BY TODD STACY, ALABAMA DAILY NEWS
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Tuesday night, Gov. Kay Ivey will deliver her first State of the State address as Alabama’s chief executive.
Members of the Alabama Legislature will gather in the historic Old House Chamber of the State Capitol and citizens will watch live on network television to hear the governor lay out her agenda for the 2018 Regular Session.
Governor Kay Ivey: I want Alabama to know that we are not the state of the past. The dark cloud is gone and our state is moving forward. Our people are finding jobs and companies are investing in our state; our economy is booming. We are educating our students and ensuring they are ready for the workforce. Now is a great time for our state and things look even better for the future.
TS: Since taking office in a way few could have ever imagined, you’ve had the task of steadying the “ship of state.” Do you believe we have turned the page and started a new chapter in this state? And will your speech reflect that?
GKI: We have absolutely steadied the ship of state. The issues that brought state government to a near halt are behind us. The executive branch and the legislative branches are once again working together to resolve issues that face us. Our state’s image is also on the mend, you can see that by the more than $3.5 billion companies have invested in our state since April 2017. I will most certainly be touting our victories and accomplishments in the State of the State address. I am proud of how far our state has come in the past nine months.
TS: As much as Tuesday night will be a speech to the people of the state, it is also an address to the Alabama Legislature. What themes do you want to get across to lawmakers? In what direction do you want to lead them?
GKI: As I speak to legislators I will remind them of why we became public servants. I plan to let them know that the relationship between the branches of government has been restored and that I am here to work with them to help the people of Alabama succeed. So far we are doing just that. We are looking toward the future and investing in our people so Alabama will be successful for years to come.
TS:Many are saying this will be a short legislative session because lawmakers want to get home as soon as possible to run for reelection. That means some of big ticket items (prison funding, roads and bridges, etc) might not get attention for another year. Will you call on the the Legislature to tackle these items now and not put them off until 2019?
GKI: I have confidence that the Legislature will get accomplished the things that need to be resolved this year. I have worked closely with leadership ahead of the session and though it may be a quicker than normal session, I fully believe it will be a successful one.
TS:Having been a speechwriter myself, I’m always fascinated by the cutting room floor. The speech can only go so long, so can you tell me one or two things that may have gotten cut for time?
GKI: Well, I surely could have used an extra 30 minutes to fit in all I wanted to say, but people don’t want to sit for that long of a speech. The accomplishments of the past nine months have been such a team effort and I would like to recognize all of the people who have played a tremendous part in our success. I have a great team and a great Cabinet that all work well together to make this state a better place to live. And you know I’m a former educator, I could talk for an hour just about my education initiative Strong Start, Strong finish. But we have kept the speech to as close to 30 minutes as possible and I promise it won’t be boring.
The State of the State is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Central Time.