ALABAMA (WRBL) – On Wednesday, Alabama lawmakers wrapped up day one of their special session called by Governor Kay Ivey. Legislators are trying to decide how they will spend hundreds of millions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act.
Wednesday lawmakers discussed using these funds to address issues like healthcare, water and sewer projects, and broadband for areas in desperate need for internet connection.
Both sides agree these are issues in need of immediate attention.
Republican lawmakers tell us the pandemic truly showed the importance of broad band expansion, especially for schools with virtual learning, and why they need to make sure all Alabamians have access to the internet.
Democrats emphasized the importance of funding these water and sewer projects, given the fact that clean drinking water is a major issue in several parts of the state.
And lawmakers want to make sure these funds are spent appropriately.
“For many years, this has been a problem we should have fixed long ago. And it’s negatively affected the health well-being of countless people in our state and the district that I represent,” said Tuskegee Democrat Pebblin Warren.
“They need some money to help get those systems up. It’s something we take for granted is just clean drinking water. But we’ve got some communities that are really struggling with that one issue,” said Republic House Speaker Mac McCutcheon, House Speaker (R).
“We believe that this is a great first step, but we know that this is not the final step. And other things and other priorities throughout the state and other needs will be addressed at some point,” said Huntsville Democrat Anthony Daniels.
Both the House and Senate are set to convene again first thing Thursday.