MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Gov. Kay Ivey has called for a special session of the Alabama Legislature to convene and decide on how to use the more than $700 million given to the state from the American Rescue Plan Act.

In her declaration, Gov. Ivey is tasking the Legislature to appropriate three different funds: the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund, the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Revenue Fund and the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund.

Gov. Ivey released this statement alongside her declaration:

“While states like Alabama are making record economic comebacks, Congress and the Biden White House are wanting our country to spend more and more federal dollars, and now we are tasked with allocating the American Rescue Plan Act funds. I have made clear, that unlike Washington, D.C., Alabama will be wise with these one-time, federal dollars.
“I again urge the members of the Legislature to direct these funds to meet some of Alabama’s biggest challenges like statewide broadband connectivity, water and sewer infrastructure, as well as investing funds in our hospitals, nursing homes and other health care providers.
We must be smart with these one-time, federal dollars by wisely investing – not just casually spending them. This is not free money.”

Gov. Kay Ivey

Lawmakers are considering a plan to steer large sums to water and sewer projects, healthcare costs and broadband expansion.  Alabama came under criticism last year for using $400 million, nearly 20% of the state’s total $2.1 billion allocation from the American Rescue Plan, for prison construction.

The session will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday.