Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, in her first State of the State address since scandal catapulted her into the governor's office, told legislators Tuesday that the state has turned the page after a cloud of controversy covered state government for much of the past two years. Amid a rosier budget projection, Ivey's speech focused on the state's economic recovery and laid out a legislative agenda that included pay raises for teachers and state employees, increased funding for state prisons to avert a federal takeover of the state system, and developing rural broadband.
Lawmakers began yesterday’s session hearing fiscal forecasts that were a mixture of good news for the year and cautionary warnings about the future. Finance Director Clinton Carter said the budgets have rebounded and surpassed pre-recession levels. But he said the state also faces some looming costs and should be cautious in spending.