Support for Gas Tax Increase Uncertain Among State Lawmakers

 ========= Old Image Removed =========Array
(
    [_wp_attached_file] => Array
        (
            [0] => 2015/09/Alabama-Capitol-Building.jpg
        )

    [_wp_attachment_metadata] => Array
        (
            [0] => a:5:{s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:300;s:4:"file";s:36:"2015/09/Alabama-Capitol-Building.jpg";s:5:"sizes";a:5:{s:6:"medium";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"Alabama-Capitol-Building-336x168.jpg";s:5:"width";i:336;s:6:"height";i:168;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"thumbnail";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"Alabama-Capitol-Building-140x140.jpg";s:5:"width";i:140;s:6:"height";i:140;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"wbhm-icon";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:34:"Alabama-Capitol-Building-80x80.jpg";s:5:"width";i:80;s:6:"height";i:80;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:22:"wbhm-featured-carousel";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"Alabama-Capitol-Building-470x235.jpg";s:5:"width";i:470;s:6:"height";i:235;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:14:"post-thumbnail";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:36:"Alabama-Capitol-Building-125x125.jpg";s:5:"width";i:125;s:6:"height";i:125;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}}s:10:"image_meta";a:12:{s:8:"aperture";s:1:"0";s:6:"credit";s:0:"";s:6:"camera";s:0:"";s:7:"caption";s:0:"";s:17:"created_timestamp";s:1:"0";s:9:"copyright";s:0:"";s:12:"focal_length";s:1:"0";s:3:"iso";s:1:"0";s:13:"shutter_speed";s:1:"0";s:5:"title";s:0:"";s:11:"orientation";s:1:"0";s:8:"keywords";a:0:{}}}
        )

    [_media_credit] => Array
        (
            [0] => Carol M. Highsmith
        )

    [_navis_media_credit_org] => Array
        (
            [0] =>  Library of Congress
        )

    [_navis_media_can_distribute] => Array
        (
            [0] => 
        )

    [_imagify_optimization_level] => Array
        (
            [0] => 1
        )

    [_imagify_data] => Array
        (
            [0] => a:2:{s:5:"stats";a:3:{s:13:"original_size";i:232579;s:14:"optimized_size";i:96570;s:7:"percent";d:58.479999999999997;}s:5:"sizes";a:8:{s:4:"full";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:64:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2015/09/Alabama-Capitol-Building.jpg";s:13:"original_size";i:228580;s:14:"optimized_size";i:92607;s:7:"percent";d:59.490000000000002;}s:9:"thumbnail";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}s:6:"medium";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}s:9:"wbhm-icon";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:70:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2015/09/Alabama-Capitol-Building-80x80.jpg";s:13:"original_size";i:3999;s:14:"optimized_size";i:3963;s:7:"percent";d:0.90000000000000002;}s:13:"wbhm-featured";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}s:20:"wbhm-featured-square";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}s:22:"wbhm-featured-carousel";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}s:14:"post-thumbnail";a:2:{s:7:"success";b:0;s:5:"error";s:77:"WELL DONE. This image is already compressed, no further compression required.";}}}
        )

    [_imagify_status] => Array
        (
            [0] => success
        )

    [_edit_lock] => Array
        (
            [0] => 1581971443:113
        )

    [_edit_last] => Array
        (
            [0] => 113
        )

)
1627009824 
1551872879

In many ways, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s State of the State address Tuesday was typical. She outlined an array of legislative priorities, and she touted the state’s accomplishments in the employment and technology sectors. But shortly after finishing her speech, she issued a call for a special session for lawmakers to consider her proposal to increase the state’s gas tax. That special session starts Wednesday morning.

Ivey’s plan would increase the tax 10 cents over three years and would support road and bridge projects. Alabama’s gas tax has not increased since 1992. WBHM’s Andrew Yeager spoke with Montgomery Advertiser state government reporter Brian Lyman about the special session and Ivey’s speech.

Interview Highlights

Reaction to the special session from lawmakers:

“For the most part leadership is more than happy to do this because I think in the Senate the gas tax seems to have broad support. The real question is in the Alabama House where there seems to be a lack of consensus in both the Republican and Democratic caucuses for pushing this tax. There’s probably a solid core of Republican representatives who are just fully opposed to this tax … There’s a number of representatives who just want to see how things are going.”

Why Ivey would call a special session:

“The value for supporters of a gas tax will be that usually in a regular session there’s a procedural hurdle that requires a three-fifths vote of each chamber to bring a bill to the floor for a vote. In a special session you can bring any bill to the floor, you’d only need a simple majority. That’s the thinking behind calling a special session. It’ll make it easier to get this thing passed. It’s very rare to do a special session within a session. I can’t think of any over the past 10 years.”

Other highlights from Ivey’s speech:

“She called for raises for both teachers and state employees [four percent for teachers and 2-percent for state employees] …Other thing was the governor’s calling for $31 million to hire new personnel for the state’s prisons, which are wracked with violence and are having a difficult time holding onto correctional officers both due to the violence and the low pay. The corrections system is under what is in effect a court order to hire more than 2,000 more staffers in the next three years. Corrections wants to hire 500 this year. We have a really strong economy and it’s going to be very hard to bring in even close to 500 correctional officers without considerably sweetening the pay and benefits.”

 

Alabama birthing units are closing to save money

One of the last remaining birthing units in southern Alabama will close next month to qualify for federal funding that will save the hospital’s emergency services, but doctors warn the move may cost newborns and pregnant women essential access to obstetric care.

Biden drops out of 2024 race after disastrous debate inflamed age concerns. VP Harris gets his nod

The decision comes after escalating pressure from Biden’s Democratic allies to step aside following the June 27 debate, in which the 81-year-old president trailed off, often gave nonsensical answers and failed to call out the former president’s many falsehoods.

In Alabama’s bald eagle territory, residents say an unexpected mining operation emerged

Aside Lake Guntersville, bald eagles are royalty. But locals say a planned chert pit is already changing that status.

The UAW’s union dreams seemed unstoppable. Then came the realities of the South

After a historic victory in Tennessee, the United Auto Workers southern campaign is still recovering from a big rejection in Alabama. How will it recover?

Exhibit shows the ‘real people’ around the Civil Rights Movement

The Temple Beth El Civil Rights Experience is a guided tour that allows visitors to explore the lives of Jewish people during the Civil Rights Movement. The exhibit highlighted Jews who were passionate activists and Jews who didn’t do much for the cause.

Alabama executes man convicted of killing delivery driver during a 1998 robbery attempt

Keith Edmund Gavin was pronounced dead at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in southwest Alabama, authorities said. He was convicted of capital murder in the shooting death of courier service driver William Clayton Jr. in Cherokee County.

More 2019 Legislative Session Coverage