MONTOGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) – Governor Kay Ivey has called the Alabama Legislature into a special session to discuss how federal COVID-19 funds will be used in the state.

The legislature will be handling the task of appropriating the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that total half a billion dollars.

Ivey released a statement along with the proclamation calling for a special session.

“While states like Alabama are making record economic comebacks, Congress and the Biden White House are wanting our country to spend more and more federal dollars, and now we are tasked with allocating the American Rescue Plan Act funds. I have made clear, that unlike Washington, D.C., Alabama will be wise with these one-time, federal dollars.

“I again urge the members of the Legislature to direct these funds to meet some of Alabama’s biggest challenges like statewide broadband connectivity, water and sewer infrastructure, as well as investing funds in our hospitals, nursing homes and other health care providers.

“We must be smart with these one-time, federal dollars by wisely investing – not just casually spending them. This is not free money,” she said.

The special session is scheduled to convene on Wednesday, Jan. 19 at 11:00 a.m.