The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

October 27, 2012

Alabama constitution: Vote looms on amending history

(Continued)

Alabama has had success in recent years luring major industries, including an Airbus assembly plant for Mobile, and securing expansions at its auto assembly plants. But the governor, who has vowed not to take a salary until unemployment drops to 5.2 percent, is still a long way from drawing a paycheck.

Amendment 4's sponsor, Republican state Sen. Arthur Orr of Decatur, said he knows other states have used the racist language against Alabama when competing for industries.

"It's important symbolically to send a message to our sister states and to the world that Alabama is a different place than it was 50 years ago," he said.

Orr's proposal has drawn support from Republican Gov. Robert Bentley, Alabama's chief recruiter for new industry.

No black members of the Legislature voted for Orr's proposal last year when lawmakers decided to put it on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Sanders and Joe Reed, chairman of the Alabama Democratic Conference, said no one pays attention to the school segregation and poll tax language because it has been effectively dead for a half-century. They said removing it is not worth the cost of restating that there is no right to a public education.

As Election Day neared, opponents of Amendment 4 were joined by the Alabama Education Association, the influential state teachers' organization. AEA has seen funding for public education drop by more than $1 billion in the past five years, teaching positions cut, class sizes increased, and some school revenue shifted to non-education functions of government. The teachers' group worries that if voters reiterate there is no right to a public education, a cash-strapped Legislature will move even more money away from public schools to other functions.

"It has all kinds of implications in the future for the diversion of education funds and for the funding of education generally. That's why we are opposed to it," AEA attorney Bobby Segall said.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee