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February 8, 2021 Group Watch: Gov Ivey’s “State of the State”

Last week, Governor Kay Ivey gave the annual “state of the state” address from the old House Chamber in the Alabama State Capitol to a virtual and television audience. Her remarks largely focused on helping the state recover from the coronavirus pandemic and on distribution of the vaccine, and she also shared her plan to build multiple prisons. The governor made education and getting students back to the classroom a priority. She is proposing a 2 percent pay raise for state employees and teachers, emphasizing that, “It is the right time to do the right thing.” She praised the legislature for its work to address broadband access and internet connectivity, noting that in the last week, her administration had partnered with C-Spire for its $500 million dollar investment in Alabama over the next three years. The investment will provide broadband to 100,000 homes and businesses in the state, and it is anticipated that this expansion will result in many of the state’s rural citizens and businesses gaining reliable access to broadband and internet services. Governor Ivey also addressed gambling, acknowledging that she has not been an out-front champion of the activity, but stressing that she believes the people of Alabama should have the final say. She said a thoughtful and deliberate debate on the matter in a transparent legislative process is in the best interest of the state.

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