Risk of education, General Fund cuts remains after shortened Alabama legislative session

Funding for education, health care and other vital services is deeply uncertain as Alabama’s revenues plummet during the COVID-19 recession. In May, lawmakers enacted 2021 Education Trust Fund (ETF) and General Fund (GF) budgets that are larger than this year’s. But as consumer spending falls and massive unemployment persists, the Legislature will reevaluate those plans at hearings in early July.

Alabama’s bleak financial picture likely will force lawmakers to return for a special session later this summer or fall. And that’s far from the only subject they should address.

The pandemic has brought new urgency to the need to reduce overcrowding in state prisons, where social distancing is impossible. It has shown why legislators should undo harmful limits they imposed on unemployment insurance (UI) eligibility last year. And it has put unprecedented strain on our state’s health care infrastructure, particularly hospitals and clinics serving rural Alabamians. Medicaid expansion would provide financial stability for many of these facilities, helping them stay open during the pandemic and beyond.

A lost session

COVID-19 tore out the heart of the regular session, forcing lawmakers to stop meeting for more than a month. When they returned, they had just two weeks to finalize ETF and GF budgets. With most House Democrats staying home due to coronavirus concerns, legislative leaders limited the agenda to budgets and local bills.

Alabama Arise legislative affairs coordinator David Stout talks to a small group of Legislative Day attendees Feb. 25, 2020, during one of the day’s informal breakout sessions.

That decision temporarily slowed momentum for Arise’s push to untax groceries. Before the session paused, about 200 people came to Montgomery for Arise Legislative Day on Feb. 25. Our members urged legislators to end the state sales tax on groceries while protecting education funding. The proposal would replace grocery tax revenue by limiting Alabama’s income tax deduction for federal income tax payments. Our supporters also advocated for Medicaid expansion and public transportation funding.

Whenever the Legislature returns, Arise will be there promoting policies to make life better for struggling Alabamians. Check our website and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

You’re invited to Arise’s Town Hall Tuesdays!

Arise’s statewide online summer listening sessions are a chance to hear what’s happening on key state policy issues and share your vision for our 2021 policy agenda. Register now to help identify emerging issues and inform our work to build a better Alabama.

We’d love to see you at any or all of these sessions! Registration is required, so please register at the link under each description.

June 23rd, 6 p.m. Money talks

How can we strengthen education, health care, child care and other services that help Alabamians make ends meet? And how can we fund those services more equitably? Click here to register for this session.

July 7th, 6 p.m. Justice for all

We’ll discuss Alabama’s unjust criminal justice system – and how to fix it. Click here to register for this session.

July 21st, 6 p.m. Getting civic

How can we protect voting rights and boost Census responses during a pandemic? Click here to register for this session.

August 4th, 6 p.m. Shared prosperity

Policy solutions can boost opportunity and protect families from economic exploitation. Click here to register for this session.

August 18th, 6 p.m. Feeding our families

How can we increase household food security during and after the recession? Click here to register for this session.

September 1st, 6 p.m. Closing the coverage gap

Join the Cover Alabama Coalition to discuss how you can help expand Medicaid. Click here to register for this session.

Progressive tax changes would allow Alabama’s budgets to endure and rebuild after COVID-19

Alabamians are living through hard times right now. Thousands of people are sick. Many more are scared or out of work. Uncertainty is everywhere amid a pandemic with no clear timetable or end game.

As more businesses close or cut back, as more people lose income, and as fewer of us go to the stores where we normally shop, state tax revenues are falling. That endangers funding for education, public health and other core services at a time when we need them most.

A state Senate committee Tuesday approved a smaller General Fund (GF) budget than the one Gov. Kay Ivey initially proposed. But that budget’s revenue assumptions may be too optimistic, and many lawmakers acknowledge they may need to revisit it this summer or fall as the pandemic’s financial toll becomes clearer. In the meantime, the ongoing public health emergency is compounding structural problems that have plagued Alabama for decades.

How Alabama should strengthen its tax system

The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated economic freefall are not the root cause of Alabama’s chronic underfunding of public services or the fundamental failures of its tax system. But this crisis is exposing and exacerbating those shortcomings. And it is illustrating the need for progressive tax changes that would equip our state to endure both this downturn and future recessions.

