CNN: Week 1 – Progress in Special Session

CNN: Week 1 – Progress in Special Session

The 2023 regular legislative session kicked off last week and immediately was put on hold. As expected, the Governor called a legislative special session in her State of the State address that began last Wednesday and is expected to run through the end of this week. Read on for a brief summary of last week and what to expect this week.


Special Session – ARPA Funds

Last week progressed as expected. The legislature met two days in special session and, at a minimum, will meet three more days, before returning to the regular session. Due to legislative rules, a bill needs five legislative days at a minimum to pass the legislature.

Two issues were in the Governor’s proclamation which called the legislature into special session and largely controls the topics covered. The two items are the appropriation of over $1 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and repayment of borrowed funds to the Alabama Trust Fund. Both bills passed out of the committee in the house of origin (e.g., the house where the bill was originally filed). 

Next up, the bills will be considered on the chamber floor of both houses on Tuesday during REALTOR® Day. The House convenes at 1, while the Senate convenes at 3:30, so we anticipate both houses will be working while REALTORS® walk the halls. 

The special session will likely conclude after the fifth legislative day on Thursday, March 16, but can go a total of 30 calendar days and 12 legislative days.


Regular Session – 29 Days and Spring Break

The Legislature will pick back up with the regular session on March 21. With only one legislative day used and 29 days remaining, 109 House bills and 65 Senate bills have been filed. Legislative leadership has indicated that they will work one week and then take off the week of March 27 for spring break. 

The Governor mentioned several legislative priorities in her State of the State speech last week. These include one-time tax rebates of up to $400 per taxpayer, strengthening charter schools and the Alabama Accountability Act scholarship program (school choice initiatives), a 2% pay raise for teachers, and mandatory Kindergarten. Legislation on these topics is expected when the regular session resumes. 

Stay tuned for more Capitol News and Notes from the Alabama REALTORS® Public Policy team.