Senate-Passed bill allows rewards for winter storm teachers

The Alabama Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would allow teachers and state employees to be rewarded by a third party for exemplary service without a potential conflict with the state's ethics law.{} The issue came earlier this year when Birmingham-area teachers were offered weekend getaways at a resort in Gulf Shores for spending the night in schools with their students during January's winter storm.

Right now, a public employee who receives a reward from a third party for exemplary public service may be considered as using his or her official position for personal gain.{} Senate Bill 348, sponsored by Senator Greg Reed (R-Jasper), would amend portions of existing law to ensure teachers and state employees could be rewarded for going above and beyond the call of duty.