Critics Urge 'No' Vote On Sept. 18 Ala. Referendum
About 50 people gathered on the steps of the Alabama Capitol to urge residents to vote "no" Tuesday on a constitutional amendment to allow the transfer of $437.4 million from the Alabama Trust Fund to be used for Medicaid, prisons and other state services. Holding signs urging voters to not "bust" the trust fund, the demonstrators Thursday listened to representatives of grassroots groups who said the principle from the fund, established by former Gov. Fob James, was never meant to be spent. Marcia Chambliss, state director of Smart Girl Politics Alabama, said balancing the state's General Fund budget by "raiding" the trust fund will not solve the state's financial problems. Supporters say passage of the amendment will not bankrupt the fund and that opponents are being misleading. Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.