Legislators Agree to Temporarily Hold Off on "Pork Projects"

Montgomery, AL – Legislative officials agreed at a court hearing Tuesday to not issue any checks to their favorite educational projects for one month starting Friday. That's when the state's new fiscal year begins. And that month will give a judge time to rule on the constitutionality of what legislators call community service grants but what critics call pork projects. Circuit Judge Johnny Hardwick heard testimony on a lawsuit filed by Republican Party activist Hugh McInnish at Tuesday's hearing. McInnish contends that legislators are violating the separation of powers doctrine and performing duties of the executive branch when they distribute the checks. The Legislature's attorney, Joe Espy, says the check distribution is a constitutional exercise. Espy also says the lawsuit is a political attempt to embarrass the Legislature.