Riley Speaks to Legislators About Cuts

Montgomery, AL – Governor Bob Riley reacted to the overwhelming defeat of his tax plan by telling legislators Wednesday he's preparing to cut nuring home care, release nonviolent prisoners early, and eliminate state funding for non-state programs and private colleges.

Riley made no public statements, but legislators who attended the private meeting said the governor told them that his proposed state budgets will be based on:

- lowering the income ceiling for qualifying for state Medicaid coverage in nursing homes so that fewer Alabamians can get coverage.

- providing early paroles for at least five-thousand nonviolent inmates.

- eliminating all funding for some unspecified state programs.

- cutting funding for public universities and eliminating it for private schools, such as Marion Institute and Talladega College.

- eliminating funding for non-state agencies, such as Junior Miss, AIDS Alabama, and the Parkinson Association.

Legislators and Riley's press secretary, David Azbell, said the governor will try to design the cuts to spare state agencies that are operating under court orders, including the prison system and child welfare services, so that Alabama won't end up paying stiff fines for ignoring court orders.