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Public policy should make life better for everyone, not just a select few. Throughout the year, Arise tracks a range of state and federal policy proposals and assesses what they would mean for Alabamians who are struggling to make ends meet. Our blog provides quick updates on these proposals and offers tips on what you can do to help build an Alabama where all people have an opportunity to reach their full potential.

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Blog

HIV medication redistribution bill clears Alabama Legislature

New information: Gov. Robert Bentley will not sign the bill, his health policy adviser Dave White said Friday, June 12. White attributed the decision to a technical error in the committee amendment and said Bentley supports the bill's intent. Pharmacies that distribute HIV medications in or for HIV clinics could redistribute certain unopened drugs under a [...]
Date
June 4, 2015
Author
Jim Carnes
Blog

Alabama Accountability Act changes receive final legislative approval

A bill that would expand tax credits under the Alabama Accountability Act (AAA) received final legislative approval Wednesday and went to Gov. Robert Bentley. SB 71, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, is not the total repeal that Arise supported. But the bill would make significant improvements to the existing law (including [...]
Date
June 4, 2015
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Alabama needs a lasting solution to its General Fund shortfall

Taxes pay for important things. Services like education, health care and public safety are the backbone of economic growth, and tax dollars support them. Alabama has a long, sad history of not raising enough revenue to fund these vital services adequately, and it’s all led to this: a looming 2016 budget shortfall that could undermine [...]
Date
May 29, 2015
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Alabama Legislature passes Medicaid long-term care reforms

Medicaid long-term care patients in Alabama would have more options about their care under a bill that passed the House 98-0 Thursday and went to Gov. Robert Bentley. SB 431, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed, R-Jasper, cleared the Senate 30-0 last week. The plan would deliver comprehensive Medicaid long-term care services, including in-home and [...]
Date
May 28, 2015
Author
M.J. Ellington
Blog

A quiet win: SNAP, TANF eligibility bans end under new Alabama prison reform law

Tucked away in the new prison reform law that Gov. Robert Bentley signed Thursday is a big win for second chances in Alabama: an end to the state’s lifetime eligibility bans for SNAP and TANF assistance for people with a past felony drug conviction. It’s a win on an issue that has been an Arise priority since [...]
Date
May 21, 2015
Author
Kimble Forrister
Blog

Medicaid long-term care options would expand under bill that clears Alabama House committee

More Alabamians with Medicaid coverage would have more options for long-term home and community care under a bill that the House Health Committee approved unanimously Thursday. The bill, which the Senate passed 30-0 Tuesday, now goes to the full House for consideration. SB 431, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed, R-Jasper, would deliver comprehensive Medicaid [...]
Date
May 21, 2015
Author
M.J. Ellington
Blog

Alabama Legislature passes bill to require annual report on state tax breaks

Alabamians could learn far more about the cost and effectiveness of state tax breaks under a bill that the Legislature passed without a single “no” vote. SB 119, sponsored by Sen. Bill Hightower, R-Mobile, passed 92-0 in the House on Tuesday and 30-0 in the Senate in March. The Senate agreed with the House’s changes Thursday, [...]
Date
May 21, 2015
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Title loan reform bill gets hearing, but Alabama House committee doesn’t vote on it

An auto title loan reform bill finally got a public hearing before the Alabama House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, nearly two months after its introduction. But as is customary, the committee did not vote on the bill on the same day as the hearing. A vote could come next week. HB 400, sponsored by [...]
Date
May 20, 2015
Author
Stephen Stetson
Blog

Medicaid, mental health, child care would be slashed under Alabama House’s General Fund budget

Alabamians’ quality of life would suffer for years to come if the no-new-revenue General Fund (GF) budget that the state House passed 66-36 Tuesday becomes reality. The barebones budget would slash vital services like health care, child care and public safety. Alabama’s promising new reforms of Medicaid and prisons would end, and services for low-income [...]
Date
May 19, 2015
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Medicaid long-term care reforms sail through Alabama Senate

Medicaid patients in Alabama would have more options to receive long-term care in their community under a bill that the state Senate passed 27-0 Tuesday. SB 431, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed, R-Jasper, would create one or more integrated care networks (ICNs) to deliver a broad range of Medicaid long-term care services, ranging [...]
Date
May 19, 2015
Author
Jim Carnes