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.
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 [...]
Arise legislative recap: April 26, 2019
A state Senate committee approved a bill Wednesday to cut new holes in Alabama’s safety net. Arise's Carol Gundlach explains how these new limits on Medicaid, SNAP and TANF would increase hunger and hardship for tens of thousands of struggling Alabamians.
Senate panel OKs costly new SNAP, Medicaid limits that would punish struggling Alabamians
There’s an old saying: If you like laws or sausage, you should never watch either one being made. Wednesday afternoon was a perfect example of how stomach-turning it can be to see how laws are often made in Alabama. The Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee approved a bill Wednesday to cut new holes [...]
Arise legislative recap: April 19, 2019
"The grocery tax is a tax on a basic necessity of life. It's a tax on survival. And it's time for Alabama to bring this tax to an end." Arise communications director Chris Sanders discusses a recent bill by Rep. Chris England that would be a major step forward on untaxing groceries. The video also [...]
Removing the FIT deduction would allow Alabama to untax groceries, expand Medicaid
Alabama's federal income tax (FIT) deduction provides a huge tax break for high-income individuals – but at what cost? $719 million to be exact. The FIT deduction is one big reason Alabama's tax system is upside down. For those who earn $30,000 a year, the deduction saves them about $27 on average. But for the [...]
The real story of the House’s 2020 General Fund budget is what isn’t in it
Now that the gas tax is a reality, the Alabama Legislature appears to be in a hurry to finish up essential business – and maybe even adjourn a little early. The House on Tuesday passed a General Fund (GF) budget that differed little from Gov. Kay Ivey’s recommendations. With Alabama finally out of the worst of [...]
Arise legislative recap: April 12, 2019
"While the General Fund budget looks really good for what it is, what it is is not enough." Arise policy analyst Carol Gundlach breaks down what's missing from the General Fund budget that the Alabama House passed April 9.
Payday lending is crushing Alabama communities. Our new report offers solutions
Alabama has more payday and title lenders than hospitals, high schools, movie theaters and county courthouses combined. The industry churns a profit out of desperate, financially fragile borrowers. And unfortunately, Alabama’s weak consumer protections provide them with plenty. We explore these problems in depth and offer policy solutions in “Broke: How Payday Lenders Crush Alabama [...]
Arise legislative recap: April 5, 2019
We're excited about some early progress on civil asset forfeiture reform at the State House. Below, Arise policy analyst Dev Wakeley breaks down the benefits of SB 191, which the Senate could vote on as early as Tuesday, April 9. For more information, visit our action alerts page to contact your senator and ask them [...]
On civil asset forfeiture, Alabama Legislature takes initial steps toward progress
Alabamians deserve a legal system that respects their rights to due process. That includes not taking someone’s property without compensation unless there is clear and convincing evidence the property is linked to a crime. But under Alabama’s civil asset forfeiture practices, people can lose their possessions – without a conviction or even a criminal charge [...]