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Personal Stories

See the Gap: ‘You’ve got to be able to deliver when folks need you to’

Trent Thomas, 42, has been doing hair for a while now. And the first thing he’ll tell you is how much of a good thing he’s got going.  “I love it here for a million reasons – some superficial – but it really is such a great place to be,” he said, showing off his boss’s massive plant collection visible from the street outside. Trent was able to keep his job and his paycheck at Orbit Salon, in Birmingham’s Five Points South neighborhood, even when the world slowed down in 2020.

Issue
Medicaid Expansion
Date
January 26, 2023
Author
Whit Sides
Blog

Highlights from Cover Alabama’s health fair in Fort Payne

Cover Alabama and Alabama Arise hosted a health fair and a panel on Medicaid expansion in Fort Payne in November 2022. Hear from Arise's Cover Alabama campaign director Debbie Smith and other community members about why we held the health fair and why Medicaid expansion would save and improve lives in DeKalb County and across [...]
Issue
Health
Date
January 9, 2023
Author
Matt Okarmus
Personal Stories

See the Gap: ‘Someone’s got to do something for working folks’

When I first met Katie Franklin, she was juggling requests from three guests at the same time. I’ve been visiting Nail World II, right outside Birmingham, for nearly 20 years, but this visit was different. Someone new was greeting me at the door. Katie is a presence who is not easily forgotten. I learned she was the new salon manager. Honestly, it felt like she was right at home. She made greeting 25 to 30 customers an hour look easy. Her maternal aura and gregarious nature shone bright through all the hustle and bustle.

Issue
Medicaid Expansion
Date
December 22, 2022
Author
Whit Sides
Fact Sheet

The federal income tax deduction is skewed and wrong for Alabama

Wealthy people don’t need a huge, skewed income tax break ‒ but Alabama gives them exactly that. This loophole, called the federal income tax (FIT) deduction, overwhelmingly benefits rich households. It’s an imbalanced tax giveaway that reduces funding for public schools. And it increases the state’s reliance on regressive revenue sources, like the sales tax [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
December 15, 2022
Author
Carol Gundlach
Personal Stories

See the Gap: How Medicaid expansion would improve life for Alabama’s hairstylists and barbers

Throughout our lives, there are many milestones. We go to school dances. We graduate, and we get married. But we don’t get to those moments alone. [caption id="attachment_7589" align="aligncenter" width="341"] Mark Hyde, founder of Forecast Salon in Homewood, performs a color service on a client. (Photo by Whit Sides)[/caption] When we look back at the [...]
Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
December 15, 2022
Author
Whit Sides
News Releases

Death penalty moratorium is a chance to end injustices in Alabama’s capital punishment system

Alabama Arise executive director Robyn Hyden released the following statement Monday in response to Gov. Kay Ivey’s request for a pause on executions in Alabama: “All Alabamians deserve equal justice under the law. Gov. Kay Ivey’s call for a temporary halt to executions is a welcome and necessary move toward ending many of the injustices [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
November 21, 2022
Author
Chris Sanders
Annual Report

Annual Report 2022

Your advocacy helped Alabama Arise grow our policy analysis, statewide organizing and citizen advocacy in 2022. You advanced progress toward a better state and increased dignity, equity and justice for all. All of us at Alabama Arise are grateful for your continued partnership and support.
Date
November 17, 2022
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

Public transit, healthy food access among key pathways to increase economic opportunity in Birmingham area, new report finds

Greater Birmingham has experienced a resurgence in economic growth and civic engagement in recent years. But the benefits of this prosperity are not widely shared among everyone living in the region – and a new comprehensive report that Alabama Arise and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) released Thursday shows that people across Jefferson County [...]
Issues
Public Transportation, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity, Housing
Date
November 17, 2022
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

52 Alabama groups urge Shelby, Tuberville to support Child Tax Credit, EITC improvements this year

U.S. Sens. Richard Shelby and Tommy Tuberville should support expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in year-end budget legislation, 52 organizations across Alabama wrote in a letter sent to the senators Tuesday. Alabama Arise is among the groups that signed the letter. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) temporarily [...]
Issues
Safety Net, Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity
Date
November 15, 2022
Author
Chris Sanders
Letters & Testimony

Alabama Arise, 51 partner groups urge U.S. senators to support Child Tax Credit, EITC improvements

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) temporarily expanded the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for hundreds of thousands of Alabama children last year. The law also temporarily increased the maximum Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for workers without children and broadened the age range for EITC eligibility. Alabama Arise joined 51 partner organizations Tuesday in a [...]
Issues
Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity, Safety Net
Date
November 15, 2022
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Vote ‘Yes’ on Alabama’s recompiled state constitution!

We're less than a week away from the general election! One of the most important issues on the ballot in Alabama is the Constitution of Alabama of 2022. This recompilation of the current constitution would clean up and consolidate the document and delete racist language and illegal provisions. In a new video, Arise policy analyst [...]
Issue
Other
Date
November 3, 2022
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Learn about Hunger Free Alabama

Alabama Arise is proud to have joined with groups across the state as partners in the Hunger Free Alabama coalition. Our goal is bold and essential: to prevent and eliminate hunger and malnutrition in Alabama through advocacy for better public policies. In our new video, coalition members Drew Glover and Celsa Allende Stallworth discuss Hunger [...]
Issues
Health, Safety Net
Date
October 31, 2022
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Congress should make the Child Tax Credit expansion permanent

Good public policy is vital in the fight against poverty, and U.S. Census data released last month demonstrates its importance. The 2021 Child Tax Credit (CTC) expansion is uplifting proof of how better policies can reduce poverty and ease suffering. And Congress needs to renew this expansion when it returns to Washington, D.C., after the [...]
Issues
Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity, Safety Net
Date
October 20, 2022
Author
Mike Nicholson
Blog

Alabama Arise resources for the 2022 general election

The 2022 general election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 8 – less than three weeks from today. Alabamians will vote on a range of local, state and federal offices, including the governor, state legislators, a U.S. Senate seat and U.S. House members. Voters also will decide on a proposed recompilation of the state constitution and [...]
Issue
Voting Rights
Date
October 20, 2022
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

A sincere thank you

As I reflect on our 2022 Annual Meeting and dive into planning for our 2023 agenda, I simply want to say thank you for your generous contributions, advocacy and support. This July marked the beginning of my fifth year as executive director, and next year will mark 35 years since Alabama Arise was founded. The [...]
Date
October 13, 2022
Author
Robyn Hyden
Blog

Together, our members make a difference!

There’s something about the approaching winter holidays that brings out the generous nature in all of us. We all want to do our part and work together to build community and a better Alabama. At Arise, we’re grateful for your giving. Almost 13% of our financial support comes from members like you. When you give, [...]
Date
October 13, 2022
Author
Jacob Smith
Member Resources

Alabama Arise 2023 membership brochure

Alabama Arise’s power and voice at the Legislature gets stronger when our membership is growing and diversifying. We encourage you to invite your family, friends and network to join you in supporting Arise – and we have materials to help you share our work. You can download our membership brochure here. It includes information about: [...]
Date
October 13, 2022
Author
Newsletter

October 2022 newsletter

[caption id="attachment_7363" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Alabama Arise members gather at the in-person portion of our hybrid 2022 Annual Meeting on Sept. 24 at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Montgomery. We also offered live participation via Zoom for remote attendees across Alabama. More than 400 members participated in online voting for Arise's 2023 policy priorities in the [...]
Date
October 12, 2022
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

Alabama Arise unveils 2023 roadmap for change in Alabama

Expanding Medicaid and ending the state sales tax on groceries will remain top goals on Alabama Arise’s 2023 legislative agenda. More than 400 members voted on Arise’s issue priorities in recent days after the organization’s annual meeting Saturday. The seven issues chosen were: Adequate budgets for human services like education, health care and child care, [...]
Issues
Health, Voting Rights, Budgets, Criminal Justice, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Medicaid Expansion, Tax Reform, Public Transportation
Date
September 29, 2022
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

20+ Alabama community groups call on Hyundai to stop alleged use of child labor at suppliers

The Alabama Coalition for Community Benefits issued an open letter on Thursday to Hyundai Motor of North America calling on the company to stop any use of child labor and to negotiate a community benefits agreement. The letter from community leaders in Alabama comes as the U.S. Department of Labor continues to investigate widely reported [...]
Issues
Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity
Date
September 23, 2022
Author
Blog

Why Alabama Arise urges a ‘Yes’ vote on the recompiled state constitution

The stain was there from the start. In his opening remarks, the president of Alabama’s 1901 constitutional convention declared a major goal of the event was “within the limits imposed by the federal Constitution, to establish white supremacy in this state.” The resulting document effectively removed the voting rights of African Americans and poor white [...]
Issue
Other
Date
September 22, 2022
Author
Mike Nicholson
Fact Sheet

A dire need for reform: How Alabama’s constitution is holding our state back

The 1901 Alabama Constitution is overreaching, poorly written and harmful to many of the people it governs. Its authors intentionally disenfranchised people of color, women and people with low incomes in an effort to silence them politically. The document also created barriers to governance for local elected officials. More than a century later, these barriers [...]
Issue
Other
Date
September 22, 2022
Author
Mike Nicholson
Blog

Here’s what Alabama Arise heard from you in summer 2022!

We deeply value the input we get from Alabama Arise members, our allies and most importantly, those directly affected by the work we do together. We depend on what we hear to help guide our issue work and our strategies. Despite the ongoing challenges of connecting in person, we kept working at finding ways to [...]
Issues
Voting Rights, Budgets, Criminal Justice, Safety Net, Tax Reform, Medicaid Expansion, Housing, Economic Opportunity, Health
Date
September 20, 2022
Author
Presdelane Harris
News Releases

New Census data reveals how good policy choices can cut poverty, keep Alabamians healthier

People-friendly federal policies reduced poverty and made it easier for people to get health care in 2021, U.S. Census figures released this week show. Perhaps the most eye-opening improvement was a dramatic reduction in child poverty nationwide. The recent Child Tax Credit (CTC) expansion alone kept 5.3 million Americans above the poverty line. The one-year [...]
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform, Medicaid Expansion, Economic Opportunity, Health
Date
September 15, 2022
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Alabama Arise helps empower advocates to fight cervical cancer

[caption id="attachment_7241" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Alabama Arise staff members Jennifer Harris, Whitney Washington, Presdelane Harris and Whit Sides (left to right) presented at an advocacy training for Black women from Alabama’s Black Belt region Aug. 26-28, 2022, in Birmingham. Arise will continue to assist the women in coming months as they work to reduce cervical cancer [...]
Issue
Health
Date
September 9, 2022
Author
Whitney Washington
Blog

Help prevent voter suppression in Alabama! Sign up today

Voting rights are the foundation of our democracy. That’s why I wanted to share an opportunity for you to help protect those rights in Alabama by training and volunteering as a poll monitor. This opportunity comes through the nonpartisan Election Protection network, which works to ensure fair elections and make sure every eligible voter’s voice [...]
Issue
Voting Rights
Date
September 8, 2022
Author
Mike Nicholson
Blog

Worker-centered policies make Alabama better for everyone

Every Alabama worker deserves a stable, safe environment where they can earn enough money to take care of their needs. On this Labor Day weekend and every day, the numbers are clear on the path to provide this environment. The best way to ensure this type of work atmosphere is for workers to belong to [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
September 2, 2022
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Annual meeting to chart Arise’s course for 2023

Grassroots democracy will be on display in a new way when Alabama Arise members choose our 2023 issue priorities at our annual meeting Saturday, Sept. 24. For the first time, we will meet both in person and online via Zoom. Click here for more details. Our members will have the power to select the legislative [...]
Date
August 30, 2022
Author
Chris Sanders
Newsletter

August 2022 newsletter

Inflation Reduction Act will make Alabama healthier By Robyn Hyden, executive director The Inflation Reduction Act will help build a healthier future for people across Alabama. This plan will make health coverage more affordable for hundreds of thousands of Alabamians and millions of Americans. It will improve air quality by investing in clean energy and [...]
Date
August 25, 2022
Author
Alabama Arise
Fact Sheet

A revenue-neutral plan to untax groceries in Alabama

Alabama Arise supports legislation that would end the state sales tax on groceries and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and protect school funding. By capping the state income tax deduction for federal income taxes, the plan would bring in $520 million a year, the Legislative Services Agency (LSA) estimates. That would replace the revenue from ending the [...]
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform
Date
August 18, 2022
Author
Carol Gundlach
News Releases

Inflation Reduction Act will make Alabama a healthier state

Alabama Arise executive director Robyn Hyden released the following statement Monday in response to the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act on Sunday: “The Inflation Reduction Act will help build a healthier future for people across Alabama. This plan will make health coverage more affordable for hundreds of thousands of Alabamians and millions [...]
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform, Medicaid Expansion, Health
Date
August 8, 2022
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

ARPA 101: How the American Rescue Plan Act can build a more equitable Alabama

The COVID-19 pandemic has stretched families, hospitals, schools, businesses and food banks across Alabama to their limits. Like tens of millions of other Americans, local and state officials have had to adapt to new challenges and respond to existing health and economic challenges exacerbated by the pandemic over the last two years. Congress reacted to [...]
Issues
Health, Safety Net, Housing, Public Transportation
Date
June 28, 2022
Author
Annual Report

Annual Report 2021

Dear Arise members, 2021 was an eventful year for all of us. From surviving the first wave of the COVID-19 virus, its aftermath and the first round of vaccines, to completing our first fully-remote legislative session, to welcoming 3 new staff members to our team, effectively growing the power and capacity of our Medicaid expansion [...]
Date
June 22, 2022
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

82 Alabama groups urge Ivey, legislators to fund public transportation using ARPA funds

Lawmakers should jump-start public transportation across Alabama with an allocation of $20 million from the state’s remaining federal COVID-19 relief money, according to a letter that 82 churches and organizations across the state sent Wednesday to Gov. Kay Ivey and legislators. Alabama Arise is among the groups that co-signed the letter. The organizations asked Gov. [...]
Issues
Budgets, Coronavirus, Public Transportation
Date
June 22, 2022
Author
Chris Sanders
Letters & Testimony

Alabama Arise, 81 partner groups urge Alabama to fund public transportation

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) relief funding provides an opportunity for Alabama to jump-start public transportation across the state. Alabama Arise joined 81 partner organizations Wednesday in a letter asking lawmakers to allocate ARPA money to public transportation. The full text of the letter is below. Letter text Dear Governor Ivey, Lieutenant Governor Ainsworth, members [...]
Issues
Budgets, Coronavirus, Public Transportation
Date
June 22, 2022
Author
Blog

Alabama Arise resources for the 2022 runoff election

The 2022 runoff election is Tuesday, June 21. Alabamians will vote on Democratic and Republican nominees for a range of local, state and federal offices, including the Democratic nominee for governor and the Republican nominee for a U.S. Senate seat. Voters in some districts also will decide on nominees for the state Legislature. Have you [...]
Issue
Voting Rights
Date
June 17, 2022
Author
Report

Alabama’s road to a better public transportation future

Public transportation is an investment in people, communities, the economy and the environment. By providing state funding for public transportation, Alabama lawmakers can help ensure these freedoms for everyone in our state.

Issue
Public Transportation
Date
June 9, 2022
Author
Newsletter

May 2022 newsletter

Read our recap of the 2022 legislative session as well as highlights on as highlights on summer food programs and postpartum Medicaid expansion. Plus meet our new staff!

Date
May 12, 2022
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Community-driven ideas can improve health outcomes

Imagine a world where the people most harmed by hunger and food insecurity exercise their power to propose their own solutions to address this social determinant of health. What might happen if health care systems were responsive to those solutions? And what if a group of dedicated community leaders, organizations and civic groups rallied together [...]
Issue
Health
Date
May 10, 2022
Author
Presdelane Harris
Blog

Donate today to keep our momentum going

Because of your support, we made some important gains during this legislative session that will benefit Alabamians with low incomes. But we know we still have a long way to go. Will you donate today to keep up this momentum toward a more equitable Alabama? Over the course of the session, we built more bipartisan [...]
Date
May 10, 2022
Author
McKenzie Burton
Blog

Alabama needs to invest in our people

Do you know how hard it is to pass just one bill in the Alabama Legislature? We often measure progress on our issue priorities over periods of four-year quadrenniums, or even decades. So it’s remarkable that during the 2022 regular session, Arise members helped pass numerous priority bills on everything from equitable tax reforms and [...]
Issue
Budgets
Date
May 10, 2022
Author
Robyn Hyden
Blog

Summer food service programs need to be preserved

The COVID-19 pandemic added to the hunger challenges already facing many Alabamians. In response came a wave of federal flexibilities and waivers for the nation’s programs that feed children. As a result, many Alabama students have received nutritious, often free meals with fewer administrative barriers. However, many of these child nutrition waivers could be coming [...]
Issues
Health, Safety Net, Coronavirus
Date
May 10, 2022
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

A life-saving move: Alabama extends postpartum Medicaid coverage

Alabama is on its way to reducing maternal mortality and improving health for families across the state ‒ but we can’t stop here. Lawmakers and Gov. Kay Ivey last month enacted a budget that extends postpartum Medicaid coverage to a full year after childbirth. That is up from the previous cutoff of only 60 days [...]
Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
May 10, 2022
Author
Personal Stories

Postpartum Medicaid extension brings a glimmer of hope for new mothers in Alabama

This story originally appeared on AL.com. On Mother’s Day in 2014, I found out I was pregnant. For me, the existential dread set in just as deeply as the morning sickness. Motherhood and its crushing weight had been drilled into me my entire life. I told myself it was too hard, that I just wasn’t [...]
Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets
Date
May 9, 2022
Author
Whit Sides
Letters & Testimony

Alabama Arise, partners urge no disruption to summer food program in Alabama

The Summer Food Service Program has been a critical tool to fight child hunger during the COVID-19 pandemic. But many key program flexibilities will expire June 30 unless Alabama applies for a waiver. Alabama Arise and our partners in the Hunger-Free Alabama coalition wrote a letter Thursday to state school Superintendent Eric Mackey to urge [...]
Issues
Safety Net, Coronavirus, Budgets
Date
May 5, 2022
Author
Blog

Community eligibility helps keep children fed in Alabama

Arise's Celida Soto Garcia explains how the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) helps more than 450 high-poverty schools across Alabama offer breakfast and lunch to students at no charge. Now is the time to contact school superintendents and urge them to opt into CEP if their districts are eligible to participate. A full transcript can be [...]
Issues
Health, Safety Net
Date
May 5, 2022
Author
Celida Soto Garcia
Blog

Join us for Town Hall Tuesdays!

