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Our view: Many challenges face new governor

On Monday, Kay Ivey held up her hand and took the oath of office as governor of Alabama.

It was a job she said she’d been prepared to take since being elected lieutenant governor in 2010, but one she never wanted to assume.

Since she originally was also a candidate for governor in 2010, perhaps Gov. Ivey meant to say, she never wanted to assume office on a moment’s notice, in the midst of a scandal.

The job is hers now, and it is a big one. Documents released in the past week clarified a verdict already in: Bentley was not effective in the role Ivey now fills. Hopefully, she has learned more about getting legislation passed in her six years presiding over the Alabama Senate than Bentley did in his years in the House.

On Monday, she said her priorities would include helping the “great state” overcome the negative publicity of recent months. One way she can do this is by studying the potential solutions to Alabama’s overcrowded and understaffed prisons, a problem the legislature desperately needs to address in order to avoid a federal takeover of the prison system.

Neither of the state’s 2018 budgets have been passed.

The rising cost of Medicaid funding, and the effects of that system on Alabama’s health care community needs serious attention.

The list goes on and on … infrastructure, public schools, job creation. All of Alabama’s problems require additional tax dollars before they can be seriously addressed, and that’s not something she’s likely to address if she wishes to pursue reelection next year.

Gov. Ivey’s do-list is formidable, and will require laser-like focus if anything is to be accomplished before the 2018 elections.

We wish her all the best as she works to improve Alabama’s image.

 

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