MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) – With 21 business days left on the Alabama Legislature’s 2022 calendar Alabama House Speaker Mac McCutcheon is presiding over his last regular session. McCutcheon, who represents the Monrovia area, has decided not to run for re-election.
Speaker McCutcheon sat down with News 19 to discuss the state’s budget, potential tax relief and he reflected a bit on his final regular session.
“It has hit me. Especially sitting in that chair in the chamber and watching members work. You know I’ve been to all of the member’s districts. I’ve spent time will all of the members, I know their families and to know this is my last session it’s a little bittersweet,” McCutcheon said.
But he’s keeping busy. The legislature is continuing to finalize its broadband spending plans, it approved $227 million for broadband expansion during the February special session.
“I think we saw the need during 2020, the beginning of the COVID pandemic and looking at our school systems, the connectivity. Looking at the medical issues dealing with rural health and the connectivity that’s important there,” McCutcheon explained. ” Looking at mental health and the connectivity with our school system to professionals that can help these students in school that have mental health issues. All of these things, we hope will be beneficial.”
McCutcheon said he expects there to be tax cuts tied to the stimulus money for federal child tax credits and tax relief on deferred compensation plans, such as retirement benefits.
“Tax relief for Alabama citizens, right now we’re looking at price tag somewhere between $120-$140 million of tax cuts. There’s more out there and members are bringing those pieces of legislation forward but we’ve got to make sure we can give some tax cuts. But we don’t want to give so many that when the economy does take a downturn, we’re still being responsible with our money,” he said.
He added the legislature will debate cutting the state’s grocery tax but said they still haven’t figured out how to replace the revenue generated by the four percent tax.
By law, the regular session has to be finished by Monday, April 25.