Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey sworn in for first full term

Kay Ivey

Saying it is time to build the foundation of a better future, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey began her first full term as governor Monday with a call for more investment in state infrastructure.

Posted: Jan 14, 2019 9:58 AM
Updated: Jan 14, 2019 2:18 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Saying it is time to build the foundation of a better future, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey began her first full term as governor Monday with a call for more investment in state infrastructure.

Ivey in her inaugural address did not offer specifics of the gas tax proposal expected to come before lawmakers this spring, but the governor said Alabama must improve infrastructure to move the state forward.

"If we want to compete in a 21st century global economy, we must improve our infrastructure by investing more in our roads, our bridges and our ports," Ivey, a Republican, said in her inaugural address on the steps of the Alabama Capitol.

Ivey had been lieutenant governor but automatically became governor 21 months ago when then-Gov. Robert Bentley suddenly resigned in the midst of an impeachment investigation partly centered on his relationship with an aide. She won a term in her own right after defeating the Democratic nominee, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, in the November election.

"Today, I stand before you filled with optimism and eager with anticipation of what's yet to come," Ivey said.

"More good paying jobs. Better education for our children. Roads that are the envy of the nation. ...Today, all Alabamians - regardless of party affiliation - have the chance to stand together, united, to help build a brighter future and guarantee that our best days are still in front of us."

Ivey, 74, is the state's second female governor and the first Republican woman elected to the position. The governor said she grew up in rural Alabama at a time when little girls didn't dream of being governor one day.

Ivey left an empty chair on the inauguration platform to honor the state's first female governor, Gov. Lurleen Wallace, whom Ivey called one of her childhood heroes.

In her 2018 campaign, Ivey largely focused on her brief record as governor and emphasized the state's recovering economy and her work to restore trust to state government. She told voters she had "steadied the ship of state."

She began her second term with references to coming initiatives, including some that bring political waters that could be difficult to navigate.

Ivey called for more investment in state infrastructure. Ivey has been in discussions with legislative leaders about a possible gas tax increase, but did not disclose any specific proposal in her inaugural address.

The state has not seen an increase in the statewide gasoline tax since 1992. An attempt to raise the state gas tax failed two years ago in the Alabama Legislature.

Ivey also said she would be announcing a prison initiative in the coming days, including "replacing costly, at-risk prison facilities."

The Alabama prison system has come under criticism for crowding, understaffing, and violence. The state also faces a federal court order to improve care for mentally ill inmates.

"The poor conditions of our prisons create a risk to public safety and are placing a heavy burden on taxpayers," Ivey said.

Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who grew up in Wilcox County with Ivey, attended the inauguration. Ivey joked that if you are from Wilcox County, you'll never know where you will end up.

Four former Alabama governors attended the inauguration, including Bentley, former Gov. Don Siegelman, former Gov. Bob Riley, and former Gov. Jim Folsom, Jr.

Ivey's first swearing in ceremony was a hastily done affair in the Alabama Capitol after Bentley gave Ivey a few hours of notice that he was resigning. Her second swearing in ceremony had the full pomp of inauguration day. Red and white banners hung from the columns of the Alabama Capitol to form the image of the state flag. A parade in downtown Montgomery followed the ceremony.

Standing on Montgomery's Dexter Avenue, not far from the Montgomery church King once pastored, Ivey said: "We are reminded of two different chapters in Alabama history: a time when the Civil War raged and 90 years later when the Civil Rights movement was inspired."

"It is important for all of us to acknowledge our past," Ivey said. "After all, it was at a pulpit just down the street that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so powerfully taught us how to confront struggles with honesty, courage, and love."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 513622

Reported Deaths: 10264
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34892556
DeSoto33234432
Hinds32638641
Jackson24854389
Rankin22507403
Lee16337242
Madison14922283
Jones14113247
Forrest13766259
Lauderdale12270324
Lowndes11305193
Lamar10659140
Pearl River9719244
Lafayette8846143
Hancock7836132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7210138
Monroe7010179
Pontotoc6990109
Warren6863178
Panola6759134
Neshoba6730210
Marshall6678141
Bolivar6445151
Union638297
Pike5928156
Alcorn5879107
Lincoln5530136
George510180
Prentiss503884
Tippah491482
Itawamba4844107
Scott477899
Adams4768125
Tate4756116
Leflore4729144
Copiah456495
Yazoo456491
Simpson4546117
Wayne443072
Covington433695
Sunflower4299106
Marion4277112
Coahoma4237109
Leake413990
Newton395781
Tishomingo383593
Grenada3777109
Stone365866
Jasper340666
Attala338290
Winston317892
Chickasaw315467
Clay312278
Clarke301195
Calhoun285049
Holmes271889
Smith269052
Yalobusha243947
Tallahatchie231553
Greene224749
Walthall221666
Lawrence218740
Perry213456
Amite209857
Webster205348
Noxubee188742
Montgomery181657
Carroll174541
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152939
Kemper145041
Choctaw136727
Claiborne134338
Humphreys131239
Franklin125529
Quitman107628
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96934
Sharkey65221
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 845284

Reported Deaths: 16116
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161552006
Mobile742111380
Madison53307732
Shelby38338368
Baldwin38085589
Tuscaloosa36022641
Montgomery34492781
Lee25562263
Calhoun22586518
Morgan22459406
Etowah20018517
Marshall18782316
Houston17731425
St. Clair16884358
Limestone16148218
Cullman16054303
Elmore15904294
Lauderdale14989306
Talladega14196299
DeKalb12972269
Walker12030380
Blount10717192
Autauga10517157
Jackson10162194
Coffee9417192
Colbert9342208
Dale9020191
Tallapoosa7256201
Russell708165
Chilton7018170
Escambia6957143
Covington6933195
Franklin6342108
Chambers5784142
Marion5406130
Dallas5285209
Pike5119109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4780110
Geneva4642136
Bibb434094
Barbour369580
Butler3435100
Marengo342493
Monroe337266
Randolph334867
Pickens333188
Fayette330385
Henry320666
Hale318389
Cherokee317863
Crenshaw260477
Washington257052
Cleburne254460
Lamar251453
Clay250869
Macon244864
Conecuh192862
Coosa185047
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152645
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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