Listening is key to shaping and advancing public policies that matter most to those marginalized by bad policies. Alabama Arise depends on what we hear to help guide our work toward our vision of a better Alabama for all. Our online Town Hall Tuesdays will return once again this year. These events are a chance [...]
Issues
Health, Safety Net, Criminal Justice, Voting Rights
Date
May 2, 2022
Author
Presdelane Harris
Blog

Highs and lows: Alabama Arise’s look back at the 2022 regular session

The Alabama Legislature’s 2022 regular session adjourned sine die late on Thursday, April 7. Lawmakers capped off the session’s last week with intense debates and late nights, with the final gavel dropping just before midnight. Alabama Arise is grateful for the many positive outcomes that came out of the State House this year. We also [...]
Issues
Safety Net, Criminal Justice, Tax Reform, Budgets, Health, Voting Rights
Date
April 12, 2022
Author
Blog

Arise legislative update: April 12, 2022

Arise's Robyn Hyden breaks down successes and missed opportunities from the Alabama Legislature's 2022 regular session, which ended Thursday night. She highlights breakthroughs on federal ARPA funds, postpartum Medicaid extension and criminal justice reform, among other issues.
Issues
Safety Net, Criminal Justice, Tax Reform, Budgets, Health
Date
April 12, 2022
Author
Blog

Arise legislative recap: April 4, 2022

Arise's Jane Adams shares the good news that next year's General Fund budget includes a provision that would extend Medicaid postpartum coverage to one year after childbirth, up from the current 60 days. The budget has passed both the Alabama House and Senate and has gone to the governor.
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Health
Date
April 4, 2022
Author
Member Resources

What can one person do? 30 action steps

People often ask where they can start and what they can do to be advocates for change in Alabama. Here are some practical ideas from Alabama Arise: Understand: Advocacy has an important place alongside charity. Writing a $50 check to a local program or an international relief effort can benefit people in need. Writing a [...]
Date
March 31, 2022
Author
Presdelane Harris
Blog

Untax Groceries Rally: March 15, 2022

More than 50 Arise members gathered in Montgomery on Tuesday for the Untax Groceries Rally to support efforts to eliminate the state sales tax on groceries. The event focused on two bills that would end the state grocery tax while protecting school funding: SB 43 by Sen. Andrew Jones and a forthcoming bill by Rep. [...]
Issues
Tax Reform, Budgets, Economic Opportunity
Date
March 21, 2022
Author
News Releases

New poll: Most Alabamians support plan to untax groceries, protect funding for public schools

Nearly three in five Alabamians (59.3%), including 56.1% of Republican voters, support legislation that would remove the state sales tax on groceries without cutting education funding, according to a new poll commissioned by Alabama Arise. Only 25.3% of respondents opposed the plan, with another 15.5% saying they were unsure or did not take a position. [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
March 15, 2022
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Arise legislative recap: March 14, 2022

Arise's Carol Gundlach discusses SB 19, which would provide a small but significant income tax cut for Alabamians with low and moderate incomes. She also discusses Arise's Untax Groceries Rally, scheduled for this Tuesday, March 15. Visit untaxgroceries.org to learn more. Please note: In the case of inclement weather, Tuesday's rally will be held inside [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
March 14, 2022
Author
Newsletter

March 2022 newsletter

Read about Arise’s work to untax groceries, expand health coverage and advance justice in Alabama. Then learn how you can join our movement!

Date
March 9, 2022
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Arise legislative recap: March 7, 2022

Arise's Celida Soto Garcia discusses the problems with SB 156, a bill that would deny SNAP food assistance to Alabamians who fail to “cooperate” or “comply” with child support orders or collection services. The bill could come up for a Senate vote this week. Celida also discusses Arise's upcoming Untax Groceries Rally, scheduled for March [...]
Issues
Tax Reform, Safety Net
Date
March 7, 2022
Author
Blog

Grocery tax, health care key Arise focuses this year

Untax groceries. Expand health coverage. Make the criminal justice system more just. Those are a few of Alabama Arise’s major priorities during the Legislature’s 2022 regular session. And we’re making real progress toward turning those goals into realities. Untaxing groceries Ending the state’s regressive sales tax on groceries has been a longtime Arise priority. It [...]
Issues
Criminal Justice, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Health, Tax Reform
Date
March 7, 2022
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

We see you, Alabama, and we’re here with you

As I think about each of you, in the midst of a hectic and uncertain time, I’m amazed by the strength and resilience of the people like you who make up Arise’s membership and our community. The single parent who has been holding it together during COVID-19 child care closures and home schooling, all while [...]
Date
March 7, 2022
Author
Robyn Hyden
Blog

You are the strong force behind Arise’s advocacy

Your support holds lawmakers accountable during this legislative session. Will you donate to Alabama Arise today? Right now in Montgomery, elected officials from across Alabama are proposing laws that would infringe on our constitutional right to protest, limit our children’s access to a quality, well-rounded education and increase barriers to receiving unemployment insurance benefits, even [...]
Date
March 7, 2022
Author
McKenzie Burton
Blog

Arise legislative recap: Feb. 28, 2022

Arise's Jilisa Milton discusses HB 312, which would prohibit teaching certain "divisive concepts" related to race, religion and sex in public K-12 schools, public colleges and universities, and state employee training programs. This bill could undermine a healthy educational environment in Alabama by chilling full, truthful discussions of key historical and current events. Jilisa also [...]
Issues
Budgets, Other
Date
February 28, 2022
Author
Resources

Alabama Arise Action Legislative Day: Feb 15, 2022

Advocates from across the state gathered online last Tuesday, Feb. 15, for Alabama Arise Action's 2022 Legislative Day. Arise staff members took member questions and provided updates on state grocery tax repeal, Medicaid expansion and many other important issue priorities. Check out the recording to learn more about our movement to improve life for every [...]
Date
February 22, 2022
Author
Blog

Arise legislative recap: Feb. 11, 2022

Organizing director Pres Harris invites you to Arise's 2022 Legislative Day! Please join us online this Tuesday as we advocate for our issue priorities, including untaxing groceries. Visit al-arise.local/2022legislativeday to register and learn more about how you can help build a brighter future for every Alabamian.
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
February 11, 2022
Author
News Releases

New poll: More than 7 in 10 Alabamians support Medicaid expansion

More than seven in 10 Alabamians (71.5%), including 65.8% of Republican voters, support expanding Medicaid when told about arguments in support of the idea, according to a new poll commissioned by Alabama Arise. The poll also showed robust bipartisan support for using a portion of the state’s funding under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) [...]
Issues
Budgets, Medicaid Expansion, Health
Date
February 10, 2022
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Arise legislative recap: Feb. 7, 2022

Alabama Arise believes all of us do better when our elected officials support the common good. Arise's Carol Gundlach details how SB 140 would do the exact opposite, hurting Alabama's local public schools by diverting hundreds of millions of dollars to private schools and home schooling.
Issue
Budgets
Date
February 7, 2022
Author
Blog

Arise legislative recap: Jan. 31, 2022

Meet Rebecca Howard, Arise's new policy and advocacy director! Rebecca introduces herself to our members before discussing the latest news on ARPA funding in Alabama and our thoughts on the recent federal court decision on the state's congressional maps.
Issues
Voting Rights, Budgets
Date
January 31, 2022
Author
Fact Sheet

Eliminating state grocery tax would make life better for Alabama families

Alabama’s sales tax on groceries is a cruel tax on survival, particularly in times of economic insecurity. It increases hunger rates and drives struggling Alabamians deeper into poverty. Two bills in the 2022 regular session – SB 43 by Sen. Andrew Jones, R-Centre, and HB 173 by Rep. Mike Holmes, R-Wetumpka – would end the [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
January 25, 2022
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Arise legislative recap: Jan. 25, 2022

The Alabama Legislature has stepped away briefly from its regular session for a special session on federal COVID-19 relief funds. Arise executive director Robyn Hyden provides an overview of how lawmakers plan to allocate the next portion of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money this week. And she explains why affordable housing and public transportation [...]
Issues
Public Transportation, Housing, Budgets
Date
January 25, 2022
Author
News Releases

New poll: Alabamians strongly support use of ARPA funds to protect rural hospitals, increase mental health services

Alabama’s likely voters overwhelmingly support using federal COVID-19 relief funds to increase funding for mental health and rural hospitals, according to a new Alabama Arise poll released Monday. More than four in five respondents (81.1%) supported using a portion of Alabama’s funding under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to invest in rural hospitals and [...]
Issues
Coronavirus, Public Transportation, Health, Housing, Tax Reform, Budgets
Date
January 24, 2022
Author
Chris Sanders
Letters & Testimony

Alabama Arise testimony on ARPA funding priorities in Alabama

Alabama Arise’s Robyn Hyden testified Wednesday before a joint meeting of the House and Senate’s General Fund budget committees. She discussed Arise’s top priorities for lawmakers’ allocation of federal relief funds under the American Rescue Plan Act. Here’s the full text of Hyden’s prepared remarks: Good afternoon. My name is Robyn Hyden. I am the [...]
Issue
Budgets
Date
January 19, 2022
Author
Blog

Arise legislative recap: Jan. 18, 2022

The Alabama Legislature is back in session, and Alabama Arise will keep a close eye on policy developments in the coming months. Arise's Carol Gundlach previews the state budgets and discusses the rare opportunity our lawmakers have to create a more equitable Alabama using federal relief funds.
Issue
Budgets
Date
January 18, 2022
Author
Blog

Six ways Alabama should use ARPA funds to build a better, more inclusive future

The Alabama Legislature’s 2022 regular session, which began Tuesday, will be unusual in one important way. For the first time in many years, Alabama has more than enough revenue to maintain its bare-bones public services. That means instead of scrambling to avoid cuts, the legislative focus can be on strengthening investments in our state’s future. [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Coronavirus, Public Transportation, Health, Budgets, Housing, Economic Opportunity, Safety Net
Date
January 14, 2022
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

LIVE BLOG: Alabama’s 2022 legislative session

Stay up to date with the 2022 legislative session. Below is a live feed of Alabama Arise's Twitter account, which will display information related to our 2022 issue priorities as well the latest news from our staff and members of the media. Tweets by AlabamaArise
Date
January 10, 2022
Author
Fact Sheet

Underregulated auto title loans are a bad deal for Alabamians

Alabama doesn’t know how many people lose their cars because of auto title loans every year. No agency collects data on title loans, which are treated as pawn transactions. But with annual percentage rates (APR) of 300% allowable under the state’s Pawn Shop Act, which governs title loans, the cost of these loans is far [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
January 6, 2022
Author
Dev Wakeley
Fact Sheet

Payday lending harms families and communities across Alabama

Every year, underregulated payday lenders drain tens of millions of dollars from Alabama communities. These financial predators use some of that money to pay a fleet of lobbyists and fund legislative campaigns against reform. They have preserved the status quo even though nearly three in four Alabamians support abolishing predatory payday loans. There are more [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
January 6, 2022
Author
Dev Wakeley
Fact Sheet

Criminal justice debt creates major barriers to economic health

It is unconstitutional to jail someone just because they owe money. But Alabama has no set process for courts to determine if a defendant can afford to pay fines and fees. And though debtors’ prisons are illegal, thousands of Alabamians are in danger of going to jail or are driven further into poverty because they [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
January 6, 2022
Author
Dev Wakeley
Fact Sheet

Alabama’s death penalty practices remain unjust and unusually cruel

Americans increasingly oppose the death penalty. Gallup found that opposition to the death penalty more than doubled in the past 25 years. This may result from disturbingly high error rates in the system. For every 10 people executed since 1976, one innocent person on death row has been set free. Alabama took an important step toward death penalty reform [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
January 6, 2022
Author
Dev Wakeley
Fact Sheet

Expand voting rights to move Alabama beyond its anti-democratic past

Voting rights are a flashpoint in Alabama’s history. The long denial of those rights to Black residents led to Bloody Sunday in Selma, the march to Montgomery and eventually passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In the decades since, our state has taken a few steps that increase voting access for communities of [...]
Issue
Voting Rights
Date
January 6, 2022
Author
Dev Wakeley
Fact Sheet

Jump-start public transit in Alabama

Alabama’s failure to invest in public transportation is hurting people, communities, the economy and the environment. Many seniors, people with disabilities and people with low incomes need public transit to get to work, medical care, the grocery store and more. Others prefer an energy-saving alternative to cars. The Legislature created the Public Transportation Trust Fund [...]
Issue
Public Transportation
Date
December 22, 2021
Author
Jilisa Milton
Fact Sheet

It’s time to expand Medicaid and close Alabama’s health coverage gap

For years, Gov. Kay Ivey and legislators have said cost is the barrier to covering Alabamians with low incomes through Medicaid. Thanks to federal COVID-19 relief funding with incentives for Medicaid expansion, any concerns about that barrier are gone. Now more than ever before, we have the opportunity to ensure no Alabamian has to choose [...]
Issue
Medicaid Expansion
Date
December 21, 2021
Author
Jim Carnes
Fact Sheet

Alabama Housing Trust Fund can help thousands find a place to call home

Alabama lacks more than 73,000 homes for households with incomes below the federal poverty line ($26,500 for a family of four). That means many seniors, students, veterans and people with low or fixed incomes in Alabama can’t afford a safe place to call home. And the pandemic only made the housing crisis worse. Between Sept. [...]
Issue
Housing
Date
December 21, 2021
Author
Carol Gundlach
Fact Sheet

Funding surge is a path for Alabama to untax groceries, expand Medicaid

Alabama’s broken tax system usually starves our state of money to fund education, public health and other basic responsibilities adequately. But 2022 may be different. Record tax revenues and a surge of federal recovery dollars could allow lawmakers to address longstanding state needs and inequities – if they have the political courage: Tax revenues for [...]
Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
December 21, 2021
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Special sessions set stage for fast-paced 2022 regular session

The Alabama Legislature’s two special sessions this fall brought mixed results on Alabama Arise issue priorities. Lawmakers improved the state’s post-incarceration reentry policies in the first special session in September. And in the second session, which ended in November, they allocated $80 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for costs related to [...]
Issue
Budgets
Date
December 10, 2021
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Funding boosts bring opportunity to invest in Alabama’s future

Alabama’s broken tax system usually starves our state of money to fund basic responsibilities adequately. But 2022 may be different. Record tax revenues and a surge of federal recovery dollars could allow lawmakers to address longstanding state needs and inequities – if they have the political courage. State revenues that pay for our schools, including [...]
Issues
Coronavirus, Health, Budgets, Tax Reform, Medicaid Expansion, Criminal Justice
Date
December 10, 2021
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Arise keeps up advocacy to prevent evictions

Emergency rental assistance programs are falling short in Alabama even as tens of thousands of renters remain at risk of eviction. The Alabama Housing Finance Authority (AHFA) has received more than 70,000 applications for federal rental assistance. But fewer than 4,000 households had been helped as of Oct. 31. The AHFA has distributed only about [...]
Issue
Housing
Date
December 10, 2021
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Join Alabama Arise today!

This year, Alabama Arise deepened our commitment to ensuring we center those most impacted by poverty as we forge a new path toward a more equitable Alabama. This means we must be intentional about expanding the demographics of our membership base to be more reflective of the populations we serve. On Giving Tuesday (Nov. 30), [...]
Date
December 10, 2021
Author
Amber Haywood
Blog

A year to strengthen our communities

We can’t even begin to summarize all the momentous federal policy advances realized in 2021 in one newsletter. This year brought passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the infrastructure package. It brought expansion of the Child Tax Credit. And we hope it will bring the forthcoming passage of the Build Back Better [...]
Issues
Health, Budgets, Medicaid Expansion
Date
December 10, 2021
Author
Robyn Hyden
Newsletter

December 2021 newsletter

Special sessions set stage for fast-paced 2022 regular session By Dev Wakeley, policy analyst The Alabama Legislature’s two special sessions this fall brought mixed results on Alabama Arise issue priorities. Lawmakers improved the state’s post-incarceration reentry policies in the first special session in September. And in the second session, which ended in November, they allocated [...]
Date
December 9, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
Resources

Alabama Arise toolkit on the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provides $130 billion in federal funding directly to local governments. This level of aid will help communities across the country shape their recovery from the COVID-19 recession. ARPA is an unprecedented opportunity for local and state lawmakers in Alabama to invest equitably in an economic recovery that serves Alabamians [...]
Issues
Coronavirus, Budgets
Date
November 18, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Arise legislative recap: Nov. 9, 2021

Arise policy analyst Dev Wakeley looks back at the Alabama Legislature’s second special session, which ended last week. Dev discusses lawmakers’ actions related to redistricting and COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as federal relief funding for hospitals and nursing homes.
Issues
Health, Budgets, Coronavirus, Other
Date
November 9, 2021
Author
Blog

Recovering from Alabama’s costly mistake on COVID-19 recovery funds

This post originally appeared on the Economic Policy Institute's blog. When the Alabama Legislature gathered for a special session in September, it made a shortsighted and costly mistake. Lawmakers chose to allocate $400 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money ‒ about 20% of Alabama’s federal COVID-19 relief funds ‒ to help finance a [...]
Issues
Coronavirus, Public Transportation, Housing, Medicaid Expansion, Criminal Justice, Health, Budgets
Date
November 8, 2021
Author
Dev Wakeley
Personal Stories

When Alabama’s coverage gap hit home for my family

This story originally appeared on AL.com. Our borders have become irregular as COVID-19 closes in on almost every part of our lives. The pandemic has made all of us realize how the shapes of our families are becoming irreparably different. This summer, the shape of my own life changed. Cathy Parker was one of my [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health, Coronavirus
Date
October 27, 2021
Author
Whit Sides
Blog

Arise legislative update: Oct. 6, 2021

Alabama legislators passed a reentry reform bill during last week's special session, but they declined to approve sentencing reform. Lawmakers also allocated $400 million of federal COVID-19 relief funds to new prison construction. Arise's Dev Wakeley breaks down what 2021's first special session meant for the future of Alabama's corrections system and talks about how [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
October 6, 2021
Author
News Releases

Alabama Arise unveils members’ 2022 roadmap for change

Sentencing reform and voting rights expansion are two key goals on Alabama Arise’s 2022 legislative agenda. Members voted for Arise’s issue priorities this week after nearly 300 people attended the organization’s online annual meeting Saturday. The seven issues chosen were: Tax reform, including untaxing groceries and ending the state’s upside-down deduction for federal income taxes, [...]
Issues
Public Transportation, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Medicaid Expansion, Criminal Justice, Voting Rights, Health, Budgets
Date
October 1, 2021
Author
Chris Sanders
Letters & Testimony

Alabama Arise testimony on distribution of federal rental assistance funds

Arise’s Dev Wakeley testified Wednesday before the Legislative Oversight Committee of the Alabama Housing Finance Authority (AHFA). He discussed Arise’s concerns about the slow distribution of federal rental assistance authorized under the American Rescue Plan Act. He also shared recommendations to speed up disbursement and increase participation. Here’s the full text of Wakeley’s prepared remarks:

Issue
Housing
Date
September 29, 2021
Author
Resources

Arise legislative update: Sept. 24, 2021

Gov. Kay Ivey is calling the Legislature back for a special session to address Alabama's prison system. Arise's Dev Wakeley breaks down two good reforms that legislators will consider and highlights areas where lawmakers' plans miss the mark.
Date
September 24, 2021
Author
Blog

Alabama Arise keeps listening. Here’s what we heard in 2021!

