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

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 [...]
Issue
Budgets
Date
April 12, 2019
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

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.  
Issue
Budgets
Date
April 12, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

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 [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
April 12, 2019
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

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 [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
April 5, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

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 [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
April 4, 2019
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Arise legislative recap: March 29, 2019

Lawmakers may have been on spring break this week, but we still have plenty to discuss in our second video update of the 2019 legislative session.   Watch Arise organizing director Pres Harris discuss upcoming community forums on Medicaid expansion, as well as reminders on action you can take in anticipation of the Legislature reconvening [...]
Issues
Health, Other
Date
March 29, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

Arise legislative recap: March 22, 2019

We had a problem Tuesday – and we were glad to have it. So many people came to Arise Legislative Day that we couldn’t fit everyone in the State House’s largest committee room! Nearly 300 Arise supporters came to Montgomery to tell their lawmakers that it’s time to expand Medicaid. We appreciate everyone who showed [...]
Issues
Health, Other
Date
March 22, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

Good news on court fees from the Senate Judiciary Committee

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved a bill that would remove a barrier to justice for low-income Alabamians. SB 30, sponsored by Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, heads to the Senate, which could vote as soon as Thursday. (March 21 update: That's exactly what happened. The Senate voted 28-0 for the bill, which now [...]
Issue
Other
Date
March 20, 2019
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

The CFPB should keep protections for payday borrowers

Borrowers across the country deserve stronger protections, not weaker ones. Unfortunately, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently decided to reopen its 2017 rulemaking on payday lending. And that move would put the financial health of hundreds of thousands of people at risk. The CFPB director seeks to eliminate a requirement for payday lenders to [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
March 13, 2019
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

What we’re watching during the 2019 special session

This week brought a first in recent memory at the Alabama Legislature: a session within a session. The regular session began Tuesday, but lawmakers have put it on hold until March 19 to make way for a special session on the state gas tax. At Gov. Kay Ivey’s call, legislators will consider a proposed 10-cent [...]
Issues
Health, Tax Reform
Date
March 6, 2019
Author
Jim Carnes