Legislators prepare for special session

By Staff
Mike Self, Franklin County Times
A special session called by Governor Bob Riley will get underway in Montgomery on Monday as the state legislators discuss the possibility of borrowing millions of dollars in an effort to recruit new industry.
"Hopefully we will be successful in sitting down with the governor and making sure we have a plan that will work both economically and legislatively," said Roger Bedford, state senator from Russellville.
Alabama is currently in competition with Louisiana to recruit a $2.9 billion ThyssenKrupp plant.
Louisiana held a special session last month in which its Legislature approved using $300 million to lure the German company.
Riley talked last week with some legislators about the idea of boosting Alabama's bond-issuing capacity from $350 million to $750 million.
"Our ultimate goal [in the special session] will be to replenish this state's economy by attracting new industry," Bedford said. "We want to bring in new projects that will create jobs. Some of the projects will be big, and some will be small. When I say small, I'm talking about 100 jobs, but those type of projects are very important."
Riley's communications director, Jeff Emerson, said Alabama is also competing for nine other major industrial projects, some of which hope to break ground this summer. He said the state needs to show them it is willing to make money available to lure them here.
State representative Johnny Mack Morrow will also be attending this week's special session, which is expected to conclude before the legislature's regular session begins on March 6.
Morrow could not be reached for comment.

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