Listening is a core value of Alabama Arise. We deeply value the input we get from our members, our allies and most importantly, those directly affected by the work we do together. We depend on what we hear to help guide our issue work and our strategies. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continued to challenge us [...]
Issues
Economic Opportunity, Criminal Justice, Voting Rights, Health, Coronavirus, Public Transportation, Housing
Date
September 22, 2021
Author
Presdelane Harris
Blog

Thousands in Alabama at risk of homelessness after Supreme Court overturns eviction moratorium

Tens of thousands of Alabamians are at risk of losing their homes after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eviction moratorium on Aug. 27. This moratorium — the latest in a series at the state and federal level — would have allowed renters harmed by the COVID-19 recession more time to apply for and receive federal rental assistance funds through local agencies.

Issues
Coronavirus, Budgets, Housing
Date
September 7, 2021
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Alabama Arise’s administrative advocacy: Big wins in the policy margins

Unlike legislative advocacy, administrative advocacy is an aspect of Alabama Arise’s work we don’t talk about often. Yet that’s where some of our biggest policy wins happen. State agencies and leaders can accomplish some important policy changes via rule changes. Sometimes legislators pass policies with good intentions, but administrative barriers and red tape stop them [...]
Issues
Health, Coronavirus, Budgets, Housing, Safety Net
Date
September 7, 2021
Author
Robyn Hyden
Resources

The State of Working Alabama 2021: What policy barriers should Alabama remove on this Labor Day?

It’s Labor Day weekend. The days are ever so slightly cooler. Football season has started. And Alabama’s economy is officially “open for business.” So why are so many jobs still going unfilled in our state? Why are employers looking for workers and not finding them? A look at some very interesting data can provide a [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus, Safety Net, Public Transportation
Date
September 3, 2021
Author
Carol Gundlach
Fact Sheet

Rental assistance resources to prevent evictions in Alabama

[caption id="attachment_711" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Affordable housing advocates rally outside the Alabama State House in Montgomery in 2015.[/caption] Are you facing eviction, or is a renter at your property unable to pay rent? Evictions in Alabama are resuming now that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned the federal eviction moratorium. If you are facing eviction because [...]
Issues
Coronavirus, Housing
Date
September 2, 2021
Author
Blog

Special session(s) ahead in Alabama? How Arise is preparing

Alabama Arise’s work for equity, justice and opportunity persisted after the Legislature’s regular session ended. We’ll renew our commitment to those principles when Arise members choose 2022 issue priorities after the Sept. 25 annual meeting. And we’ll keep up the drumbeat when lawmakers return later this year for one or more expected special sessions. Alabama’s [...]
Issues
Health, Criminal Justice, Budgets, Voting Rights, Safety Net, Public Transportation, Medicaid Expansion
Date
September 2, 2021
Author
Chris Sanders
Newsletter

September 2021 newsletter

Special session(s) ahead? How Arise is preparing By Chris Sanders, communications director Alabama Arise’s work for equity, justice and opportunity persisted after the Legislature’s regular session ended. We’ll renew our commitment to those principles when Arise members choose 2022 issue priorities after the Sept. 25 annual meeting. And we’ll keep up the drumbeat when lawmakers [...]
Date
September 1, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Redistricting in Alabama: How you can speak out

Alabama legislators likely will return to Montgomery for a special session on redistricting later this year. Before then, the Joint Reapportionment Committee will hold a series of public hearings across the state beginning Sept. 1. These events are an opportunity for Alabamians to share their thoughts and concerns about the redistricting process. Alabama Arise urges [...]
Issue
Voting Rights
Date
August 31, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) in Alabama: What you need to know

The COVID-19 pandemic, its recession and increased food costs have created a second, quieter epidemic: hunger. This hunger epidemic has hit schoolchildren the hardest as school closures cost them not only classroom time, but also the school breakfasts and lunches upon which they relied. During the pandemic’s early stage, 13% of Alabama families with children [...]
Issues
Coronavirus, Safety Net
Date
August 17, 2021
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Community eligibility offers an enduring path to food security for Alabama schoolchildren

At least one in four children experience hunger in Alabama ‒ a terrible reality even before the onslaught of COVID-19. Many gaps already existed in policies surrounding fair access to food and nutrition in our state. And the pandemic abruptly reminded policymakers of the importance of maintaining fortified safety net systems. State agencies swiftly stepped [...]
Issues
Coronavirus, Safety Net
Date
August 5, 2021
Author
Celida Soto Garcia
Member Resources

Get involved with the Cover Alabama campaign!

Click here to download a printable PDF of the Cover Alabama flyer. Help us build a better, healthier Alabama for everyone! Alabama Arise is a proud member of the Cover Alabama Coalition. Cover Alabama is a nonpartisan alliance of more than 110 advocacy groups, businesses, community organizations, consumer groups, health care providers and religious congregations [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health
Date
July 21, 2021
Author
Blog

Good news for Alabama families: The expanded Child Tax Credit is here!

Monthly payments from the newly enhanced federal Child Tax Credit begin today, marking a historic breakthrough in fighting child poverty. The payments are part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which will help reduce child poverty in the United States by more than 40%. How does the expanded credit work? ARPA boosted the maximum [...]
Issues
Economic Opportunity, Safety Net, Tax Reform
Date
July 15, 2021
Author
Robyn Hyden
News Releases

42 Alabama groups urge Ivey to drive transformative change with federal COVID-19 relief funds

Alabama should build a more equitable and inclusive future by using federal COVID-19 relief money for transformational investments in public health and economic opportunity, according to a letter that 42 churches and organizations across the state sent to Gov. Kay Ivey this week. Alabama Arise is among the groups that co-signed the letter. The American [...]
Issues
Health, Economic Opportunity, Safety Net, Tax Reform, Budgets, Housing, Public Transportation, Medicaid Expansion, Coronavirus
Date
July 8, 2021
Author
Chris Sanders
Letters & Testimony

To strengthen the common good: Six principles for allocating Alabama’s ARPA funding

Introduction Dear Governor Ivey, One of the darkest years in recent memory has put Alabama’s families, communities, health system, businesses – and our leaders at all levels – to the test. Thank you for all your efforts to keep Alabamians safe and secure during this unprecedented emergency. Now that a post-COVID world is dawning, the [...]
Issues
Economic Opportunity, Safety Net, Tax Reform, Budgets, Criminal Justice, Housing, Public Transportation, Medicaid Expansion, Coronavirus, Health
Date
July 7, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Voting rights reforms face uphill climb, anti-democratic political sentiments

All Alabamians should be able to exercise the right to vote without facing suppression, administrative hurdles, or manipulation by elected officials. But the infrastructure of democracy in Alabama falls short of that standard. Efforts to protect and expand voting rights for Alabamians in the past session took place amid a national atmosphere of outlandish conspiracy [...]
Issue
Voting Rights
Date
July 1, 2021
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Incremental isn’t enough: Alabama’s continued need for criminal justice reform

Alabamians deserve a criminal justice system that treats people fairly when they are accused of crimes, rehabilitates people as quickly as possible and releases people once they’re ready to rejoin the community. But Alabama’s criminal justice system doesn’t meet those standards, and the state’s prisons are dangerous warehouses, not rehabilitation centers. Three inmates were murdered [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
June 14, 2021
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Federal relief funds could transform Alabama’s future

How often have we gotten to say that it’s raining money in Alabama? That’s the image that comes to mind as the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), passed in March, begins to direct more than $4 billion in new federal funds into the state over the next three years. The funding could help Alabama make [...]
Issues
Safety Net, Tax Reform, Budgets, Housing, Medicaid Expansion, Coronavirus, Health, Economic Opportunity
Date
June 8, 2021
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

The dark road not taken in the 2021 regular session

Predicting actions and outcomes of a legislative session is never an easy bet. When the Alabama Legislature opened its 2021 regular session in February, our crystal ball was even cloudier than usual. Strong currents of anxiety were sweeping the country amid fear and frustration over COVID-19 and precautionary measures, conflicting beliefs about racial justice and [...]
Issues
Criminal Justice, Voting Rights, Coronavirus, Health
Date
June 8, 2021
Author
Jim Carnes
Blog

Arise advances justice in a pandemic session

Advocacy barriers for Alabama Arise members were extraordinarily high during the Legislature’s 2021 regular session. The COVID-19 pandemic limited physical access to the State House and made a difficult policy landscape even rockier. But Arise members were undeterred. They spoke out forcefully and repeatedly for justice and opportunity. And the result was real, meaningful progress [...]
Issues
Budgets, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion, Health, Economic Opportunity, Safety Net, Criminal Justice
Date
June 8, 2021
Author
Chris Sanders
Newsletter

June 2021 newsletter

Arise advances justice in a pandemic session By Chris Sanders, communications director Advocacy barriers for Alabama Arise members were extraordinarily high during the Legislature’s 2021 regular session. The COVID-19 pandemic limited physical access to the State House and made a difficult policy landscape even rockier. But Arise members were undeterred. They spoke out forcefully and [...]
Date
June 4, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

You’re invited to Arise’s 2021 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 2022 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! [...]
Issues
Health, Economic Opportunity, Criminal Justice
Date
May 27, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Arise legislative recap: May 27, 2021

Arise's Robyn Hyden recaps the Alabama Legislature's 2021 regular session. She discusses several policy wins that Arise members should celebrate, including the defeat of legislation that would limit the right to protest and passage of a bill to promote equitable access to broadband.
Issues
Voting Rights, Medicaid Expansion, Health, Criminal Justice
Date
May 27, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Arise legislative recap: May 21, 2021

Alabama Arise held a legislative wrap-up event Tuesday night to go over what happened – and what didn't happen – during the Legislature's 2021 regular session, which ended Monday. This is a recording of that wrap-up where Arise staff detail the good and bad from the session – and discuss the next steps to continue [...]
Date
May 21, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Arise legislative recap: May 10, 2021

Arise's Carol Gundlach breaks down the busy final stretch of the Alabama Legislature's 2021 regular session. Carol reviews where things stand on the General Fund budget and broadband access. And she flags two potential action alerts we want you to be ready for in the coming week.
Issue
Budgets
Date
May 10, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Arise legislative recap: May 3, 2021

Arise’s Dev Wakeley brings us up to speed on where we stand in the final days of the Alabama Legislature’s 2021 regular session. He provides overviews of meaningful bills we hope will pass — and of harmful bills we hope won’t.  
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
May 3, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

New report profiles essential workers most likely to lack health coverage in Alabama

Medicaid expansion would increase access to life-saving health care while also advancing racial and gender equity in Alabama, according to a new report by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families (CCF). Expansion also would ensure coverage for tens of thousands of essential workers in industries like health care, retail and construction. “Everyone in [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health, Coronavirus
Date
April 28, 2021
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Alabama Arise Action 2021 annual meeting

The Arise policy and campaign teams gave updates on criminal justice reform, voting rights, Medicaid expansion and other issue priorities during Alabama Arise Action's annual meeting last week. Sen. Kirk Hatcher, D-Montgomery, also called in to provide insight from the legislative side of the 2021 regular session. (Note: The video captions were generated live during [...]
Issues
Health, Criminal Justice, Budgets
Date
April 26, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Needed changes still possible as Alabama Legislature’s 2021 regular session winds down

The Alabama Legislature’s 2021 regular session has been a difficult one, to say the least. Public access remains limited, and lawmakers have advanced some of the most damaging bills in years. And many legislators have forced attention onto high-profile, controversial bills to foment conflict and remove focus from priorities that would benefit all Alabamians. But [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
April 21, 2021
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Arise legislative recap: April 19, 2021

We take a break from our usual legislative coverage this week as Arise's Pres Harris (and her nephew!) bring you all the details you need for the Alabama Arise Action spring membership meeting this Thursday. You can find more information and register at alariseaction.org.
Date
April 19, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
Personal Stories

‘It’s time for someone to stick up for us’: Walker County’s need for Medicaid expansion

[caption id="attachment_5522" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Rev. Robin Hinkle is the rector at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Jasper. Her ministry has greatly scaled up food assistance to the community to help ease financial suffering during the COVID-19 recession. (Photo courtesy of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church)[/caption] Walker County has gained notoriety in recent years as one of [...]
Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion, Coronavirus
Date
April 15, 2021
Author
Whit Sides
Blog

You give me hope for a brighter future in Alabama: A farewell column from Brenda Boman, former Arise development director

[caption id="attachment_5486" align="alignleft" width="290"] Brenda Boman retired in January after 16 years as Alabama Arise's development director. We're grateful for her hard work to build our membership and strengthen our movement for change.[/caption] When I joined the Alabama Arise staff 16 years ago as its development director, I came to this work with little to [...]
Date
April 14, 2021
Author
Brenda Boman
Blog

Money matters: Budgets top priority for session; lawmakers also discussing Medicaid expansion, criminal justice reform, voting rights this year

As the Alabama Legislature approaches the 2021 regular session's final days, both state budgets are halfway to passage. The Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget has passed in the Senate and is in the House’s education budget committee. The General Fund (GF) budget, which funds all non-education services, has cleared the House and awaits Senate committee [...]
Issues
Health, Criminal Justice, Budgets, Voting Rights
Date
April 14, 2021
Author
Jim Carnes
Blog

American Rescue Plan Act offers path to recovery

As vaccinations continue across Alabama, COVID-19’s viselike grip on our lives is loosening. The pandemic has caused immense physical, emotional and economic suffering, and those aftereffects will not fade quickly. But the American Rescue Plan Act – the federal relief package that President Joe Biden signed March 11 – includes many important policies to begin [...]
Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion, Housing, Coronavirus, Economic Opportunity, Budgets, Safety Net, Tax Reform
Date
April 13, 2021
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Arise legislative recap: April 10, 2021

Arise's Carol Gundlach provides an update on the lottery and medical marijuana bills moving through the Alabama Legislature and discusses how they could shape the policy landscape for Medicaid expansion and the grocery tax as the 2021 regular session nears its final days. (Correction: The lottery and medical marijuana bill debates were on Wednesday, not [...]
Date
April 10, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

A healthier Alabama is just over the horizon

I am thrilled to report that Alabama is closer to expanding Medicaid today than we’ve ever been before! Thanks to your strong advocacy, our leaders are beginning to see the connections between the COVID-19 pandemic and unequal access to health care. They’re facing the fact that rural communities, primary care providers and everyday Alabamians are [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Coronavirus, Health
Date
April 8, 2021
Author
Jim Carnes
Newsletter

April 2021 newsletter

American Rescue Plan Act offers path to recovery By Chris Sanders, communications director As vaccinations continue across Alabama, COVID-19’s viselike grip on our lives is loosening. The pandemic has caused immense physical, emotional and economic suffering, and those aftereffects will not fade quickly. But the American Rescue Plan Act – the federal relief package that [...]
Date
April 6, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Arise legislative recap: April 5, 2021

Arise's Jim Carnes provides an update on several good bills that won committee approval, including legislation to repeal Alabama's broken and harmful Habitual Felony Offender Act. He also acknowledges a disturbing trend of bills that aim to limit the power of Alabama's public health officials to respond to pandemics and other emergencies.
Issues
Criminal Justice, Health
Date
April 5, 2021
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

Arise legislative recap: March 19, 2021

As the Alabama Legislature reaches the midpoint of this year’s regular session, Arise’s Celida Soto Garcia brings us up to date with the session so far. Lawmakers sadly have neglected many key needs while advancing numerous bills that would infringe on the civil rights of Alabamians. We need you to speak out for a better [...]
Issues
Criminal Justice, Voting Rights, Tax Reform
Date
March 19, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

New Medicaid expansion incentive clears the path to a healthier Alabama

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 answers a question Alabama policymakers have been asking for years: How can we pay for Medicaid expansion? It’s a solution that lawmakers should embrace immediately to build a better, healthier future for our state. And it’s a step you can urge the governor to take today. An incentive [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Coronavirus, Budgets, Health
Date
March 19, 2021
Author
Jim Carnes
Blog

Arise legislative recap: March 12, 2021

Arise's Carol Gundlach breaks down the American Rescue Plan and what it means for Alabama families including expansions to the Child Tax Credit and EITC helping to reduce poverty across Alabama.
Issues
Coronavirus, Housing, Budgets, Health, Safety Net, Tax Reform, Medicaid Expansion
Date
March 12, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
Fact Sheet

Now is the time! Medicaid expansion talking points in Alabama

Timing On Thursday, March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act, which will bring back federal funding for states to newly expand Medicaid. Thanks to this law, if Alabama expanded Medicaid, the state would get an estimated $940 million boost in federal Medicaid funds over two years. This is enough money to [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health, Coronavirus, Budgets
Date
March 12, 2021
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

Federal relief package will reduce Alabamians’ unmet health needs, hunger, housing instability and other hardships

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 will reduce poverty while expanding health care, housing and nutrition protections across Alabama, according to analyses by Alabama Arise and other research organizations. President Joe Biden signed the new federal COVID-19 relief package into law Thursday. The law will slash poverty by expanding tax credits to struggling households [...]
Issues
Housing, Budgets, Economic Opportunity, Health, Safety Net, Tax Reform, Medicaid Expansion, Coronavirus
Date
March 11, 2021
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Arise legislative recap: March 5, 2021

Arise's Dev Wakeley provides an update on recent setbacks and successes on voting rights bills at the Alabama Legislature. He also discusses the U.S. House's passage of the For the People Act, which would enact automatic voter registration and other changes to strengthen voters' access to the ballot. Voting rights is one of Arise's 2021 [...]
Issue
Voting Rights
Date
March 5, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Join us for Arise’s Membership Mondays!

