MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama lawmakers are returning to Montgomery to begin the 2022 legislative session under the backdrop of looming elections and rising coronavirus cases.

One of the major decision before legislators will be how to use the state’s remaining pandemic relief funds. Key lawmakers said there are discussions with Gov. Kay Ivey about holding a special session to focus on the pandemic relief funds.

House Republicans this year are backing an agenda that includes legislation to do away with the requirement to get a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public.

Ivey will address lawmakers Tuesday night in her State of the State speech.