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Gov. Ivey discusses prisons, COVID-19 at Montgomery Kiwanis club meeting

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 12:24 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2021 at 6:20 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Gov. Kay Ivey spoke to the Montgomery Kiwanis Club Tuesday where she outlined some of the state’s pressing issues and solutions. She spoke on a range of topics from the state’s ongoing prison crisis, to redistricting, and of course the pandemic.

The governor began by saying unemployment levels are close to what they were pre-pandemic.

“Just last week I announced that the unemployment had dropped again,” Ivey said. “It’s now to a 3.1%, and y’all that’s pretty amazing thinking that pre-pandemic the lowest we’ve ever been was 2.6%.”

As the state continues to deal with high COVID-19 case numbers, Ivey says she encourages vaccines but is against President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate. She says he went back on what he had said previously, which was that he wasn’t going to enforce a mandate.

“There is no doubt that the outrageous overreach mandate will be challenged in the courts,” the governor said. “We may even enter Biden’s own words as evidence.”

And with the special session less than a week away, Ivey said after decades of neglect, building new prisons and rebuilding the prison system will take time.

“You can’t do anything to improve the lifestyle and the teaching and the training and the drug therapy and the health care unless you got a good facility to do it, and good correction staff working it to get that done,” Ivey said.

The governor doesn’t expect all prison reform issues to be handled during the special session. She said some issues could be saved until the regular session that starts in January.

The date has not been set for the redistricting special session, though the governor said lawmakers are preparing diligently.

“Because of our combined efforts, the redistricting process will be far less contentious, and I don’t see any unwelcome surprised on the horizon,” Ivey said.

She finished by saying from hurricanes to the pandemic Alabama is growing back stronger than it’s ever been.

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