Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to announce education initiative


Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, who has not said whether she will run for a full term, will announce an education initiative on Wednesday, Press Secretary Daniel Sparkman said.

Ivey will announce the “Strong Start, Strong Finish” initiative at the Innovation Depot in Birmingham at 2 p.m.

Sparkman did not provide any details about the initiative. During a speech last week marking her first 100 days in office, Ivey said she would be announcing policy initiatives, including those aimed at trying to improve education, train people for good jobs and improve roads and highways.

Ivey became governor on April 10 when Gov. Robert Bentley resigned under a plea deal and while the Legislature considered impeachment. Ivey was in her second term as lieutenant governor at the time. Her term as governor will end in January 2019. Next year’s primaries are June 5.

Ivey had said her first priority as governor was “steadying the ship of state” after the Bentley scandal. During last week’s speech, Ivey said she believed that was accomplished and was ready to move on to introducing an agenda.

Ivey has previously said she might not announce her election plans until the fall. This morning, Sparkman said the governor would be visiting eight cities over the next eight weeks, a plan she is calling the “Listen, Learn, Help and Lead” tour.

The governor started with visits to Jasper and Dothan last week and will be in Auburn on Tuesday.

Sparkman was asked this morning whether the governor is likely to call a special session on state prisons.

“Nothing is off the table but a special session is not likely at this point,” Sparkman said.

In June, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled that Alabama prisons fail to provide care for mentally ill prisoners that meets constitutional standards. Thompson ordered the state and the plaintiffs in the case to meet and discuss possible ways to fix the problems. Another major part of the lawsuit, on medical care for inmates, is still pending.

Plans to build new prisons failed in the Legislature this year and last year. Ivey has said she would explore what initiatives she could do without legislative approval. The governor said she wanted to work with the Legislature, too, but said the main point is that the state should fix the problems and not leave solutions to federal authorities.



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