Alabama should enact these changes to raise revenue for vital services and make life better for struggling families:

  • Eliminate the regressive, and expensive, state income tax deduction for federal income taxes. About 80% of the $782 million deduction’s benefit flows to the top 20% of households.
  • Increase income tax brackets so the highest-paid 25% of taxpayers have a higher tax rate than people in the lower and middle brackets do. Alabama’s top income tax rate kicks in at just $3,000 of taxable income.
  • Impose a temporary income surtax on millionaires during the financial crisis.
  • Adopt combined reporting to prevent corporate tax avoidance while rejecting proposals, such as moving to a single sales factor formula, that would reduce taxes for large corporations.
  • Eliminate the state sales tax on groceries and replace that revenue by making progressive improvements to our income tax system. Alabama is one of only three states with no tax break on groceries.
  • Apply sales and use taxes to more professional services and digital goods and services like music downloads and video streaming services.
  • Institute or increase sales and excise taxes on unhealthy items like tobacco, vaping products or sugary soft drinks. The state could dedicate this money to Medicaid and other health care services.

Lessons from the past: How the last recession devastated Alabama’s finances

Alabama has two major revenue sources for public services that rise and fall with the economy. One is the income tax, which is earmarked (or dedicated) solely for K-12 teacher salaries. Sales and use taxes, which largely go toward education but also fund some other services, are the other. (Use taxes apply to online and mail-order purchases.) Most GF revenue sources grow slowly even in good times.

To understand this downturn’s potential impact, we should look back to the last recession, which struck Alabama in 2009. Both the Education Trust Fund (ETF) and GF were prorated as revenues plummeted during the Great Recession. Proration is an across-the-board funding cut when revenues fall short of expectations.

COVID-19 downturn could reduce Alabama's state funding for public services by more than $3 billion next year. Potential decrease in available state tax revenues between 2020 and 2021. General Fund: -$305 million. Education Trust Fund: -$841 million. Other dedicated funds for GF agencies: -$2 billion. Total revenue loss: -$3.1 billion. Source: Alabama Arise calculations based on state tax revenue decreases between 2008 and 2009. These figures show the losses that Alabama could expect if revenues fall at the same rate they did during the Great Recession's first year. Actual revenue declines between 2020 and 2021 may be larger or smaller than these amounts. This graph shows annual General Fund appropriations separately from other earmarked revenue that GF agencies receive each year.

ETF revenues went down 11.8%, or $702 million, between 2008 and 2009. GF revenues for services like courts, Medicaid, public safety and veterans’ assistance fell by 13.9%, or $250 million.

The ETF could lose $841 million in state money next year if revenues decline at the same rate as in 2009. This would be equivalent to $1,160 per student in public K-12 schools, or 20% of all state K-12 funding. It’s also more than this year’s state allocations to the University of Alabama and Auburn University systems combined.

Meanwhile, the GF could lose $305 million if this downturn matches the Great Recession. That would be equivalent to 2020 GF funding for the Department of Human Resources (DHR), mental health, public health and senior services combined.

This loss also doesn’t include other dedicated funds for GF agencies like child welfare, mental health and veterans’ services. If these earmarked funds dropped by 13.9%, as the GF did in 2009, Alabama would need another $2 billion to avoid cuts. Altogether, the total funding loss to education, health care and other services would exceed $3 billion.

Rainy day funds and federal relief will help, but they aren’t a lasting solution

Thankfully, Alabama has three revenue sources to help avoid or reduce service cuts, at least temporarily. Lawmakers have established two rainy day funds – essentially lines of credit – within the Alabama Trust Fund that the governor can tap to address major budget shortfalls. The ETF also has a reserve fund called the Budget Stabilization Fund, which can be tapped if revenues aren’t enough to cover budgeted expenses.

The governor can authorize withdrawal of no more than 14% total of the prior year’s education spending from a combination of the Budget Stabilization Fund and the ETF Rainy Day Fund. That amounts to around $997.6 million. And the state can withdraw 10% of prior-year spending for other services from the GF Rainy Day Fund, which comes to $219.2 million.

Between the two budgets, the governor could withdraw $1.2 billion from rainy day accounts. But to maintain current funding levels, Alabama still would need another $1.8 billion if this downturn matches the Great Recession.

