all of our members for their continued engagement on industry issues.