Alabama voters will decide on Nov. 6 whether to continue a 20-year-old program that has allowed the state to buy 220,000 acres of public land to be used for hunting, fishing, birding and other activities.
It's the second time Alabama residents have been asked to vote on Forever Wild. The first was in 1992, when voters authorized the state to buy wilderness lands.
(Martin): For residents in Alabama's second congressional district, what are the issues they're going to be concerned with this election season?
(Taylor): Well I think clearly the issues that are most in the minds of people in the second district is true across the state is still the state of the economy and jobs, I think the themes that are important to the district are mostly generic ones like the basic state of the economy.
Some members of the Alabama Legislature have been trying for more than 10 years to rewrite the Alabama Constitution by doing it one article at a time.
Two of the rewritten articles are finally ready to go before voters. Proposed amendments rewriting two sections on the 1901 Constitution relating to banking and corporations passed the Alabama House and Senate earlier this year and will be on the Nov. 6 ballot.
It's a similar process that was used in the early 1970s to rewrite the state's judicial articles.
Alabama's Republican Party chairman is traveling across the state to announce that the party will send volunteers to battleground states because Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is expected to carry Alabama by a wide margin.
Party Chairman Bill Armistead is calling the effort Alabama Battleground Patriots.
A party spokeswoman says Armistead plans stops Monday in Huntsville, Montgomery, Mobile and Dothan. He will be in Hoover on Tuesday.
The Republican nominee for president has carried Alabama in every election since 1980.
U.S. voters are just a few weeks shy of casting their ballot for president. Both candidates have discussed several issues during their campaigns, with economic recovery taking the forefront. That’s an issue that resonates with residents in Alabama’s first congressional district, which includes Mobile. Several developments over the summer are spurring economic growth in the coastal city, including an agreement with Airbus.
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.
U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt's re-election campaign has paid $13,000 in penalties for filing inaccurate finance reports.
The documents released recently by the Federal Election Commission show Aderholt's campaign account misrepresented how much money it raised; spent; and had on hand for several years.
Records show more than $58,000 in campaign receipts were misstated from 2006 through 2010. And there were inaccurate records about how $129,600 was spent. Another $273,000 wasn't deposited into the campaign account within the required 10-day period.
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.
Friday is the deadline to register to vote in Alabama's constitutional amendment referendum on Sept. 18.
Secretary of State Beth Chapman says citizens can register at their local board of registrars or they can fill out forms at state and county offices that provide public assistance, such as the state Department of Human Resources. She says forms are also available when obtaining or renewing a driver's license.
Chapman is also reminding voters that Thursday, Sept. 13 is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot for the referendum.
Gov. Robert Bentley says he won't propose any tax increases if Alabama voters reject a proposal to take more than $437 million out of a state trust fund to use for the state General Fund budget. Bentley said he made a promise to the people of Alabama that he wouldn't raise taxes on families and he intends to keep that promise. Bentley said he will also veto any broad-based taxes passed by the Legislature. Senate budget committee Chairman Arthur Orr of Decatur said the governor's no-tax position means it's almost certain the Legislature won't pass a tax.