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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.

Confirmed Cases: 28770

Reported Deaths: 1092
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds224739
DeSoto144216
Madison124234
Jones109149
Neshoba97070
Lauderdale89479
Rankin86012
Forrest82942
Harrison79410
Scott75715
Copiah58016
Leake56519
Jackson55716
Holmes53641
Wayne52212
Lee51816
Oktibbeha51625
Washington5129
Yazoo4786
Leflore47449
Warren46317
Lowndes45912
Lincoln43734
Lamar4317
Grenada3965
Pike39312
Monroe37529
Lafayette3684
Attala35523
Newton3329
Sunflower3216
Covington3175
Bolivar29813
Panola2956
Adams28018
Simpson2713
Chickasaw26418
Tate2648
Marion26311
Pontotoc2616
Jasper2516
Noxubee2478
Pearl River24532
Clay24410
Winston2446
Claiborne23910
Marshall2123
Smith21111
Clarke20424
Coahoma1906
Union1819
Walthall1794
Kemper17614
Yalobusha1667
Lawrence1621
Carroll16111
Humphreys1309
Itawamba1308
Tippah12711
Webster12610
Calhoun1244
Montgomery1242
Hancock12313
Tallahatchie1153
Jefferson Davis1074
Prentiss1003
Greene968
Jefferson963
Wilkinson929
Tunica903
Amite842
George753
Tishomingo731
Choctaw724
Quitman690
Perry634
Alcorn601
Stone541
Franklin392
Benton270
Sharkey270
Issaquena81
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 39604

Reported Deaths: 961
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson4532143
Montgomery3875102
Mobile3797134
Tuscaloosa210739
Marshall162210
Lee124537
Shelby110923
Madison11047
Morgan10203
Walker87123
Franklin86314
Dallas8419
Elmore83614
Baldwin7359
Etowah64413
DeKalb6415
Butler60727
Chambers60027
Tallapoosa57269
Autauga55312
Unassigned50724
Russell5030
Lowndes45820
Lauderdale4576
Houston4464
Limestone4290
Cullman4114
Pike4075
Colbert3775
Bullock3649
Coffee3592
Barbour3331
Covington3327
St. Clair3192
Marengo29911
Hale29621
Escambia2936
Wilcox2848
Talladega2827
Calhoun2805
Sumter27912
Clarke2686
Dale2620
Jackson2522
Winston2373
Blount2181
Pickens2176
Chilton2152
Marion20613
Monroe2052
Choctaw19212
Randolph1889
Conecuh1866
Greene1788
Macon1778
Bibb1761
Perry1541
Henry1303
Crenshaw1243
Washington1027
Lawrence1000
Cherokee797
Lamar711
Geneva700
Fayette671
Clay612
Coosa571
Cleburne301
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