Accountability Act on Trial, Veterans Day

Nov 11, 2014

Supporters of Alabama’s Accountability Act may soon learn the measure’s fate. Alabama Public Radio’s Pat Duggins reports the State Supreme Court will soon hear arguments over the plan. The Alabama Supreme Court will hear from supporters and critics of the Accountability Act on December third. The case will decide whether a lower court judge acted properly when he struck down the measure. The appeal of that earlier ruling is the third case Alabama’s high court will consider that day. The Accountability Act provides state tax credits for parents to move children from public schools rated as failing to private schools. It also provides tax credits for individuals and businesses that contribute to scholarships for low-income students to attend private schools rather than public schools. The state teachers' organization challenged the law in court. Those arguments convinced Montgomery County Circuit Judge Gene Reese to rule the law unconstitutional in May. Critics have also complained that students in low income areas of the state may not have equal access to private schools in sparsely populated communities. A legislator re-elected last week has gone to court to challenge a law prohibiting legislators from having a second state job. Democratic Rep. Dexter Grimsley of Newville filed suit in Montgomery County Circuit Court. After Republicans won control of the Legislature in 2010, they passed a law to prohibit legislators from having a second state job and paycheck. They delayed enforcement until after the 2014 elections. Grimsley has been a juvenile probation officer in Henry County since 1995. He contends the law violates his equal protection rights and prohibits certain legislators from maintaining gainful employment. U.S. Rep. Martha Roby of Montgomery will be honored during Veterans Day activities in Birmingham. Roby is scheduled to receive the Minuteman of the Year Award from the Alabama Reserve Officers Association at the National Veterans Day breakfast this morning in Birmingham. Roby successfully pushed for changes in leadership at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care Center because of long delays and other problems.