Albritton speaks at APA conference

Published 4:16 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2022

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Sen. Greg Albritton, Atmore, and Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter, Dekalb County, painted a fair picture of what’s next in the Alabama legislature during the 2022 Alabama Press Association Summer Convention on June 25.

Albritton and Ledbetter spoke for about an hour to assembled journalists that represented most parts of the state.

The next session of the legislature is slated to begin on March 7, 2023. Both were asked if Gov. Kay Ivey will declare a special session, and both said they didn’t believe it’ll happen.

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On the general fund and inflation, Ledbetter said the state’s general fund is in good shape. He said because of the current inflation, the state budget numbers are elevated, however.

Ledbetter said money was put back into the state, and because of this, “we’re fortunate.”

Albritton said the legislature is holding budget hearings now through the summer to get themselves thinking about where the state is headed.

Both spoke about how the state borrowed money a long time ago, and as of right now, the state is paying it back

“We are sound financially,” Albritton said.

On gambling, Albritton said this is an issue the state has to take control of, adding that they do have a plan, but will need to get the votes.

Ledbetter added that the problem with gambling is regulation.

Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision. Both were asked about the decision.

“Our senate caucus released a statement,” Albritton said. “In the last session, we passed a bill in anticipation of this. I think Alabama has spoken to where we are.

“I hope the nation will not create another fight just to be able to fight,” he said.

Other topics discussed included the gas tax, Medicaid expansion, workforce development, the construction of the new prisons and mental health.

Both said the new megaprisons will bring some 8,000 new beds, they’ll be more efficient and utilities cost will improve, to name a few.