MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WDHN) — Lawmakers who sponsored the bill meant to keep Birmingham-Southern College open say they are disappointed with the court’s decision this week and are left figuring out what’s the next step.
A Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Wednesday affirmed State Treasurer Young Boozer’s decision to deny the school a loan.
The “Distressed Institutions of Higher Education Loan Program” law passed this year. Lawmakers wrote it with BSC in mind and set aside $30 million specifically for the school.
Now that Boozer has denied that loan, some lawmakers say there may still be other options.
“I don’t think this fight’s over, no,” Rep. Neil Rafferty (D- Birmingham) said.
Rep. Rafferty co-sponsored the House version of the bill. He says he hopes the Treasurer and school can work out an agreement but if not, lawmakers could get involved.
“If that consensus is not reached, then the legislature may need to return to the power of the pen and the power we’re given through the people to ensure a more positive outcome by rewriting a piece of legislation,” Rafferty said.
Rafferty says lawmakers could look at changing the law or the agency that would implement the loans.
Another bill sponsor Rep. Juandalynn Givan says the legislature’s intent was ignored.
“They should have been able to at least leave the table with something. This legislation was put in place. We appropriated $30 million as a supplement to assist in this process,” Givan said.
Treasurer Boozer said in a statement that he denied BSC “based on their not meeting the required statutory minimum criteria.” One of the criteria that state lawyers brought up in court was the requirement that the school has assets sufficient to secure a loan.
Boozer said on the phone Thursday he would not comment beyond his previous statement, as there is a possibility of further litigation.
BSC President Daniel Coleman has said the school is considering an appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court.