State Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Atmore, chairman of the senate Finance and Taxation General Fund committee, introduced a bill on Wednesday to approve roughly $59 million in a final payment to Alabama Trust Fund to satisfy money taken from the fund during the previous decade.
The supplemental appropriation of exactly $59,997,772 to the Alabama Trust Fund was part of Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s proclamation on Tuesday convening the legislature into a special session on the latest amount of American Rescue Plan Act funds, equally roughly $1.6 billion.
Approval of the supplemental appropriation, therefore, only needs a majority vote in both chambers instead of the 2/3 vote required for bills that fall outside the expressed purpose of the special session as dictated by the Governor.
In 2012, state policymakers approved the use of over $450 million originating from the fund to balance the state’s General Fund Budget. Those funds were received between 2013 and 2015, with the state making incremental payments towards satisfying the debt.
State funds, rather than federal funds, would be used in repayment to the Alabama Trust Fund, according to Albritton.
“I think it’s the obligation of everyone to pay their bills, and we made that obligation to the people, ” Albritton said.
Albritton said that he believes when the state House considers the supplemental apportion, they will recognize the responsibility in satisfying the debt.
“I think there’s a recognition on the legislature of what our obligation is to the people,” Albritton said. “That’s what we’re going to do.”
The bill will be considered during the upcoming senate Finance and Taxation General Fund committee meeting on Thursday.