Governor Robert Bentley released the following statement regarding today's vote by the Jefferson County Commission to file for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy:
"I am disappointed by the Commission's decision today, as bankruptcy will negatively impact not only the Birmingham region, but also the entire state. My administration has worked closely with the Jefferson County Commission, the sewer creditors and legislators to work toward a settlement that is in the best interests of the Jefferson County residents and rate payers. The settlement that the county rejected today would have reduced the sewer debt by more than $1 billion and significantly reduced proposed sewer rate increases. By filing for bankruptcy, the county commission now relinquishes control of its affairs into the hands of a federal bankruptcy judge. The Jefferson County sewer debt crisis has been an impediment to economic growth in the state, and the bankruptcy filing will now be an even greater challenge to overcome. Now we must rise to this new challenge, move forward to bring economic growth and stability to the Birmingham region, and do everything in our power to limit the impact of this decision on the residents and businesses in Alabama."