Alabama expects about $1.8 billion in federal relief as a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This one-time relief could get the state through 2021 by a hair – if federal officials allow it. The U.S. Treasury is restricting the extent to which states can use these funds to plug budget shortfalls. Cumulative shortfalls in Alabama and other states from 2020-22 could top $650 billion, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates.

COVID-19 state budget shortfalls could be largest on record. Total shortfall in each fiscal year, in billions of 2020 dollars. 2001 recession. '02: -$60. '03: -$105. '04: -$110. '05: -$60. Great Recession. '09: -$130. '10: -$230. '11: -$150. '12: -$120. '13: -$60. COVID-19. '20: -$110. '21: -$350. '22: -$190. COVID-19 estimates based on CBPP calculations using Congressional Budget Office and Goldman Sachs unemployment estimates. Does not reflect use of rainy day funds or federal aid already enacted. Source: CBPP survey of state budget offices (through 2013); CBPP calculations (2020-2022). Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, cbpp.org.

COVID-19’s budgetary threats don’t end there. Local governments also will need relief, and this fiscal crisis may be even worse than 2009. If a 2020 recession spirals into a depression, we will be facing some very dark days without new tax revenue to make them brighter.

The path to stronger, more inclusive budget and tax policies for Alabama

Alabama could respond to these steep revenue losses with harmful cuts to education, mental health care, public health and other critical needs. Or the state could make the wiser choice of raising sustainable new revenue to invest in the common good.

Our partners at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy said it best: “For states facing catastrophic revenue declines, asking more of taxpayers with a clear ability to pay is far preferable to cutting state budgets, which would lead to mass layoffs, steep cuts in public services, and a downward spiral in the economy.”

Year after year, Alabama legislators have built a series of bare-bones budgets on one-time funds and temporary federal aid. They’ve refused to modernize our state’s upside-down tax system by making it more progressive and more fair for struggling families. And they’ve refused to ask large corporations and wealthy people who can afford to pay more to contribute their fair share to support the common good.

There’s a better way. The progressive tax changes we propose would protect education, health care and other services from devastating cuts during the COVID-19 recession. They also would allow our state to expand Medicaid and ensure all Alabamians can get the health care they need to survive and thrive, both during this pandemic and in the long recovery ahead. If we want a brighter future for Alabama, we need to invest in it now.

Unemployment insurance improvements, recovery rebates will help Alabamians hurt by COVID-19 pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has caused an unprecedented increase in unemployment insurance claims nationally. And the story is the same in Alabama, where 74,056 UI claims were filed in the week ending Saturday, March 28. That’s easily a record high since 1987, the earliest year for which weekly data is available for Alabama. The number of claims likely will continue to increase quickly in the coming weeks.

The pandemic has highlighted the need for Alabama to lift harmful UI cuts and barriers that lawmakers erected last year. In the meantime, three types of state and federal payments can help Alabamians who have lost their jobs or have working hours reduced because of the pandemic. They are traditional unemployment insurance (UI), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and recovery rebates.

Unemployment insurance (UI)

This program provides financial support for qualifying Alabamians who lose their jobs or suffer a reduction in hours through no fault of their own. The weekly payments range from $45 to $275, based on earnings in roughly the past year and a half. That’s well below the nationwide median of $366 per week.

Alabama’s UI system is stressed by new claims because of recent massive layoffs. Many applicants have experienced long delays in accessing the website and phone lines to apply for benefits. As in other states, Alabama’s UI system wasn’t ready for a rapid, unprecedented flood of new applicants. But that’s no reason to delay a UI application if you’ve lost your job. You can click here to apply for UI benefits in Alabama.

To file unemployment compensation claims, visit www.labor.alabama.gov or call 1-866-234-5382.

The Alabama Department of Labor (DOL) has taken some important steps to ease UI access during the pandemic. The DOL has waived its usual requirements for job searches and a one-week waiting period before benefits begin. Employers also will not be penalized with an increased UI tax rate based on high amounts of paid benefits for now. This removes a motivation for employers to dispute an employee’s claim for benefits.

