No loan from Governor Bob Riley

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.

Collins moved the court hearings to the first week in August. Jefferson County Circuit Judge Dan King has scheduled a court hearing a week from today to determine if his restraining order will become permanent. County attorneys are hoping sometime this week the Alabama Supreme Court will put aside King's order.