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Alabama lawmakers back in session amid coronavirus pandemic

Lawmakers are working on the states budget and other bills.

Posted: May 5, 2020 5:56 PM
Updated: May 5, 2020 6:29 PM

A bill introduced by lawmakers would limit the powers of Alabama's governor and its Department of Public Health.

Senate Bill 334 introduced by Sen. Tom Whatley would terminate a state of emergency at 14 days. Currently a state of emergency can last 60 days. In the bill a state of emergency could be extended beyond 14 days, if the legislature and governor approve it.

The bill also states, "This bill would also provide that an order or directive issued by the State Health Officer relating to the outbreak of a disease or pandemic has the full force and effect of law once it is approved by the Governor and a copy is filed with the Office of the Secretary of State."

WAAY31 reached out to Gov. Kay Ivey's office about the bill and lawmakers going back into session.

Ivey's office said: "Dr. Harris serves the state with integrity and provides the governor with the best information possible so that she can make the decisions on behalf of the people of Alabama. With any legislation, we will watch the process play out, and if needed, the governor will offer her input before a bill reaches her desk. However, when Legislative Leadership informed the governor that they were resuming Session amidst a health crisis, they assured her that they would only be addressing budgets and local bills, and that is what Governor Ivey looks forward to reviewing."

Tuesday, senators went over the state's budget and most were wearing masks while on the floor. Sen. Chris Elliott suggested Ivey didn't want lawmakers back in Montgomery because she wanted complete control over how the state spends almost $2 billion in federal coronavirus relief.

"The governor was asserting she had the authority to spend $1.8 billion without consulting the legislature. That's almost the entire sum of the general fund budget so I can see why she may not have wanted us back here but it's our constitutional duty to be here," said Senator Elliott.

Elliott told said there could be a special session in the future on how coronavirus relief funds will be spent.

WAAY31 reached out to the governor's office for a comment on Elliott's remarks. They have not emailed us back yet.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 152272

Reported Deaths: 2621
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22300372
Mobile14273314
Tuscaloosa9886132
Montgomery9615196
Madison895192
Shelby700260
Lee643066
Baldwin636967
Marshall425348
Calhoun408459
Etowah399149
Morgan393232
Houston362332
DeKalb313326
Elmore308152
St. Clair276742
Limestone268327
Walker264192
Talladega253634
Cullman223923
Lauderdale204340
Autauga198928
Franklin198131
Jackson197914
Russell18993
Colbert188927
Dallas184527
Blount182723
Chilton178731
Escambia170328
Covington164429
Coffee16299
Dale161551
Pike130112
Tallapoosa126986
Chambers126643
Clarke126116
Marion103929
Butler99640
Barbour9819
Marengo96421
Winston88613
Geneva8297
Pickens79317
Randolph79314
Lawrence78830
Bibb78513
Hale73729
Cherokee71414
Clay70312
Lowndes69827
Bullock63417
Henry6286
Monroe6259
Washington62012
Crenshaw58830
Perry5796
Conecuh55413
Wilcox55412
Fayette54012
Macon52819
Cleburne5207
Sumter46421
Lamar4555
Choctaw38612
Greene33316
Coosa1963
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 228744

Reported Deaths: 2909
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby33996551
Davidson29425325
Knox1167986
Hamilton10983102
Rutherford10866106
Williamson648448
Sumner5551107
Wilson431853
Putnam407952
Montgomery378451
Out of TN361834
Madison359978
Unassigned35753
Bradley336821
Sevier312420
Sullivan310344
Blount306731
Washington299143
Maury297635
Robertson246239
Hamblen231643
Tipton217122
Gibson203537
Dyer199526
Hardeman177332
Trousdale17277
Coffee172020
Obion163017
Bedford157320
Wayne15537
Anderson154413
Dickson153518
Loudon152510
Fayette150521
Greene149249
Cumberland147724
McMinn147132
Jefferson144518
Lawrence142917
Weakley142925
Carter139832
Henderson134625
Warren13269
Monroe131923
Hardin130219
Lauderdale129218
Macon125524
Franklin119015
Haywood118325
Roane11696
Overton110611
Carroll108624
McNairy108325
Hawkins108023
Johnson10786
White107014
Marshall10238
Rhea102016
Lake9623
Cheatham95511
Smith93013
Bledsoe9174
Cocke91312
Giles88031
Campbell8497
Fentress8467
Lincoln7942
Crockett75120
Henry73610
Hickman72713
Chester71014
Marion6849
DeKalb66916
Decatur62011
Grainger5264
Grundy5048
Claiborne4926
Union4902
Polk46013
Jackson4155
Morgan4046
Humphreys4024
Benton3829
Cannon3812
Houston37914
Clay3629
Unicoi3461
Lewis3292
Sequatchie3214
Scott3144
Stewart3057
Meigs2904
Moore2412
Pickett2405
Perry1961
Van Buren1911
Hancock1123

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