Membership Mondays are an opportunity for Alabama Arise members to network and get more energized in our work together. In these online sessions, members will get the latest updates on the legislative session. Then they will break into groups to talk to other Arise members around the state. In the breakouts, participants can share about their advocacy [...]
Issue
Other
Date
March 2, 2021
Author
Presdelane Harris
Blog

Arise legislative recap: Feb. 26, 2021

Arise's Jim Carnes discusses our new report, "The State of Working Alabama 2021," which looks at the COVID-19 pandemic's devastating impact on working Alabamians. The report also recommends Medicaid expansion, guaranteed paid sick leave, funding for the Alabama Housing Trust Fund and other policy changes that would chart a course forward toward an Alabama built [...]
Issues
Housing, Economic Opportunity, Health, Medicaid Expansion, Coronavirus
Date
February 26, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
Letters & Testimony

Alabama Arise, partners urge COVID-19 vaccine priority for Alabamians served through Medicaid waivers

Alabamians served through home- and community-based Medicaid waivers qualify for nursing home care but receive their care at home from community providers through the state’s Medicaid waiver program. The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has acknowledged that these individuals belong in the Phase 1a priority level for the COVID-19 vaccine. But they have not [...]
Issues
Health, Coronavirus
Date
February 26, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

Policies to advance racial, gender equity key to Alabama workforce’s COVID-19 recovery, new Alabama Arise report shows

Alabama should rebuild from the COVID-19 recession by lifting policy barriers to economic opportunity and charting a path toward a more equitable and inclusive future, according to The State of Working Alabama 2021, a new report that Alabama Arise released Monday. Medicaid expansion and a state law guaranteeing paid sick leave both would help strengthen [...]
Issues
Budgets, Health, Economic Opportunity, Safety Net, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion, Housing
Date
February 22, 2021
Author
Chris Sanders
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2021

Introduction When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Alabama in March 2020, it didn’t just cause massive human suffering and economic disruption. It also revealed suffering and disruption that have long existed and that policymakers have long neglected – or even perpetuated. COVID-19 has laid bare deep racial inequities in Alabama’s economy and social system that have [...]
Issues
Safety Net, Medicaid Expansion, Housing, Economic Opportunity, Budgets, Coronavirus, Health
Date
February 22, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2021, Section 1 – Introduction: The high cost of failing to protect the common good

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Alabama in March 2020, it didn’t just cause massive human suffering and economic disruption. It also revealed suffering and disruption that have long existed and that policymakers have long neglected – or even perpetuated. COVID-19 has laid bare deep racial and gender inequities in Alabama’s economy and social system that [...]
Issues
Coronavirus, Health, Safety Net, Medicaid Expansion, Housing, Economic Opportunity, Budgets
Date
February 22, 2021
Author
Jim Carnes
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2021, Section 2 – Unequal by design: COVID-19 and Alabama’s policy legacy

COVID-19 revealed a stark reality about Alabama’s economy from the beginning: Our state has stacked the deck against underpaid working people. A high poverty rate, low educational attainment and poor health outcomes – with racial, ethnic and geographical disparities in all of these measures – are the results of low wages, low taxes and low [...]
Issues
Coronavirus, Economic Opportunity
Date
February 22, 2021
Author
Jim Carnes
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2021, Section 3 – Assessing the damage: COVID-19 and Alabama’s labor market

Where are we now? The COVID-19 recession hit vulnerable Alabama workers hard and fast. Alabamians working in low-paying industries suffered immediate and severe job losses, which fell hardest on women and people of color. Unemployment insurance (UI), designed for just such a moment, was inadequate and insufficient to the needs of these workers because of [...]
Issues
Coronavirus, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity, Budgets
Date
February 22, 2021
Author
Carol Gundlach
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2021, Section 4 – Praised but underprotected: Front-line workers in the pandemic

Where are we now? Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we’ve grown used to seeing, and applauding, signs in front of hospitals, fire departments, police stations and other emergency service providers saying “Heroes work here.” And we’ve learned to say “thank you” to people serving their communities’ needs at grocery, drug and convenience stores. We’ve learned [...]
Issues
Health, Coronavirus, Safety Net, Medicaid Expansion, Housing, Economic Opportunity
Date
February 22, 2021
Author
Carol Gundlach
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2021, Section 5 – Why coverage matters: Health care in the time of COVID-19

Where are we now? While the COVID-19 pandemic has slammed all segments of Alabama’s economy and society in one way or another, the health care industry is where most of these effects converge. By the end of 2020, more than 350,000 Alabamians had tested positive or were considered likely positive for the virus, 72% of [...]
Issues
Economic Opportunity, Health, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets
Date
February 22, 2021
Author
Jim Carnes
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2021, Section 6 – The ugly reality: Alabama’s hunger problem during the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to widespread hunger in Alabama. We all have seen the pictures – lines of cars stretching for blocks waiting to receive an emergency food box, desperate appeals from food banks that distributed as much food in the first six months of the pandemic as they did in the prior year, [...]
Issues
Budgets, Economic Opportunity, Safety Net, Coronavirus
Date
February 22, 2021
Author
Carol Gundlach
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2021, Section 7 – No place to call home: Housing insecurity amid COVID-19

Where are we now? More than 800,000 job losses in the first eight months of the pandemic caused Alabamians severe economic damage and heightened insecurity. Thousands of Alabamians face potential eviction and homelessness as a result of the pandemic. And unfortunately, the state’s recent scattershot approach to eviction policy has resulted in inconsistent protection for [...]
Issues
Budgets, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus, Housing
Date
February 22, 2021
Author
Dev Wakeley
News Releases

69% of Alabama voters support Medicaid expansion, new poll finds

Sixty-nine percent of Alabamians, including 64% of Republican voters, support expanding Medicaid when told about arguments for and against the idea, according to a new poll that the Cover Alabama Coalition released Wednesday. The poll, conducted for Cover Alabama in January by Cygnal, shows support for Medicaid expansion across all demographics, including age, gender, income, [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Health
Date
February 17, 2021
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Arise legislative recap: Feb. 16, 2021

Arise executive director Robyn Hyden breaks down the first two weeks in the Alabama Legislature's 2021 regular session and outlines Arise's goals for this session. Legislators have prioritized protecting corporations over workers so far this month, even as hundreds of thousands of Alabamians continue to struggle with hunger and hardship during the COVID-19 recession.
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform, Health, Coronavirus, Safety Net
Date
February 16, 2021
Author
Matt Okarmus
Letters & Testimony

Alabama Arise testimony in opposition to corporate COVID-19 immunity bill

Arise's Robyn Hyden testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday in opposition to SB 30. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, would provide corporations with a broad range of civil immunity against lawsuits related to exposure to coronavirus or contraction of COVID-19. Here's the full text of Hyden's prepared remarks: Good morning. [...]
Issue
Coronavirus
Date
February 3, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
Member Resources

We still make change: Advocating in Alabama in the time of COVID-19

The voices and needs of people matter. And engaging those voices in the policymaking process is key to building the better, more inclusive Alabama that we envision. Alabama Arise remains committed to informing and equipping our members to influence policies that affect their lives and communities. As we look toward the Alabama Legislature’s 2021 regular [...]
Issue
Other
Date
January 25, 2021
Author
David Stout
News Releases

Alabama Arise condemns insurrection, demands protection and expansion of voting rights

Alabama Arise executive director Robyn Hyden released the following statement Friday on this week’s events in Washington, D.C.: “The assault on the U.S. Capitol this week was a violent and racist attack on the very idea of democracy. It was an effort by white nationalists and other extremists to reject the results of a free [...]
Issues
Other, Voting Rights
Date
January 8, 2021
Author
Chris Sanders
Personal Stories

‘Everything is fine, until it isn’t’

[caption id="attachment_4788" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Elizabeth works at a sewing machine in the family's home. (Photo courtesy of Geoff)[/caption] Part 1: A hard winter ahead Winter has been a long time coming for Geoff* and his wife, Elizabeth*. He didn’t think he could actually feel more anxious than he had since March, when he and his [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Coronavirus
Date
December 18, 2020
Author
Whit Sides
Blog

Beyond hunger and poverty: An introduction to the Emerson Fellows at Alabama Arise

[caption id="attachment_4780" align="aligncenter" width="700"] Kate Blankinship and Curtis Hills pause for a photo after completing a mile run.[/caption] This is a post by Kate Blankinship and Curtis Hills. Kate and Curtis are Emerson National Hunger Fellows from the Congressional Hunger Center. They have joined Alabama Arise to assist our work on policies to reduce hunger [...]
Issue
Safety Net
Date
December 16, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

How Alabama Arise is working to build a brighter future after the pandemic

After a year of darkness, the light at the end of the tunnel is finally in sight. Promising vaccine news offers hope that public health officials can rein in COVID-19 in the coming months. And as our state and nation seek policy solutions to rebuild from the pandemic’s health and economic devastation, Alabama Arise will [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Criminal Justice, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus, Voting Rights, Health, Safety Net
Date
December 8, 2020
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Join us at Alabama Arise’s 2021 action briefings!

Alabama’s 2021 legislative session begins Feb. 2. It will not proceed as usual given the extraordinary times in which we live. But we still need to be prepared to move our issues forward. This series of briefings will both inform and equip us to act strategically to continue the work for a better Alabama for [...]
Issues
Criminal Justice, Budgets, Coronavirus, Voting Rights
Date
December 7, 2020
Author
Presdelane Harris
Newsletter

December 2020 newsletter

How Arise is working to build a brighter future after the pandemic By Chris Sanders, communications director After a year of darkness, the light at the end of the tunnel is finally in sight. Promising vaccine news offers hope that public health officials can rein in COVID-19 in the coming months. And as our state [...]
Date
December 4, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Dignity, equity and opportunity for all Alabamians

Giving Tuesday is a day devoted to supporting organizations that improve our communities. On this #GivingTuesday and in the weeks to come, I’d like to encourage you to consider joining Alabama Arise’s movement for a more just and inclusive Alabama. So many people in our communities are struggling to stay healthy and provide for their [...]
Date
December 1, 2020
Author
Brenda Boman
Blog

Join Alabama Arise today and make a difference!

Alabama Arise members are the force behind sustained advocacy for policies that improve the lives of Alabamians with low incomes. Our movement for change is growing, and we need you in it. When we come together across lines of difference to demand fair and just policies for all Alabamians, we are able to hold our [...]
Date
November 23, 2020
Author
Amber Haywood
Blog

Get covered: 2021 ACA open enrollment ends Dec. 15, 2020

The deadline to #GetCovered is just weeks away! Open enrollment for 2021 Marketplace health coverage under the Affordable Care Act ends Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. Don’t miss your chance to make sure you’re covered in case of accident or illness. Visit healthcare.gov or call 800-318-2596 to explore your coverage options. And be sure to spread [...]
Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
November 23, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

Medicaid expansion would save Alabama mothers from preventable deaths, boost treatment resources for mental health and substance use disorders

Nearly 70% of Alabama’s pregnancy-related deaths in 2016 were preventable, according to a report this month from the state Department of Public Health and Maternal Mortality Review Committee. The committee recommended that Alabama improve maternal health by expanding Medicaid coverage and increasing resources and services for women with mental health and substance use disorders. The [...]
Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
November 19, 2020
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

It’s Election Day! Check out Alabama Arise’s 2020 voting resources

We made it! Today is Election Day across the United States. More than 300,000 Alabamians have voted already, shattering the state’s previous record for votes cast before Election Day. And we're likely to continue to break records today. The presidential and U.S. Senate races are drawing the biggest share of the attention in Alabama this [...]
Issues
Other, Voting Rights
Date
November 3, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Alabama Arise resources for the 2020 general election

Election Day is officially Nov. 3, but the 2020 general election is well underway. More than 206,000 Alabamians have voted already, shattering the state’s previous record for votes cast before Election Day. The presidential and U.S. Senate races are drawing the biggest share of the attention in Alabama this year. But voters also will decide [...]
Issues
Voting Rights, Coronavirus, Other
Date
October 26, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

ACA lawsuit could end health coverage for 122,000 Alabamians

At least 122,000 Alabamians would lose health coverage if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a new analysis from the nonpartisan Urban Institute. The state’s uninsured rate would increase by 25% as a result. That number also doesn’t include hundreds of thousands of uninsured or underinsured adults with [...]
Issues
Coronavirus, Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
October 22, 2020
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Why Alabama Arise supports Amendment 4

It’s past time for Alabama to tear down the policy legacies of slavery and segregation. And Alabamians can take an important step in that direction this fall by voting yes on Amendment 4. Alabama Arise favors an overhaul of the racist 1901 constitution, so adding new amendments is not something we take lightly. But Amendment [...]
Issue
Other
Date
October 16, 2020
Author
Jim Carnes
News Releases

Alabama Arise unveils members’ 2021 roadmap for change

Sentencing reform and universal broadband access are two new goals on Alabama Arise’s 2021 legislative agenda. Members voted for Arise’s issue priorities this week after nearly 300 people attended the organization’s online annual meeting Saturday. The seven issues chosen were: Tax reform, including untaxing groceries and ending the state’s upside-down deduction for federal income taxes, [...]
Issues
Payday & Title Lending Reform, Voting Rights, Health, Budgets, Tax Reform, Other, Criminal Justice
Date
October 8, 2020
Author
Chris Sanders
Annual Report

Annual Report 2020

Together, we’re building power and easing suffering By Robyn Hyden, executive director The year 2020 has been a time of dramatic, world-shaking transformations. But with your support, Alabama Arise has sustained and strengthened our movement for change. From the COVID-19 pandemic to racial justice protests, from the Alabama Legislature to the halls of Congress and [...]
Date
October 2, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

Pandemic EBT renewal a good first step, but families still need comprehensive COVID-19 relief

The U.S. Senate this week approved a continuing resolution that extended Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits through September 2021. The resolution was enacted Thursday. Alabama Arise policy analyst Carol Gundlach issued the following statement Friday in response: “The extension of Pandemic EBT through September 2021 is welcome news for families struggling to make ends meet. P-EBT [...]
Issues
Coronavirus, Health, Budgets, Economic Opportunity, Housing, Safety Net
Date
October 2, 2020
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Alabama Arise annual meeting 2020 introduction

Arise organizing director Presdelane Harris tells us about this year's Alabama Arise annual meeting. The event will be online for the first time ever this Saturday, Oct. 3. Get more details and register today at https://www.alarise.org/annualmeeting2020.
Date
October 2, 2020
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

Town Hall Tuesdays 2020: What we heard from Arise supporters

Listening is often an underdeveloped skill, yet it is critical for mutual understanding and working together for meaningful change. That’s why Arise is committed to listening to our members, to our allies and most importantly, to those directly affected by the work we do together. We depend on what we hear from you to guide [...]
Issues
Payday & Title Lending Reform, Health, Voting Rights, Budgets, Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity, Housing, Public Transportation, Safety Net, Medicaid Expansion, Criminal Justice
Date
September 30, 2020
Author
Presdelane Harris
Blog

P-EBT, rapid school actions keep Alabama children fed

Six months ago, COVID-19 forced school officials to reinvent public education on the fly. For more than 400,000 Alabama students, the stakes were more than academic. School closures also threatened their daily nutrition. Schools’ responses were encouraging and fast. Last spring, Alabama quickly adopted federal options to serve multiple meals at once and offer them [...]
Issues
Budgets, Coronavirus, Safety Net
Date
September 23, 2020
Author
Celida Soto Garcia
Newsletter

September 2020 newsletter

Town Hall Tuesdays keeping Arise connected By Presdelane Harris, organizing director Listening is often an underdeveloped skill, yet it is critical for mutual understanding and working together for meaningful change. That’s why Arise is committed to listening to our members, to our allies and most importantly, to those directly affected by the work we do [...]
Date
September 16, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

U.S. Senate still needs to do its job and pass meaningful COVID-19 relief

The U.S. Senate on Thursday failed to advance an inadequate COVID-19 relief plan. Alabama Arise executive director Robyn Hyden issued the following statement Thursday in response: “The bill that failed in the Senate this week was wholly inadequate to meet the size and scope of suffering that the COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted across Alabama and [...]
Issues
Economic Opportunity, Housing, Safety Net, Budgets, Coronavirus, Health
Date
September 10, 2020
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Join Alabama Arise and participate in our virtual annual meeting!

Alabama Arise members will gather Oct. 3, 2020, for our annual meeting. And we’re making this year’s event more accessible than ever! Instead of traveling to Montgomery, our members will attend a virtual meeting and cast their votes online. We’ll share more details about registration and voting in the coming weeks. But first things first: [...]
Date
August 21, 2020
Author
Brenda Boman
Blog

Help us raise Alabama’s Census participation!

Arise has partnered with the Hard to Count Collaborative to ensure every Alabamian is counted in the 2020 Census. The collaborative is conducting a texting campaign to reach folks in Alabama who may have trouble hearing about the Census. And they need help from volunteers like you! Now that the Census Bureau has moved up [...]
Issue
Other
Date
August 12, 2020
Author
Mike Nicholson
News Releases

COVID-19 executive actions ‘a Band-Aid over a gaping economic wound’

The White House on Saturday unveiled executive actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alabama Arise communications director Chris Sanders issued the following statement Tuesday in response: “These executive actions put a Band-Aid over a gaping economic wound. They don’t stem the tide of evictions or extend rental or mortgage assistance to help people stay in [...]
Issues
Housing, Safety Net, Coronavirus, Budgets
Date
August 11, 2020
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Alabama should ensure all eligible residents receive federal stimulus payments

Alabama and the nation are facing an economic crisis like nothing we’ve ever seen. More than 13% of Alabama households don’t have enough money to feed their families, the Census Bureau reports. Nearly half of Alabama’s renters may face eviction in the near future. Meanwhile, an estimated 267,000 eligible Alabamians have not received their federal [...]
Issues
Tax Reform, Safety Net, Coronavirus
Date
August 10, 2020
Author
Carol Gundlach
News Releases

Groups urge Dismukes’ resignation, ask Legislature to dismantle white supremacy through policy change

       The following is a joint statement from Alabama Arise, the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP and Greater Birmingham Ministries: Our elected officials and appointed leaders should respect the full dignity, worth and humanity of all people they represent. We urge all political parties and public officials to acknowledge the harm that white [...]
Issues
Economic Opportunity, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health
Date
July 31, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

New Senate COVID-19 relief plan falls short of meeting Alabamians’ needs

U.S. Senate Republicans on Monday unveiled a new proposed COVID-19 relief plan. Alabama Arise executive director Robyn Hyden issued the following statement Tuesday in response: “Millions of Alabamians are being pushed to the brink during the COVID-19 crisis. They’re struggling with difficult tradeoffs between protecting their own health, paying for basic necessities and caring for [...]
Issues
Voting Rights, Housing, Safety Net, Budgets, Coronavirus, Health
Date
July 28, 2020
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Working in Alabama during the COVID-19 pandemic: Who faces the danger?

Many Alabamians have modified their work circumstances in recent months to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. But tens of thousands of people still must work in public-facing jobs that put them at increased risk of illness. Front-line workers in grocery stores, hospitals and pharmacies perform necessary tasks to keep our communities functioning during the [...]
Issues
Safety Net, Medicaid Expansion, Coronavirus, Health
Date
July 27, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Alabama Arise needs your voice now more than ever!

