Week One of the 2023 Legislative Session

BCA Governmental Affairs Staff

BCA Governmental Affairs Staff

Gov. Kay Ivey Briefs BCA's Governmental Affairs Committee

Tuesday, March 7 marked BCA’s first Government Affairs Briefing of the 2023 Legislative Session. Governor Ivey attended as guest speaker and gave remarks on the impactful work that has been done to grow our economy and the importance of protecting jobs and businesses in Alabama. Governor Ivey discussed renewal and modernization of the Alabama Jobs Act and the Growing Alabama Act; broadband expansion and improving infrastructure; and workforce development.

BCA Government Affairs Committee Chairman, Houston Smith, introduced Governor Ivey. Chairman Smith touted the impact her public service continues to have on state of Alabama, and outlined the many issues where BCA and her administration have partnered.

Next week’s briefing will feature Alabama State House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter. As a reminder, Government Affairs Briefings are held each Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. at the BCA offices during the Legislative Session. The briefings will also be available via Facebook Live.

Legislature Returns to Montgomery for the 2023 Legislative Session; Governor Ivey Delivers State of the State

Day 1 of the 2023 Regular Legislative Session began on Tuesday, March 7. Governor Ivey opened the first Legislative Session of the quadrennium by  delivering the State of the State Address that night, in which she called a Special Legislative Session to allocate and approve the final round of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding through House Bill 1. Governor Ivey also issued Executive Order 735 to cut “red tape” on citizens and businesses, and signed the Executive Order on Wednesday, March 8. In the State of the State Address, Governor Ivey also announced “The Game Plan” to renew and modernize the economic development incentives in the Alabama Jobs Act and the Growing Alabama Act, and underscored the stability and growth that both have and will continue to bring to Alabama. Governor Ivey’s dedication and commitment to the Alabama business community was evident throughout her address Tuesday night. Day 1 of the Special Legislative Session began on Wednesday, March 8, where HB 1 and SB 1 received their first reading. Thursday, March 9, marked Day 2 of the Special Legislative Session where HB 1 received favorable report out of the House Ways & Means General Fund Committee, and was read a second time in the House. SB 1 received favorable report out of the Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee and was read a second time in the Senate.

BCA Bills of Interest

HB 1: Supplemental Appropriations from the American Rescue Plan Act – Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2023.
Sponsors: Rep. Rex Reynolds (R-21), Rep. Debbie Wood (R-38), Rep. Randall Shedd (R-11), Rep. Parker Moore (R-4), Rep. Tracy Estes (R-17), Rep. Ed Oliver (R-81), Rep. Phillip Rigsby (R-25), Rep. Holk-Jones (R-95), Rep. Allen Baker (R-66), Rep. Chris Blackshear (R-80), Rep. Chris Sells (R-90)
BCA Position:
Status: Received second reading in House of Origin

Introduced by Rep. Rex Reynolds (R-21), HB1 would allocate $1.1 billion in federal funding made available to the state through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed by Congress in 2021. HB1 includes funding for broadband expansion, water and sewer infrastructure improvements, and support for our health care system for communities across the state. This is the final round of ARPA funding to be approved by the state legislature.

The monetary breakdown for each category as introduced in HB1 is as follows:

Public Health — $339,175,000
$200 million for hospitals and nursing homes.
$5 million for veterans’ hospitals.
$25 million for mental health programs and services, including for veterans.
$9 million for telemedicine grants.
$80 million for reimbursement of covid-related expenses to the State Employees’ Insurance Board and the Public Education Employees’ Health Insurance Board.
$20 million for a voluntary clinical trial and health care research program.
$175,000 to reimburse public university students for expenses related to covid vaccine voucher programs.

Infrastructure — $660,000,000
$260 million to improve and expand broadband throughout the state.
$400 million for water and sewer system infrastructure improvements.

Negative Economic Impacts — $55,000,000
$55 million for community programs and services in response to the negative economic impacts of the covid public health emergency. Eligible programs and services include food banks, services for child-welfare-involved families, services to victims of domestic violence, services for senior citizens, services for mental health disorders and behavioral analysis, support for long-term housing, and summer learning opportunities or athletic programs or services to school-aged children.

Response and Mitigation — $5,000,000
$5 million to reimburse the Alabama Department of Labor for response and mitigation expenses related to the covid pandemic.

Administrative — $1,006,797.72
$1,006,797.72 to reimburse costs for the administration, auditing, and reporting requirements of the state fiscal recovery funds.

SB 1: Supplemental Appropriation from the State General Fund to the Alabama Trust Fund
Sponsors: Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore), Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur), Sen. Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville), Sen. Lance Bell (R-Pell City), Sen. Steve Livingston (R-Scottsboro), Sen. Gerald Allen (R-Cottondale), Sen. Dan Roberts (R-Birmingham), Sen. Tim Melson (R-Florence), Sen. Andrew Jones (R-Centre), Sen. Tom Butler (R-Madison), Sen. JT ‘Jabo’Wagooner (R-Vestavia Hills), Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Josephine), Sen. David Sessions (R- Grand Bay), Sen. April Weaver (R-Alabaster), Sen.Garlan Gudger (R-Cullman), Sen. Josh Carnley (R- Ino), Sen. Donnie Chesteen (R-Geneva), Sen. Roger Smitherman (D-Birmingham), Sen. Robert L. Stewart (D-Selma), Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison (D-Birmingham), Sen. Kelley (R-Weaver), Sen. Shay Shelnutt (R-Trussville), Sen. Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro), Sen. Randy Price (R-Opelika), Sen. Merika Coleman (D-Birmingham), Sen. Jack Williams (R-Wilmer), Sen. Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville), Sen. Greg Reed (R-Jasper), Sen. Sam Givhan (R-Gurley), Sen. Will Barfoot (R-Pike Road), Sen. Jay Hovey (R-Auburn)
BCA Position: Support

Status: Received second reading in House of Origin

Senator Greg Albritton (R-Atmore), chairman of the Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee, introduced SB1 to approve a $60 million final payment to the Alabama Trust Fund (ATF) – a state fund established by voters. Totaling $59,997,772, this legislation would pay off all remaining debts ahead of time to the ATF, which is required by the People’s Trust Act to be repaid in full by 2033. These funds would be made available through state dollars, not federal ARPA funding that is currently being discussed in the House and Senate.

Week Ten of the 2024 Legislative Session

Capitol Briefing Tuesday Morning Issues Briefing BCA hosted Senator Greg Albritton, the Senate General Fund Budget Committee chairman, this week to provide an overview of Alabama’s fiscal position and offer

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