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

Alabama House committee votes to lift individuals’ scholarship credit cap under Accountability Act

An Alabama House committee Wednesday approved a bill to erase a size limit on the state income tax credit that an individual can claim for contributions to groups that grant scholarships under the Alabama Accountability Act. HB 558, sponsored by Rep. Chad Fincher, R-Semmes, moves to the House. The Accountability Act, enacted last year, provides [...]
Date
March 12, 2014
Author
M.J. Ellington
Blog

Alabama House could vote next week on bill to end lifetime SNAP, TANF bans for people with felony drug conviction

The Alabama House could vote as soon as Tuesday on a bill that would allow people convicted of a drug-related felony to regain eligibility for food assistance or cash welfare benefits. A House committee Wednesday approved the bill, which the Senate passed last month. SB 303, sponsored by Sen. Linda Coleman, D-Birmingham, awaits consideration by [...]
Date
March 12, 2014
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Bill to increase homestead exemption for debtors clears Alabama Senate committee

Alabamians could shield more of their home’s value from creditors under a bill that the Senate’s General Fund budget committee approved 7-0 Wednesday. SB 427, sponsored by Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, awaits consideration by the full Senate. Ward's bill would allow individuals to protect up to $30,000 of their home's value from creditors. The exemption [...]
Date
March 12, 2014
Author
Stephen Stetson
Blog

Changes to state landlord-tenant law approved in Alabama Senate

The Alabama Senate voted 28-0 Thursday for a bill that would adjust some deadlines in the state’s landlord-tenant law in favor of property owners. SB 291, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, goes to the House. Current state law requires landlords to provide tenants with a 14-day written notice if they plan [...]
Date
March 7, 2014
Author
Chris Sanders
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