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State Rep. Ball: Divisive concepts bill is not something that should be ‘imposed’ by the legislature

Last week in the Alabama House of Representatives there was a strong debate over HB 312, also known as the “divisive concepts” bill, which is sponsored by Rep. Ed Oliver (R-Dadeville). The bill came before the Alabama Committee on State Government, which, after hearing from both sides, passed a motion to carry the bill over, delaying it.

The bill has a few controversial provisions, including one that “would prohibit public K-12 schools and public institutions of higher education and their employees from using or introducing courses of instruction or units of study directing or compelling students to adhere to or affirm certain concepts regarding race, sex, or religion.”

While most of the voices in opposition came from the Democratic side of the aisle, one Republican, Rep. Mike Ball (R-Madison), joined them in speaking out against the bill.

“If you read the bill, those are ideals that should be embraced, but they are not the kind of thing that can be imposed, because when you start to impose ideals you create resentment and opposition,” said Ball Monday on WVNN’s “The Yaffee Program.”

He also argued that something like this should be handled by the State Board of Education instead of the legislature, which already put forward a ban on teaching Critical Race Theory.

“That’s where it should be, the legislature shouldn’t be enacting laws every time they see something they don’t like. There’s a certain amount of restraint. Just because you have the power to do something doesn’t mean you should,” he argued.

Even though Ball is speaking out against the bill, he said he doesn’t plan on doing anything that would stall or kill the bill.

“We’re just taking the wrong approach. I mean, I don’t plan to filibuster or try to kill it, the votes are there to pass it if they want to pass it. I just want people to think about what we’re doing,” Ball concluded.

The Alabama Senate Government Affairs Committee has already approved the Senate version of the bill in a 6-1 vote.

Michael Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” Weekdays 9-11am on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

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