Session is Over, But Debate Over Issues Continues

Alabama's 2001 regular legislative session ended Monday, but lawmakers say they'll come back in June for a special session on redistricting. The formal debates are over, but there is still disagreement over the passage of a $110 million bond issue for public education.

Governor Don Siegelman's plan to fund the loser of the state's proration lawsuit passed the legislature on the final day. Governor Siegelman said, "the opponents said we should do nothing. There was resistance in the House and the Senate, and there was a move to get this off track. But clearly, this is not the long range solution to our school problem. Constitutional reform and home rule and local support is the long term solution."

This legislation has Lieutenant Governor Steve Windom unhappy. He said, "I think its terrible fiscal policy. There is not a family in Alabama that would take out a 20 year mortgage to pay the light bill. And that is exactly what is being done here."

The plan sets up to $110 million in bonds for public schools and universities and taxpayers would have to pay it back over the next 20 years.