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GOP, Dem officials agree: Keep BSC open

Two of Alabama’s congressional representatives from opposite sides of the aisle in Washington have teamed up for a common goal: Keep Birmingham-Southern College open.

Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) and Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) co-authored an article, giving their perspective and laying out their case.

Sewell wrote about her professional and legislative connection to the 167 year old school.

“For one of us Birmingham-Southern College is in the district I am so honored to represent,” she said. “I’ve employed numerous staffers and interns over the years who are BSC alum, including my current Legislative Aide and Chief of Staff.”

Aderholt discussed his own personal experience as a former student at the college.

“BSC is my alma mater, as well as the place where I met my wife, Caroline, who is also a BSC graduate,” the congressman said. “And it’s where my parents went to college, too. I also have employed several staffers over the years who are BSC graduates.”

RELATED: Sen. Waggoner ‘disappointed’ with outcome of BSC case set to doom the school

The legislators also emphasized BSC’s financial impact on the region and state as a whole.

“Financially, BSC delivers $97.2 million to the state each year in economic impact and $13.8 million in taxes to state and local coffers,” the two stated. “That adds up to $1 billion in revenue over the next decade. But once gone, it will not return. Again, receiving a loan from the state seemed the common sense thing to do, considering the economic impact on the state.”

Aderholt and Sewell then implored Alabama state treasurer Young Boozer to authorize a loan to BSC to keep it operational. So far, Boozer has denied the request.

RELATED: BSC fate hangs in balance after Boozer denies loan request

“We strongly urge Treasurer Boozer to rethink his decision to deny the bridge loan that was designed for this very situation: To help out a college or university in Alabama that brings significant value to its community, has been in business for more than 50 years, has assets sufficient to back the state’s loan, and has a solid plan for paying it back.”

The two legislators said that the school remaining open is distinctively Alabama and is well deserving of extending its influence to future generations.

“We don’t always agree on the issues in Washington, but on this we do: Keeping Birmingham-Southern College open is what’s best for Alabama’s economy, our communities, and our students.”

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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