Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey used her first State of the State address Tuesday to tout her successes since replacing Gov. Robert Bentley when he was forced out of office nine months ago.
Ivey said Alabama’s unemployment rate has decreased every month since she has been in office and more economic development is on the way.
“Since I became governor, over $3.5 billion in new direct investments have been committed to the state,” Ivey said. “These investments will bring more than 8,000 new jobs.”
The governor announced that a new firearms company is coming to Troy and bringing 300 new jobs. She did not mention that Alabama has been selected as the site for a new Toyota/Mazda plant, projected to bring an investment of more than $1.6 billion dollars, despite multiple media reports noting the development.
State Sen. Bill Holtzclaw tweeted about the deal Tuesday afternoon.
Well, looks like the cat is out of the bag on this one! Game Changer for our area with a HUGE announcement = 4,000 Jobs! Toyota-Mazda plant coming to Limestone County Alabama! https://t.co/pro4fscRfP
— Bill Holtzclaw (@billholtzclaw) January 9, 2018
Ivey announced plans to give all state employees, including teachers, pay raises. She also wants to hire more prison guards and state troopers, increase spending on education and start a school in Huntsville specializing in cyber technology and engineering. “This school will prepare some of the state’s highest achieving students to enter the growing field of cyber technology and engineering just as Huntsville has always been on the leading edge of the rocket and aerospace industries,” she said. The school would be similar to the School of Fine Arts in Birmingham and the School of Math and Science in Mobile.
She proposed the largest expansion of Alabama’s state-funded, high-quality First Class Pre-K program through an increase of $23 million. Her budget would fully fund K-12 education and boosts higher education spending by $50 million.
Ivey said she plans to introduce legislation that would give preference to veteran-owned businesses that bid on state contracts.
Ivey said when she took office in 2017, there was a dark cloud over the state, but now, she said, people are restoring their faith in government and its leaders.
“We have successfully steadied the ship of state,” Ivey said. “I declare that the state of this state is strong and that it’s future is as bright as the sun over the Gulf.”