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Gov. Kay Ivey calls special session on gas tax

Kay Ivey | Photo: MGN Online

The following article was authored by The Associated Press.

Posted: Mar 6, 2019 3:19 PM

MONGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Tuesday called state lawmakers into an immediate special session focused on her proposed gasoline tax increase to fund road and bridge construction.

Ivey announced the special session, which had been anticipated by lawmakers, following her annual State of the State address Tuesday night. The special session will begin Wednesday morning.

"As we enter this special session, we must shift our focus and tackle this issue together. It's time to make our crumbling infrastructure system a problem of the past," Ivey said in a statement.

Ivey is proposing a 10-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax increase to be phased in over three years. The tax would then be indexed to construction costs. The state's gasoline tax was last increased in 1992.

"While our neighboring states are increasing their revenue for their transportation budgets, Alabama has not," Ivey said in her State of the State address.

Ivey pitched the issue as a necessity for both public safety and economic development. She said half of the state's 16,000 bridges are older than their 50-year life span, and congested traffic arteries are a hindrance to both commuters and commerce.

The Republican governor has the support of leadership in the GOP-dominated Alabama Legislature, but has faced opposition to the gas tax increase from some in her own party.

The executive committee of the Alabama Republican Party approved a resolution opposing the increase and some GOP lawmakers have said they are opposed.

Calling a special session eliminates a tough procedural vote hurdle that exists in a regular session which requires three-fifths approval to bring bills up for debate before state budgets are approved.

The governor began her annual address with a moment of silence for the 23 killed by a tornado in Lee County.

She said the state will rally together to help the county recover from the storm's devastation.

"While there is always uncertainty in what tomorrow may bring, there is absolute certainty in the resiliency of the people of Alabama," Ivey said.

Ivey's annual State of the State speech is given on the opening day of the regular legislative session, and Ivey outlined other legislative priorities.

The governor said she is proposing a four percent raise for teachers and a two percent raise for state employees, an additional $25 million to expand state's pre-kindergarten program and an additional $31 million in the state general fund budget for the state prison system. Alabama Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn has said the department is seeking to hire an additional 500 officers to begin complying with a federal judge's directive to improve prison staffing levels.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 473413

Reported Deaths: 9214
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32339474
Hinds30703575
DeSoto29814346
Jackson23263336
Rankin21111358
Lee14600217
Madison14043265
Jones13165218
Forrest12953233
Lauderdale11418297
Lowndes10249175
Lamar10048128
Pearl River8737209
Lafayette8078136
Hancock7324111
Washington6837147
Oktibbeha6820118
Neshoba6404201
Monroe6372158
Warren6326161
Pontotoc610393
Panola6071124
Bolivar6016143
Marshall5972118
Union564086
Pike5491133
Lincoln5232130
Alcorn520888
George457868
Scott451993
Leflore4401140
Prentiss437276
Itawamba436198
Tippah436180
Simpson4268111
Copiah425586
Wayne424863
Tate4234100
Adams4219114
Yazoo415886
Sunflower4088104
Covington407391
Marion4032100
Leake393185
Coahoma388198
Newton364474
Grenada3517101
Stone345657
Tishomingo324888
Attala321185
Jasper310262
Winston300391
Clay288273
Chickasaw282164
Clarke277487
Calhoun259739
Holmes259485
Smith243947
Yalobusha216747
Tallahatchie215649
Walthall205557
Greene204045
Lawrence203831
Perry196453
Amite193751
Webster191941
Noxubee174538
Montgomery169853
Jefferson Davis165541
Carroll159937
Tunica148434
Benton139433
Kemper137439
Claiborne125634
Choctaw124925
Humphreys123337
Franklin115227
Quitman101825
Wilkinson99835
Jefferson86632
Sharkey62120
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 768301

Reported Deaths: 13209
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1093481727
Mobile699891179
Madison48418589
Baldwin35707452
Shelby35193291
Tuscaloosa33029512
Montgomery32582664
Lee21908204
Calhoun20140377
Morgan19351318
Etowah18583433
Marshall17272259
Houston16139353
St. Clair14956276
Limestone14129180
Cullman14069235
Elmore14010245
Lauderdale13128272
Talladega12399215
DeKalb11890229
Walker10231312
Autauga9493127
Blount9418149
Jackson9115136
Coffee8646161
Colbert8324169
Dale8284159
Escambia6456106
Tallapoosa6394168
Covington6313157
Chilton6243133
Russell591654
Franklin563597
Chambers5240132
Marion4628115
Dallas4626178
Clarke451471
Pike450091
Geneva4252106
Winston407987
Lawrence4046102
Bibb396177
Barbour338968
Marengo320981
Monroe311547
Butler309783
Pickens298769
Randolph294055
Henry293856
Hale286081
Cherokee279850
Fayette272271
Washington243545
Crenshaw232265
Clay221561
Macon214454
Cleburne209748
Lamar187839
Conecuh177139
Lowndes169056
Coosa163631
Wilcox154335
Bullock147142
Perry134235
Sumter123335
Greene119241
Choctaw72325
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Occasional areas of rain and some scattered thunderstorms will be in store for most of the weekend. However, good news by later sections of next week, as cooler and drier air will work its way into our weather forecast.
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