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Alabama Governor Address the State

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Posted by: JRTyson
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Date: Mar 07 2023 7:04 PM

Montgomery AL. - Gov. Kay Ivey opened her 2023 State of the state address Tuesday night, which coincides with the first day of the regular legislative session, to announce she’s immediately calling a special session.

The special session, which Ivey says will start Wednesday, will focus on allocating the remaining funds designated to Alabama through the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA.

ARPA provided a total of $2.1 billion federal dollars to Alabama during the COVID-19 global health pandemic.

It’s not yet clear which priorities the lawmakers will focus on as it divides up the remaining funds, which the state must spend by the end of 2026.

Ivey said she wants legislators to wisely invest the federal money in order to overcome the state’s biggest challenges while also paying off the state’s debts.

“This is not ‘free money,’” the governor explained, “and we must invest these one-time funds wisely.”

During the 2022 special session, Alabama lawmakers allocated funds for a number of projects including broadband expansion, healthcare reimbursements and water and sewer projects.

Gov. Kay Ivey said Tuesday that she wants to increase charter school funding and add more educational options for Alabama families. But, while Ivey said she wanted to continue “meaningful discussions” about school choice, she did not endorse wholesale expansions pitched by some in her Republican party. “It’s important we continue to have meaningful discussions on school choice,” Ivey said. “That must begin with improving the school choice we already have: Our charter school options and the Alabama Accountability Act.”

Specifically, Ivey said she wants to improve charter school funding and reform the state’s governing body for charter schools to allow more high-quality charter schools to develop in Alabama. She didn’t give any specifics about what she proposes for the Accountability Act. Lawmakers have not filed any related bills. Ivey pitched a new statewide magnet high school: The Alabama School of Healthcare Sciences, in Demopolis in west Alabama, to offer ninth through twelfth graders STEM and healthcare classes and training. The new school will be the fourth statewide magnet school operating in Alabama, joining Birmingham’s Alabama School of Fine Arts, Mobile’s School of Math and Science, and Huntsville’s School of Cyber Technology and Engineering.

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