Talk of Special Session for tornado affected schools

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Murmurs of a Special Session to assist Alabama's hardest hit public schools have begun around the Capitol and State House.

Alabama's Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joe Morton was asked about the possibility at the Alabama Board of Education meeting last week.

"It would be up to the governor to decide it was important enough to do a special session or wait until next year and do it at that moment" Morton said. "I'm sure we'll have some discussions but that's not my call."

Morton did not propose the idea. He was responding to a reporter's question.

Senate President Pro-Tem Del Marsh, the top senator, said any talk about a Special Session is premature.

"What I hope is that hopefully everybody was properly insured and hopefully Federal Government is going to step up as it was designed to do and make these people whole but, if the state needs to come in any capacity, we're ready to do so."

Marsh also said the cost of a Special Session is reason enough to try to avoid one but that the state can't rule it out if it becomes necessary to assist school districts.

"The special session itself costs the taxpayers a half a million dollars" Marsh said. "We'll gladly spend that if it means helping the people that have been affected by the tornadoes."

Lawmakers already acted quickly on one storm-related measure and passed another similar resolution.

Governor Bentley signed into a law a measure that allows school districts to not make-up days so long as they petition the Superintendent of Schools after the governor declared the area disaster.

The House and Senate each passed a resolution that pledged additional financial assistance after insurance and FEMA did their part.

Lawmakers return next week after a two week break to address redistricting. The last day of the session is slated for June 9th.

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