The Alabama House passed HB1 Tuesday, appropriating the final $1 billion of federal funds distributed to Alabama from the American Rescue Act Plan (ARPA). The special session called by the governor is on track for the bill to land in the Senate on Thursday.
The largest portion of the spending measure will benefit hospitals, nursing homes, water and sewer projects, as well as broadband expansion.
During Tuesday’s session, Rex Reynolds (R-Huntsville), chairman of the House Ways & Means General Fund Committee, reflected on the process and took questions from fellow lawmakers.
Minority Leader Rep. Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) thanked Reynolds and the extensive collaboration to reach a floor vote. However, Rep. Juanavann Givan (D-Birmingham) questioned why her district hasn’t seen any money from last year’s appropriation.
The allocations are:
Public Health ($339.1 million)
- $100 million to reimburse hospitals for eligible COVID-19 expenses
- $100 million to reimburse nursing homes for eligible COVID-19 expenses
- Up to $5 million to reimburse veterans’ hospitals for eligible COVID-19 expenses
- Up to $40 million to reimburse the State Employees’ Insurance Board
- Up to $40 million for the Public Education Employees’ Health Insurance Board
- Up to $25 million to support mental health programs and services
- Up to $9 million to facilitate the expansion and use of telemedicine
- Up to $20 million for healthcare research and access to personalized medicine
Infrastructure ($660 million)
- $400 million for water and sewer infrastructure projects
- $260 million for broadband expansion
Grayson Everett is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. Follow him on Twitter @Grayson270 for coverage of the 2023 Legislative Session.