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Ivey promotes bipartisanship in speech to new lawmakers

Ivey highlighted “failing schools,” broadband access and prisons as major issues the new class of legislators will have to address.

Governor Kay Ivey gave remarks to the Legislative Orientation Luncheon at the Alabama State House Wednesday December 14, 2022 in Montgomery, Ala.(Governor’s Office/Hal Yeager)

“Be on time, show up, and be informed,” Gov. Kay Ivey told new lawmakers at their orientation at the Statehouse Wednesday. “You were elected by the people of Alabama to serve the people, not yourself.”

Nearly 100 lawmakers were in attendance for the orientation Wednesday, including returning lawmakers who Ivey told newcomers would help shred them through the Legislature.

“All you have to do is ask,” Ivey said. 

Ivey also emphasized working together across the aisle, touting Alabama as a state where Republicans and Democrats can work together, using the Rebuild Alabama Act increasing the gas tax as a key example.

“As most of you can imagine, telling folks you’re going to increase taxes even when it’s absolutely necessary is never a popular vote,” Ivey said. “You had to block out a lot of noise. And after all, it’s easy to criticize meaningful change before its impact is made apparent. But staying the course, working as a team, informing our constituents, and executing a well thought-out plan, we were able to deliver an Alabama solution to an Alabama problem.”

Ivey pointed to broadband expansion and prison reform as the two major issues facing this year’s class of legislators, which includes 31 new representatives and 6 new senators.

“We still have far too many failing and underperforming elementary schools, a lot of our state still lacks broadband connectivity, and despite recent progress, our work with Alabama’s prisons system is far from complete,” Ivey said.

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The new legislators will participate in their first session in March 2023.

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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