Bill to ban "pass-through pork" headed to governor

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Legislature has passed the first of Gov. Bob Riley's seven ethics and campaign finance bills.

The Senate voted unanimously Tuesday for a bill banning legislators from hiding "pass-through pork" in the state budgets. The bill passed the House earlier and now goes to the governor for his signature.

In the past, legislators have been able to put extra money in a state agency's budget without allocating it for a specific purpose.

Instead, they would have a private agreement with the agency director that the money would be spent on a project chosen by the legislator.

The governor's bill makes it a misdemeanor, punishable by up to three months in jail, for an agency director to participate in those agreements.

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