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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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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
Blog

Alabama would suffer for years to come under no-new-revenue General Fund budget

Alabamians’ quality of life would suffer for years to come if the no-new-revenue General Fund (GF) budget that the House’s GF budget committee approved Thursday becomes reality. The House is expected to vote Tuesday on the budget, which would slash vital services like health care, child care and public safety. The state’s promising new reforms of Medicaid [...]
Date
May 15, 2015
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Alabama Medicaid long-term care bills head for full House, Senate votes

Alabama would deliver Medicaid long-term care services in a new way under two identical bills that won legislative committee approval Wednesday. House and Senate committees approved the respective bills – HB 585, sponsored by Rep. April Weaver, R-Brierfield, and SB 431, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed, R-Jasper – without opposition. State Health Officer [...]
Date
May 6, 2015
Author
M.J. Ellington
Blog

Another win for payday lending reform as Alabama House committee OKs six-month repayment bill

Payday lending reform advocates in Alabama scored two victories at the State House on Wednesday. First, a strong reform bill (HB 531) cleared the House Financial Services Committee without opposition. Shortly thereafter, a bill to expand the maximum size of payday loans (SB 446) stalled in the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. HB 531, sponsored [...]
Date
May 6, 2015
Author
Stephen Stetson
Blog

Testimony from Arise’s Kimble Forrister on cigarette tax increase

Arise’s Kimble Forrister testified before the House’s General Fund budget committee Tuesday, May 5, 2015, about HB 572, which would increase Alabama’s cigarette tax by 25 cents per pack. The committee approved the bill along with several other tax measures. Here’s the full text of Forrister’s prepared remarks: “Alabama Arise has changed its position on the [...]
Date
May 5, 2015
Author
Kimble Forrister
Blog

Testimony from Arise’s Kimble Forrister on ‘flat tax’ proposal

Arise's Kimble Forrister testified before the state Senate's education budget committee Wednesday, April 29, 2015, about SB 409. The bill would raise income taxes on the lowest-paid Alabamians but cut taxes for the top 1 percent by thousands of dollars on average. The committee carried the bill over at the sponsor's request, but it could return [...]
Date
April 29, 2015
Author
Kimble Forrister
Blog

‘Flat tax’ plan could raise income taxes on lowest-paid Alabamians

Alabamians struggling to make ends meet could have to pay state income tax on the first $100 they earn under a new “flat tax” proposal that the Senate’s education budget committee considered Wednesday. SB 409 would eliminate all personal exemptions and standard deductions and require an 80 percent majority of both the state House and [...]
Date
April 29, 2015
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Alabama crossroads: We need new revenue

We all want to live in a healthy, secure and prosperous state. Alabama is taking important steps toward that goal now, but deep General Fund budget cuts could undo that progress. Medicaid’s new regional care organizations will keep patients healthier while cutting costs. Prison system improvements will protect Alabamians while lowering costs and helping former inmates transition back [...]
Date
April 23, 2015
Author
Kimble Forrister
Blog

Bills to reform payday lending, change Accountability Act clear Alabama legislative committees

Alabama borrowers would have much longer to repay payday loans under a bill that emerged from a state Senate committee Wednesday. SB 335, sponsored by Sen. Slade Blackwell, R-Mountain Brook, now awaits action by the full Senate. Blackwell’s bill would bring substantial reform to the payday loan industry in Alabama. It would extend the length [...]
Date
April 15, 2015
Author
Stephen Stetson