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.

  • Show These Issues

  • Show These Authors

Blog

Alabama Senate panel OKs bill to lift lifetime SNAP, TANF bans for people with felony drug conviction

An Alabama Senate committee Wednesday approved a bill that would allow people who were convicted of a drug-related felony to regain eligibility for food assistance or cash welfare benefits. The Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability (FR&A) Committee voted 5-2 to send the bill to the full Senate for consideration. Alabama is one of just 10 [...]
Date
February 12, 2014
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Bill to allow some pharmacies to redispense HIV drugs goes to Alabama House

Pharmacies that dispense HIV medications for or in HIV clinics would be able to redistribute certain unopened drugs under a bill that the House Health Committee approved unanimously Wednesday. HB 138, sponsored by Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, now moves to the full House. Current regulations prohibit HIV clinics from sending back medications, Todd said, even if patients do not show up for treatment. Clinic [...]
Date
February 12, 2014
Author
M.J. Ellington
Blog

Payday, title loan reforms face uncertain future after Alabama House committee hearing

Payday and auto title lending reform bills were dealt a serious blow in an Alabama House committee Wednesday. Members of the House Financial Services Committee sent the payday loan bill to a subcommittee and deferred action on the title loan bill. The moves came after seven people testified in support of the payday loan bill [...]
Date
February 12, 2014
Author
Stephen Stetson
Blog

Alabama Senate panel narrows scope of bill regarding public benefits recipients

A state Senate committee Wednesday drastically reduced the scope of a proposal that would have required most adults who receive a wide range of public benefits in Alabama to perform community service. The committee approved a new version of SB 87, sponsored by Sen. Bryan Taylor, R-Prattville, that simply would forbid the state from continuing to [...]
Date
February 6, 2014
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Legislation would end Alabama Health Insurance Plan

An Alabama law that guarantees health insurance coverage for some people without regard to their health status is on the fast track to obsolescence in the Legislature. Sponsors of identical House and Senate bills that would end the Alabama Health Insurance Plan (AHIP) say the program no longer will be needed because the Affordable Care [...]
Date
February 5, 2014
Author
M.J. Ellington
Blog

Bill would erode tenants’ rights in Alabama

Renting an apartment or a house can involve a lot of challenges, ranging from security deposits and fees to potentially cantankerous neighbors or landlords. But life for Alabama renters could get a lot more difficult if the Legislature passes SB 291, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston. The bill is the second [...]
Date
February 4, 2014
Author
Stephen Stetson
Blog

Alabama Senate committees OK bills to impose tougher rules on TANF recipients

Alabama Senate committees this week considered legislation that would make getting public assistance far more complicated for low-income Alabamians. The bills, all but one of which won committee approval Wednesday, would impose additional requirements on people who receive benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Among the legislation are bills that would: [...]
Date
January 23, 2014
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Bills to shorten Alabama’s death penalty appeals process speeding toward committee votes

House and Senate committees are set to vote Wednesday afternoon on proposals to shorten the appeals process for people convicted of capital murder in Alabama. Members of both chambers’ Judiciary Committees gathered Tuesday to hear public testimony on the legislation – HB 216, sponsored by Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Rogersville, and SB 194, sponsored by Sen. [...]
Date
January 21, 2014
Author
Stephen Stetson
Blog

ETF increase not enough to restore Alabama schools to pre-recession funding

Alabama’s education funding is expected to increase next year, but K-12 and higher education need a far larger increase to meet students’ needs adequately, lawmakers heard Tuesday during the second day of state budget hearings in Montgomery. Spending in the Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget will be $134 million, or 2.3 percent, higher next year, [...]
Date
January 14, 2014
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

More money available for education, less for General Fund services next year

Alabama will have more money available for education next year, but funding is expected to drop for the perennially cash-strapped General Fund (GF), the director of the Legislative Fiscal Office (LFO) said Monday during the first day of state budget hearings in Montgomery. The GF provides a sizable amount of state funding for Medicaid, mental [...]
Date
January 13, 2014
Author
M.J. Ellington