You can have a bigger impact when you unite your voice with thousands of other Alabamians who want to make our state a better place. Please become an Alabama Arise member today. We’re working to improve state policies and remove barriers to opportunity for Alabamians with low incomes. Here are just a few of the [...]
Date
July 24, 2020
Author
Brenda Boman
Blog

As education revenues fall, it’s time to strengthen Alabama’s tax system

It’s a truism often heard during budget hearings at the Alabama State House: “All the growth taxes go to education.” Legislators commonly say this to bemoan relatively flat revenue for the General Fund (GF), even when the economy is booming. Meanwhile, the Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget grows by comparative leaps and bounds. There is [...]
Issues
Tax Reform, Coronavirus, Budgets
Date
July 20, 2020
Author
Carol Gundlach
News Releases

69,000 Alabama workers lost coverage when they may need it most, new report finds

Job losses during the COVID-19 economic crash kicked 69,000 Alabamians off their health insurance between February and May, according to a new report by Families USA, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C. Those coverage losses increased Alabama’s uninsured rate for non-elderly adults to 19%, the report finds. That is the ninth highest rate [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Coronavirus, Health
Date
July 15, 2020
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

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 [...]
Issues
Tax Reform, Budgets
Date
June 26, 2020
Author
Chris Sanders
Newsletter

June 2020 newsletter

Alabama must tear down the legacies of slavery and segregation By Chris Sanders, communications director In Birmingham, Mobile and cities across the country, officials are taking down monuments that “honored” a violent rebellion that sought to protect the enslavement of human beings. Removing these symbols of slavery and segregation is an important step toward healing [...]
Date
June 26, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
Report

Medicaid Matters: Charting the Course to a Healthier Alabama

Introduction ALABAMA MEDICAID supports the health care system that serves us all. Whether you have employer health coverage, a private plan, public insurance like Medicaid or Medicare, or no coverage at all, you will likely benefit at some point from facilities and services that Medicaid makes possible. More than a million Alabamians — mostly children [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health
Date
June 17, 2020
Author
Report

Medicaid Matters – Section 1: How does Medicaid work in Alabama?

MEDICAID BASICS What you need to know … [caption id="attachment_4117" align="alignright" width="189"] (Photo: #IamMedicaid)[/caption] Medicaid is a joint federal/state program providing health coverage for certain categories of people with low incomes and limited resources. More than 1.2 million Alabamians qualify for Medicaid coverage. Medicaid payments support doctors’ offices, hospitals, clinics and nursing homes that serve [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health
Date
June 17, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
Report

Medicaid Matters – Section 2: How is Medicaid improving coverage?

MEDICAID IMPROVEMENTS What you need to know... [caption id="attachment_4180" align="alignright" width="225"] (Photo: #IamMedicaid)[/caption] New Medicaid changes seek to improve health and cut costs by rewarding timely and preventive care. The statewide Integrated Care Network (ICN) is coordinating long-term care for about 23,000 Alabamians. Seven regional Alabama Coordinated Health Networks (ACHNs) are coordinating primary and specialty [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health
Date
June 17, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
Report

Medicaid Matters – Section 3: Who’s still left out of health coverage?

MEDICAID COVERAGE GAP What you need to know ... [caption id="attachment_4207" align="alignright" width="300"] (Photo: Courtesy of Audrey Trippe)[/caption] More than 220,000 Alabamians are caught in the state’s health coverage gap, earning too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little to afford private insurance. Another 120,000 Alabamians are stretching to pay for coverage they can’t [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health
Date
June 17, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
Report

Medicaid Matters – Section 4: How can we make Alabama healthier?

MEDICAID EXPANSION What you need to know ... [caption id="attachment_4220" align="alignright" width="225"] (Photo: #IamMedicaid)[/caption] Medicaid expansion would help hundreds of thousands of Alabamians get the health care they need. States that have expanded Medicaid have seen improvements in infant and maternal mortality and greater access to treatment for mental illness and substance use disorders. Extending [...]
Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
June 17, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

Medicaid expansion would improve life for all Alabamians, new Arise report shows

Expanding Medicaid to cover adults with low incomes would build on the program’s successes and save hundreds of lives every year, according to a new report that Alabama Arise released Wednesday. Arise’s report, Medicaid Matters: Charting the Course to a Healthier Alabama, illustrates why Medicaid expansion is so critical for the state at this moment [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Coronavirus, Health
Date
June 17, 2020
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

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! [...]
Issues
Economic Opportunity, Medicaid Expansion, Public Transportation, Budgets, Health, Criminal Justice, Voting Rights, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Tax Reform, Safety Net, Housing
Date
June 15, 2020
Author
Presdelane Harris
Letters & Testimony

Alabama should use federal COVID-19 relief funds to heal and protect communities, Arise and partners write

To members of the Alabama Legislature, Alabama is struggling. Even after Governor Ivey issued an emergency stay-at-home order, the average number of new coronavirus cases continues to rise. And despite those climbing case numbers, Alabama is moving forward with reopening its economy. To accomplish a successful recovery, residents must have confidence that it is safe [...]
Issues
Coronavirus, Budgets, Health, Criminal Justice, Housing
Date
June 9, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Alabama must tear down the legacies of slavery and segregation

The monument stood in Birmingham for decades as a twisted tribute to Alabama’s original sins: slavery and white supremacy. It “honored” a violent rebellion that sought to protect the enslavement of human beings. During segregation and Jim Crow and civil rights protests and into the 21st century, it served as a daily 52-foot-tall reminder of [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Health, Public Transportation, Criminal Justice, Housing, Voting Rights, Economic Opportunity
Date
June 3, 2020
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Arise legislative update: May 21, 2020

Alabama legislators ended the regular session this week by enacting education and General Fund budgets for 2021. But as the COVID-19 downturn hammers state tax revenues, we fear lawmakers' optimism surrounding these budgets could be misplaced. Arise's Carol Gundlach explains why the Legislature likely will return for one or more special sessions later this year [...]
Issues
Budgets, Coronavirus, Health, Safety Net
Date
May 21, 2020
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

Protection from predatory lenders should be part of Alabama’s COVID-19 response

While COVID-19 forces Alabamians to deal with health concerns, job losses and drastic disruption of everyday life, predatory lenders stand ready to take advantage of their misfortune. Our state policymakers should act to protect borrowers before these harmful loans make the pandemic’s financial devastation even worse. The volume of high-cost payday loans, which can carry [...]
Issues
Coronavirus, Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
May 20, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Community eligibility ensures future success of Alabama’s child nutrition programs

Even during “normal” times, one in four Alabama children goes to bed each night uncertain where they’ll get their next meal. Sadly, the COVID-19 economic downturn has likely pushed that number higher. Most days, hungry children can look forward to school meals to help keep them fed. But school closures amid the pandemic have disrupted [...]
Issues
Safety Net, Coronavirus
Date
May 15, 2020
Author
Celida Soto Garcia
Blog

Pandemic EBT keeps Alabama children fed when school meals aren’t an option

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of nearly every Alabama family, including families with school-aged children. All of a sudden, parents have to double as teachers, coaches and lunchroom cooks and servers. Parents with low incomes are also stretching limited grocery dollars to replace meals that their children normally got at school – often [...]
Issues
Safety Net, Coronavirus
Date
May 15, 2020
Author
Carol Gundlach
News Releases

Alabama Arise urges new federal guidance on return to unsafe working conditions

Workers shouldn't have to choose between their lives and their livelihoods. That's why Alabama Arise joined more than 220 organizations across the country Tuesday in a letter urging the U.S. Department of Labor to act aggressively to protect workers who are at higher risk from COVID-19. Existing federal laws protect workers from losing eligibility for [...]
Issues
Safety Net, Coronavirus
Date
May 13, 2020
Author
Chris Sanders
Personal Stories

Cover Alabama Conversations: Alabama Arise’s Jim Carnes

Alabama Arise's Sherrel Wheeler Stewart talks to Arise policy director Jim Carnes about how Medicaid expansion would save lives and reduce suffering for hundreds of thousands of adults with low incomes across Alabama. They also discuss how expansion would help the state combat the COVID-19 pandemic and rebuild in its aftermath. Listen to the full [...]
Issue
Medicaid Expansion
Date
May 11, 2020
Author
Sherrel Wheeler Stewart
Blog

Arise update: May 1, 2020

As job losses and business closures mount, state revenues for education, health care and other public services are likely to plummet. Arise's Carol Gundlach discusses how progressive tax changes would help prevent cuts to these services and help Alabama rebuild its economy after the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about our proposals here.
Issues
Budgets, Safety Net, Coronavirus
Date
May 1, 2020
Author
Matt Okarmus
Fact Sheet

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 [...]
Issues
Coronavirus, Tax Reform, Budgets
Date
April 30, 2020
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Arise update: April 24, 2020

Personal stories have power. And we want to hear yours. Arise's Sherrel Wheeler Stewart talks about the importance of personal stories as we work to convince Alabama lawmakers to expand Medicaid. She also explains how folks who are uninsured or struggling to afford health coverage can share their stories with Arise and the Cover Alabama [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health
Date
April 24, 2020
Author
Matt Okarmus
Handbook

How to get help in Alabama during the COVID-19 crisis

Last updated Sept. 17, 2021. Life is changing quickly for everyone during the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. Protecting yourself and your family from the virus is the first of many concerns. The pandemic also has left many Alabamians worried about food, health care, housing, job security and other basic needs. Alabama has a safety [...]
Issues
Health, Safety Net, Coronavirus, Housing, Economic Opportunity
Date
April 16, 2020
Author
Blog

Arise update: April 16, 2020

State and federal leaders have taken action to help struggling Alabamians stay healthy and make ends meet amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but they must do more. Arise's Robyn Hyden gives a video update on the coronavirus' implications for Medicaid expansion, public health funding, food assistance, unemployment insurance, paid family and medical leave, prisons and jails, [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Safety Net, Coronavirus, Health, Budgets, Economic Opportunity
Date
April 16, 2020
Author
Matt Okarmus
News Releases

Cover Alabama Coalition: Medicaid expansion is essential to state’s recovery

A nonpartisan alliance of more than 60 Alabama organizations has come together to urge Gov. Kay Ivey to say yes to Medicaid expansion. The Cover Alabama Coalition, which launched Wednesday, is calling on Ivey to close the health coverage gap for workers who don’t have employer-based insurance and can’t afford to purchase insurance on their [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health
Date
April 15, 2020
Author
Chris Sanders
In the News

The South may see the largest share of coronavirus misery

"In Alabama, poverty and poor health are a legacy of decades of racist public policies that have excluded people of color from health care," Arise's Jim Carnes tells Stateline. "The question is whether the light will be bright enough this time that our officials will be forced to face the reality and address it." Read [...]
Date
April 13, 2020
Source
Stateline
In the News

As pandemic continues, homeless find themselves on the fringes of life

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many Alabamians wondering "when they'll get paid again, or where they'll get their next meal, or where they'll sleep tonight," Arise's Chris Sanders tells AL.com. "And they have no idea how in the world they'd pay for health care if they get sick." Read more on AL.com.
Date
April 11, 2020
Source
AL.com
In the News

Alabama Department of Labor makes improvements to unemployment site, looks to outsource help to keep up with claim demand

"The well-being of any of us is tied inextricably to the well-being of all of us," Arise's Chris Sanders tells WHNT 19 in Huntsville. "We need to be looking to ensure that everyone has the ability to get by, to make ends meet, to provide for their families." Learn more from WHNT 19.
Date
April 8, 2020
Source
WHNT 19
In the News

155% increase in Ala. food assistance applications between February and March

About 55,000 Alabamians temporarily regained SNAP eligibility under a new federal law. "They should go in and reapply for benefits if they have been cut off because of the time limit. Because they’re eligible again, and will not be cut off as long as this emergency lasts," Arise's Carol Gundlach tells WSFA 12 in Montgomery. [...]
Date
April 8, 2020
Source
WSFA 12 News
In the News

Federal law is expanding SNAP benefits for people who need food

New federal SNAP changes to suspend time limits and lift enrollment barriers are "going to make a really big difference in keeping people fed who otherwise would have been going hungry," Arise's Carol Gundlach tells WAFF 48 in Huntsville. Learn more from WAFF 48.
Date
April 6, 2020
Source
WAFF 48
In the News

Many Alabama schools stop serving meals to slow coronavirus; others keep serving

The food situation for many people in Alabama's Black Belt is dire during the COVID-19 pandemic, with churches and schools filling the growing need as possible. "They're doing the best they can, but it's scary," Arise's Celida Soto Garcia tells AL.com. Read more on AL.com.
Date
April 6, 2020
Source
AL.com
In the News

Federal law strengthens food stamps during COVID-19 pandemic

Suspended time limits. School meal replacement assistance. Fewer enrollment barriers. Those are just a few of the new federal changes to SNAP food assistance that Arise highlighted in this Alabama Political Reporter article. Read more from the Alabama Political Reporter.
Date
April 4, 2020
Source
Alabama Political Reporter
Blog

Arise update: April 4, 2020

Like all of you, we're doing what we can to weather this crisis, and we have many concerns about the health and well-being of our families and communities. Arise executive director Robyn Hyden highlights some resources on our website that can help you navigate new SNAP and unemployment insurance benefits available for people who need [...]
Issues
Health, Safety Net, Coronavirus, Economic Opportunity
Date
April 4, 2020
Author
Matt Okarmus
In the News

Federal changes made to SNAP due to coronavirus

New legislation suspended SNAP time limits and expanded food assistance for many families. But as Arise tells WSFA 12 in Montgomery, Congress still needs to increase overall benefits and block harmful proposals to limit SNAP access. Learn more from WSFA 12 News.
Date
April 3, 2020
Source
WSFA 12 News
Fact Sheet

Federal law strengthened SNAP amid COVID-19 pandemic, but benefit increase still needed

The economic meltdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has created an extraordinary demand for food assistance. State agencies are working overtime to figure out how to get food to hungry Alabamians while schools are closed, people are sheltering in place and the risk of infection is high. Applications for food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition [...]
Issues
Safety Net, Coronavirus
Date
April 3, 2020
Author
Carol Gundlach
In the News

SNAP recipients to get additional benefits today

Families who participate in WIC have limited food options, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "Read those little labels," Arise's Carol Gundlach tells Alabama Daily News. "And the main message is, be nice and don't hoard." Read more from Alabama Daily News.
Date
April 1, 2020
Source
Alabama Daily News
Fact Sheet

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 [...]
Issues
Safety Net, Coronavirus, Economic Opportunity, Tax Reform
Date
April 1, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
In the News

Alabama’s one of the worst states for unemployment benefits; consequences may be devastating

In 2019, Alabama cut the maximum length of unemployment insurance benefits from 26 weeks to as few as 14. "It's really short-term thinking to not prepare for the next crisis when you have the ability to do it," Arise's Dev Wakeley tells AL.com. "We cut our ability to prepare for this just a year ago." [...]
Date
March 31, 2020
Source
AL.com
In the News

Gun sellers, payday lenders remain open in Alabama as ‘essential business’

Payday loans in Alabama carry interest rates of up to 456% APR. "A lot of people will be harmed" financially during the COVID-19 pandemic, Arise's Dev Wakeley tells The Anniston Star. "The last thing we need is for people to exacerbate that and make money off of it." Read more in The Anniston Star.
Date
March 31, 2020
Source
Anniston Star
In the News

A preventable cancer is on the rise in Alabama

Higher cervical cancer rates are a haunting example of the humanitarian toll of Alabama's failure to expand Medicaid. "When you actually talk to people about the [Affordable Care Act], it's very popular," Arise's Robyn Hyden tells The New Yorker. "But in general, people don't come into the room knowing about it. They've heard a partisan [...]
Date
March 30, 2020
Source
New Yorker
In the News

Alabama legal experts urge state to release vulnerable inmates amid COVID-19 outbreak

"When [the COVID-19 pandemic] gets into jails and prisons, it's going to kill people," Arise's Dev Wakeley tells Alabama Political Reporter. "It's absolutely impossible to follow CDC recommendations about distance." Read more from Alabama Political Reporter.
Date
March 30, 2020
Source
Alabama Political Reporter
In the News

Stimulus checks may help, but not cure lasting economic ailments from pandemic

Medicaid expansion is essential to keep Alabamians healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. "No one should be afraid to get life-saving medical care because they're afraid of going bankrupt," Arise's Chris Sanders tells The Anniston Star. Read more in The Anniston Star.
Date
March 27, 2020
Source
Anniston Star
In the News

A judge ordered the release of low-level prisoners because of the coronavirus. People were absolutely furious.

