Alabama finally appears to be moving forward with a $25 million jail bond issue that has been on hold since the spring.

Although an appropriation for the revenue bond offering by the Alabama Corrections Institution Finance Authority was approved by the Legislature in May, lawmakers stipulated then that the issue could not be sold until the state's Easterling Correctional Facility in Barbour County, closed last year, is reopened.

In addition, legislators insisted the sale not occur until all workers laid off in the Easterling closing were rehired or offered other employment. Easterling was shut down to help the state deal with a budget shortfall.

But now that additional state money for prisons has been allotted during a recent special legislative session, the Easterling facility is being reopened and the jail bond issue is back on track, a state official said last week.

"I can't say when it will happen, but it looks like the bond issue will now eventually be sold," said the official, Grover Jacobs, executive assistant to state finance director Ivan Smith. "The timing depends on when the conditions laid down by the legislators are actually met."

Proceeds from the borrowing will be used to build a medium-security prison in Bibb County, according to Deborah Kennedy, an analyst with the Legislature's Joint Fiscal Committee.

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