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Speaker Ledbetter looks back at first week of legislative session

Ledbetter said the House is primed to pass the proposed ARPA funding bill in this second week of the special session.

Alabama House Speaker nominee Nathaniel Ledbetter.

Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter, R-Rainsville, finished up his first week as Speaker of the House last week and so far is pleased with how the House has handled business.

Just one day into the regular session, Gov. Kay Ivey called for the Legislature to go into special session to consider the distribution of the remaining federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.

“The focus of the treasury has been the narrow focus to make sure we get the money where it needs to go and we can only use it for certain things,” Ledbetter said. “I think we’re in a good place and the House is ready to move it. I think the Senate has been working with that and we look forward to getting it to them.”

It has been smooth sailing so far in the House as the bill was introduced on the first day of special session and passed committee on the second day with only one no vote from Rep. Arnold Mooney, R-Indian Springs.

Rep. Rex Reynolds, R-Huntsville said the bill is designed to be broad so that a variety of organizations across the state can apply and not be left out of the funding.

The bill would send about $660 million toward water and sewer projects, and $330 million toward broadband expansion. The remaining $55 million is directed toward a variety of community needs.

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Ledbetter said he thinks back on his freshman days as he establishes himself as the leader of the House.

“I try to remember back when I was a freshman, I really do,” Ledbetter said. “I try to think in my mind what I thought, what I went through … I usually go down the halls and visit our members in their offices when I can find them. We’ve done that two or three times this week and I think that’s good because, at the end of the day, that’s where the work get’s done. We’re kind of steering the ship, but those men and women get the work done.”

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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