County layoffs delayed

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The Jefferson County Commission voted Tuesday to delay laying off hundreds of county employees.

The commission was scheduled Tuesday to vote to layoff 207 county employees, but instead decided to delay that vote by one week.

The proposed layoffs are part of a massive budget cut plan put into motion weeks ago by the county commission after court appeals to re-instate the county's occupational tax failed.  Commission President Bettye Fine Collins said without a new occupational tax from the legislature, the county will be forced to layoff hundreds of county employees, close the satellite courthouses and cut millions of dollars from county departments.

Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale sued the county commission after commissioners cut more than $5 million from his budget. Hale said the cuts were illegal and jeopardized the safety of county citizens.