The Alabama Nursing Home Association is proud of the fact that at least one nursing home is available in every county in the state. But if the budget referendum taking place tomorrow fails that effort could be in danger. John Matson is a spokesman for the Alabama Nursing Home Association. He says a vote of "no" tomorrow could spell deep cuts on the horizon.
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.
Alabama's chief election official is expecting a small turnout for the special election Sept. 18 because of the lack of advertising and the unusual date.
Secretary of State Beth Chapman said the turnout for constitutional amendment elections usually is very low.
The exceptions were the lottery vote in 1999 and the tax hike vote in 2003, which hit 50 percent or more. But she said those were backed by millions in advertising. That hasn't been the case with the upcoming election.
Chapman said she's expecting a turnout of 20 to 21 percent, but that may be optimistic.