Published: Wednesday, December 15, 2010, 12:00 AM
A filibuster in the Alabama House of Representatives stretched into Wednesday morning on a bill that would stop teachers from paying dues to the Alabama Education Association by payroll deduction.
Democrats staged a filibuster that lasted more than 12 hours and stretched into the early hours of Wednesday to try to block a vote on the bill.
"I know you're thinking wear them down, but we just changed our tires. We're ready to go," House Minority Leader Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, said.
The legislation would prohibit payroll deductions from the paychecks of state, local and public school employees for political action committees or for dues to membership organizations that use the funds to influence elections. The bill would also affect the Alabama State Employees Association.
Republicans argued it was improper to use public payroll resources to collect dues for those organizations. Democrats argued that the bill is about political retaliation.
House Republicans were six votes short on a motion Tuesday to cut off debate and force a vote on the bill. Six Republicans joined with Democrats in refusing to end debate, striking the ire of some of their fellow Republicans.
"This bill is being killed by rino (Republicans in name only) Republicans," said Senate President pro-tem?Del Marsh, R-Anniston, said. Marsh is the sponsor of the controversial bill.
The Senate adjourned Tuesday night and will reconvene at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
Earlier Tuesday, the Senate gave final approval to the first of seven bills Gov. Bob Riley asked them to pass in the special session on ethics reform.
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