By Steve Flowers, Guest Columnist
As we begin this New Year of 2019, Alabama begins a new quadrennium in state government.
All our Constitutional state officeholders begin their new four-year terms this month. Governor Kay Ivey will be sworn in for a four-year term on January 14. Also, being sworn in on Inauguration Day will be Will Ainsworth as Lt. Governor, John Merrill as Secretary of State, John McMillan as State Treasurer, Rick Pate as Agriculture Commissioner, Steve Marshall as Attorney General, and Jim Ziegler will be sworn in for a second term as State Auditor. By the way, all of the above and indeed all statewide officeholders in Alabama are Republicans.
All 140 State Senators and State Representatives have already been sworn in for their four-year terms. Most of our legislators are also Republicans. There are 35 State Senators, 27 are Republican and only eight Democrats. The House is made up of 105 members. The partisan divide is 77 Republicans and 28 Democrats. Mac McCutcheon of Huntsville will be elected Speaker of the House in the organizational session next week and Del Marsh will be reelected President Pro Tem of the Senate. My belief is that we will have a successful and prosperous next four years in the Heart of Dixie.
Alabama is a magnificent state. We possess abundant natural resources such as waterways, rivers, flora and fauna, and mineral deposits. Water is one of Alabama’s most precious natural resources, and almost 10 percent of the freshwater resources of the continental U.S. flows through or originates in Alabama during its journey to the sea. A sixth of the state’s surface is covered by lakes, ponds, rivers, and creeks. We have plentiful rainfall, much higher than the nation’s average. The average annual rainfall in North Alabama is 50 inches. The average is 65 inches in South Alabama and along the coast.
Some of you may wonder why Alabama is called the “Heart of Dixie.” We are the Heart of Dixie because of banknotes issued by the Citizens Bank of Louisiana before the Civil War. They bore the French word “dix” meaning ten, and thus the South became known as Dixieland. With Alabama serving as the first Capital of the Confederacy, it was thus the Heart of Dixieland.
See complete story in the Pickens County Herald.