MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Kay Ellen Ivey is sworn in to her first full term as the second female Governor of Alabama. Ivey takes offices rated as the third most popular Governor in America.
"Having learned from the past let us now turn our attention to the future,” Ivey said early in her twenty minute inauguration speech. Recognizing changing needs with changing times. “The Alabama we love today has changed with the times.”
Her re-election coming at a critical time for the state, with many chronic issues having to be addressed. There will be a lot on the plate for Ivey and the legislature. Among them the decades old need to update the state outdated and sometimes crumbling infrastructure.
“Now is the time to increase our investment in infrastructure,” she told the gathered crowd at the steps of the state capital.
Ivey has already urged lawmakers to make a reasonable increase in the gas tax for the first time in more than a quarter century.
Another glaring problem for the state: “The status of our correction system is an Alabama problem that must have an Alabama solution and I plan to do so!” Once again Ivey and state lawmakers have the challenge of finding the money to overhaul a prison system that could still face legal action from the Dept. of Justice.
As a former teacher, education remains a core issue for Ivey. Particularly children’s literacy and the K-3 initiative. Alabama must also address a workforce shortage and job preparedness for the burgeoning automotive and aerospace industries in the state.
Ivey wants job creation to be a hallmark of her administration. Access to healthcare and broadband in rural areas are also areas Ivey intends to promote and urge lawmakers to concentrate on.
Ivey has also tempered her stand on a state lottery. Saying she would support Alabamians voting on a referendum amending the constitution to allow a lottery. Alabama is the sole southern state without one.
But in making history, Ivey feels she is ready for the challenges and opportunities afforded her as the 54th Governor of Alabama.
In closing she said, “so today, I stand before you filled with optimism and eager with anticipation of what’s yet to come."