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Jefferson County, Ala. President Says State Special Session Unlikely

Jefferson County, Ala. Commission President Bettye Fine Collins said in a statement Monday that “it would appear there is little or no chance for a special session on any plan requiring a vote on a constitutional amendment.”

Her statement came Monday afternoon as the commission continued try to address the financial problems facing its sewer system. The current restructuring plan would need approval by constituents and Gov. Bob Riley. Riley still has not agreed to call a special session of the Legislature, which would be required to enable the county to complete certain aspects of the current restructuring proposal..

Some provisions in the proposed plan to restructure $3.2 billion of sewer debt would require that a constitutional amendment be approved in a statewide referendum in November.

Collins said the county’s financial team is working on alternatives that would not require a constitutional amendment thereby removing time constraints for holding a special legislative session.

Collins also said she is open to all possible solutions that do not call for bankruptcy or receivership. The commission is holding third public forum Tuesday explaining the restructuring plan and the pitfalls of a bankruptcy filing. A competing plan, offered by Alabama’s pension chief, David Bronner, has received a favorable response from two county commissioners and some members of the public. Bronner’s plan would require the county to place the sewer system into bankruptcy so he could take control of the sewer system.

 

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