Alabama, as every state, must redistrict both houses of the legislature. A legislative committee was appointed to comply with this federal law of equal representation. This committee, of course made up with Republican control, has not yet released any maps of proposed new districts. They are holding their ideas close to the vest, hopefully until they are settled on a fair plan. We recently received copies of two Senate redistricting proposals from the Democrat Party. Looking at them does not generate pleasing thoughts for our brains. The district, which includes all of Coffee and Covington counties, also gets corners carved out of several others. Our thoughts were that voters would be better served if they would work to have the two whole counties and the balance coming from only one other county. Of course the Republican plan may do just that. We will see. The hearings the Democrats have announced are all far from Elba. The closest one is in Montgomery this Friday. Otherwise you must drive to Mobile, Birmingham or to the Tennessee state line.
Vandals really messed up the Elba High School Monday night. We understand they initially got in through an unlocked window, so no door locks were broken. The police are not talking about their evidence, but street talk is that it was a prank that got out of hand. This happens sometimes as the school year winds down, but that does not make it acceptable - nor legal. If convicted, jail time and/or fines can follow. If it is high school students, they can be expelled, fined and get jail time. Surely not worth the “fun” anyone may have thought they were having. Nor is it fair to the Elba High students who are up there to get an education so they can be prepared to live a better life.
The Retirement Systems of Alabama has for years been the poster child for being good stewards of state workers retirement monies. At the same time taxpayers were not having to contribute lots of extra funds to keep the system healthy. Now a couple of bad years (same as with many, many personal retirement accounts) and Alabama legislators are proposing laws allowing them to take over management of the retirement funds. This is the same legislature that screwed up the PACT plan and solved that by passing a law cancelling their previously promised commitment to the citizens who put money into the program. Frankly we have never seen a government agency that could do anything more efficiently than private enterprise. Thus down the road we can expect financial headaches with the retirement program funding, even with the pending changes also being proposed in state retirement.
Most anyone who has expressed any knowledge of the legislative plans to legislate the start and end dates for public schools is strongly for or against the proposals. There is little in-between emotions on this issue. Governor Bentley has apparently heard the unrest in the branchheads and added an executive amendment to the bill sent to his desk. This amendment will allow local school boards to agree with the dates in the bill . . . or they can choose to ignore those dates. The lawmakers may be offended with this and override the governor, because it seems to us that he has just gutted any teeth completely out of the bill.
Heddy was shifting her shoes from winter type to summer shoes last weekend. Our wisecrack that we would bring in a forklift to store them when she was ready was not the best thing to say. However, the concrete floor at the office sleeps OK and she is showing signs of soon letting us back into our home of 48 years!