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State Sen. Waggoner introduces bill to sideline state treasurer on BSC loan dispute

A new bill that would remove State Treasurer Young Boozer from the process of administering loans worth millions to Birmingham Southern College has been brought forward in the Alabama Legislature for consideration in the 2024 state legislative session which began last week.

Last year, lawmakers in both the Alabama House and Senate backed legislation approving a higher education loan program with Birmingham Southern College’s situation in mind. Late last year, State Treasuer Young Boozer announced he will not be implementing the program in the case of BSC, citing reasons he outlined in an editorial column distributed this week.

BSC school president, Daniel Coleman, thanked State Sen. Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills), a BSC alum, for introducing Senate Bill 31, in a recent letter addressed to school supporters earlier this week.

RELATED: Young Boozer: If Birmingham-Southern College closes, it’s on them – not the State Treasurer

“We are deeply grateful to Sen. Waggoner for his steadfast support, especially through the last long year in pursuit of this critical funding,” wrote Coleman. “And we are also deeply grateful to the other 20 senators who have joined him in this effort, as well as to members of the House who have expressed support for BSC.

If enacted, the new legislation, would specifically replace Boozer with the Executive Director of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, Dr. Jim Purcell, as the individual who approves possible loans for the financially stricken college. It would also require a state regulated bank to review and approve a collateral and restructuring plan and force the college to make payments based on the bank’s suggestions.

The new bill will now be reviewed by the Senate Finance and Taxation Education Committee.

BSC officials have stressed that if the loan is not soon made available the college will close.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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