Any provision of the Constitution of Alabama or amendments thereto to the contrary notwithstanding, the legislature may by appropriate laws authorize the state to engage in works of internal improvement by fulfilling the requirements of local contribution, participation and cooperation now or hereafter established by the United States in connection with the construction and maintenance of a navigable waterway (herein called "the waterway") between Montgomery and Gadsden and to the Alabama-Georgia boundary.
The legislature may by appropriate laws authorize the state to become indebted, and in evidence of such indebtedness, to sell and issue its interest-bearing bonds, in an aggregate principal amount not exceeding $10,000,000, for the purpose of enabling the state to discharge obligations at any time authorized by the legislature to be undertaken in connection with the waterway project; provided, that the expenses incurred in connection with the sale and issuance of the bonds may also be paid from the proceeds thereof. Bonds evidencing the herein provided for indebtedness may be issued as direct general obligations of the state, and the state may pledge its full faith and credit to the prompt payment of the principal of the bonds and the interest thereon. The herein provided for indebtedness shall not be construed to prohibit or limit appropriations from the general fund of the state which from time to time may be made for the purpose of enabling the state to discharge obligations at any time authorized by the legislature to be undertaken in connection with the waterway project.
The legislature may by appropriate laws establish a public corporation and may confer upon it, in addition to all other necessary powers, full power to undertake the obligations that the state is permitted under the foregoing provisions of this amendment to undertake in connection with the waterway project. The legislature may from time to time appropriate money from the general fund of the state to be expended by such public corporation and may also authorize the herein provided for general obligation bonds of the state to be sold from time to time under the supervision of such public corporation; provided, that all moneys received by such public corporation from the state, whether as appropriations from the state's general fund or as proceeds of the sale of the state's bonds, shall be expended, except for reasonable administrative expenses, in discharging obligations that the state is permitted under the foregoing provisions of this amendment to undertake in connection with the waterway project, and shall have directed such public corporation to undertake in its stead.
Nothing herein shall authorize the legislature to establish any such public corporation to acquire by purchase, license, lease, condemnation or otherwise a hydroelectric project (or any part thereof) heretofore or hereafter licensed by the federal power commission under the Federal Power Act of June 10, 1920, Public Law No. 280, 66th Congress, 2nd Session, and amendments thereto, or any such project (or any part thereof) otherwise authorized by act of congress.