For the Alabama Legislature newly under Republican control, 2011 was split between a winter and spring of triumph only to be followed by a summer and fall of turmoil.
With majorities in the state House and Senate for the first time in more than 125 years, Republicans set about to accomplish the promises it made to voters. Add to this mix a Republican governor, and the grand-old party was a Montgomery juggernaut.
The laws sailed right through. Perhaps they shouldn’t have moved so swiftly.
Penny-pinching on teacher benefits led to a mid-year exodus of veteran teachers who did not wish to endure the evaporation of their benefits; instead, hundreds of those teachers opted for retirement.
The muddle of the ethics law passed in late 2010 came back to haunt those teachers still in the classroom. How? Well, the ethics laws intended to keep would-be influence peddlers from buying off policymakers were making it legally dodgy for a teacher to accept a Christmas gift from a student.