It’s time to get rid of the worms

Published 6:40pm Monday, May 20, 2013

An old story tells of a desert nomad who awakened hungry in the middle of the night. He lit a candle and began eating different pieces of fruit from a bowl beside his bed. He took a bite from one and saw a worm in it; so he threw it out of the tent. He bit into a second piece of fruit, found another worm and threw it away also. Reasoning that he wouldn’t have any fruit left to eat if he continued, he blew out the candle and quickly ate the rest of the fruit.

His actions proved that he preferred darkness and denial to the light of reality. So has it been with the leaders of the Republican Supermajority. They have chosen darkness and denial by calling the recently ended 2013 session an absolute success. Their motto was, “We Dare Defend Our Rights.” What about everyone else’s rights, like students, seniors, teachers, and state employees? I am not sure what their definition of success is but it is quite clear that it is loaded with worms.

I am confused as to why they would consider themselves successful this past session, given that most of their signature legislation was completely amended because of the worms it possessed. The Republican Supermajority’s priorities this year had little to do with helping schools or putting people back to work. Their focus was on raiding the Education Trust Fund by supporting private schools with public money.

One particular piece of fruit that was discovered to have worms was the Republicans’ signature legislation regarding education: the Affordable Accountability Act. Once legislators began to bite the fruit they quickly discovered the worms. After their discovery, the Republicans quickly moved to de-worm the bill. They added an amendment that makes it more difficult for students in the so-called “failing schools” to transfer to a “non-failing” school. Specifically, this bill would allow “non-failing schools” to deny admission to students from “failing schools.”

Once again the Republican Supermajority in Montgomery used their power to shut off debate over the Accountability Act because they knew the Democrats were going to bring an amendment that would force Republicans to have to cast a vote on the merits of the Accountability Act.

The reason they did not want to allow Democrats to offer this amendment is because the Republicans knew that Democrats had an amendment that would prohibit legislators and constitutional officers like the governor from receiving the tax credits to send their children to private schools. They will not be satisfied until the worms are eaten.

We refused to turn off the light and just eat the worms. The only way to get rid of the worms is to repeal this worm-filled bill.

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