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 Legislature passes bill to require annual report on state tax breaks

Alabamians could learn far more about the cost and effectiveness of state tax breaks under a bill that the Legislature passed without a single “no” vote. SB 119, sponsored by Sen. Bill Hightower, R-Mobile, passed 92-0 in the House on Tuesday and 30-0 in the Senate in March. The Senate agreed with the House’s changes Thursday, [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
May 21, 2015
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Title loan reform bill gets hearing, but Alabama House committee doesn’t vote on it

An auto title loan reform bill finally got a public hearing before the Alabama House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, nearly two months after its introduction. But as is customary, the committee did not vote on the bill on the same day as the hearing. A vote could come next week. HB 400, sponsored by [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
May 20, 2015
Author
Stephen Stetson
Blog

Medicaid, mental health, child care would be slashed under Alabama House’s General Fund budget

Alabamians’ quality of life would suffer for years to come if the no-new-revenue General Fund (GF) budget that the state House passed 66-36 Tuesday becomes reality. The barebones budget would slash vital services like health care, child care and public safety. Alabama’s promising new reforms of Medicaid and prisons would end, and services for low-income [...]
Issues
Budgets, Health
Date
May 19, 2015
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Medicaid long-term care reforms sail through Alabama Senate

Medicaid patients in Alabama would have more options to receive long-term care in their community under a bill that the state Senate passed 27-0 Tuesday. SB 431, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed, R-Jasper, would create one or more integrated care networks (ICNs) to deliver a broad range of Medicaid long-term care services, ranging [...]
Issue
Health
Date
May 19, 2015
Author
Jim Carnes
Blog

Alabama would suffer for years to come under no-new-revenue General Fund budget

Alabamians’ quality of life would suffer for years to come if the no-new-revenue General Fund (GF) budget that the House’s GF budget committee approved Thursday becomes reality. The House is expected to vote Tuesday on the budget, which would slash vital services like health care, child care and public safety. The state’s promising new reforms of Medicaid [...]
Issues
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Tax Reform
Date
May 15, 2015
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Alabama Medicaid long-term care bills head for full House, Senate votes

Alabama would deliver Medicaid long-term care services in a new way under two identical bills that won legislative committee approval Wednesday. House and Senate committees approved the respective bills – HB 585, sponsored by Rep. April Weaver, R-Brierfield, and SB 431, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed, R-Jasper – without opposition. State Health Officer [...]
Issue
Health
Date
May 6, 2015
Author
M.J. Ellington
Blog

Another win for payday lending reform as Alabama House committee OKs six-month repayment bill

Payday lending reform advocates in Alabama scored two victories at the State House on Wednesday. First, a strong reform bill (HB 531) cleared the House Financial Services Committee without opposition. Shortly thereafter, a bill to expand the maximum size of payday loans (SB 446) stalled in the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. HB 531, sponsored [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
May 6, 2015
Author
Stephen Stetson
Blog

Testimony from Arise’s Kimble Forrister on cigarette tax increase

Arise’s Kimble Forrister testified before the House’s General Fund budget committee Tuesday, May 5, 2015, about HB 572, which would increase Alabama’s cigarette tax by 25 cents per pack. The committee approved the bill along with several other tax measures. Here’s the full text of Forrister’s prepared remarks: “Alabama Arise has changed its position on the [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
May 5, 2015
Author
Kimble Forrister
Blog

Testimony from Arise’s Kimble Forrister on ‘flat tax’ proposal

Arise's Kimble Forrister testified before the state Senate's education budget committee Wednesday, April 29, 2015, about SB 409. The bill would raise income taxes on the lowest-paid Alabamians but cut taxes for the top 1 percent by thousands of dollars on average. The committee carried the bill over at the sponsor's request, but it could return [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
April 29, 2015
Author
Kimble Forrister
Blog

‘Flat tax’ plan could raise income taxes on lowest-paid Alabamians

Alabamians struggling to make ends meet could have to pay state income tax on the first $100 they earn under a new “flat tax” proposal that the Senate’s education budget committee considered Wednesday. SB 409 would eliminate all personal exemptions and standard deductions and require an 80 percent majority of both the state House and [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
April 29, 2015
Author
Chris Sanders