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

Payday lending reform bill clears Alabama Senate committee

Interest rates on payday loans in Alabama would fall by more than half under a compromise payday loan reform bill that won approval in an Alabama Senate committee Wednesday. SB 110, sponsored by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, now awaits action by the full Senate. Only one committee member – Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster – voted [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
April 1, 2015
Author
Stephen Stetson
Blog

Six things to know about the Accountability Act changes that the Alabama Senate passed

A bill that would expand tax credits under the Alabama Accountability Act (AAA) passed 20-14 in the state Senate on Tuesday night. SB 71, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, now goes to the House. Below are six major aspects of the AAA that would change under SB 71: (1) More tax [...]
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform
Date
March 31, 2015
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Testimony from Arise’s Kimble Forrister on proposed Accountability Act changes

Arise’s Kimble Forrister testified before a state Senate committee Wednesday, March 11, 2015, about SB 71. The bill would make numerous changes to the Alabama Accountability Act, which provides state tax breaks for donations to certain groups that give scholarships to pay for private school tuition. Here's the full text of Forrister’s prepared remarks: “Alabama [...]
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform
Date
March 11, 2015
Author
Kimble Forrister
Blog

Four things to know about Alabama’s 2016 funding challenges

It’s the latest verse of a decades-old song: Alabama faces yet another funding shortfall next year for vital services like Medicaid, mental health care and corrections. Here are four things to know about the budget challenges facing the Legislature during the 2015 regular session that began Tuesday. (1) Alabama’s revenues for the budgets that fund [...]
Issues
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Tax Reform
Date
March 4, 2015
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

General Fund budget, changes to Alabama’s landlord-tenant law enacted

Next year’s General Fund (GF) budget became law Thursday night when the Alabama House ended the 2014 regular session without considering Gov. Robert Bentley’s proposed amendment to it. Bentley’s changes to the $1.8 billion GF budget were enacted automatically when the House adjourned. Check out AL.com’s report to learn more about Thursday’s action. Bentley still must decide [...]
Issues
Budgets, Health, Housing
Date
April 4, 2014
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Alabama Legislature OKs new requirements for TANF recipients, doesn’t end lifetime SNAP, TANF bans for people with felony drug conviction

People convicted of a drug-related felony will remain ineligible for food assistance or cash welfare benefits in Alabama after the state House adjourned Thursday night without passing a bill to end the state’s lifetime eligibility bans for them. Lawmakers approved several other bills related to public benefits this week, including a requirement for some applicants [...]
Issues
Criminal Justice, Safety Net
Date
April 3, 2014
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Alabama Legislature passes ETF budget, goes home without approving bills on payday lending, execution drug secrecy

Alabama lawmakers passed a $5.9 billion Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget without a pay raise for K-12 teachers just before the 2014 regular session ended Thursday night. The House voted 54-45 to agree to the compromise budget that the Senate approved Tuesday. That leaves Gov. Robert Bentley, who urged the Legislature to approve a 2 percent [...]
Issues
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Safety Net, Tax Reform
Date
April 3, 2014
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Bill to end lifetime SNAP, TANF bans still alive but loses procedural vote in Alabama House

A bill to allow people convicted of a drug-related felony to regain eligibility for food assistance or cash welfare benefits in Alabama suffered a setback Wednesday when it failed to clear a procedural hurdle in the state House. The House voted 55-43 Wednesday to consider SB 303, sponsored by Sen. Linda Coleman, D-Birmingham. That majority [...]
Issues
Criminal Justice, Safety Net
Date
April 2, 2014
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Alabama House sends tight General Fund budget to Bentley; ETF plan wins Senate approval, awaits House vote

The Alabama House voted 76-25 Tuesday night to agree to the Senate version of the General Fund (GF) budget and send it to Gov. Robert Bentley for his consideration. GF support for the Department of Corrections would fall by about $2 million, or 0.5 percent, next year under the budget, even though Alabama’s prison system is operating [...]
Issue
Budgets
Date
April 1, 2014
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Alabama Senate committee amends execution drug secrecy bill, approves HIV drug redistribution bill

An Alabama Senate committee Wednesday unanimously approved a bill that would keep the identities of people involved in carrying out state-sanctioned executions secret in most instances. But the Senate Health Committee amended the bill to divulge the names of companies that manufacture or supply lethal injection drugs if a judge orders their release. HB 379, [...]
Issues
Criminal Justice, Health
Date
March 19, 2014
Author
M.J. Ellington