MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey gave her 2020 State of the State address Tuesday evening as state lawmakers returned to Montgomery for the start of the 2020 legislative session.
The agenda included mental health, education, and prison reform, among other issues. State Capitol Reporter Reshad Hudson and CBS 42 Reporter Malique Rankin were at the state house for complete coverage of the legislative session and Governor Kay Ivey’s address.
Gov. Ivey started her 2020 State of the State address discussing Alabama’s poor prison conditions. While Gov. Ivey did not explain she’d like to see improvements made, lawmakers said they will undoubtedly be a priority in this legislative session.
“Obviously Alabama is under some federal court orders to modify our penal system,” Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed said. “I think the process that the Governor and her staff have gone through to try and vet the different options that are available to the state is something that we’ve been waiting to hear from her in regard to the legislative action that would be required.”
Gov. Ivey also outlined Alabama’s national education ranking, one of the lowest in the country. She recommended lawmakers pass laws to increase funding to education by $1 billion and increase teacher pay by 3%.
“I applaud the Governor on that. I was hoping it could be a 5,6,7 percent raise,” Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton said. “I wish our retirees could get a COLA, however, I understand the budgeting process.”
Gov. Ivey also touched on her thoughts of a potential lottery coming to the state. She announced a plan to create a group to conduct research on the money that could be brought in if a lottery was established.
Lawmakers and Gov. Ivey say they will not spend the next few weeks campaigning for the 2020 Census, stressing the impact it has for the state.
GALLERY: The sights from Montgomery for the beginning of the State Legislature and ahead of the State of the State address:
- Dunkin releases coffee-flavored jelly beans
- Central AL Forecast: Cool Nights, Pleasant Afternoons
- Ohio college student ‘donating organs’ after alleged hazing incident, fraternity suspended
- Report: Popular flea & tick collar tied to 1,700 pet deaths, EPA received more than 75,000 complaints
- No. 8 Alabama recovers from slow start to beat Georgia 89-79