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

Plan to shorten appeals process in Alabama death penalty cases clears House, Senate committees

The Alabama House and Senate soon could vote on a plan to shorten the appeals process for people convicted of capital murder in the state. Judiciary Committee members in both the House and Senate approved the legislation Wednesday. The House panel voted 9-6 for HB 216, sponsored by Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Rogersville. Earlier, the Senate [...]
Date
January 22, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Public transportation bills win committee approval in Alabama House, Senate

Public transportation advocates in Alabama got a double dose of good news Thursday when bills to create an Alabama Public Transportation Trust Fund won committee approval in both the state House and Senate. Arise members chose creation of a trust fund as one of our 2018 issue priorities. HB 10, sponsored by Rep. Jack Williams, [...]
Date
January 18, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Bill to ease burden of cash bail on low-income Alabamians clears Senate committee

A bill that would significantly ease the financial burden on low-income Alabamians accused of municipal violations won unanimous Senate committee approval Wednesday. SB 31, sponsored by Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Atmore, would be a major step forward on criminal justice debt reform, which Arise members chose as one of our 2018 issue priorities. The bill cleared [...]
Date
January 10, 2018
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Medicaid work requirements, ALL Kids, prison mental health funding among top 2019 budget challenges in Alabama

Alabama Medicaid had good news for legislators last week, but it won’t last long. Lower-than-expected prescription drug costs will help Medicaid carry $53 million forward into 2019, meaning the agency will need less General Fund (GF) money next year than initially expected, Medicaid Commissioner Stephanie Azar said during state GF budget hearings Thursday. But that [...]
Date
January 9, 2018
Author
Jim Carnes
Blog

Budgets for FY 2018 fall short of real need

The Alabama Legislature last week passed 2018 state budgets that once again fall short of meeting critical needs. While lawmakers avoided a repeat of last year’s General Fund (GF) crisis, which required a special session to resolve, the new budgets highlight structural flaws that will continue to hinder public services in our state until leaders [...]
Date
January 3, 2018
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Public transportation bill clears Alabama House committee

Arise's new approach to public transportation funding picked up momentum Wednesday as the House Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee approved HB 454, sponsored by Rep. Jack Williams, R-Vestavia Hills. The bill would create the Alabama Public Transportation Trust Fund as a repository for future state appropriations to expand public transit options in the state. The bill now [...]
Date
April 19, 2017
Author
Jim Carnes
Blog

‘Ban the box’ bill clears first hurdle, wins Alabama Senate committee approval

Alabama lawmakers took a first step Wednesday toward enacting a policy that would make it easier for people to re-enter the workforce after serving their time for a criminal offense. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-2 for SB 200, which would create a “ban the box” policy for many state and local government jobs. The [...]
Date
April 12, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

A victory for justice: Legislature votes to end judicial override in Alabama

UPDATE: Gov. Kay Ivey signed SB 16 into law on April 11, 2017, ending judicial override in all future capital cases in Alabama. The age of judicial override in the United States is about to come to an end. The Alabama House voted 78-19 Tuesday to end the practice, which allows judges to override juries’ [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
April 4, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Budgets that would do little to boost investments in education, health care advance in Alabama Legislature

Running in place was the emerging theme this week as Alabama lawmakers advanced state budgets that would provide little additional money for education, Medicaid, mental health care and other essential services. Both the Education Trust Fund (ETF) and General Fund (GF) budgets await further action when the Legislature returns from spring break on April 4. [...]
Date
March 16, 2017
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

End of judicial override draws closer as Alabama House committee approves Senate bill

The era of judicial override in Alabama death penalty cases came one step closer to an end Wednesday, when the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would end the unusual practice. SB 16, sponsored by Sen. Dick Brewbaker, R-Pike Road, now awaits consideration by the full House. The Senate passed the bill 30-1 last month. [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
March 8, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders