Blog

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

Arise members gather in Montgomery to support payday, title lending reforms

Nearly 100 Arise supporters gathered Thursday in Montgomery to urge reforms of payday and auto title lending in Alabama. Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, and Rep. Rod Scott, D-Fairfield, spoke at an Arise news conference to encourage advocates to push for their respective reform bills. “There is no one in this state who does not have [...]
Date
March 7, 2014
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Alabama House committee OKs bill to create statewide database of payday loans

Enforcement of current Alabama law would be easier under a pared-down payday lending reform bill that emerged from a House committee Wednesday. Triple-digit annual interest rates on the loans would not change, however, under the new version of HB 145 that the House Financial Services Committee approved. The bill awaits consideration by the full House. [...]
Date
March 5, 2014
Author
Stephen Stetson
Blog

Alabama Senate passes education budget; changes likely in House

State K-12 and higher education funding next year would remain far lower than it was before the recession under the Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget that the Alabama Senate passed 21-10 Thursday. The $5.9 billion budget is identical to the version that cleared a Senate committee Wednesday, but changes likely are ahead in the House. K-12 [...]
Date
February 27, 2014
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Senate passes bill to end Alabama’s lifetime SNAP, TANF bans for people with felony drug conviction

People convicted of a drug-related felony could regain their eligibility for food assistance or cash welfare benefits in Alabama under a bill that the state Senate passed 18-8 Thursday. SB 303, sponsored by Sen. Linda Coleman, D-Birmingham, moves to the House. SB 303 would allow otherwise eligible people to receive food assistance or cash welfare [...]
Date
February 27, 2014
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Legacies of recession, chronic shortfalls linger in Alabama’s budgets

State support for education and other public services under the Education Trust Fund (ETF) and General Fund (GF) next year would not come close to its pre-recession level under the budgets that advanced in the Alabama Legislature on Wednesday. Both budgets are built on the assumption that the state will see no major revenue increases [...]
Date
February 26, 2014
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Dial grocery tax bill, landlord-tenant changes advance in Alabama Legislature

Many low-income Alabamians could pay more in sales taxes under a bill that cleared a state Senate committee Wednesday. The Senate’s education budget committee voted 6-2 to approve SB 287, sponsored by Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville. The measure awaits consideration by the full Senate. Dial’s bill gradually would end the state’s 4 percent sales tax [...]
Date
February 26, 2014
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Proposed landlord-tenant law changes softened in Alabama Senate committee

A state Senate committee somewhat softened a set of proposed changes to Alabama’s landlord-tenant law Thursday. The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee approved a substitute version of SB 291, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston. The bill now goes to the full Senate. Marsh’s original bill would have rewritten numerous parts of [...]
Date
February 21, 2014
Author
Stephen Stetson
Blog

Medicaid, prison funding challenges remain as Alabama House committee OKs barebones General Fund budget

Medicaid, mental health and other human services in Alabama would face yet another year of tight funding under the General Fund (GF) budget that cleared a state House committee Wednesday. The committee’s version was virtually identical to the one that Gov. Robert Bentley recommended last month. The committee approved next year’s proposed $1.8 billion operating [...]
Date
February 20, 2014
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Anti-ACA bill clears Alabama Senate committee

A bill that purports to nullify parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) sailed through an Alabama Senate committee Wednesday with few questions. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration. SB 220’s sponsor, Sen. Jerry Fielding, R-Sylacauga, told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that he needed to pass the bill out [...]
Date
February 19, 2014
Author
M.J. Ellington
Blog

Alabama Senate panel discusses plan to end state grocery tax, raise sales tax on other items

An Alabama Senate committee took no action Wednesday on a proposal to swap the state grocery tax for a higher sales tax on other items. The panel could vote next week on SB 287, sponsored by Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville. Committee members heard public testimony on the bill Wednesday. Dial’s bill would end the state’s [...]
Date
February 19, 2014
Author
Chris Sanders