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Change in China

"Change in China" Continued...

Issue: "Moneymaker," March 23, 2013

Not so fast

An Alabama judge moved swiftly to delay a bill that would give children attending failing schools within the state an opportunity to attend private schools through tax deductions.

Majority Republicans slipped the provision into another bill right before a vote, then passed it amid shouts and finger-pointing from surprised colleagues. Gov. Bob Bentley was set to sign the bill three days later until a teachers union secured an emergency judicial hold.

The move damaged lawmakers’ relationship with the state superintendent and will influence other education bills, said state Rep. Ed Henry, R-Decatur.

“That 8-page bill morphed into 27-page bill with no one getting to read it,” said Betty Peters, a state school board member. “If something is good and true, it should withstand scrutiny.”

Stop texting

Early 2012 results indicate teen driving deaths may have increased for a second straight year after eight years of decline. The new Governor’s Highway Safety Association report shows deaths among 16- and 17-year-old drivers spiked 19 percent in the first half of last year. Teen fatality accidents numbered 240 in 2012, compared to 202 in the first half of 2011. Overall traffic deaths rose 8 percent last year, an increase attributed to an improving economy as more drivers hit the roadways.

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