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 within the state 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 Demopolis, Alabama, and the Tennessee river, including the relocation and construction of roads and bridges to and across the waterway, access roads and approaches thereto and the related engineering and rights-of-way acquisition expenses (herein called "the projects").
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 $25,000,000, 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 and the projects; 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 and the projects.
The legislature may from time to time appropriate money from the general fund of the state to be expended by the Tombigbee valley development authority, a public corporation and agency of the state, 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 said authority; provided, that all moneys received by said authority 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 to be paid from said appropriations and expenses of the sale of said bonds to be paid from said bond proceeds, in discharging obligations that the state is permitted under the foregoing provisions of this amendment to undertake in connection with the waterway and the projects and shall have directed said authority to undertake in its stead. The bonds authorized by this amendment shall be in addition to those authorized by that amendment to said constitution proposed by Act No. 248 adopted at the 1967 regular session of the legislature and ratified by the electors of the state on December 5, 1967.