There will be no loan from Governor Bob Riley. Last week, Birmingham Senator Rodger Smitherman sent Riley a letter asking for a loan for Jefferson County between $25 to $30 million. "Our legal office has come back and in the Alabama constitution there is no legal authority for the governor to loan money to a county." says Jeff Emerson, spokesman for Governor Riley.
Commission President Bettye Fine Collins the county will proceed with plans to cut their budget without the occupational tax which a judge has declared illegal. "I think the governor's people have made it clear there is no vehicle for that. He would help us if he could. I don't see any means to do that."
Collins canceled a budget hearing which was supposed to have started Monday. Collins says because of the uncertainty of replacing the job tax and a temporary restraining order preventing a $5 million cut to Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale's office there was no need for the hearings.
Commissioner William Bell says the court order puts the county in a difficult position. "If that means shutting down all departments except for the sheriff that is what we will have to do," says Bell.