State needs special session

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 19, 2007

Gov. Bob Riley has called a special session to begin Feb. 26 to help bring industries to Alabama.

The governor’s proposals require amendments to the state constitution, specifically, to raise the state’s bond limits.

Proposed amendments cannot go before voters until at least 90 days after the close of the legislative session in which they are passed by the Legislature.

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By approving the proposals in a special session ending on March 2, the people will get to vote on them in June.

If there is no special session and the measures aren’t passed until the regular session, they won’t come before the voters until mid-September at the earliest because the regular session doesn’t end until June 18.

By then, Alabama likely will no longer be in contention for these economic development projects and the thousands of new jobs they would bring to our state.

Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom Jr., president of the Senate, and Speaker of the House Seth Hammett have both expressed their support for the special session.

There are some Democratic senators who have asked the governor to wait until the regular session.

But, waiting doesn’t seem to be a smart move for the state right now.

Any new industries we can attract will be a plus.

Certainly if we knew that industries employing as many as 5,000 people would be coming our way, we’d demand our representatives do whatever is necessary to close the deal.