MONTGOMERY — Birmingham-Southern College (BSC) may get another chance at a $30 million state loan after the Senate passed a bill, 22-5, on Tuesday to replace Alabama State Treasurer Young Boozer as administrator of the loan program.

Legislation filed by State Sen. Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) would replace Boozer as the administrator of a $30 million loan program designed to bail out "distressed institutions of higher education," such as BSC. 

"Yes, Birmingham-Southern has fallen on some hard financial times, and this is a way to hopefully allow them to continue and I'll be honest, if this does not pass, they're probably closing their doors this spring. So, it's somewhat crucial," Waggoner said on Tuesday.

Under the bill, Dr. Jim Purcell, executive director of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, would administer the state loan to BSC.

Education Budget chair State Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) said the legislation wasn't good fiscal policy.

"Who's next? What's next? This puts us on a path that concerns me greatly fiscally for future needs of other colleges that might be out there," Orr said. "It's certainly something, in my humble opinion, that does not make good fiscal policy for our state."

Boozer denied a $30 million state loan to bail the private school out last year after legislators passed the Distressed Institutions of Higher Education Revolving Loan Program and appropriated $30 million in the 2023 legislative session for BSC. The Alabama State Treasurer's Office administers the program under the law's current version.

Montgomery County Circuit Judge James Anderson dismissed a lawsuit filed by BSC in October against Boozer after he denied the loan.

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