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State legislator wants attorney general's advice on junior college records

MONTGOMERY (AP) — A state legislator asked the attorney general Thursday to determine whether acting junior college Chancellor Thomas Corts must release a list of legislators who had projects for their district hidden in the budget of two-year colleges.

In a letter of Attorney General Troy King, state Rep. Alvin Holmes, D-Montgomery, said Corts had declined to release a list he said he had of projects that certain legislators were supposed to get.

Holmes asked King for an advisory opinion on whether the list comes under Alabama's public records law or whether it can be private.

Holmes said Corts recently told him that he had received a list from two legislative budget chairmen, Sen. Hank Sanders, D-Selma, and Rep. Richard Lindsey, D-Centre, of which legislators were supposed to get projects out of an extra $52 million put into the two-year college system's budget when Roy Johnson was chancellor.

Holmes said he asked for a copy of the document, but he received a letter from Corts on Wednesday that said "he did not believe that he was required to regard his notes and conversations concerning this matter as public documents."

Holmes said the public should know if a few powerful legislators are trying to control millions.

"The junior colleges are already in the worst mess I've seen in my life. Now everything has got to be above board," Holmes said.

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