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Last updated 12:43AM ET
March 2, 2021
Advocates for Disabled Rally
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - Hundreds of disabled adults, their advocates and caretakers gathered on the steps of the Statehouse Wednesday for the 4th Annual "We Can't Wait Rally."

They urged legislators to pass bills removing the word "retarded" from state language and adding a two-cent sales tax on sodas to raise money for services.

About 16-hundred Alabamians with disabilities are on a statewide waiting list for services like independent living training and housing assistance.

Supporters of the soda tax said it could end the waiting list.

Speakers at the rally supported a suit filed in 2000 by six Jefferson County residents with mental retardation asking that the services be provided to those on the waiting list.

A tentative settlement between the state mental health agency and those filing suit was blocked last year by Governor Bob Riley and Attorney General Troy King.

Senator Bobby Denton, a Democrat from Muscle Shoals, called on Riley and King to work with advocates and help end the suit.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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