BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — With the 2022 Alabama legislative session right around the corner, there are many different priorities each county and their leaders will bring to the table.
CBS 42 spoke with political analyst Steve Flowers about what he expects for this upcoming session.
Flowers believes the budget, broadband and the future of the lottery in Alabama will be some of the topics of discussion by leaders on January 11.
“The Alabama constitution calls for us to have an early session on election years. We go into regular legislative sessions usually in March or April of every year. Then with the fourth year legislature will come in January and that’s to let people get home and campaign,” said Flowers.
This go around, Flowers expects lawmakers to finalize the general fund budget and education budget.
“Federal money is coming to Alabama because of the federal enactment of COVID relief money. They have almost as much federal money coming in as the regular state budget. So legislatures are going to propriate that joyfully,” he said.
Flowers says some of the American Rescue Plan funds are going directly towards improving broadband throughout the state.
“In fact, some of the state senators in charge of that issue have done what is considered nationwide ‘a masterpiece of showing exactly what areas lack broadband,’ they’ve come up with a really good map of that,” Flowers said.
One topic on many people’s minds is the future of the lottery in Alabama. Flowers tells us he doesn’t believe it’s going to be a topic of conversation.
“It’s not that easy either because in our constitution, you would have to change the constitutional act, meaning you have to get a 2/3rd vote of the legislature to put it on the ballot and then after that, the people have to vote on it,” said Flowers.
The session is expected to be shorter since it is an election year and officials will be preparing for your vote on May 24.