Next round of ARPA money to arrive in 'coming weeks', special session looms
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — When Alabama’s last legislative session ended, lawmakers said they expected to see roughly $1 billion of American Rescue Plan Act money coming to the state this summer.

Lawmakers said those funds would likely be allocated in a special session, but so far, it’s silent at the statehouse.

“Everyone that I talk to says it will take place most likely in August or September,” State Sen. Andrew Jones, R-Centre, said.

Jones says though it could be later or even next year when lawmakers are back for the regular session. That’s up to Governor Kay Ivey, whose office said discussions are ongoing but nothing is confirmed.

State Finance Director Bill Poole said in a statement Alabama expects to receive the second round of funding in the ‘coming weeks.’

“As with the first tranche of funds, Governor Ivey and the Legislature will work together to seek the highest and best uses of these funds,” Poole said.

Poole says in total, the American Rescue Plan Act allocated $2.1 billion to the state.

Jones says using that money for one-time investments is the goal.

“So water, sewer, infrastructure, broadband, just those types of projects, which are going to pay dividends for decades in the future,” Jones said.

Some groups are already angling on how to spend the money. Alabama Arise, a group that works to end poverty through state policy, sent a letter to the governor calling for funding of public transit.

“We have 82 of our partner groups sign on to this letter saying we want $20 million out of that billion dollars that’s on the table to invest in public transit at local levels,” Alabama Arise Executive Director Robyn Hyden said.

If the governor does call a special session, it can last up to 12 legislative days in a 30 day period. The last time Gov. Ivey called a special session for ARPA money was in January this year.

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