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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8, 2007
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Special session rumors surface again

By M.J. Ellington
mjellington@decaturdaily.com (334) 262-1104

MONTGOMERY — Talk of a special legislative session in the fall surfaced again Monday during a state Board of Education work session.

Two-year college Chancellor Bradley Byrne told board members that he'd like for a proposal to formally separate the Alabama Fire College from the two-year college system to be ready if the governor calls the Legislature into special session.

"I'm sure you've all heard rumors of a possible special session in October or November," Byrne said.

"I'd like to have something ready in case the governor calls it."

Byrne and board members want to separate the Alabama Fire College from the two-year college system. Some parts of the Fire College's budget still go through Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa.

As early as May, rumors began circulating that Gov. Bob Riley might call lawmakers into a special session on banning the transfer of funds between political action committees, and other ethics measures. Some lawmakers also want to address immigration issues.

"The governor's staff as of last week was still considering (calling a special session) but had not made a decision," said Rep. Micky Hammon, R-Decatur. Riley's press secretary Tara Hutchinson said Tuesday that she doesn't know of any specific plans.

Hammon says any special session would likely also include a call for a ban on pass-through pork spending, similar to a measure that has cleared the House in each of the past six legislative sessions only to stall each time in the Senate.

He also hopes illegal immigration would be part of the call.

Hammon said if a special session occurs, he hopes it is in October rather than November. "November is too close to the holidays," Hammon said.

Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, also continues to hear speculation about a special session.

"I've heard rumors, but nothing concrete," Orr said.

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