Alabama Governor Kay Ivey highlights ambitious agenda in state of the state address

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey released an agenda Tuesday night focused heavily on priorities she has promoted for months with new initiatives and proposals mixed in.

Ivey’s speech at the state Capitol sets the stage for the four-year term that started in January and the legislative session that began Tuesday. It was Ivey’s second state of the state address since becoming governor in April 2017.

As expected, the governor called for an increase in state fuel taxes to boost funding for roads and bridges, a proposal she and the leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature said would be the top priority this year.

After her speech, the governor called lawmakers into a special session on the gas tax that will begin on Wednesday. The regular session was suspended until March 19.

The House Democratic Caucus issued a statement setting some of its priorities, including expansion of Medicaid, consideration of a state lottery and legalizing medical marijuana.

Ivey opened her speech with a moment of silence to remember the 23 people who died in Sunday’s tornadoes in Lee County.

The governor, who visited Lee County on Monday, said the disaster marked a time to turn to God for comfort and to rely on the resilience of the state’s people to help the devastated communities recover.

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