PACT parents turn to political candidates for answers

Parents, grandparents and students gather at the state capitol for the PACT board's meeting.
Parents, grandparents and students gather at the state capitol for the PACT board's meeting.

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - They started at the PACT board's regularly scheduled meeting--parents, grandparents, and students in green shirts sporting the name of a new organization called "Save Alabama PACT."

"[We're] letting people know that have contracts that there's people out there that are willing to help them," says Patti Lambert, Co-Founder of the organization.

From there the group held a meeting of their own at Dexter Avenue Methodist Church.

The meeting rallied PACT participants--many sharing thoughts and frustrations as money they invested years ago hangs in the balance.

"I thought it was the only thing that was guaranteed," says Lambert.

As uncertainty hovers, members are demanding action to save their investments.  That's why they asked 2010 gubernatorial candidates to weigh in.

"If you bought it, you [should] get it," says Agriculture Commissioner, Ron Sparks.

Many of them say PACT needs to pay.

"The State of Alabama had an obligation. Not only did they have a moral obligation, they've got a legal obligation to stand good on that contract they have with these 48,000 people," says Sparks.

"This program is a commitment by the state and the state needs to keep its commitment," says Former Two-Year College Chancellor, Bradley Byrne.

State Treasurer Kay Ivey says that's the plan.

"We're going to work on getting it fixed. And until it's not fixed, we're going to work on it being fixed."

U.S. Congressman Artur Davis wants parents to know it.

"They need to know that their candidates for Governor understand the depth of this problem. But they also need to know their candidates for Governor are going to make a commitment."

It's a stance one student hopes leaders see as it's not just money at stake,  but Bailey Witt's future as well.

"I'm pretty sure that if this doesn't go how it should, I probably won't get to go to school."

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