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Legislature extends break

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Legislature will not resume the legislative session until early May because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Legislative leaders announced Thursday that they will push back the date for restarting legislative business from April 28 to May 4. Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said lawmakers will prioritize passage of the two state budgets, as well as local bills, when they return.
The session by law must end on May 18, giving a limited time window for legislation.
Marsh and House Speaker Mac McCutcheon will meet briefly April 28 to in order to approve the delay, Marsh’s office said. No other legislation action is planned on April 28.
“It is imperative that we continue to meet and finish out the session as we move to reopen Alabama,” Marsh said in a statement.
Alabama is under a stay-home order through April 30. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is expected to announce next week whether the state will extend the closure orders or lift some of the restrictions. Ivey has said the decision will be driven by data.
Alabama on Thursday had more than 5,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and was approaching nearly 200 deaths from the virus, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.