At least, that’s the future according to Ivey’s campaign promises, which sometimes sound more like a plan for someone seeking the state’s highest office, not the office just below it.
BamaFactCheck.com sifted through the many pages of policy statements on Ivey’s campaign website (www.kayivey.org), looking past the rhetoric to find concrete actions that Ivey promised voters she would do. It’s part of a long-term project in which we’ll keep tabs on Alabama politicos over the next four years, and see if they kept true to their word. We’re not advocating for fulfillment of these campaign promises: we just want to see if the candidates’ words match their actions. The promises listed here are far from the only ones Ivey made, and we reserve the right to add additional material to this list.
In Ivey’s case, living up to some of these pledges may be particularly difficult –- because her promises seem to be bigger than the office she’s been elected to.
At the beginning of 2010, Ivey was in the race for governor. As the field grew more crowded – Ivey had to share the limelight at a Tea Party convention with fellow candidate Roy Moore, for instance – Ivey made the strategic decision to drop out of the governor’s race and shoot for the No. 2 job. It appears to have been a wise decision; Ivey defeated incumbent Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom Tuesday.
But much of the material on her website appears to have been written with the governor’s office in mind. During research for an earlier story, an Ivey aide told The Anniston Star that some of Ivey’s policy statements were written in 2009.
But there is much here that a lieutenant governor could probably do -– including a push for two amendments to the state Constitution, and various policy changes that would require legislation.
-- Families can write off cost of buying own health insurance
“We must…[r]emove the tax penalty for families who choose to buy their own health insurance…. If the average family of four spends about $11,000 per year on health insurance, they should get a tax break equal to that amount.”
-- A health insurance plan for Alabama
“Develop health insurance plans for each state, not for the whole country.”
-- Property tax assessments every four years – by executive order
“I will… issue an executive order returning property tax assessments back to once every four years; [I will] work for passage of a constitutional amendment to make sure the law requires property appraisals be conducted and limited to once every four years.”
-- A charter school “plan of action”
“First, after you elect me as Lieutenant Governor, I’ll create a Charter Schools ‘plan of action.’ It’ll be much like the efficiency models and tough decisions I made to improve the Treasurer’s Office. It will focus on accountability and insist that students learn at high standards. As a basis of formation, we’ll have a wealth of empirical data, along with the experience, counsel and expertise of people who have implemented successful Charter Schools programs around the country. Next, I’m going to utilize the ‘bully pulpit’ of the office to launch my advocacy of the Charter Schools agenda…After the plan of action is fully developed, I’ll work with others to have the results crafted into a bill to submit to the legislature.”
-- An amendment to define “public use” of property
“Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court decided in 2005 that the government has the right to force you to sell your property so that a more ‘profitable’ business or property can go there, (the American) dream has been in danger. That decision was a gross abuse of imminent (sic) domain laws. …To solve this problem, I support what property rights advocates have proposed: We must amend Alabama ’s State Constitution to include a traditional, narrow definition of ‘public use.’”
-- An amendment to limit the increase of the state budget to the rate of inflation
“Another way to avoid proration would be to pass a constitutional amendment for a Tax and Expenditure Limitation (TEL). This idea, which has been proposed for several years by the Alabama Policy Institute, would limit the growth of state government to the rate of inflation, plus twice the rate of population growth. So, if inflation was 2 percent, and the state’s population grew by half a percent, the state could budget for 3 percent more than the previous year.”
-- Tax breaks for foster parents and adoptive families
“Let’s give tax breaks to Alabama families who offer foster homes for children born in our state; and let’s also offer tax breaks to Alabama families who choose to adopt children in our own state.”
JOBS and JOB TRAINING
-- A cabinet position for the Workforce Development Office
“We should… elevate the Workforce Development Office to a cabinet-level position in the Governor’s Office.”
“I will elevate Workforce Development to a cabinet position. After doing so, we will develop strategies for multi-agency coordination and cooperation. We’ll also organize the 12 Regional Councils, The Department of Industrial Relations, Alabama Industrial Development Training (AIDT), Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), Alabama Development Office (ADO) and the 2-year colleges under it.”
ETHICS and TRANSPARENCY
-- An end to PAC-to-PAC transfers
“If we ever hope to bring transparency and accountability to our legislature, PAC-to-PAC transfers must be stopped.”