Governor signs bill to make Jeffco transactions more open

MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) – A new bill will be making major financial transactions in Jefferson County more open to the general public.

On Tuesday, Governor Riley signed House Bill 613 into law. This new law requires the Jefferson County Commissioner to disclose anyone paid to assist in the purchase or swap of bonds and all interest rate swaps will be competitively bid. The Commission will also have to conduct a public hearing before borrowing any amount of $5 million or more.

"The best way any government can build trust among its residents and taxpayers is to open up the books so everyone can see where the money is going.  That's what we've done at the state level by putting the state's checkbook online," Governor Riley said. "This new law will usher in a new era of transparency and accountability for Jefferson County.  Financial transactions will be more transparent and public officials will be more accountable."

"The impact of this legislation on Jefferson County will be to bring more transparency to bond transactions, something we've sorely needed," said the bill's sponsor, Representative Paul DeMarco. "Hopefully this will prevent the type of criminal fraud and mismanagement we've had in the past."

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