Bill to ban "pass-through pork" headed to governor

File: Legislators meet during Alabama's special session
File: Legislators meet during Alabama's special session

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Legislature Passed the first of Gov. Bob Riley's seven ethics and campaign finance bills Tuesday, a move the out-going governor praised.

The Senate voted unanimously for a bill banning legislators from hiding "pass-through pork" in the state budgets. The bill passed the House earlier and now goes to the governor for his signature.

"This type of backroom dealing will finally be a part of Alabama's past. It has no place in an open, honest and transparent government. I commend legislators for passing this important piece of anti-corruption reform..." said Governor Riley.

In the past, legislators have been able to put extra money in a state agency's budget without allocating it for a specific purpose.

Instead, they would have a private agreement with the agency director that the money would be spent on a project chosen by the legislator.

The governor's bill makes it a misdemeanor, punishable by up to three months in jail, for an agency director to participate in those agreements.

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