by David Safier
Today, the legislature is supposed to go into special session, if it hasn't already, to talk about creating that new tuition tax credit to pay tuition for the children whose state-approved vouchers were shot down by the State Supreme Court.
The special session is Yarbrough's baby. The question is, how did he get the legislature to stop dead, right in the middle of the budget fights, so he could push through a new series of tax credits?
There's a rumor floating around about a quid pro quo (Latin for "You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours."). Here's the agreement, according to the rumor: if Yarbrough agreed to vote for HB2028 and HB2029 — the recent bills that withheld state money from school districts, then said the state would reduce the amount of money that will eventually be paid by the "excess funds" in districts' bank accounts — Yarbrough would be granted his special session.
Vote swapping. Or in this case, Vote/Special Session swapping.
Let's carry this rumor one step further, to its semi-logical conclusion. Who might Yarbrough have made the deal with? Maybe it was with fellow R legislators, maybe it was with the governor. Let's watch, shall we, once the special session is over and the budget battles begin once more, whether Yabrough comes down on the guv's side or with his friends in the legislature. Could be interesting.
NOTE: As the Exec Director of ACSTO, Yarbrough stands to gain financially from any new tax credit money generated by the special session legislation. He gave a few non-denial denials about whether his organization would handle the new tax credits, meaning he'll decide later whether he'll dip his hands into this new pool of cash. It's all perfectly legal, he says, and he's probably right. Ethical? Don't go there. It's all perfectly legal.