MONTGOMERY, Ala (WIAT) — We’re less than one month away from the start of the 2021 Alabama Legislative Session. But with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, legislative leaders say it’s important to get priority bills passed first, including the state’s education and general fund budgets.
“We get an outbreak in the House or membership, something we can’t foresee. I want to get those budgets secured,” said Republican Speaker of the House, Mac McCutcheon.
McCutcheon says overall, the budgets are in good shape thanks to conservative funding the past few years.
“We’re in a position right now in Alabama that’s really unique to many states. Because of this tough year we had in 2020, we’re moving into 2021 in good shape,” McCutcheon said.
Other top priorities include legislation to shield businesses from liability protection for businesses due to COVID-19, new business incentives and providing tax exemption for federal stimulus money.
“You know, these funds were provided to our citizens during difficult times. And it’s almost a poke in the eye to turn around as a state and tax these funds that were meant to help our citizens,” McCutcheon said.
There’s also the issue of gambling. The Governor’s Study Group on Gambling recently released an 850-page report to lawmakers.
“We’ve got the lottery issue, the Poarch Creek Indians issue, you’ve got the bingo issue. So, all of these are being brought back to the table,” McCutcheon said.
The 2021 legislative session officially begins on February 2.
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