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

Cases: 518588

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753351487
Mobile37698798
Madison33829494
Tuscaloosa25245443
Montgomery23942565
Shelby23094238
Baldwin20617300
Lee15510165
Calhoun14277311
Morgan14137268
Etowah13660345
Marshall11952219
Houston10379278
Elmore9988200
Limestone9806147
Cullman9467188
St. Clair9422234
Lauderdale9208227
DeKalb8745181
Talladega8042171
Walker7087275
Jackson6753110
Autauga6715103
Blount6480135
Colbert6200130
Coffee5397112
Dale4766110
Russell428238
Franklin419882
Chilton4080109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3892146
Escambia387574
Dallas3526149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305475
Lawrence295295
Winston272272
Bibb256258
Marengo248561
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218675
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176741
Monroe171240
Washington163838
Macon154348
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99228
Greene90734
Choctaw58624
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 822085

Reported Deaths: 12001
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby914971575
Davidson86563918
Knox48960619
Hamilton42811480
Rutherford41428415
Williamson26942213
Sumner22909338
Montgomery18780223
Out of TN17852101
Wilson17747223
Unassigned16441132
Sullivan15781283
Blount14839194
Bradley14284147
Washington13850240
Sevier12986174
Maury12901166
Putnam11072173
Madison10628240
Robertson9486127
Anderson8539171
Hamblen8409169
Greene7645151
Tipton7171104
Coffee6782121
Dickson6643108
Cumberland6461127
Gibson6355144
Bedford6350126
Carter6332156
McMinn625595
Roane6124101
Jefferson6008121
Loudon595869
Lawrence573186
Hawkins5682105
Monroe564395
Warren549481
Dyer5340104
Franklin504987
Fayette484578
Obion447196
Cocke439598
Cheatham436551
Rhea428075
Lincoln427963
Marshall407358
Campbell405462
Weakley398761
Giles391298
Henderson368375
Carroll355582
Macon354375
White351468
Hardin346166
Hardeman345063
Lauderdale312744
Henry309775
Marion307246
Scott303145
Claiborne302373
Overton294360
Wayne294134
Hickman278345
McNairy275354
DeKalb273953
Smith271737
Haywood267660
Grainger255449
Trousdale247822
Morgan242839
Fentress236346
Johnson226738
Chester208651
Bledsoe208211
Crockett199848
Polk196024
Unicoi191149
Cannon187531
Union184034
Grundy176431
Lake169526
Humphreys168721
Sequatchie165228
Benton160940
Decatur156438
Lewis154826
Meigs132123
Stewart129328
Jackson129235
Clay108331
Houston107333
Perry105628
Moore99217
Van Buren82621
Pickett75524
Hancock53612

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