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: 320174

Reported Deaths: 7390
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22294271
Hinds20755424
Harrison18450317
Rankin13923282
Jackson13733249
Madison10273225
Lee10063176
Jones8473167
Forrest7837153
Lauderdale7263242
Lowndes6523150
Lamar636288
Lafayette6314121
Washington5427138
Bolivar4841133
Panola4671110
Oktibbeha466398
Pearl River4606148
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425973
Monroe4162136
Union415877
Neshoba4065180
Lincoln4009113
Hancock387687
Leflore3516125
Tate342586
Sunflower339491
Pike3373111
Alcorn327474
Scott320374
Yazoo314571
Adams308486
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma299084
Simpson298689
Tippah292268
Prentiss284261
Leake272374
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264842
Grenada264087
George252451
Newton249064
Tishomingo232369
Winston230282
Jasper222148
Attala215173
Chickasaw210659
Holmes190574
Stone188733
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174232
Yalobusha167940
Smith164134
Walthall135447
Greene131834
Lawrence131224
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127538
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108334
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96729
Franklin85023
Quitman82316
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66328
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 549013

Reported Deaths: 11311
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810461571
Mobile42145831
Madison35718525
Tuscaloosa26179458
Shelby25626254
Montgomery25089614
Baldwin21901314
Lee16287176
Calhoun14724327
Morgan14639285
Etowah14183364
Marshall12454230
Houston10791287
Elmore10301214
Limestone10188157
St. Clair10161251
Cullman9958201
Lauderdale9612250
DeKalb8977190
Talladega8462184
Walker7341280
Autauga7242113
Jackson6953113
Blount6950139
Colbert6415140
Coffee5638127
Dale4930116
Russell454941
Chilton4478116
Franklin431782
Covington4279122
Tallapoosa4144155
Escambia401880
Chambers3728124
Dallas3610158
Clarke353161
Marion3245107
Pike314578
Lawrence3134100
Winston283572
Bibb268564
Geneva258481
Marengo250665
Pickens237062
Barbour234559
Hale227178
Butler224671
Fayette218962
Henry194443
Randolph187644
Cherokee187345
Monroe180641
Washington170739
Macon163051
Clay160159
Crenshaw156357
Cleburne153644
Lamar146937
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124542
Conecuh113630
Coosa111629
Perry108626
Sumter105832
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
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