MONTGOMERY, Alabama (WSFA) – On Monday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s second full term began with an inauguration and parade attended by several hundred invited guests and onlookers.
With five panels of fabric hanging from the building’s facade to create the background of a large state flag, Ivey and other state constitutional officials walked down the marble steps of the Capitol, faced historic Dexter Avenue, and swore their oaths to the state and the nation to defend constitutions during their new term.
Ivey, 78, wore a white suit that contrasted starkly with the red carpet behind her. She waited with her inaugural address until each of the other state officials had been sworn in and had a few minutes to speak.
“Standing here four years ago, I never could have imagined what was to come,” she said as she told the crowd how happy Alabamaans are to call the state home. The light after last week’s deadly tornadoes was the Alabamians’ love for one another, she even said Recovery Efforts in Central Alabama are in full swing.
“We all want Alabama to be the best place to live,” Ivey explained. “We want our people to work, and we want our kids to get the best education.” She added that achieving a quality education for all students “will be my primary focus,” and said parents are a are crucial elements for this success.
The governor later this week said she would sign an executive order establishing a Teaching and Learning Executive Committee. She also confirmed a partnership with country music legend Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to bring free books to every child up to the age of 5.
Addressing the state’s record-low unemployment rate, the governor pledged to cut business rules by 25% over the next two years. She spoke about building new prisons, implementing criminal justice reforms and promoting the 61,000 homes and businesses that have access to broadband internet.
Ivey blamed federal spending for creating record inflation and vowed to work towards meaningful and accountable aid after the pandemic. She noted that there are four busy years ahead.
As the state’s 54th governor, Ivey is only the second woman to lead Alabama and the first Republican woman to do so. Previously, she held the posts of treasurer, then second governor until mid-2017, when she was sworn in as governor following the resignation of the then governor. Robert Bentley.
With her recent election victory, Ivey received a second full term. When her current term ends in 2026, she will have become the longest-serving governor in the state’s history. Only former Governor George Wallace’s number of years in office was greater, although he served in multiple non-consecutive terms.
After the opening ceremony, the governor climbed into a silver convertible and led a parade of nearly 60 participants up Dexter Avenue. After making her way back to the Capitol, she took to the stage and watched as bands, organizations, and others representing much of the state paraded by.
The parade lineup included the following participants:
Ivey began the day off with an early morning prayer service at her home church, First Baptist Church Montgomery, at around 8:15 am. Later in the evening, the governor will attend a fundraising ceremony and formal opening gala to mark the start of her second term. However, these events will not be broadcast live.
The events of Monday agree with MLK day, a federal holiday commemorating the birthday of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a state holiday commemorating the birthdays of King and Confederate General Robert E. Lee. State and federal offices were closed for the holiday.
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