Jeffco Commission endorses road plan, opts out of healthcare plan

JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - The Jefferson County Commission voted to endorse a billion dollar road program and voted to opt out on the Federal Healthcare plan on Tuesday morning.

The plan will cost $100 million a year for the next ten years with money that would be borrowed from the Alabama Trust Fund.

Governor Bob Riley and the head of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, David Bronner, have been very vocal about their opposition to the roads plan. They say they do not like taking money out of oil and gas trust and they do not like the fact that the legislature will be in control of executing the plan as opposed to the Alabama Department of Transportation. Bronner has also shown concern over the impact that the borrowed money could have on the state's investments.

The Commission voted four to zero to endorse the plan. Voters will vote on it as "Amendment 3" on November 2nd.

The Jefferson County Commission also voted to opt out of part of President Obama's federal healthcare plan. The majority of the Commission that voted to opt out say they were worried about the financial impact of the plan. The county says it would have to increase mental and substance abuse benefits from $50,000 to $2 million.

The final vote was three to zero with Commissioner Shelia Smoot abstaining. Smoot objected to voting on the issue with little information.

Commissioners were told they had to act before October 31st.

The Retirement Systems of Alabama is the primary lender to Raycom Media, the owner of FOX6 News and MyFoxAL.com.

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