Legislative Report – January 14, 2022

Volume 23 Number 1 – January 14, 2022

Legislature convenes 2022 legislative session

The Alabama legislature convened the 2022 Regular Legislative Session on Tuesday with little fanfare on the floor or in committee. Most activity seemed to occur in Caucus meetings and in discussions with leadership and the Governor’s office regarding a Special Session that is expected to begin next Wednesday. The Special Session would be called by the Governor to consider the appropriation of the $500+ million the state has received in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds.

Based on conversations throughout the State House, priorities for ARP funding will likely include broadband expansion, water and sewer infrastructure, healthcare, and replenishing of the state’s unemployment trust fund. The state will receive another round of funding totaling over $1 billion in May; another Special Session is expected in the summer/early fall to appropriate the additional funds.

Governor Ivey also gave her State of the State address on Tuesday night. She focused on the state’s economic progress and included a call for a 4% pay raise for teachers and state employees and $12 million for two new mental health crisis centers. She also discussed past accomplishments at length, including the Rebuild Alabama program, which raised gas taxes for the first time in 27 years to create needed funds for road and bridge improvements, and her push for the construction of new men’s prisons.

Next Tuesday, the House will likely take up HB 76 by Rep. Kyle South (R – Fayette) on a one-bill Special Order calendar. The bill repeals the Name Image Likeness law that passed last year. This repeal is supported by Alabama universities due to a conflict between the existing law and NCAA regulations.

Upcoming legislative schedule

The House of Representatives and Senate will reconvene on Tuesday, January 18, at 2:00 and 3:30 p.m., respectively. As mentioned above, a Special Session is expected to begin on Wednesday and go through the end of the month. The Regular Session will likely reconvene the first week of February.