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: 268672

Reported Deaths: 5917
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17928195
Hinds17030337
Harrison14510212
Rankin11315223
Jackson11054193
Lee9109147
Madison8663171
Jones6853120
Forrest6260125
Lauderdale6161196
Lowndes5582123
Lafayette5269101
Lamar508765
Washington4965125
Bolivar4164110
Oktibbeha411585
Panola389881
Pontotoc380460
Monroe3727111
Warren3716103
Marshall360172
Union360165
Pearl River3527106
Neshoba3516158
Leflore3132110
Lincoln308389
Hancock300963
Sunflower294277
Tate281862
Alcorn274055
Pike272984
Itawamba271263
Scott264055
Yazoo258456
Prentiss255454
Coahoma252455
Copiah251549
Tippah251551
Simpson244872
Leake238967
Marion228274
Covington224873
Grenada224673
Wayne216336
Adams216271
Winston208271
George206440
Newton201447
Attala197465
Tishomingo196361
Chickasaw190245
Jasper183138
Holmes172568
Clay168637
Tallahatchie158035
Stone153625
Clarke148762
Calhoun142022
Smith131926
Yalobusha124935
Walthall115438
Greene114929
Noxubee114526
Montgomery112936
Lawrence107917
Carroll106922
Perry105931
Amite102727
Webster98024
Claiborne90125
Tunica89621
Jefferson Davis89330
Benton86923
Humphreys85625
Kemper81220
Quitman7169
Franklin71017
Choctaw64013
Wilkinson60125
Jefferson57321
Sharkey45717
Issaquena1616
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 445909

Reported Deaths: 6896
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson651891049
Mobile32138590
Madison28596223
Tuscaloosa21703276
Montgomery20220336
Shelby19584138
Baldwin17496216
Lee13378109
Morgan12741145
Etowah12196189
Calhoun11626228
Marshall10513126
Houston9097168
Limestone842481
Cullman8363125
Elmore8283112
Lauderdale7986112
DeKalb7935112
St. Clair7915139
Talladega6552112
Walker6068184
Jackson605649
Colbert560194
Blount551794
Autauga544065
Coffee470569
Dale415186
Franklin378150
Russell362816
Chilton348079
Covington344681
Escambia342244
Tallapoosa3184109
Dallas314197
Chambers308575
Clarke307339
Pike267735
Lawrence256958
Marion255763
Winston235243
Bibb224751
Geneva214747
Marengo212031
Pickens201831
Barbour188240
Hale187444
Fayette181230
Butler175960
Cherokee167433
Henry161325
Monroe153521
Randolph148236
Washington144027
Clay131050
Crenshaw126245
Macon124337
Cleburne123627
Lamar121324
Lowndes117636
Wilcox109422
Bullock105829
Perry100518
Conecuh98222
Sumter90828
Greene78323
Coosa64619
Choctaw52224
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