GOP in Alaska pulls voucher bill rather than letting it die to a vote.

GOP in Alaska pulls voucher bill rather than letting it die to a vote. March 19, 2014

Somewhere in atheist heaven a Zack Kopplin is smiling.

For those who don’t know what voucher systems are and why most atheists oppose them, they’re promoted by the GOP as an alternative to public education.  Rather than trying to fix public education (after the GOP consistently slashes from education funding wherever they’re in control), they want to issue vouchers that would cover tuition at private schools.  This includes parents who want to send their kids to religious private schools, thus allowing government money to get funneled to religious schools.  This is a violation of separation of church and state.

A similar bill was headed for a vote in Alaska.  It’s no mystery why the bill was coming up now in hyper-religious Alaska – elections are coming up, and the GOP wanted pressure on reps to vote yes.  However, that little bit of political fuckery wasn’t going to be enough.  Realizing that the votes weren’t there to pass it, and that a failed vote would mean the death of the bill, Senate President Charlie Huggins, R-Wasilla, yanked the bill:

Senators said the body was divided on Senate Joint Resolution 9, meaning it was short of the two-thirds majority vote needed to ask the public to amend the Alaska Constitution to allow public funds to go to private and religious schools.

By sending the resolution back to the Rules Committee, Huggins ended for the moment an attempt to pass the school vouchers measure, but left it available to be resurrected. A failed vote would have permanently killed the bill.

So for now the bill isn’t a worry.  It can be resurrected, but if it wasn’t going to pass with the pressure of election season looming, and with the US becoming rapidly more secular, I don’t think it has a very optimistic future.  Kick ass.

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