Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Inside the Alabama State House

The Alabama Senate following committee reports and bill introductions moved to their special order calendar proposed by the Rules Committee.

The Senate Special Order consisted of two bills sponsored by Senator Lowell Barron, SB367 and SB279. The first bill, according to Barron, is a stimulus package for the state that is tied to homes and homebuilders.

Senator Barron addressed the full senate stating that the concept for senate bill 367originated a couple of months ago. Barron said he began trying to discuss with various groups things that the legislature could do to stimulate jobs and boost the economy.

This bill would set aside $6,000,000.00 from the Capitol Improvement Fund, which was passed to allow the Governor to build industry. SB367 creates a “who will back the mortgages” in case one company is bad and goes under. This would guarantee up to 40% of the mortgage and give additional assurance to the mortgage holder. The Alabama Housing Finance Authority would administer the program and service the mortgage loans originated under the program.

The Alabama Housing Finance Authority created in 1980 has over 17,000 homes in their portfolio, their foreclose rate on the loans financed is .08% compared to Alabama’s 1% and the national foreclosure rate of 3.5%. Senator Barron says that this kind of management would finance more than seven thousand new or existing homes in Alabama.
The Alabama Senate is currently taking up Sunset Bills. 2:00 pm CST.

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