1/4/10 – see update at end of post
Thanks to anonymous for the steer to Nonprofits formed by three legislators go unaudited in today’s Birmingham News. In brief, State Sen. Roger Bedford, Reps. Mike Millican, D-Hamilton, and William Thigpen, D-Fayette, helped pass legislation diverting tax funds from the State Coal Severance Tax (which the act also sets to expire in 2011), then five months later, setup non-profit organizations to receive the funds. The law does require an annual audit of by the State Examiner of Public Accounts but three years later this has not been done.
Representative Thigpen is quoted in the article as saying, the money was given to fire departments, schools and “other things”.
The actual act as enacted (2006-386) is available from the Alabama Secretary of State’s public records (pdf).
Will update this post if and when there is comment from Sen Bedford and Rep Millican.
Since Senator Beford has assured us that Alabama has very strong ethics laws, it is certain all this is above board and just simply a matter of practical politics, AKA taking care of the home folks.
11/17 – According to the Birmingham News, audits by the State Examiner of Public Accounts will begin soon of the non-profits in this matter. Rep. Thigpen is quoted as saying he welcomes the audits.
The Tuscaloosa News (login required?) has more including quotes from Sen. Bedford.
Lastly, from the South Union Street Blog of the Montgomery Advertiser, an edited statement from Sen. Benford on this matter,; he stresses all the funds have been spent legally and eased the sting of proration.
If and when the audit is completed, it should be available at the Examiner of Public Accounts website.
1/4/10 – the audits of the Marion County Community Development Association, Inc and West Alabama Development Association of Fayette County, Inc have been done by the Examiner of Public Accounts and show no irregularities according to the Montgomery Advertiser. Links to pdfs of the Marion County CDA and Fayette County CDA audits