Even Alabama’s maximum UI benefit amount is insufficient to secure the basic needs of many people. Fortunately, new federal legislation enacted Friday will help jobless workers fill that gap for the next few months. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act will allow Alabama to provide an additional 13 weeks of federally funded UI benefits. The CARES Act also will supplement state benefits by providing a federally funded $600 weekly benefit increase through July 31.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

This new federal program provides benefits to many people who lost their jobs amid the pandemic but don’t qualify for traditional UI benefits. Participants can receive up to 39 weeks of PUA benefits. Eligible people include:

  • Self-employed people
  • People who haven’t been working long enough to qualify for UI
  • Contract workers and gig workers
  • People who have exhausted regular UI benefits
  • People whose workplaces closed because of COVID-19
  • Caretakers of people sick with COVID-19

PUA participants will receive half of the average weekly regular UI benefit in Alabama. They are also eligible for the federally funded $600 weekly benefit increase available to beneficiaries of regular UI. Federal and state agencies are still working to implement guidelines for the new program.

Recovery rebates

These benefits are refundable, one-time federal payments. The money will not count as federal taxable income. Here are some key facts:

    • The full rebate amounts are $1,200 for single adults and married couples who file taxes separately, and $2,400 for married couples filing jointly.
    • Families also will receive an additional $500 per dependent child under age 17. The $500 payment is unavailable for older dependents like college students, seniors or adults with disabilities.
    • Rebates will be paid in full to individuals making up to $75,000 per year and couples making up to $150,000 per year. These rebates are available to individuals or households who filed a tax return in either 2018 or 2019. Millions of Americans with extremely low incomes likely will have to file a return to receive the rebate.
    • The rebate phases down gradually for individuals who reported more than $75,000 in annual income and for couples who reported more than $150,000 in annual income. Payments will be unavailable to individuals with annual incomes of more than $99,000 and couples with annual incomes of more than $198,000.
    • Payments will arrive via direct deposit for those who have given the IRS their deposit information. Others will receive a check.

State changes to unemployment insurance still needed

UI benefit increases and removal of barriers are good first steps toward ensuring state and federal governments mitigate the economic consequences of COVID-19 as much as possible. The Alabama DOL’s response to the CARES Act has been quick and thorough. But the state still needs to take bold action in other areas to blunt the damage the pandemic will do to the economic health of the people of Alabama.

State lawmakers should build on the federal UI improvements in the CARES Act by undoing recent harmful policy changes. Alabama’s UI system offers fewer weeks of coverage than most other states because of a 2019 law sponsored by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur.

Orr’s measure reduced the maximum number of weeks an Alabamian could claim UI benefits from 26 – the standard in most states – to somewhere between 14 and 20, depending on the unemployment rate. It conditioned five additional weeks of benefits on participation in job training programs, some of which are now shut down because of COVID-19.

The 2019 law tied the maximum number of benefit weeks to the unemployment rate. Because Alabama’s published unemployment rates were unusually low recently, the number of benefit weeks is set at the lowest level, 14 weeks. The COVID-19 pandemic shows that published unemployment rates lag behind the reality that tens of thousands of Alabamians experience during crises.

The coronavirus pandemic threatens to trigger economic suffering unlike anything most of us have seen in our lifetimes. Alabama should help jobless workers endure this downturn by boosting weekly UI benefits and removing harmful barriers to unemployment assistance. Repealing the 2019 UI limits and restoring the full 26 weeks of state-funded benefits would be a great start.

COVID-19: 7 policy changes that would help protect Alabamians

The World Health Organization has labeled COVID-19 a global pandemic. And state officials announced the first confirmed case of the disease in Alabama on Friday. As the virus strains our health systems, schools and economy, we must ensure the most vulnerable Alabamians have the medical care, social supports and other protections they need to weather the crisis.

The Alabama Legislature will be on spring break for the next two weeks. We hope our state lawmakers and members of Congress will take time to examine the situation developing in their communities. And we hope they will act quickly and courageously to address these critical public health needs.

Here are seven actions that policymakers should take now to protect the well-being and security of all Alabamians:

1. Gov. Kay Ivey should expand Medicaid.

Medicaid expansion would extend health coverage to more than 223,000 uninsured Alabamians with low incomes. It also would ensure coverage for another 120,000 who struggle to afford the insurance they have.

Expansion would take several months to implement, but it would prepare us for the big challenges ahead. In the short term, Medicaid could take numerous other steps to protect families. Examples include streamlining enrollment, covering new mothers for one year after delivery and increasing our “bare-bones” income limit for parents.