"We have overcrowded correctional institutions [in Alabama] and a real reluctance to address the problems that will cause during this pandemic," Arise's Dev Wakeley tells BuzzFeed News. Read more from BuzzFeed News.
Date
March 27, 2020
Source
BuzzFeed News
Blog

Arise legislative recap: March 27, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic will strain Alabama's health care system in unprecedented ways. Arise's Jim Carnes discusses how Medicaid expansion, elimination of enrollment barriers and other policy changes would help Medicaid save lives during and after this outbreak. Read our full list of recommendations here.
Issues
Coronavirus, Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
March 27, 2020
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

Targeted releases should be part of Alabama corrections system’s response to COVID-19 pandemic

State and local governments are responding in a variety of ways to the emergent coronavirus pandemic in Alabama. But that response thus far has fallen short where incarcerated people are concerned. The Alabama Department of Corrections (DOC) has more than 27,500 people in custody right now. (For context, that’s more people than live in Anniston, [...]
Issues
Health, Criminal Justice, Coronavirus
Date
March 24, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
In the News

Alabama Medicaid should use every tool it has to save lives

"Medicaid and other services that provide health care for struggling and marginalized Alabamians form the backbone of the health care system that protects us all," Arise's Jim Carnes writes in the Montgomery Advertiser. And the COVID-19 pandemic "only heightens the need for that system to be as strong as we can make it." Read more in [...]
Date
March 23, 2020
Source
Montgomery Advertiser
Letters & Testimony

Alabama Arise and partners urge Ivey to use every Medicaid tool available to save lives during COVID-19 pandemic

To: Gov. Kay Ivey and Commissioner Stephanie Azar From: The Undersigned Alabama Organizations Re: Alabama’s Policy Response to COVID-19 Date: March 19, 2020 Thank you both for your leadership, especially at this critical time. Alabama’s health care system, like most others around the world, is facing severe stresses with the COVID-19 pandemic. Seniors and people [...]
Issues
Coronavirus, Health
Date
March 19, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
In the News

Coronavirus concerns have you stocking up? Keep WIC families in mind

"We're all in this together, and some families are struggling a lot more to just meet basic nutritional needs than are others, especially when kids are home from school," Arise's Carol Gundlach tells WBRC Fox 6 in Birmingham. Learn more from WBRC Fox 6 News.
Date
March 17, 2020
Source
WBRC Fox 6 News
Blog

Alabama Arise’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Here at Alabama Arise, we share the uncertainty and worry that many of you may feel about COVID-19 and how best to prepare ourselves, help our neighbors and speak out for adequate resources and aid. Our first priority is the physical and mental health and safety of our members, partners and staff, and of people [...]
Issue
Coronavirus
Date
March 17, 2020
Author
Robyn Hyden
Blog

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 [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus, Tax Reform, Budgets, Health, Safety Net
Date
March 13, 2020
Author
Robyn Hyden
Blog

Arise legislative recap: March 13, 2020

We're excited to introduce you this week to Sherrel Wheeler Stewart, Arise's new story collection coordinator. In this video, Sherrel talks about her new position and explains how you can help her tell the stories of uninsured and underinsured Alabamians who live in the Medicaid coverage gap. If you'd like to share your story with [...]
Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
March 13, 2020
Author
Matt Okarmus
In the News

State puts $5M toward coronavirus prep, testing

"The impact of COVID-19 on low-income people in Alabama is going to be huge," Arise's Jim Carnes tells Birmingham Watch. "The No. 1 thing we’re concerned about is lack of health coverage." Read more from Birmingham Watch.
Date
March 12, 2020
Source
Birmingham Watch
Blog

Education, health care, nutrition and more: Why the Census matters to Alabama

The 2020 Census is nearly here. In mid-March, the Census Bureau will begin mailing out informational postcards to all U.S. residents. The postcards will provide instructions on how to complete the Census for your household. Filling out the Census is important for a number of reasons. Alabama’s count impacts our state legislative districts and our [...]
Issues
Other, Health, Safety Net
Date
March 12, 2020
Author
Mike Nicholson
In the News

Drop Alabama’s state grocery tax? Senate committee hears debate

Alabama is one of only three states with no tax break on groceries. "We're subsidizing a reliance on a tax loophole that helps a few people with a ridiculous and unjust tax on food that hurts everybody," Arise's Robyn Hyden told a state Senate committee. Read more from the Montgomery Advertiser.
Date
March 11, 2020
Source
Montgomery Advertiser
Letters & Testimony

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 [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
March 11, 2020
Author
Robyn Hyden
Blog

Arise legislative recap: March 6, 2020

Arise's Jim Carnes discusses how the coronavirus outbreak and the closure of Pickens County Medical Center showcase Alabama's need for Medicaid expansion. Also, in the wake of the recent execution of Nathaniel Woods, Jim talks about HB 359, which would forbid the death penalty in capital cases where the jury does not agree unanimously to [...]
Issues
Criminal Justice, Coronavirus, Health, Budgets, Medicaid Expansion
Date
March 6, 2020
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

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.) [...]
Issues
Economic Opportunity, Tax Reform, Budgets
Date
February 28, 2020
Author
Matt Okarmus
In the News

Alabama’s food tax on the chopping block again

Alabama’s grocery tax is an abomination, Arise’s Chris Sanders tells AL.com. “We’re leaving folks in a position where they have to decide between food and medicine; they have to decide between food and rent,” Sanders said. “These are not decisions that the state should be forcing upon folks for the sake of raising revenue.” Read [...]
Date
February 26, 2020
Source
AL.com
In the News

Should Alabama repeal its grocery tax?

“As y’all know, our tax system is upside down,” Arise’s Robyn Hyden tells WRBL 3 in Columbus, Ga. “The people with the least to give get taxed the most. At the same time, people at the top don’t pay their fair share.” Learn more from WRBL 3 in Columbus, Ga.
Date
February 26, 2020
Source
WRBL 3
In the News

Alabama Arise lobbies for grocery tax repeal

Alabama should “end the grocery tax quickly and responsibly,” Arise board vice president Ana Delia Valeriano tells Alabama News Network in Montgomery. “This is the year to untax groceries once and for all.” Learn more from Alabama News Network.
Date
February 25, 2020
Source
Alabama News Network
In the News

Alabama Arise members urge lawmakers to repeal grocery tax

The grocery tax is “unconscionable. It’s immoral. And it’s an attack on basic survival,” Arise’s Robyn Hyden tells WSFA 12 in Montgomery. Alabama can untax groceries and protect school funding by ending the state deduction for federal income taxes. Learn more from WSFA 12 News.
Date
February 25, 2020
Source
WSFA 12 News
In the News

‘Immoral and unacceptable’: Alabama’s grocery tax burden must end, Alabama Arise says

Alabama’s state grocery tax is “one of the most immoral and unacceptable features of our tax system,” Arise’s Robyn Hyden tells the Montgomery Advertiser. “It’s a tax on survival.” Read more from the Montgomery Advertiser.
Date
February 25, 2020
Source
Montgomery Advertiser
Fact Sheet

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 [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
February 25, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
Fact Sheet

Alabama needs to expand Medicaid NOW!

Medicaid is a health lifeline for one in four Alabamians and an economic engine for communities across our state. Extending Medicaid coverage to adults with low incomes would make life better for Alabamians of all races, genders and incomes. Medicaid expansion would ensure coverage for 340,000 Alabamians, including: People who work low-wage jobs and can’t [...]
Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
February 25, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
Fact Sheet

Fund public transit to improve lives

Alabama’s public transportation shortfall is hurting people, communities and the economy. Many seniors, people with disabilities, and people with low incomes rely on public transit to go to work, get to the doctor and run essential errands. But Alabama provides no state money to help meet those needs. Here’s why our state should make this [...]
Issue
Public Transportation
Date
February 25, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

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.
Issues
Economic Opportunity, Tax Reform, Budgets
Date
February 25, 2020
Author
Matt Okarmus
In the News

Payday loan bill dies, but issue not dead

Alabama borrowers pay nearly $100 million a year in fees for high-cost payday loans. “The fact that this bill got shut down in committee does not negate the fact that there is a massive need for reform,” Arise's Dev Wakeley tells Alabama Daily News. Read more from Alabama Daily News.
Date
February 24, 2020
Source
Alabama Daily News
Member Resources

Tips for visiting the Alabama State House

Last updated March 11, 2022. Thank you for advocating for a better Alabama for all! Here are some things you should know if you plan to visit the State House in Montgomery. General information The Alabama State House is located at 11 South Union Street, Montgomery, AL 36130. For House information, call 334-261-0500. For Senate [...]
Date
February 20, 2020
Author
Member Resources

How you can support Alabama Arise from an IRA or 401(k)

Updated Feb. 23, 2022 Alabama Arise members are generous, caring and resourceful people. That’s why I want to highlight a powerful giving opportunity for members who are at least 70½ years of age and drawing income from a tax-deferred savings account such as a traditional IRA, 401(k), 403(k), 403(b) or Thrift Savings Plan. Whether you [...]
Date
February 19, 2020
Author
Brenda Boman
Blog

Arise legislative recap: Feb. 14, 2020

Alabama borrowers suffered a setback Wednesday when a Senate committee blocked a payday lending reform bill. Policy analyst Dev Wakeley talks about what happened and where we go from here.
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
February 14, 2020
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

In a setback for Alabama borrowers, Senate committee blocks payday lending reform bill

Nearly three in four Alabamians support a strict 36% interest rate cap on payday loans. But public sentiment wasn’t enough Wednesday to convince a state Senate committee to approve even a modest new consumer protection. The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee voted 8-6 against SB 58, also known as the 30 Days to Pay bill. [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
February 14, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
In the News

Payday lending restriction bill fails in Senate committee

An Alabama Senate committee blocked the 30 Days to Pay bill despite broad public support for payday lending reform. "The Legislature has had multiple opportunities to act, and I'm really discouraged to see this committee not move this bill forward," Arise's Robyn Hyden tells WSFA 12 in Montgomery. Learn more from WSFA 12 News.
Date
February 12, 2020
Source
WSFA 12 News
Newsletter

February 2020 newsletter

Arise 2020: Our vision for a better Alabama By Chris Sanders, communications director Alabama Arise members have worked for more than three decades to build a brighter, more inclusive future. And we see real opportunities to advance that vision during the Legislature’s 2020 regular session, which began Feb. 4. [caption id="attachment_3618" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Alabama [...]
Date
February 12, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Why we’re spreading the word about the Census across Alabama

Filling out your Census form is quick and easy. It only takes about 10 minutes to answer 10 questions. You won’t have to do it again for 10 years. And your answers are completely confidential. It may not seem like much, but the stakes are high. The accuracy of Alabama’s 2020 Census count will shape [...]
Issues
Health, Other, Safety Net
Date
February 12, 2020
Author
Mike Nicholson
Blog

Arise legislative recap: Feb. 7, 2020

The Alabama Legislature's 2020 regular session has begun, and we're excited about the opportunities ahead to make life better for struggling Alabamians. Arise's Pres Harris explains why we need you with us at Legislative Day on Feb. 25. She also highlights some early progress on payday lending reform.
Issues
Other, Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
February 7, 2020
Author
Matt Okarmus
In the News

Training program gives job opportunities to food assistance clients

"Most people on SNAP who are of working age are already working, but probably not the kind of jobs you could get with a welding or machinist certificate," Arise's Carol Gundlach tells The Anniston Star. Read more from The Anniston Star.
Date
February 4, 2020
Source
Anniston Star
Blog

How Alabama can reform its criminal justice system to work for everyone

Alabamians deserve a justice system that sentences fairly, provides helpful rehabilitative services and keeps people safe during incarceration. But Alabama often falls catastrophically short of fulfilling those obligations. Our state’s prisons are violent and poorly staffed. As a result, they often function as little more than warehouses to keep people locked up until their sentences [...]
Issues
Criminal Justice, Health
Date
February 4, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

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 [...]
Issues
Public Transportation, Criminal Justice, Health, Tax Reform, Budgets, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Housing, Safety Net, Medicaid Expansion, Voting Rights
Date
February 4, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Medicaid block grants are a dangerous path toward coverage cuts

The federal Medicaid changes announced Thursday won’t affect anyone now enrolled in Alabama Medicaid. But they could put coverage at risk in the years ahead for hundreds of thousands of Alabamians. This is a worrisome step down a road to increased human suffering and greater financial strain for struggling families. Guidance from the Centers for [...]
Issue
Health
Date
February 3, 2020
Author
Jim Carnes
In the News

Prison policy recommendations put major focus on recidivism

Alabama's lack of investment in mental health care and substance use disorder treatment is a huge factor in our state's prison overcrowding. "The biggest way to address it would be Medicaid expansion," Arise's Dev Wakeley tells WSFA 12 in Montgomery. Learn more from WSFA 12 News.
Date
January 31, 2020
Source
WSFA 12 News
In the News

What could President Trump’s new Medicaid funding model mean for Alabama?

Instead of accepting a federal block grant, "Alabama's best option is to go for full Medicaid expansion," Arise's Jim Carnes tells ABC 33/40 in Birmingham. "[That] would bring the maximum federal dollars in the state, and it would guarantee all the people newly covered under Medicaid expansion the same protections anyone receiving Medicaid now gets." [...]
Date
January 31, 2020
Source
ABC 33/40
Blog

Arise 2020: End Alabama’s state grocery tax and protect school funding

The Bible says that “to everything there is a season.” And we’re increasingly optimistic that the season has finally arrived for real tax reform in Alabama. For more than a decade, Alabama Arise has worked to end the state’s 4% sales tax on groceries. It’s a regressive, punitive tax that costs struggling Alabamians the equivalent [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
January 30, 2020
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Arise 2020: Expand Medicaid to save lives and make Alabama healthier

Happy anniversary – not! 2020 marks the 10th year of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, but not in Alabama. We’re one of just 14 states that have rejected federal funding to extend affordable health coverage to adults with low incomes. And soon, Kansas may cut that number to 13. The stakes have only [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health
Date
January 29, 2020
Author
Jim Carnes
Blog

Arise 2020: Fight harmful proposals to cut Medicaid, SNAP and TANF

Safety net programs are designed to protect us when times get tough. But a recent wave of legislative and administrative attacks to those programs has threatened vital food and health assistance for millions of families across Alabama and the nation. The stakes are high for people who struggle to make ends meet. Medicaid is a [...]
Issues
Safety Net, Health
Date
January 24, 2020
Author
Carol Gundlach
Fact Sheet

A strong safety net means a stronger Alabama for all

We all know that people get down on their luck sometimes. They lose a job, have a sick child or need time to recover from an injury. And most Alabamians – understanding that “there, but for the grace of God, go I” – want to do what they can to help people going through a [...]
Issues
Safety Net, Health
Date
January 24, 2020
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Arise 2020: Why Alabama should fund public transportation

Public transportation is vital infrastructure for a state looking toward the future. It allows people who lack other transportation options – including seniors, people with disabilities, and people who can’t afford a car – to get to work, go to the doctor and meet other basic needs. Reliable public transportation strengthens communities and makes a [...]
Issue
Public Transportation
Date
January 21, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Arise 2020: Break down barriers to voting rights in Alabama

Voting is an essential tool for people to speak out about the future they want. By breaking down barriers to voting, we promote greater civic engagement. And we make it easier for folks to make their voices heard about issues that matter in their communities. Alabama’s sad history of racist voting restrictions means our state [...]
Issue
Voting Rights
Date
January 15, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
Fact Sheet

The new poll tax: Court debt and voting rights in Alabama

Everyone should be able to have a voice in governmental decisions that affect their daily lives. Voting is the most straightforward way Alabamians have to shape those decisions. But our state has a long, sad legacy of voter suppression tactics. As a result, Alabama today has more disenfranchised citizens than California, a state with eight [...]
Issues
Criminal Justice, Voting Rights
Date
January 15, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
In the News

In Alabama: The work to halt falling rates of uninsured children

Children's health care is "one of the few bragging points that we have in our health care system," Arise's Jim Carnes tells Equal Voice News. But Alabama has seen a "downward turn" in its uninsured rate for children since 2016. Carnes discusses how Medicaid expansion would help families get and keep the health coverage they [...]
Date
January 14, 2020
Source
Equal Voice News
Blog

Arise 2020: Stop criminal justice debt from putting thousands of lives on hold

Criminal justice debt shouldn’t prevent a person from building a stable, secure life. But Alabama imposes millions of dollars in fines every year without considering a person’s ability to pay them. The state also conditions many rights and privileges, often including voting rights restoration, on whether a person has repaid fines. Further, despite a prohibition [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
January 10, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
Fact Sheet

Criminal justice debt: A modern-day debtors’ prison

By Carol Gundlach and Dev Wakeley, policy analysts It is unconstitutional to jail a person in the United States just because he or she owes money. But Alabama has no process for courts to determine if a defendant can afford to pay fees and fines. And despite a prohibition on “debtors’ prisons,” thousands of Alabamians [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
January 10, 2020
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Arise 2020: End the injustices in Alabama’s death penalty system

All Alabamians deserve equal justice under the law. But bias and inequality persist in Alabama’s capital punishment system, despite recent reforms. Even though the state finally outlawed judicial override in 2017, the ban did not apply retroactively. That means dozens of people who were sentenced to death despite a jury’s sentencing recommendation of life without [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
January 9, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
Fact Sheet

Injustices remain in Alabama’s death penalty practices

Alabama took an important step toward death penalty reform in 2017, but numerous problems remain. That year, the state finally outlawed judicial override in capital cases. That change means judges no longer can impose the death penalty when a jury recommends life without parole. But the ban was not retroactive, and 35 people who were [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
January 9, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
In the News

Alabama’s Medicaid limbo

"Medicaid expansion has moved forward now in 36 states, and those states’ Medicaid programs are doing very well with it. No state is trying to pull out," Arise's Jim Carnes tells Business Alabama. "Everybody has shown improvements. New research is coming in all the time about health improvements resulting from Medicaid expansion and the positive [...]
Date
January 8, 2020
Source
Business Alabama
Blog

Arise 2020: Stop the debt trap for Alabama payday borrowers

A small loan shouldn’t be a sentence to months or years of deep debt. Everyone who needs to borrow money should have a reasonable pathway to repaying a loan without excessive costs. But in Alabama, high-cost payday loans cost struggling people tens of millions of dollars every year. As our recent report with Alabama Appleseed [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
January 8, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
In the News

Alabama lawmaker looking to remove state grocery tax

"The grocery tax is a tax on a basic necessity of life. It's a tax on survival," Arise's Chris Sanders tells CBS 42 in Birmingham. "This is a tax that drives folks in poverty deeper into poverty. It makes it tougher for folks who are struggling to make ends meet to put food on the [...]
Date
January 7, 2020
Source
CBS 42
News Releases

Striking down the ACA would undermine health security for all Alabamians

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit struck down the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate on Wednesday. The court then returned the case to a district judge to consider whether other parts of the law can remain intact after the ruling. Alabama Arise policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Thursday in [...]
Issue
Health
Date
December 19, 2019
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Spread the word about our 2020 blueprint for change!

Alabama's 2020 legislative session starts Feb. 4, 2020, and Alabama Arise is excited to keep working to make life better for people across our state. We think Medicaid expansion, untaxing groceries and our other priority issues offer a blueprint for real change in Alabama. You can help spread the word and build support for these [...]
Date
December 18, 2019
Author
Presdelane Harris
Blog

To whom much is given, much is expected

Guest post by Judy Taylor. My name is Judy Taylor. I’m proud to serve on Alabama Arise’s board of directors and to count myself as an Arise member and supporter. And I urge you to join me in supporting Arise’s work to help struggling Alabamians through better public policies. Grant funding will match up to [...]
Date
December 17, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
In the News

Alabama infant mortality rate hits record low

"We celebrate the improvements in Alabama's rate, but there are some disturbing trends," Arise's Jim Carnes tells the Associated Press, including persistent racial disparities and a high number of births without prenatal care. "That is something we could impact in a huge way with Medicaid expansion." Read more from the Associated Press.
Date
December 12, 2019
Source
Associated Press
Blog

I feel welcome in Arise — and you will, too

Guest post by Ana Delia Valeriano. My name is Ana Delia Valeriano. I’m proud to serve on Alabama Arise’s board of directors and to count myself as an Arise member and supporter. I’m writing today to thank you for your support, and to let you know that you can double your impact when you give [...]
Date
December 12, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
Member Resources

How to get involved in Alabama’s legislative process

Most people recognize the vital role that voting plays in a democracy – even if they don’t vote. But fewer understand the citizen’s role in lawmaking. Using your power as a constituent to influence legislators is called lobbying. Alabama Arise promotes its interest – the well-being of Alabamians with low and moderate incomes – not [...]
Issue
Other
Date
December 12, 2019
Author
Jim Carnes
Blog

Why Arise’s work is personal to me

Guest post by Kenneth Tyrone King. My name is Kenneth Tyrone King. I’m proud to serve on Alabama Arise’s board of directors and to count myself as an Arise member and supporter. I’m writing today to thank you for your support, and to let you know that you can double your impact when you give [...]
Date
December 5, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
Newsletter

December 2019 newsletter

Why Medicaid expansion is a must for prison reform By Jim Carnes, policy director Against a backdrop of human tragedy, Gov. Kay Ivey’s Study Group on Criminal Justice Policy is working toward a January deadline for its recommendations to the Legislature. The U.S. Department of Justice in April issued a sobering overview of the Alabama [...]
Date
December 2, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Alabama Medicaid long-term care reforms already exceeding goals

Alabamians who need long-term care services should be able to get them at home or in their communities whenever possible. And Alabama Medicaid’s new reform initiative, the Integrated Care Network (ICN), is making progress toward that goal. The ICN has completed a successful first year of operation with strong help from consumer voices at the [...]
Issue
Health
Date
November 29, 2019
Author
Jim Carnes
Blog

How Alabama Arise is lifting up community voices in Alabama Medicaid

Alabama Medicaid is at a moment of transformation, opening up opportunities for a new focus on improving health outcomes. And Alabama Arise is working hard to ensure community needs and voices stay at the forefront. Medicaid primary care is moving from a statewide fee-for-service model to a system of seven Alabama Coordinated Health Networks (ACHNs). [...]
Issues
Safety Net, Health
Date
November 27, 2019
Author
Presdelane Harris
Fact Sheet

Why Medicaid expansion is a must for prison reform in Alabama

Against a backdrop of human tragedy, Gov. Kay Ivey’s Study Group on Criminal Justice Policy is working toward a January deadline for its recommendations to the Legislature. The U.S. Department of Justice in April issued a sobering overview of the Alabama corrections system’s numerous shortcomings. And the Montgomery Advertiser shed further light on the situation [...]
Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion, Criminal Justice
Date
November 26, 2019
Author
Jim Carnes
Blog

Spread the word about Arise this holiday season!

