Alabama looking for guidance on how to spend CARES Act grant


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — There’s a feud between Gov. Kay Ivey and lawmakers over how to spend the $1.8 billion cornavirus stimulus money handed out in the CARES Act.

“I didn’t want a penny assigned to the governor’s office,” Ivey said.

A “wish list” was created by lawmakers with potential uses of the grant sent to the state to cover the costs of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

After learning what was on the list, the governor became furious with lawmakers. She highlighted the building of a new $200 million State House.

“For whatever reason, the governor is angry,” said Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston.

Marsh was pressed on why a new state government building was needed.

“It has many issues, as you all know, including mold issues,” he said. “So are there reasons to build a new state house? Yes, there are. Should it be top of the list? I cannot say.”

Democrats say they would like to see the money go towards fighting the virus first.

“We’ve got to use that money for stockpiling more ventilators, PPE and mask,” said Sen. Bobby Singleton, D- Greensboro.

Congresswoman Terri Sewell, who voted for this funding, sharply criticized lawmakers over the wish list.

“That wish list was an abomination in my opinion,” said Sewell, D-Alabama. “It didn’t reflect the values that I hold close and dear and I know what the legislative intent of that funding was and that was to tackle the crisis at hand.”

Lawmakers say they are waiting to get federal guidance on how to spend the money, and this will have to be sorted out in a special session.

The special session will have to be called by the governor.


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