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Changes to Accountability Act may be “DOA,” according to Marsh

By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY–Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) said that he will not allow HB658, the bill to change certain portions of the Alabama Accountability Act, to come to a vote with Governor Bentley’s executive amendment attached.

Monday will be the last day of the 2013 regular session. Marsh has said that, even if the bill passes through the House, it will not be brought up for a vote in the Senate.

“As far as I’m concerned at this point what the governor wants is DOA in the Senate,” Marsh says.

Bentley’s press secretary, Jennifer Ardis, says that legislators have supported the Governor’s plans. Delaying the implementation gives the state time to pay back the $432 million to the Education Trust Fund before taking on the expense of the Accountability Act.

Furthermore, delaying implementation allows the failing schools time to improve, Ardis says.

If the Governor attaches the executive amendments, it will effectively kill HB658, leaving HB84, the original Alabama Accountability Act from February 28, in place.

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This means that the definition of a failing school will remain at the current definition and the tax credits for donations will remain at 50 percent, among other changes.

House Minority Leader Craig Ford (D-Gadsden) says the solution has always been to repeal the bill. “Delaying it doesn’t accomplish anything, it just puts it off until after the next election,” Ford says.

Ardis says that the Governor will continue to work with legislative leaders to find a solution.

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