You may have a list of topics that you consider taboo at holiday gatherings. But I hope that finding ways to help Alabamians living in poverty isn’t on that list. When you’re among friends and family who believe life should be better for struggling Alabamians, I hope you’ll make sure they know about Alabama Arise. [...]
Date
November 25, 2019
Author
Brenda Boman
In the News

Major push happening for Alabama to start funding public transportation

Alabama is the only state east of the Mississippi River to provide no state funding for public transportation. "That choice is limiting opportunities for folks. It's limiting our economic development as a state," Arise's Chris Sanders tells CBS 42 in Birmingham. Learn more from CBS 42.
Date
November 22, 2019
Source
CBS 42
Blog

Get covered: Open enrollment ends Dec. 15, 2019

The deadline to #GetCovered is one month away! Open enrollment for 2020 Marketplace health coverage under the Affordable Care Act ends Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. Don’t miss your chance to make sure you’re covered in case of accident or illness. Visit healthcare.gov or call 800-318-2596 to explore your coverage options. And be sure to spread [...]
Issue
Health
Date
November 15, 2019
Author
Jim Carnes
Member Resources

2020 Alabama Arise issue priorities brochure

Alabama Arise members have chosen the following issues as policy priorities for 2020. The first two are permanent priorities. The remaining five reflect this year’s member voting. The Arise board also may approve action on other emerging issues during the year. To view our full 2020 issue priorities brochure, click here or click the Download [...]
Issue
Other
Date
November 13, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Expand Medicaid to shore up children’s health coverage in Alabama

Children’s health coverage has long been a point of pride for Alabama, and we can’t afford to backslide. But Alabama’s rate of uninsured children has moved in the wrong direction since 2016, according to a recent report from Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families (CCF). Our state’s uninsured rate for children (3.5%) remained one [...]
Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
November 13, 2019
Author
Jim Carnes
In the News

Episode 11 – Development in our own backyards

Arise's Robyn Hyden talked to the Foreword South podcast about Arise's work to build a movement for change in Alabama. The discussion touches on the power of organizing, the importance of patience and the need to include everyone's voice. Listen to the interview on Foreword South starting around the 11:00 mark.
Date
November 12, 2019
Source
Foreword South
Blog

Medicaid expansion would help Alabama veterans meet their health care needs

Veterans Day gives Alabama a chance to shine. Our cities and towns hold parades and ceremonies each Nov. 11 to honor service members and to burnish the state’s reputation as a great place for veterans to retire. This year, as we celebrate those who have risked and sacrificed to defend our country, let’s remember a group [...]
Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
November 7, 2019
Author
Jim Carnes
Blog

Higher education cuts are undermining Alabama’s future

Shortchanging higher education is shortchanging Alabama’s future. It’s a harmful choice that’s limiting opportunity for people across our state. But better policy choices can create a more prosperous future and help all Alabamians reach their full potential. Alabama has slashed its per-student state higher education funding more than any other state over the last decade, [...]
Issues
Economic Opportunity, Budgets
Date
November 6, 2019
Author
Chris Sanders
In the News

More Alabama children were uninsured in 2018 than in 2016, new report shows

"Children's health coverage has long been a point of pride for Alabama, and we can't afford to backslide," Arise's Jim Carnes tells the Alabama Political Reporter. "ALL Kids and Medicaid have played huge roles in that success. And our state should build on those gains by expanding Medicaid to cover adults with low incomes as [...]
Date
November 4, 2019
Source
Alabama Political Reporter
Letters & Testimony

Alabama Arise comments on how proposed SNAP changes would reduce school meal access

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing a rule that would require some states to reduce gross income limits for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applicants. It also would force 42 states, including Alabama, to impose resource limits on applicants. More than 3 million people would become ineligible for food assistance under the rule, [...]
Issue
Safety Net
Date
November 1, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
In the News

New report shows increase in uninsured Alabama children

"The states that have expanded Medicaid showed less of a decline in children's coverage," Arise's Jim Carnes tells WHNT 19 in Huntsville. "When parents have coverage in the family, the children are more likely to have coverage." Learn more from WHNT 19.
Date
October 30, 2019
Source
WHNT 19
News Releases

More Alabama children were uninsured in 2018 than in 2016, new report shows

Alabama’s rate of uninsured children has moved in the wrong direction since 2016, according to a report released Wednesday by Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families. The state’s uninsured rate for children (3.5%) remained one of the best in the South and was far below the national average (5.2%) in 2018. But after years [...]
Issue
Health
Date
October 30, 2019
Author
Chris Sanders
In the News

Report ranks Alabama worst in the U.S. for higher education cuts

"A lot of qualified students decide not to pursue the degree or to finish a degree program because they’re simply priced out of the opportunity to do so," Arise's Chris Sanders tells WBHM 90.3 in Birmingham. "So we are dissuading folks from pursuing their dreams. We’re reducing campus diversity, and we’re reducing opportunity for people [...]
Date
October 28, 2019
Source
WBHM 90.3 FM
Blog

You can help protect school meals for thousands of Alabama children

We alerted you this summer to a proposed rule that could deny 36,000 Alabamians access to food assistance under the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). By changing SNAP’s categorical eligibility requirements, this proposal would deny or reduce nutrition assistance to almost 3 million struggling Americans. But it turns out it’s even worse for children than [...]
Issue
Safety Net
Date
October 25, 2019
Author
Carol Gundlach
In the News

Tuition at Ala. colleges on the rise

Soaring college tuition means "we're reducing campus diversity, and we're reducing opportunity," Arise's Chris Sanders tells WSFA 12 in Montgomery. "A lot of jobs these days require two-year and four-year degrees. And if folks are priced out of that, they lose the opportunity to advance in their careers and pursue their dreams." Learn more from [...]
Date
October 24, 2019
Source
WSFA 12 News
News Releases

Alabama’s higher ed funding cuts since 2008 are the nation’s worst

Alabama has slashed its per-student state higher education funding more than any other state over the last decade, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a nonpartisan research organization based in Washington, D.C. Since 2008, Alabama has cut state higher education funding by 36.2%, or $4,466 per student, [...]
Issues
Economic Opportunity, Budgets
Date
October 24, 2019
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Affordable child care is an investment in Alabama’s future

“Anybody who’s ever paid for child care knows it’s cheaper to pay for college sometimes.” That’s what I told AL.com’s Anna Claire Vollers about Alabama’s shortage of affordable child care. Her new article this week examines how expensive child care limits economic opportunity for struggling parents across our state. Quality, affordable child care is essential [...]
Issues
Economic Opportunity, Budgets, Safety Net
Date
October 17, 2019
Author
Carol Gundlach
In the News

Expensive childcare keeps Alabama mothers out of higher-paying jobs

"Anybody who’s ever paid for child care knows it’s cheaper to pay for college sometimes," Arise's Carol Gundlach tells AL.com. This story cites Arise research on Alabama's shortage of affordable child care. It also examines how stronger state investment would help struggling parents. Read more on AL.com.
Date
October 15, 2019
Source
AL.com
In the News

Hospital association says new money helps hospitals hold on

Medicaid expansion is the long-term solution Alabama needs to protect rural hospitals and clinics, Arise's Jim Carnes tells WSFA 12 in Montgomery. "When a rural hospital closes, the economy essentially hollows out," Carnes said. "Just ring after ring of support services, then services like the cafes and other establishments that serve the workforce." Learn more [...]
Date
October 3, 2019
Source
WSFA 12 News
Blog

How Alabama can untax groceries and boost education

Alabama has two intertwined structural problems that, together, keep us from meeting our people’s most basic needs. One problem is that our state’s tax system is upside down. Rich people get huge tax breaks, forcing people with low and moderate incomes to make up the difference. The other problem is that this upside-down system doesn’t [...]
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform
Date
October 2, 2019
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

ACHN launch begins a new era for Alabama Medicaid

Alabama Medicaid reforms first envisioned six years ago are finally going into effect today. And Alabama Arise will work hard to ensure Medicaid's new structure keeps patient needs and consumer voices at the forefront. The new plan brings regional control and care coordination of primary care services through seven Alabama Coordinated Health Networks (ACHNs) serving [...]
Issue
Health
Date
October 1, 2019
Author
Jim Carnes
Newsletter

September 2019 newsletter

Alabama can lead the nation in addressing the inequities of our past By Robyn Hyden, executive director The Alabama Arise annual meeting is my favorite day of the year. It’s the day we invite members to present new issue proposals and select legislative priorities. This year, more than 200 people gathered in Montgomery on Sept. [...]
Date
September 25, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
In the News

Criminal justice study group offers Alabama a way to set the right course toward reform

"Doing the bare minimum to avoid federal oversight would be a disservice to our state," Arise's Dev Wakeley writes on AL.com. "The study group’s recommendations should offer a vision of a fully functional criminal justice system in Alabama." Read more on AL.com.
Date
September 19, 2019
Source
AL.com
Letters & Testimony

Alabama Arise comments in opposition to proposed SNAP categorical eligibility changes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing a rule that would require some states to reduce gross income limits for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applicants. It also would force 42 states, including Alabama, to impose resource limits on applicants. More than 3 million people would become ineligible for food assistance under the rule, [...]
Issue
Safety Net
Date
September 19, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
In the News

HIV advocacy group pioneers telehealth model in rural Alabama

"We have to accompany telemedicine with strong efforts to find incentives for rural practice, increasing our rural pipeline," Arise's Jim Carnes tells the Montgomery Advertiser. "We have to come to grips with the fact that Alabama underpays physicians we expect to carry the load of low-income Alabamians, many of whom are rural." Read more from [...]
Date
September 18, 2019
Source
Montgomery Advertiser
Blog

Criminal justice study group offers Alabama a chance to set the right course toward reform

Alabama needs a criminal justice system that values the lives and well-being of everyone involved. Our state should treat people fairly, apply punishment humanely and focus on restoring offenders to productive roles in society. Alabama Arise is closely monitoring the Study Group on Criminal Justice Policy that Gov. Kay Ivey appointed in July. Former Alabama [...]
Issues
Criminal Justice, Health
Date
September 12, 2019
Author
Dev Wakeley
In the News

Alabama Arise: More Alabamians lack health insurance

"No one should have to go without the medical care they need simply because they can’t afford it," Arise's Jim Carnes tells Alabama Daily News. "But that's the reality for a growing number of Alabamians, because our state has refused to expand Medicaid." Read more from Alabama Daily News.
Date
September 11, 2019
Source
Alabama Daily News
News Releases

Alabama’s uninsured rate is growing because we haven’t expanded Medicaid

U.S. Census findings released Tuesday show that about 32,000 more Alabamians were uninsured in 2018 than in 2017. They also found that the state’s uninsured rate remained higher than the national average. Alabama Arise policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement in response: “No one should have to go without the medical care they [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health, Economic Opportunity
Date
September 10, 2019
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

Alabama Arise members vow to renew ‘untax groceries’ push in 2020

Ending the state sales tax on groceries is one of the top goals on Alabama Arise’s 2020 legislative agenda. Nearly 200 Arise members picked the organization’s issue priorities at its annual meeting Saturday in Montgomery. The seven issues chosen were: Tax reform, including untaxing groceries and ending the state’s upside-down deduction for federal income taxes, [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Voting Rights, Criminal Justice, Health, Budgets, Public Transportation, Tax Reform
Date
September 9, 2019
Author
Chris Sanders
In the News

Alabama Arise members meet, vote on critical state issues

"We believe that faith communities, people on the front lines of serving people in poverty, and people directly impacted who are in poverty come up with the best solutions," Arise's Robyn Hyden tells WSFA 12 in Montgomery. Learn more from WSFA 12 News.
Date
September 7, 2019
Source
WSFA 12 News
In the News

100,000 employed Alabamians can’t afford health care

"The economic boost we would get from Medicaid expansion is really unparalleled," Arise's Jim Carnes tells the Alabama Political Reporter. "If Medicaid expansion were a factory or a NASA contract, we'd be having parades down every main street." Read more from the Alabama Political Reporter.
Date
September 5, 2019
Source
Alabama Political Reporter
In the News

Increase child care funding to invest in Alabama’s future

"Increased investment in child care will reduce poverty, support working parents and help Alabama’s children grow and thrive," Arise's Carol Gundlach writes on AL.com. "[U.S. Sens. Doug] Jones and [Richard] Shelby should commit to this needed investment in our state’s economy, families and future prosperity." Read more on AL.com.
Date
August 30, 2019
Source
AL.com
Fact Sheet

Meet the working men and women caught in Alabama’s health coverage gap

As we celebrate Alabama’s workforce on Labor Day, here’s a fact that deserves special attention: More than 100,000 Alabamians are working without health insurance. They work in child care, construction, food services and other vital jobs. They’re the folks who keep things going. Yet they’re trapped in the health coverage gap. They can’t afford employer-based [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health
Date
August 30, 2019
Author
Jim Carnes
Blog

Learn more about Arise’s 2020 issue proposals

Grassroots democracy will be on display when Alabama Arise members choose our 2020 issue priorities at our annual meeting Sept. 7 in Montgomery. The following proposals will be up for a vote for our 2020 legislative agenda. Housing Trust Fund revenue Voting rights Criminal justice debt reform Death penalty reform Payday and title lending reform [...]
Issues
Payday & Title Lending Reform, Voting Rights, Criminal Justice, Health, Housing, Budgets, Public Transportation, Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity, Safety Net
Date
August 16, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
Annual Report

Annual Report 2019

Our movement for change keeps gaining strength By Chris Sanders, communications director Alabama Arise saw plenty of change last year: a new executive director, new communications tools, even a new name. But what hasn’t changed is our passion for building a more inclusive Alabama with justice and opportunity for everyone. With your support, we’ve smashed [...]
Date
August 15, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

New federal public charge rule will hurt families and children across Alabama

A new Department of Homeland Security regulation published Monday will harm the health and well-being of thousands of Alabama families. The so-called public charge rule also will threaten access to health and human services programs for U.S.-born citizen children. When proposed last fall, the regulation drew more than 266,000 public comments, overwhelmingly in opposition. The feedback [...]
Issues
Health, Housing, Safety Net
Date
August 13, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
Newsletter

August 2019 newsletter

We must stand up for dignity, equity and justice By Robyn Hyden, executive director People are hurting because of racial prejudice and white supremacy. The injury isn’t new, but violence and threats toward people of color, immigrants and other vulnerable communities are escalating. We denounce white supremacy and white nationalism. And we stand with our [...]
Date
August 9, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Alabama Arise stands for dignity, equity and justice

People are hurting because of racial prejudice and white supremacy. The injury is not new, but violence and threats of violence toward people of color, immigrants and other vulnerable communities have been escalating in recent years, initiated by white nationalists. It unfortunately is nothing new for America, or for the South, to experience this level [...]
Date
August 9, 2019
Author
Robyn Hyden
In the News

Lawmaker files bill to change Alabama’s tax structure

"If you think that the biggest problem in the state is that wealthy folks and corporations pay too much in taxes already, this would be the plan for you," Arise's Chris Sanders tells CBS 42 in Birmingham. Learn more from CBS 42.
Date
August 5, 2019
Source
CBS 42
Blog

How a proposed new SNAP rule would increase hunger for millions of Americans

The White House has proposed a new rule that would increase hunger for millions of Americans. The plan would require some states to reduce gross income limits for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applicants. It also would force 42 states, including Alabama, to impose resource limits on applicants. More than 3 million people would become [...]
Issue
Safety Net
Date
August 5, 2019
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Help Arise add 37 more members by Aug. 8!

Alabama Arise needs 37 more individual members by Aug. 8, 2019, to stay on track for another membership record. If you’re not an Arise member yet, please join with a gift of $15 or more today! Arise is working to break down barriers for Alabamians living in poverty. We’re pushing for Medicaid expansion, untaxing groceries [...]
Date
August 1, 2019
Author
Brenda Boman
In the News

Trump administration proposal could kick 3 million off food stamps

A proposed new federal rule could strip SNAP eligibility from more than 3 million Americans while increasing state administrative costs. "This is going to be a tremendous burden," Arise's Carol Gundlach tells WHNT 19 in Huntsville. Learn more from WHNT 19.
Date
July 23, 2019
Source
WHNT 19
Blog

The workers who would benefit most from Medicaid expansion in Alabama

They’re the folks who keep things going: the people who serve food at restaurants, bag groceries, patch roofs and repair cars. They're Alabamians with economically essential jobs that pay low wages. But tens of thousands of these workers have no health coverage. As a result, they often struggle with health problems that sap productivity, add [...]
Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
July 16, 2019
Author
Jim Carnes
In the News

Alabama Arise criticizes proposed rule requiring citizenship documentation for public housing

"To deny housing to a non-citizen parent is effectively to deny housing to an eligible child citizen," Arise's Carol Gundlach says in the Alabama Political Reporter. "This plan would harm the health, education and economic stability of tens of thousands of vulnerable children." She also notes how the proposal would hurt seniors and people with [...]
Date
July 12, 2019
Source
Alabama Political Reporter
Letters & Testimony

Alabama Arise comments in opposition to federal plan to evict mixed-status immigrant families

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is proposing a rule that would bar tens of thousands of "mixed-status" immigrant families from living in public housing and Section 8 programs. These families include both members who are eligible and ineligible for assistance based on immigration status. The proposed rule would harm more than [...]
Issue
Housing
Date
July 10, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

We thank you for helping us reach our goal!

