Nine months after abruptly landing in the state's top office, Gov. Kay Ivey tonight delivered an upbeat message with a State of the State address that she hopes will not be her last.
Ivey became Alabama's 54th governor in April, when Robert Bentley resigned amid allegations that he abused his power to cover up evidence of an alleged extramarital affair with an advisor. Ivey was in her second term as lieutenant governor at the time.
"A lot has happened since then," Ivey said. "We have lifted the dark cloud, wounds have started healing, and the people's faith in a government 'for and by the people' is being restored," Ivey said during a 40-minute speech at the State Capitol.
For the first few months as governor, Ivey had said her goal was to "steady the ship of state" in the wake of the year-long Bentley scandal and others.
The governor spent the first part of tonight's speech reflecting on how she believes that has been achieved.
"Over the past nine months, together, we have proven Alabamians seek progress, not stagnation," Ivey said.
Ivey spoke to an audience that included lawmakers and other state officials on the first day of the legislative session.