“Best and Worst Week in Montgomery” is a weekly feature on Yellowhammer Politics in which we recognize the people or organizations who had the BEST week or WORST week in town. You can view last week’s debut edition here. If you would like to nominate someone for this feature in the future, send us an email through our contact page.
I saw both BCA President & CEO Billy Canary and Senior VP Anita Archie in the halls of the State House this week. They were all smiles — and for good reason. A slew of BCA supported legislation passed this week including charter schools, the taxpayer bill of rights, single point business tax filing, and a bill that lowered the school start age to 6. In addition to that, BCA member companies announced 1,400 new jobs this week.
However, the toughest fight may have been over a bill the BCA was opposed to. An NRA-backed/BCA-opposed bill that would allow employees to bring their guns with them to work (oversimplification but that’s the general idea) was killed Thursday evening right at the close of business. Thursday was the last day for bills that originated in the Senate to pass without unanimous consent. So the BCA closed out the week with yet another victory.
For racking up win after win in the legislature — The Business Council of Alabama had the Best Week in Montgomery.
Worst Week in Montgomery: The Alabama Education Association
AEA Chief Henry Mabry has spent most of the 2012 session shooting at the Education Options Act, commonly known as the Charter Schools Bill. We’ve grown accustomed to “creative tactics” from the AEA over the years. However, trying to convince folks that charter schools would usher in a new era of muslim control in Alabama under sharia law was extra impressive — even by AEA standards. But when the dust settled on Thursday, the Senate had passed a charter schools bill.
Passage of Sen. Brewbaker’s Education Options Act sparked a flurry of activity on social networks by both liberals and conservatives. Liberals were screaming that the sky was falling and conservatives were concerned that the bill didn’t create a clear enough path for charter schools to be formed. What everyone needs to remember though is that the process is not over. The bill is now headed to more-charter-friendly-territory in the House and this bill will undoubtedly end the session in different shape than it is in right now.
As I mentioned in the BCA post above, Thursday was the last day that a Senate-originated bill could pass without unanimous consent. So if the Education Options Act had not passed today, it would have been dead. The only thing school choice advocates needed was a vehicle for charter schools to get out of the Senate. To the AEA’s dismay, that’s exactly what they got.
For laying down on the train track to stop charter schools, only to be run over by the school choice locomotive — the AEA had the Worst Week in Montgomery.