Public school proponents fought two attempts to pass such savings accounts bills. Last year, Republicans sided with Democrats to defeat House Bill 482. on the floor of the House of Representatives. Then, in the most recent legislative session, Senate Bill 173 met a similar fate on the Senate floor, despite support from both Duncan and Gov. Brian Kemp.
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Dudgeon, a former Republican state representative, said Democrats painted savings account proponents as the "enemy of public education," and he said some rural lawmakers were concerned about the effect on the budgets of their local schools.
"When you have both those headwinds of politics it makes it tough," Dudgeon said while speaking on a panel at a Cobb County conference of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank.
Dudgeon said there is "enormous" energy behind the scenes in efforts to "solve" those political issues: "We are working very, very hard to see if we can have a solution that we can roll out next year, or give it a try anyway."