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Legislative preview: Trust fund repayment, ARPA poised for OK

The Legislature is convening in special session through Thursday, with both chambers looking to answer a $1 billion question.

The House meets at 1 p.m. today to vote on the $1.1 billion American Rescue Act Plan (ARPA) appropriations package (HB1), after receiving approval from committee last week.

The Senate will gavel in at 3:30 to vote on a final repayment to the Alabama Trust Fund (SB1) – a longtime promise of state leaders.

Leaders in both houses are looking to make these bills a done-deal by the end of the week. Upon approval from the House, HB1 will head to the Senate; and, after Senate approval, SB1 will go to the House.

“I don’t think we’ll see a lot of changes,” said Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter. “The (memorandum of agreement) involved inside the bill itself will take care of some of the questions that’ve been asked.”

He praised the collaborative effort between agencies as well as the onboarding process to bring new members to the table.

I think that’s a good thing. I think doing the MOA like they’ve done, having oversight committees in the House and Senate — I don’t know how you get much more transparent than that,” Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) said.

During the special session which exists outside of the regular legislative calendar — no bills can be considered other than the scope of the governor’s order unless it receives a two-thirds approval from either body.

The regular session is slated to resume March 21. Therefore, it’s likely HB1 & SB1 will be the only items taken up by the committee of the whole this week. 

Grayson Everett is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. Follow him on Twitter @Grayson270 for coverage of the 2023 Legislative Session.

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