Alabama Passes Two Constitutional Amendments

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Governor Bob Riley calls the passage of Amendments One and Two "a great victory for Alabama."

About 99 percent of the precincts have reported across the state, and Amendment One has passed by a nearly 4-to-1 margin. It allows the state to sell 400 million dollars in bonds to pay industrial incentives to German steelmaker ThyssenKrupp and several other companies.

The governor says the vote will sustain Alabama's econmic growth and keep Alabama in the competition for thousands more jobs.

Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who opposed the amendment, says it provides an unfair competitive advantage to ThyssenKrupp. He predicts it will lead to job losses at existing Alabama steel mills.

Voters provided a better than 4-to-1 margin for Amendment Two. It was favored by 84 percent of the voters. Amendment Two secures constitutional protection for two new trust funds created by the Legislature to save money for the future health insurance costs of retired state workers and school employees.

Turnout for today's special referendum was light. Poll workers in some precincts had periods when there wasn't a single voter casting a ballot.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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