Email Gov. Ivey to ask her to expand Medicaid and help address the coronavirus threat. Or if you’d prefer to reach out by phone, click here to call Gov. Ivey’s office.

2. Lawmakers should increase funding for public health to ensure adequate testing, preparation and prevention.

In addition, state and local agencies should take the lead on proactive policies and procedures to protect those who are most vulnerable to this virus. Read State Health Officer Scott Harris’ report to the Senate Health Committee.

3. Congress should authorize emergency food assistance increases.

Boosting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) would help children get the food they need while they’re out of school. It also would promote food security for seniors, people who lose their jobs and other people at risk of hunger. Read additional recommendations to address critical food security issues from our partners at the Food Research and Action Center.

4. Policymakers should remove barriers to social support services.

Medicaid, SNAP, WIC and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) save and improve lives. Red-tape barriers to these services make it harder for struggling families to get the help they need during a crisis. Read Arise’s fact sheet to learn why state lawmakers should abandon efforts to reduce access to safety net programs.

5. State lawmakers should remove the state sales tax on groceries while protecting education funding.

As many people prepare for social distancing by purchasing enough food to last for several weeks, the grocery tax imposes the highest tax burden on the people who can least afford it. It’s yet another illustration of why this cruel tax must end. Click here to urge state legislators to untax groceries and replace the revenue by supporting SB 144.

6. Policymakers should look at options to extend paid medical and family leave to every worker.

States including Washington and Massachusetts have created affordable buy-in plans so that even smaller employers can provide extended medical or family leave. Read how paid family and medical leave was made affordable and available to every worker in the state of Washington. Then read more about federal discussions to provide short-term relief for paid leave.

7. Alabama should expand unemployment protections to mitigate the effects of job losses for individuals and communities.

Closures and layoffs in the coming months will leave many workers without essential income. Public officials must act now to reduce the financial toll on people who struggle to make ends meet. Read recommendations from the National Employment Law Project (NELP) about potential improvements to unemployment insurance coverage.

Looking ahead

The conversation about the best policy and social responses will continue to evolve over the coming days and weeks. And additional needs and solutions are likely to emerge. Throughout this crisis and beyond, Arise will continue to speak out for dignity, equity and justice for all Alabamians.

Ending an ‘unjust burden’: Alabama Arise testimony in favor of SB 144 to untax groceries

Arise’s Robyn Hyden testified to the Senate’s education budget committee Wednesday in support of SB 144. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Andrew Jones, R-Centre, would eliminate Alabama’s state sales tax on groceries and replace the lost revenue by capping the state deduction for federal income taxes. Here’s the full text of Hyden’s prepared remarks:

Good morning! I’m Robyn Hyden, executive director of Alabama Arise. We’re a nonprofit coalition of 155 congregations, organizations and individuals promoting public policies to improve the lives of Alabamians with low incomes.

For our 31-year history, Alabama Arise members have advocated to remove barriers to opportunity for people who struggle to make ends meet – and ending the grocery tax is at the top of our list of policy goals. Last month, we brought 200 advocates to the State House to ask you all to consider several ways to remove the grocery tax. And we are very pleased to see this bill receive your attention today.

We believe that while the grocery tax is an unjust burden on people who simply need to eat, the flip side is that the federal income tax (FIT) deduction is a giant and unfair tax loophole, allowing people with higher incomes to pay a lower percentage of their overall earnings. Only two other states still allow the full FIT deduction, and only two other states fully tax groceries.

The grocery tax brings in about $480 million a year, while the entire FIT deduction for individuals costs our budget more than $719 million a year. Essentially, we are subsidizing our reliance on this giant tax loophole with a ridiculous tax on food.

How to end the state grocery tax responsibly

We shouldn’t continue to subsidize an unfair tax loophole with an unjust grocery tax. We support Sen. Jones’ proposal because it would end this unfair tax shift by capping the total FIT deduction allowed. This would allow working families who pay federal income taxes to still benefit from the deduction, but also would prevent the Education Trust Fund from losing revenue.

Our modeling of the impact of SB 144, completed by the Institute on Taxation and Education Policy, shows that this bill would generate a conservative estimate of an additional $474 million a year to the ETF. That’s almost an even swap for grocery tax revenue that would be returned to taxpayers.

