Legislature expected to take up PACT bill, Ward says

Published 10:57 am Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Alabama Legislature likely will work to determine the future of the Alabama Prepaid Affordable College Tuition program during its current term, according to an Alabaster state representative.

Rep. Cam Ward, R–Alabaster, said he expects the Legislature to “overwhelmingly” pass a bill to ensure the state honors all current PACT contracts.

PACT allows state residents to finance their children’s college tuition over the course of several years before their child enters higher education. Recently, PACT has faced much uncertainty as state legislators have been struggling to ensure the program’s funding.

Ward said he expected the bill to honor current PACT contracts to pass easily, but ensuring funding for the bill may be difficult.

“That issue will come out this session, and I expect the bill to honor the current contracts will pass pretty overwhelmingly,” Ward said Jan. 12 during the first day of the 2010 legislative session.

“The problem will be when we have to find money to honor those contracts,” Ward added. “That’s close to $400 million in a year when the budget is already several million dollars short.”