Special Session called by governor

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama legislators are coming to Montgomery to begin a special session aimed at resolving a budget crisis in the state's most populous county.

Lawmakers convene Monday night to consider bills that would help end a partial government shutdown that began last week in Jefferson County. About 1,000 county workers are on unpaid leave, and residents are waiting in line for hours to do things like renew their car tags.

Court rulings earlier this year blocked Jefferson County from spending money from an occupational tax that provides about one-fourth of its annual budget.

The county's legislative delegation has approved bills to replace the tax, and now the full Legislature must consider them.

"This special session is necessary to develop a solution to Jefferson County's financial crisis, one that threatens not only the future of Jefferson County but also the economic stability of our entire state," said Governor Riley. "It's in the best interest of all Alabamians for this special session to be a success, and I'm calling on legislators to return to Montgomery with an attitude of compromise so this problem can be solved."

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