The Association of County Commissions of Alabama announced Friday its legislative priorities for the Statehouse’s 2022 Legislative Session.
The association, comprised of leaders from all 67 Alabama counties, met in Birmingham this previous week to discuss collective policy priorities for the upcoming session.
“Every December, this Conference serves as our final opportunity to gather together as an Alabama County Family and decide our collective stance on a myriad of pressing policy issues,” said ACCA Executive Director Sonny Brasfield. “It is this collective discussion that allows us to speak with ONE Voice on the many issues and decisions that arise in Montgomery but that impact the operation of county government back home.”‘
Among the association’s high-priority legislation:
- potential retroactive reimbursement to counties for the care of inmates throughout the COVID-19 pandemic
- allow individuals suffering from mental illness, who pose an immediate threat to the public, alternative treatment at a professional medical facility as opposed to jail
- greater expansion of broadband internet connectivity throughout the state
- improve voter registration management to ensure appointments reflect the demographic makeup of each county fairly
Another measure high on the association’s list of priorities is the allocation of remaining American Rescue Plan funds to counties.
During the conference last week, Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth spoke on potential bills being introduced for the coming legislative session, which would include proper allocation of remaining American Rescue Plan funds, county improvements backed by federal funds, and further tax measures, all of which are included in the associations expanded list of priority legislative actions.
Other legislative priorities for ACCA include:
- help county governments maximize local dollars by allowing for the county investment of excess, non-obligated funds into secure interests approved by the State Treasurer
- encourage the establishment of a State of Alabama matching program enabling local governments to maximize their ARPA funds for the greatest benefit to Alabama citizens by implementing much-needed initiatives and projects approved by the U.S. Department of the Treasury
- recognize the essential role emergency management personnel and public safety telecommunicators play in public safety response
- authorize county tax assessing officials to act in their own names and in the capacity of their office in property valuations appealed from the County Board of Equalization.
The 2022 legislative session is scheduled to begin Jan. 11.