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: 312608

Reported Deaths: 7221
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21429257
Hinds20256414
Harrison17776308
Rankin13539278
Jackson13395246
Madison10051217
Lee9956173
Jones8364163
Forrest7633152
Lauderdale7215240
Lowndes6359144
Lamar620286
Lafayette6162118
Washington5320133
Bolivar4796132
Oktibbeha460398
Panola4545104
Pearl River4495145
Marshall4387103
Warren4368120
Pontotoc419372
Monroe4089133
Union408776
Neshoba4028176
Lincoln3939110
Hancock376686
Leflore3484125
Sunflower335290
Tate331684
Pike3290105
Scott314873
Alcorn310768
Yazoo310269
Itawamba299377
Copiah295865
Coahoma293979
Simpson293788
Tippah287268
Prentiss278560
Marion268680
Leake264973
Wayne262241
Grenada259985
Adams259882
Covington256281
Newton246961
George246748
Winston226981
Tishomingo225067
Jasper220748
Attala214273
Chickasaw207057
Holmes188672
Clay184654
Stone181433
Clarke178179
Tallahatchie177840
Calhoun169532
Yalobusha162936
Smith162034
Walthall133745
Greene130233
Lawrence128223
Noxubee126834
Montgomery126742
Perry126038
Amite123442
Carroll121628
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis106932
Tunica104626
Claiborne102130
Benton99025
Humphreys96133
Kemper95628
Franklin83323
Quitman79616
Choctaw75818
Wilkinson66830
Jefferson65428
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 528784

Reported Deaths: 10913
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson762251516
Mobile40864804
Madison34569501
Tuscaloosa25646451
Montgomery24264585
Shelby23355246
Baldwin20993306
Lee15800168
Calhoun14457312
Morgan14250279
Etowah13796352
Marshall12166222
Houston10506280
Elmore10017205
Limestone9935150
Cullman9617193
St. Clair9584237
Lauderdale9397238
DeKalb8813185
Talladega8183175
Walker7205279
Autauga6910107
Jackson6793110
Blount6621135
Colbert6282134
Coffee5491115
Dale4810111
Russell437938
Chilton4244111
Franklin423882
Covington4105117
Tallapoosa4004150
Escambia392675
Chambers3545123
Dallas3536150
Clarke350360
Marion3092100
Pike309177
Lawrence299698
Winston273572
Bibb259763
Marengo248564
Geneva247075
Pickens233559
Barbour230256
Hale221776
Butler215469
Fayette211962
Henry188544
Cherokee183845
Randolph179241
Monroe176240
Washington166839
Macon158649
Clay153356
Crenshaw151657
Cleburne148341
Lamar141234
Lowndes138453
Wilcox126528
Bullock122941
Conecuh110028
Perry107526
Coosa106828
Sumter104132
Greene92234
Choctaw60324
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