There were two pieces of legislation that failed to pass during the session that warrant special mention:
ALABAMA WON’T GET A NEW CONSTITUTION
Alabama won’t be getting a new constitution and neither will the people of Alabama have an opportunity to vote on this important issue. The Alabama House again killed efforts to rewrite Alabama’s 1901 Constitution. The House voted 43-36 against the resolution by House Speaker Pro Tem Demetrius Newton to hold a statewide referendum on the issue next year. As we have reported previously, the Jefferson County lawmaker’s resolution would have called a convention to draft a new constitution to replace the often amended 108-year-old document. I believe a majority of Alabama citizens favor a new constitution, but again powerful special interests have a different view and they won again.
PACT BILL DIDN’T MAKE IT
State lawmakers refused to pass any of the bills that would have provided financial help to the state’s Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Program. But the lawmakers did pass and send to Governor Riley for his review Senate Joint Resolution 150, which calls on the Retirement System of Alabama “to conduct a thorough actuarial study” of the PACT program, with RSA chief executive David Bronner directing the study. The resolution calls on RSA to report its findings and recommendations to Riley and legislators “as soon as possible.”
Senator Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, said he was saddened and disappointed that lawmakers didn’t pass a financial fix for PACT. He believes it is best, however, to allow Dr. Bronner to advise the Legislature on how to fix the problem. PACT has about 48,000 participants. Governor Riley has indicated a special session might be called to deal with this problem.
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