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This week Gov. Kay Ivey will give the state of the state address as Alabama legislators kick off the upcoming 2023 regular session. So as Ivey begins her final term in office, she is already starting to set out her priorities for the next four years.
Usually, a governor will provide a positive spin on their administration and their accomplishments. Most importantly a governor will set out their legislative want list for what they desire to see addressed by Alabama state representatives and senators.
Ivey will also task lawmakers in passing certain bills this spring that will hopefully strengthen the Alabama Criminal Justice System and improve academic achievement in state public schools.
The governor has made it clear that one of her main goals in her last term in office is to dramatically increase math and reading performance for Alabama students. Ivey wants to see scholastic improvement to increase Alabama’s national education rankings.
The governor’s budget is expected to announce a record amount of monies to be appropriated for public education for the next fiscal year. Ivey’s requests to lawmakers will include proposals on how to spend the $2 billion surplus in the education budget, $1 billion for federal COVID-19 monies and $200 million extra funds in the general budget. However, it will take more than money to achieve these proposed reforms.
In the meantime, the governor has been using the power of the pen to issue executive orders.
She started by releasing three orders that address efficiency, accountability and transparency within state government.
She then signed four more executive orders regarding education reform, including studying how to solve the drastic decline of teachers in our school systems. Finally, she entered an executive order regarding promoting religious liberty for the state.
Gov. Ivey is off to a busy start. We will watch to see what she will ask of lawmakers this week as they return to Montgomery and get back to work.
Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives and can be found on Twitter at @Paul_DeMarco.