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For Immediate Release: June 9, 2020

Scofield discusses legislative session with Albertville Rotary

Sen. Clay Scofield, R- Red Hill, was hosted by the Albertville Rotary Club on Tuesday via Zoom video conference where he gave an update on the recently adjourned 2020 legislative session, which was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We weren’t able to accomplish everything we wanted to accomplish, but we were able to pass both budgets,” Scofield said.

The Legislature budgeted $2.4 billion for the General Fund and allocated $7.2 billion to be used from the Education Trust Fund (ETF). He said Alabama had a lot to be “proud” of as it is in much better financial shape than other states, thanks in large part to the ETF, which is a rolling reserve fund where money can be set aside for times of deficit to balance the budget.

“Essentially, what that [fund] does it give us a reserve, so if we ever have a dip in the economy like we have now then that money that is in the reserve can be brought forward to level everything out,” Scofield said.

“As far as the budget went, we didn’t have to cut anything for education or the general fund side,” he continued. “As a matter of fact, we were able to increase funds in certain areas of education, and we were able to increase funding in certain areas … such as mental health and corrections.”

Scofield said he and his colleagues had been working hard to address the latter issues and was overall proud of the budgets passed this year. Still, he wished he had more time to address some things he felt were important.

“In my opinion, there were some important pieces of legislation left on the table that we just did not have time to address,” he said.

He specifically mentioned a bill that would have provided protections for businesses from “frivolous lawsuits” related to the novel coronavirus.

Scofield also talked about the Alabama Broadband Accessibility Act saying that the recent shutdowns due to COVID-19 highlighted how bad in need the state was for better and more widespread internet access.

“COVID-19 really brought that to the forefront of how lacking we are in certain areas… whether it be working from home or our students taking their lessons from home,” he said.

He also mentioned how important telemedicine has become in the last few months.

When asked by The Reporter about the recent protests occurring across the country and in Alabama, Scofield said he fully supported the right to protest but condemned rioting.

“What I do not support is rioting and acts of violence,” Scofield said. “That should not be tolerated in any American city.”

He said the violence has “added insult to injury” for many of the businesses who have had their storefronts broken in and their inventory looted after already being hit hard by the pandemic. While many people continue to struggle, Scofield said he believes the U.S. can overcome any challenge it faces.

“America’s still the greatest country on the face of the earth,” he said. “All these challenges we’re still going through, whether it be a pandemic or civil unrest, we still Saturday managed to send people into space, and that takes a special country to be able to do that.”

On Saturday, May 30, a pair of NASA astronauts blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in SpaceX’s first ever manned rocket launch destined for the International Space Station.

For More Information Contact: Marshall County Legislative Office, 256-582-0619

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