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: 429655

Reported Deaths: 6283
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63040956
Mobile30794557
Madison27486201
Tuscaloosa20996268
Montgomery19352315
Shelby18833120
Baldwin16653184
Lee12749102
Morgan12389119
Etowah11861176
Calhoun11292201
Marshall10290113
Houston8746156
Limestone813276
Cullman8125106
Elmore7999104
DeKalb776599
Lauderdale768698
St. Clair7651121
Talladega6309108
Walker5954174
Jackson586341
Colbert539873
Blount537683
Autauga525755
Coffee450456
Dale402981
Franklin369948
Russell340711
Chilton338966
Covington332668
Escambia326043
Dallas308896
Chambers293170
Clarke287833
Tallapoosa2641107
Pike255230
Marion248953
Lawrence246649
Winston229535
Bibb218847
Geneva205446
Marengo202829
Pickens197531
Hale179542
Barbour176036
Fayette172928
Butler170858
Cherokee161930
Henry156523
Monroe149818
Randolph142135
Washington139126
Clay127645
Crenshaw121544
Cleburne119023
Lamar119021
Macon118637
Lowndes112036
Wilcox105121
Bullock101128
Perry99019
Conecuh95720
Sumter89626
Greene76623
Coosa61015
Choctaw51624
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 694291

Reported Deaths: 8556
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby771571142
Davidson71578678
Knox39306418
Hamilton35049330
Rutherford33516288
Unassigned23161126
Williamson21679141
Sumner18454232
Out of TN1601379
Montgomery14719149
Wilson14622159
Sullivan12736212
Blount12146127
Washington12010193
Maury11079125
Bradley1093494
Sevier10589110
Putnam10001148
Madison9205180
Robertson774185
Hamblen7088112
Anderson6864107
Greene6655108
Tipton626865
Coffee567382
Gibson5671112
Cumberland544173
Dickson543579
Bedford535690
Roane526379
Carter5145115
Lawrence514269
McMinn511773
Warren502653
Loudon500050
Jefferson483876
Dyer478683
Monroe462763
Hawkins449970
Franklin415263
Fayette402151
Obion401980
Rhea384756
Lincoln381244
Marshall349238
Cocke348657
Cheatham343930
Weakley341848
Henderson334658
Campbell328640
Giles325373
Carroll314059
White312643
Hardeman311252
Hardin300048
Lauderdale295131
Macon291450
Wayne265020
Henry262958
Overton256145
DeKalb244142
McNairy242242
Haywood241045
Smith233028
Marion230831
Trousdale229314
Scott227331
Hickman225834
Claiborne217629
Fentress214233
Grainger211237
Johnson203033
Morgan191215
Crockett181338
Chester175838
Bledsoe175411
Unicoi168344
Cannon158920
Lake156620
Decatur148127
Polk144517
Union140723
Grundy140321
Sequatchie138318
Humphreys134417
Benton132535
Lewis128620
Meigs116416
Stewart107020
Jackson105423
Perry95325
Clay94626
Houston94222
Moore8179
Pickett68520
Van Buren6667
Hancock4076

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