The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

October 7, 2012

Governor touts Amendment 2 as job creator

— MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Fresh off getting voters to approve a $437 million constitutional amendment, Gov. Robert Bentley is crisscrossing the state to seek support for a much smaller amendment that could determine whether he keeps his campaign promise to reduce unemployment.

Bentley tells audiences that they need to approve Amendment 2 on Nov. 6 because paychecks are at stake.

"The bottom line is this will give our state a new avenue for providing economic development incentives, and that will help us create more new jobs," he said at a stop in Birmingham.

The proposed amendment cleared the Legislature in May with only three negatives vote. Since then, there has been no organized campaign against it.

It would change an earlier amendment that allows Alabama to sell up to $750 million in bonds to provide money to give as incentives for new industries to locate in the state. Bentley said he's used incentives for all sizes of projects, ranging from recruiting an Airbus aircraft project that will create 1,000 jobs in Mobile to saving 150 jobs in Hackleburg by getting Wrangler to rebuild a distribution center destroyed by a tornado.

Alabama has issued $720 million in bonds to pay economic incentives, leaving only $30 million that can still be sold. By comparison, Alabama offered $153 million in incentives for Airbus. The state pays off the bonds with royalties from natural gas wells in state-owned waters along the coast.

Some of the $720 million in bonds have already been paid off, but that doesn't matter under Alabama's Constitution. Also, the Constitution doesn't allow for refinancing bonds to take advantage of lower interest rates.

Amendment 2 would allow for refinancing. It also would calculate how much money is left for new bonds based on how much debt is outstanding — not the total amount of bonds issued over time. For instance, Alabama has paid off about $130 million of the bonds issued so far, meaning that is roughly how much money could be available for bond projects if the amendment is approved, according to state estimates.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Officials Warn of Avoidable Death in Hot Cars Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee