MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama Governor Kay Ivey delivered her 2021 State of the State Address Tuesday evening, coinciding with the start of the state legislative session.
It was a vastly different State of the State Address due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Senate nor the House was present for the address, which Ivey delivered remotely.
She discussed the pandemic and the state’s ability to administer the vaccine to residents while praising State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris.
Dr. Harris has been a dedicated professional since day one and he and his team’s top priority has always been to do what is in the best interest of all the people of our state,” Gov. Ivey said.
The governor also commented on Monday’s signing of lease agreements for two new mega prisons in the state.
“Not only will these modern facilities improve prison conditions and safety for both Alabama’s correctional staff and inmates, they will also be designed to accommodate inmate rehabilitation,” the governor said.
Some of the bills the 2021 Legislature will focus on include potentially legalizing medical marijuana and requiring schools to sing the “Star-Spangled Banner” before all sporting events and at least once during the school day. More pre-filled bills can be found here.
Gov. Ivey did have a specific bill in mind that she’d like the Legislature to look at first.
“And instead of talking about raising taxes, one of the first bills I want the Legislature to pass is a measure that will ensure everyone who received CARES Act dollars will not pay one penny in state income taxes on that relief,” Ivey said.
A potential gambling bill was also proposed by Ivey. While she was not always for it, she says the people of Alabama should have “the final say.”
“Since 1999, over 180 gambling bills have been introduced in the Alabama Legislature. However, you’ve not had a chance to make your voice heard,” she said.
Ivey also proposed a 2% pay increase for Alabama teachers and state employees, saying the state’s education system was among the most challenged during the pandemic.
“We should express our thanks for these dedicated public servants,” Ivey said in the address.
CBS 42’s Andrea Lindenberg will have an exclusive interview with Gov. Ivey on the CBS 42 Morning News.
Gov. Ivey’s full address can be found below:
The 2021 State of the State Address can be viewed in the video player above.