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House Committee Approves Jefferson Co. Bills

Montgomery, AL – Two bills aimed at rescuing Alabama's most populous county from financial turmoil have cleared a first hurdle in the Alabama Legislature.

The Jefferson County legislation committee approved the bills Tuesday morning that will allow about 1,000 laid-off county employees to go back to work. The bills also call for hiring a county comptroller and county manager to keep tabs on spending in the financially troubled county government.

Gov. Bob Riley called legislators to Montgomery for a special session this week to plug a $75 million budget hole caused by court rulings that struck down the county's occupational tax. One of the bills approved Tuesday would levy a new occupational tax of .45 percent of income.

The full House is expected to vote on the bills Wednesday.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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