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 legislative recap: May 31, 2019

Good news: We saw a breakthrough on civil asset forfeiture when the Alabama Legislature passed SB 191 this week! The version of the bill that lawmakers sent to the governor omits many of the due process protections that were in the original version. But it still will shine more light on this practice. And greater [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
May 31, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

On civil asset forfeiture reform, transparency is a good start – but there’s more to do

Civil asset forfeiture in Alabama lacks public accountability and tramples the property rights of thousands of people. Hundreds of Alabamians lose cash, cars and other property under this practice every year. Many of them are never convicted of a crime – or even charged with one. And many people can’t afford to hire a lawyer to [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
May 30, 2019
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Arise legislative recap: May 24, 2019

The uncertainty over 2020 CHIP funding showcases the fundamental problem with Alabama's budgets: Our state doesn’t bring in enough money to fund basic needs adequately. Arise's Carol Gundlach explores that topic in this week's legislative recap.  
Issue
Budgets
Date
May 24, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

CFPB’s move to gut consumer protections shows need for state-level payday lending reform

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) should serve consumers, not the industries it regulates. That’s why Alabama Arise submitted a comment last week objecting to the CFPB’s plan to reverse an important consumer protection. And that’s why Arise will continue to push for needed reforms at the Legislature. The federal ability-to-repay rule, set to take [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
May 24, 2019
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Arise legislative recap: May 17, 2019

Legislators talked a lot about pregnancy and childbirth at the State House this week, but the spotlight has left some disturbing facts about the reality of health care in Alabama in the shadows. Arise's Jim Carnes talks about why it’s so crucial for Alabama to expand Medicaid to strengthen the state’s health care system and [...]
Issue
Health
Date
May 17, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

Arise legislative recap: May 10, 2019

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is threatening to reverse a rule that promotes financial security for borrowers across the country. This week, we look at the CFPB’s proposal to eliminate a requirement for payday lenders to determine whether borrowers have the ability to repay before lending to them. Arise’s Mike Nicholson discusses this proposed [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
May 10, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

CHIP funding uncertainty shows a core problem in Alabama’s budgets

The Alabama Legislature has yet to decide how to fund health coverage for more than 170,000 children next year. And that’s a symptom of a fundamental illness that has plagued our state’s budgets for decades. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is one of Alabama’s most successful programs. Through Medicaid and ALL Kids, CHIP supports [...]
Issues
Budgets, Health
Date
May 10, 2019
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Arise legislative recap: May 3, 2019

Protecting the right to vote is essential to ensure everyone's voice is heard. Arise's Dev Wakeley discusses several bills introduced this session that would strengthen voting rights for all Alabamians.  
Issue
Voting Rights
Date
May 3, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

Not back yet: Alabama’s K-12, higher education funding still lower than 2008

Alabama children who entered first grade in 2008 will get their high school diplomas next year. And they’ll graduate from an education system that still gets less state support than it did when they were first learning how to add and subtract. The $7.1 billion Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget that the Alabama Senate passed [...]
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform
Date
May 3, 2019
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Voting rights bills would bring Alabama closer to full participation

Every eligible citizen should be able to vote, with no unnecessary barriers blocking the exercise of that fundamental right. But Alabama has an unusually troubled history of shameful voter suppression. And the Legislature has been reluctant to implement changes to help bring our state’s voting practices up to modern standards. This year, Alabama has an [...]
Issue
Voting Rights
Date
May 2, 2019
Author
Dev Wakeley