Governor Robert Bentley on Monday issued a statement after the Alabama House of Representatives rejected an executive amendment on the Alabama Accountability Act. The executive amendment was offered by Governor Bentley as a way to help the state make greater progress in repaying the Education Rainy Day Account while also helping public schools improve by preserving the flexibility provided by the Accountability Act.
Governor Bentley's statement is below:
"House members made a mistake by rejecting this executive amendment. My first responsibility is to the people of this state, and I believe the majority of the people support this executive amendment. This executive amendment was fiscally responsible.
"Some have asked about the timing of the amendment. Here's my response: When I submitted my budget proposals in February, I included $100 million for repayment to the Education Rainy Day Account. But the education budget approved by the Legislature less than two weeks ago reduced that repayment to only $35 million. The state is constitutionally required to pay its debts. My executive amendment would have allowed us to pay back a greater portion of that debt in the coming year. The Legislature rejecting my amendment is fiscally irresponsible.
"The sooner we repay the rainy day account, the sooner we can invest more resources in improving education. The executive amendment would have also given schools time to improve by using the flexibility provided by the Accountability Act before the tax credits went into effect."