Most Alabamians would get a tax cut from untaxing groceries and capping the FIT deduction. Here is the estimated net tax change as a share of income if Alabama capped its federal income tax deduction at $6,000 for a single tax filer and $12,000 for a couple filing jointly. Bottom 20%: -2.81%. Next 20%: -1.31%. Next 20%: -1%. Next 20%: -0.62%. Next 4%: 0.31%. Top 1%: 0.93%.

If you look at the chart I’ve shared with you, the blue and green bar graph shows the impact of both removing the grocery tax and capping the FIT deduction on the average household at each income level. Notice that for the bottom 95% of taxpayers, the combination of removing the grocery tax and ending the FIT deduction produces a net tax cut.

For lower- and middle-income families, it’s quite a significant cut. It’s only for households making well above $135,000 a year that any type of significant net increase is going to happen. When you consider that the median household income in our state is just $48,123, what we’re looking at here is effectively the biggest tax cut affecting the most people that you’re ever going to get a chance to vote on.

I thank you for your time today. And I urge you to consider this proposal to bring tax relief to hard-working families and bring more fairness to our tax code.

Arise legislative recap: Feb. 28, 2020

Arise members showed up in force in Montgomery on Tuesday for our annual Legislative Day! Arise’s Chris Sanders gives a brief recap of the event and introduces a replay of our news conference on untaxing groceries. (Please note: The news conference footage was streamed from a cell phone and includes a few moments of adjustment.)

 

Untax groceries and protect funding for Alabama’s public schools

The sales tax on groceries is a cruel tax on survival. It drives struggling people deeper into poverty. Here’s why Alabama should end this tax – and how to do it:

  • Alabama is one of only three states with no tax break on groceries.
  • The state grocery tax is 4%, equal to two weeks’ worth of groceries each year.
  • Alabama should untax groceries quickly and responsibly. That means ending the state grocery tax now, not over several years. And it means replacing that lost revenue for education in a way that doesn’t harm struggling families.
  • Alabama can protect education funding by limiting or ending its state income tax deduction for federal income taxes (FIT). The FIT deduction is a skewed tax loophole that overwhelmingly benefits rich households.

Two promising ideas have emerged to untax groceries and protect education funding by closing the FIT loophole. Both plans would be a significant tax cut for a large majority of Alabamians:

  • The best approach would be to end the state grocery tax and eliminate the FIT deduction on both corporate and individual income taxes. This plan would replace the grocery tax revenue and raise more than $400 million a year for Alabama’s underfunded public schools.
  • Another proposal would end the state grocery tax and cap the FIT deduction. This plan would replace the grocery tax revenue but would not raise any additional money for public schools.

Bottom line

Untaxing groceries quickly and responsibly would boost economic security for all Alabamians. By closing the FIT loophole, our state could make life better for families and protect funding for public schools.

Arise legislative recap: Feb. 25, 2020

Today, Feb. 25, is our annual Legislative Day, and we’re excited to continue our efforts to untax groceries. Arise’s Carol Gundlach talks about steps you can take to contact your lawmakers on this issue if you can’t be there in person.

Arise 2020: Our vision for a better Alabama

Alabama Arise members have worked for more than three decades to build a brighter, more inclusive future for our state. And as the Legislature’s 2020 regular session starts Tuesday, we’re proud to renew that commitment.

Below, Arise executive director Robyn Hyden highlights some key goals for the session, including Medicaid expansion and untaxing groceries.

How you can make a difference

Together, we can turn our shared vision for a better Alabama into a reality. Here are three ways you can help:

(1) Become an Arise individual member. Numbers matter. The more members we have, the louder our voice for change is at the State House. If you’re not yet an Arise member, click here to become one today. If you’re already a member, please ask your friends and neighbors to join us as well!

(2) Talk to your legislators. Make sure your lawmakers know where you stand on our issues. Click here to sign up for our action alerts. And if you can, come meet your lawmakers in person at Arise’s annual Legislative Day on Feb. 25 in Montgomery. Click here to pre-register before Feb. 14.

(3) Spread the word about our issue priorities. The more people learn about our movement, the more support we gain. Read more about our 2020 issue priorities and share this information with your friends:

Together, we can make Alabama a place where everyone’s voice is heard and everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential. Together, we can build a better Alabama!