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Might we see Gov. Kay Ivey take a shot at some sort of gambling legislation sooner rather than later?
Ivey had a resounding victory in last month's Republican gubernatorial primary. She exceeded the polls and earned the Republican nod, similar to her 2018 gubernatorial bid without a runoff.
Could her strong performance be interpreted as anything other than GOP voters giving her a mandate? That is a question Alabama Policy Institute senior director of fiscal policy Justin Bogie delves into in a recent op-ed.
During an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show," Bogie speculated on the future of Alabama's gas tax and what Ivey could do regarding the gaming question.
According to Bogie, at this point, Ivey would be unlikely to pursue gas tax relief. However, she could put a push for gambling into play as early as in a special session.
"She basically coasted to victory," Bogie said. "She had several strong challengers, but in the end, they weren't able to get a whole lot of traction. Maybe if they had talked more about her record really and the issues and instead of some of these kinds of shiny objects that strike everybody -- maybe they would have had more luck. But at this point, it doesn't really matter. There's almost no chance she's going to lose in November.
"And so, what are we going to see? We saw the biggest expansion of state government in history over the last three, four years. So I think we'll see that continue. We've got this gas tax that's in place now -- this extra 10 cents at a time when gas is $4.30 a gallon, something like that. It's really hurting people. With her remaining in office, I think there's zero chance that could be rolled back, that we would suspend the gas tax, like other states are doing like Florida and Georgia."
Bogie said it is likely gambling will be addressed very soon.
"Kind of the big issue out there -- we come back to it every time is gambling," Bogie said. "What's going to happen with gambling? She said her biggest regret of the 2022 session was that gambling legislation didn't pass. With her having this mandate, you know, I wouldn't be surprised at all if we see that issue come back very soon in a special session or first thing next year. Those are kind of her priorities, and since she has got this mandate now, I think we're going to see those come back and maybe more so than ever."
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com.
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