We just finished our 2019 budget year here at Alabama Arise, and we wanted to thank our supporters for another record-breaking year of contributions! Arise's Brenda Boman discusses why support from our individual members is such a key part of our advocacy for a better Alabama.  
Date
July 3, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
Report

Enhanced child care funding makes life better for Alabama’s children and families

Quality, affordable child care is essential for families seeking to escape poverty and participate in employment, education and training activities. The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), a federally funded program that subsidizes care for low and moderate-income parents of young children, provides critical funding for affordable child care. In Alabama, CCDBG funds are [...]
Issues
Safety Net, Budgets, Economic Opportunity
Date
July 2, 2019
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

RSVP for our annual meeting in September!

Registration is open for Alabama Arise's 2019 annual meeting on Saturday, Sept. 7! Arise members and member groups will vote that day on our priority issues for 2020. Please RSVP by Aug. 30 by clicking here or call the Arise office at 800-832-9060. The meeting will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Aldersgate [...]
Date
June 20, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Why join Arise?

Montgomery is fortunate to be the home of several organizations shining a light on social and economic injustice. While these organizations have a shared goal to create a more just society, each serves a specific role. Here are a few distinctions that, taken together, make Alabama Arise unique: Alabama Arise is completely homegrown and unique [...]
Date
June 19, 2019
Author
Brenda Boman
Blog

Why Arise is focusing on racial equity in our work

It seems to me that we are living through a time of historic political upheaval and transformation. While we continue to push forward policies to increase dignity, equity and justice, too often we end up playing defense. Corporations exert more influence today than ever before to suppress the people’s power to organize and access the [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
June 14, 2019
Author
Robyn Hyden
Letters & Testimony

Alabama Arise comments in opposition to federal plan to redefine poverty line

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is proposing to reduce annual cost-of-living adjustments to the federal poverty line. Over time, this plan would reduce or end Medicaid, SNAP food assistance and other work supports for millions of Americans. Here is the full text of the comments Alabama Arise submitted in opposition to this proposal: [...]
Issue
Safety Net
Date
June 14, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Arise legislative recap: June 14, 2019

Now that the Alabama Legislature's 2019 regular session has come to a close, we've turned our focus to the expected special session on the state's prison crisis later this year. In our latest video, Arise's Jim Carnes explains how Medicaid expansion is an essential component of fixing the state's prison crisis and increasing economic opportunity [...]
Issues
Health, Criminal Justice, Budgets, Medicaid Expansion
Date
June 14, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

Harmful plan to redefine poverty would cut eligibility for Medicaid, SNAP

Pretending poverty doesn’t exist won’t reduce poverty. But a new federal plan seeks to shrink the federal poverty line, making it a less accurate measure of need. The Office of Management and Budget’s proposal would reduce annual cost-of-living adjustments to the poverty line. And that would have disastrous consequences for millions of struggling Americans. It’s [...]
Issues
Health, Safety Net
Date
June 14, 2019
Author
Carol Gundlach
Newsletter

June 2019 newsletter

The 2019 session that was, and the one yet to come By Chris Sanders, communications director Alabama legislators ended their 2019 regular session May 31, but they’re not done yet. With federal intervention looming, the Legislature likely will hold a special session this fall to address horrendous conditions in our state’s overcrowded prisons. Arise will [...]
Date
June 12, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
In the News

Non-unanimous death sentences stain Alabama’s justice system

"Alabama is the only state that allows judges to impose a death sentence based on a non-unanimous jury sentencing verdict," Arise's Dev Wakeley writes on AL.com. "This practice is a travesty of justice, and it needs to stop." Read more on AL.com.
Date
June 12, 2019
Source
AL.com
In the News

New law reduces unemployment compensation in Alabama

"[Unemployment] compensation is so low already in Alabama, people are going to be looking for a job the second they lose one and start drawing unemployment comp," Arise's Carol Gundlach tells AL.com. "We don't need to use those benefits as a stick to try to change behavior." Read more from AL.com.
Date
June 11, 2019
Source
AL.com
Blog

Changes are happening in Alabama Medicaid. Help us spread the word!

Starting Oct. 1, 2019, Medicaid begins a new care coordination program. The new plan will create Alabama Coordinated Health Networks (ACHNs) in seven regions of the state. (See the map below.) These ACHNs will coordinate primary care for people with Medicaid coverage. Your ACHN will have a phone line to call when a Medicaid participant (also [...]
Issue
Health
Date
June 11, 2019
Author
Presdelane Harris
Blog

Arise legislative recap: June 7, 2019

Arise's Robyn Hyden looks back at some important policy wins -- and previews what's still to come -- following the conclusion of the Alabama Legislature's 2019 regular session.
Issues
Criminal Justice, Safety Net, Budgets
Date
June 7, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

The 2019 session that was, and the one yet to come

Alabama legislators ended their 2019 regular session last week. But they’re not done yet. Amid the threat of federal intervention, the Legislature likely will hold a special session this fall to address horrendous conditions in our state’s overcrowded prisons. This summer, Arise will continue making the case that meaningful prison reform must include Medicaid expansion. [...]
Issues
Criminal Justice, Safety Net, Voting Rights, Budgets, Medicaid Expansion, Tax Reform, Health
Date
June 7, 2019
Author
Chris Sanders
Fact Sheet

Alabama’s prison reform solution must include Medicaid expansion

Alabama’s prison crisis is about more than overcrowding and understaffing. It’s about the generational impacts of a criminal justice system warped by racism, chronic poverty, inadequate education and poor health. The solution will require both new revenue and broad policy reform. And one essential step is to extend health coverage to uninsured Alabama adults with [...]
Issues
Budgets, Medicaid Expansion, Health
Date
May 31, 2019
Author
Jim Carnes
Blog

Arise legislative recap: May 31, 2019

Good news: We saw a breakthrough on civil asset forfeiture when the Alabama Legislature passed SB 191 this week! The version of the bill that lawmakers sent to the governor omits many of the due process protections that were in the original version. But it still will shine more light on this practice. And greater [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
May 31, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
In the News

Civil asset forfeiture disclosures will soon be required in Alabama

"SB 191's passage is a good first step toward bringing more transparency to Alabama's civil asset forfeiture practices," Arise's Robyn Hyden tells Bama Politics. "But simply gathering more information about the problem isn't enough. We must change our state's forfeiture practices to ensure they protect due process for all Alabamians." Read more in Bama Politics.
Date
May 30, 2019
Source
Bama Politics
Blog

On civil asset forfeiture reform, transparency is a good start – but there’s more to do

Civil asset forfeiture in Alabama lacks public accountability and tramples the property rights of thousands of people. Hundreds of Alabamians lose cash, cars and other property under this practice every year. Many of them are never convicted of a crime – or even charged with one. And many people can’t afford to hire a lawyer to [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
May 30, 2019
Author
Dev Wakeley
News Releases

Civil asset forfeiture transparency bill is a good start, but Alabamians still need much stronger protections

The Alabama House on Thursday passed SB 191, which would increase transparency around civil asset forfeiture in the state, sending it to Gov. Kay Ivey. Alabama Arise executive director Robyn Hyden issued the following statement in response: “SB 191’s passage is a good first step toward bringing more transparency to Alabama’s civil asset forfeiture practices. [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
May 30, 2019
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Arise legislative recap: May 24, 2019

The uncertainty over 2020 CHIP funding showcases the fundamental problem with Alabama's budgets: Our state doesn’t bring in enough money to fund basic needs adequately. Arise's Carol Gundlach explores that topic in this week's legislative recap.  
Issue
Budgets
Date
May 24, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

CFPB’s move to gut consumer protections shows need for state-level payday lending reform

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) should serve consumers, not the industries it regulates. That’s why Alabama Arise submitted a comment last week objecting to the CFPB’s plan to reverse an important consumer protection. And that’s why Arise will continue to push for needed reforms at the Legislature. The federal ability-to-repay rule, set to take [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
May 24, 2019
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Arise legislative recap: May 17, 2019

Legislators talked a lot about pregnancy and childbirth at the State House this week, but the spotlight has left some disturbing facts about the reality of health care in Alabama in the shadows. Arise's Jim Carnes talks about why it’s so crucial for Alabama to expand Medicaid to strengthen the state’s health care system and [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health
Date
May 17, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
Fact Sheet

Investing in the Housing Trust Fund would create jobs and expand housing opportunities across Alabama

Alabama lacks more than 69,000 homes for households with incomes under $24,600. That means many hard-working Alabamians, seniors, students, veterans and folks on fixed incomes can’t afford a safe place to call home. State investment in the Alabama Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) would provide flexibility to meet a variety of housing needs across the state, [...]
Issue
Housing
Date
May 16, 2019
Author
Dev Wakeley
Fact Sheet

Federal ability-to-repay rule protects payday borrowers, Alabama Arise tells CFPB

Director Kathleen Kraninger: I read with disappointment your recent proposal to rescind the thoroughly considered, factually grounded Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule provision mandating ability-to-repay determinations by lenders offering payday, title and balloon loans. As a policy organization working to advance the public good in a state with wholly insufficient consumer protections for borrowers, [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
May 15, 2019
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Arise legislative recap: May 10, 2019

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is threatening to reverse a rule that promotes financial security for borrowers across the country. This week, we look at the CFPB’s proposal to eliminate a requirement for payday lenders to determine whether borrowers have the ability to repay before lending to them. Arise’s Mike Nicholson discusses this proposed [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
May 10, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

CHIP funding uncertainty shows a core problem in Alabama’s budgets

The Alabama Legislature has yet to decide how to fund health coverage for more than 170,000 children next year. And that’s a symptom of a fundamental illness that has plagued our state’s budgets for decades. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is one of Alabama’s most successful programs. Through Medicaid and ALL Kids, CHIP supports [...]
Issues
Budgets, Health
Date
May 10, 2019
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Arise legislative recap: May 3, 2019

Protecting the right to vote is essential to ensure everyone's voice is heard. Arise's Dev Wakeley discusses several bills introduced this session that would strengthen voting rights for all Alabamians.  
Issue
Voting Rights
Date
May 3, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

Not back yet: Alabama’s K-12, higher education funding still lower than 2008

Alabama children who entered first grade in 2008 will get their high school diplomas next year. And they’ll graduate from an education system that still gets less state support than it did when they were first learning how to add and subtract. The $7.1 billion Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget that the Alabama Senate passed [...]
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform
Date
May 3, 2019
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

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 [...]
Issue
Voting Rights
Date
May 2, 2019
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

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.
Issues
Safety Net, Budgets
Date
April 26, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
Blog

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 [...]
Issues
Safety Net, Health
Date
April 26, 2019
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

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 [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health, Tax Reform, Budgets, Safety Net
Date
April 19, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
Fact Sheet

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 [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health, Tax Reform, Budgets
Date
April 15, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
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 [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, 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.  
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, 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
In the News

Medicaid expansion must be part of the solution to Alabama’s prison woes

"We must address the generational impacts of a corrections system warped by chronic poverty, inadequate education and poor health," Arise's Jim Carnes writes in The Gadsden Times. "The solution will require both new revenue and broad policy reform. And one essential step is to extend health coverage to uninsured Alabama adults with low incomes." Read more [...]
Date
April 11, 2019
Source
Gadsden Times
In the News

Bill would give Alabama payday loan borrowers more time to pay

"Alabama lawmakers from both parties and advocacy groups spoke today in support of a bill to give payday loan customers more time to pay off loans, a change they said would help protect financially fragile borrowers from spirals of debt," AL.com reported. At the event, Alabama Arise and Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice [...]
Date
April 11, 2019
Source
AL.com
Report

Broke: How payday lenders crush Alabama communities

Alabama Arise and Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice teamed up to produce this report on the history, financial effects and human impact of high-cost payday lending in our state. The report highlights and executive summary are below. Click here to read the full report, or click the "Download" button at the top of [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
April 11, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
Fact Sheet

Alabama Medicaid reforms aim for better care, lower cost

Alabama is making some big changes in the way Medicaid members get their care. Alabama Arise believes the new plans, if carried out well, will be a significant improvement over the current Medicaid system. One way to improve the chances for success is to have a strong consumer voice at the policy table. The changes [...]
Issue
Health
Date
April 10, 2019
Author
Jim Carnes
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
In the News

Hot Blast: More reasons to support Medicaid expansion in Alabama

"How can Alabama increase labor force participation and boost its economy? Expand Medicaid to cover those trapped in the state’s coverage gap," Arise's Robyn Hyden tells The Anniston Star. "With the right set of early interventions, at least some workers who suffer from untreated and debilitating conditions could remain on the job." Read more in The [...]
Date
April 3, 2019
Source
Anniston Star
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, Medicaid Expansion
Date
March 29, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
In the News

Editorial: Grocery tax point of shame for Alabama

"There is no bigger proponent of this proposal [to untax groceries] than Alabama Arise, the Montgomery-based nonprofit that advocates for the state’s low-income residents," The Anniston Star writes. "At its core, it offers a simple solution: eliminate the statewide sales tax on groceries and replace the lost revenue to Alabama’s budgets by ending the state income-tax [...]
Date
March 28, 2019
Source
Anniston Star
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
Other, Medicaid Expansion, Health
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
In the News

Alabama Arise pushes for Medicaid expansion

"We're really excited about the new lawmakers in town and some of our longtime statesmen who understand the pressures that our state health care system is under and the opportunities that our state has to invest," Arise's Robyn Hyden tells CBS 42 in Birmingham. Learn more from CBS 42.
Date
March 20, 2019
Source
CBS 42
In the News

Alabama Arise renews call for Medicaid expansion, tax reform

"About 300 Arise members attended today’s legislative day at the Alabama State House," AL.com reported. "They filled the State House’s largest committee room for a news conference about ways to pay for the state’s share of expanding Medicaid." Read more from AL.com.
Date
March 19, 2019
Source
AL.com
Fact Sheet

Revenue options for Medicaid expansion

Alabama’s budget is an expression of our values. Medicaid expansion means healthier families, thriving communities and a stronger economy. Policymakers have a range of options for making this bold investment in a brighter future. Now is the time to choose. Remove the state deduction for federal income taxes (FIT) ► $719 million in new revenue [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health
Date
March 19, 2019
Author
Jim Carnes
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
Fact Sheet

30 days to pay: A simple but important step forward on payday lending reform in Alabama

Alabama borrowers pay interest rates of 456 percent a year on payday loans. These high-cost loans trap thousands of struggling Alabamians in a debt cycle that deepens poverty and hurts the state’s economy. SB 75, sponsored by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, along with a House version sponsored by Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville, would extend the [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
March 12, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
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
Tax Reform, Medicaid Expansion, Health
Date
March 6, 2019
Author
Jim Carnes
News Releases

Alabama’s K-12 funding still far lower than a decade ago, despite recent gains

Alabama increased state education funding in 2018, but the legacy of years of extreme cuts remains, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a nonpartisan research organization based in Washington, D.C. Alabama increased its K-12 formula funding by 1 percent per student last year. But that funding is [...]
Issue
Budgets
Date
March 6, 2019
Author
Chris Sanders
Fact Sheet

Medicaid expansion by the numbers

± 223,000 Alabamians are caught in the coverage gap, unable to afford health insurance. Another 120,000 or more are stretching to pay for private or employer-based coverage. 13 Alabama hospitals – including 7 rural ones – have closed since 2011. 88 percent of Alabama’s rural hospitals operate in the red. If we expand Medicaid to [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health
Date
March 4, 2019
Author
Jim Carnes
Blog

How to advance our vision for Alabama’s next century

What kind of future do we want for Alabama? It’s a question worth reflecting on as our state enters its third century this year. Are we all right with limiting power and prosperity to a select few? Or would we rather build a state where everyone has a voice and where people of all races, [...]
Issues
Tax Reform, Budgets, Economic Opportunity, Medicaid Expansion, Health
Date
March 4, 2019
Author
Chris Sanders
In the News

Medicaid expansion would mean a larger, healthier workforce for Alabama

"The governor and the Legislature should consider the pro-work impact of Medicaid expansion," Arise's Robyn Hyden writes in The Daily Home of Talladega. "Our state can’t afford to miss an opportunity to help 200,000 Alabamians re-enter the workforce." Read more in The Daily Home.
Date
March 3, 2019
Source
Daily Home of Talladega
Newsletter

March 2019 newsletter

Lead article How to advance our vision for Alabama's next century By Chris Sanders, communications director What kind of future do we want for Alabama? It’s a question worth reflecting on as our state enters its third century this year. Are we all right with limiting power and prosperity to a select few? Or would [...]
Date
March 1, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Court rulings aid push for reforms of civil asset forfeiture, death penalty

The U.S. Supreme Court sent clear signals in February that the time is ripe for reform on two of Arise’s 2019 issue priorities. In Timbs v. Indiana, the court unanimously blocked Indiana’s attempt to use civil asset forfeiture to take a car that was worth much more than the maximum fine for the crime for [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
March 1, 2019
Author
Dev Wakeley
Fact Sheet

How the state grocery tax hurts struggling Alabamians

No matter how much or how little money we have, we all have to eat to live. But the share of earnings that people must devote to securing basic survival is not the same for everyone. Food takes a much bigger bite out of the household budget for low-income families than for richer ones. And [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
February 22, 2019
Author
Carol Gundlach
News Releases

Better policy choices on taxes, transit can improve Alabamians’ health

Deeper and smarter investments in education, housing, infrastructure and other vital services can eliminate barriers to good health for low-income residents and communities of color, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a nonpartisan policy research organization based in Washington, D.C. Alabama can take many important policy steps [...]
Issues
Tax Reform, Health, Public Transportation
Date
February 21, 2019
Author
Chris Sanders
Fact Sheet

Ensuring basic fairness: Civil asset forfeiture reform in Alabama

Protection against unreasonable searches and seizures is a basic guarantee of both the U.S. and Alabama constitutions. But Alabama’s civil asset forfeiture policies allow police to seize cars, cash or other personal property without a conviction – or even a criminal charge – if they find probable cause to link the property to a crime. [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
February 8, 2019
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Budget hearings show need for Alabama to expand Medicaid, boost public investments

Alabama needs to expand Medicaid and invest more in education and other human services. Those were key takeaways from this week’s state budget hearings in Montgomery. The hearings highlighted a range of policy challenges and illustrated the connections between many of them. We heard a lot of talk this week about the need to strengthen [...]
Issues
Budgets, Medicaid Expansion, Health, Safety Net
Date
February 1, 2019
Author
Chris Sanders
In the News

It’s time for Alabama to go big, expand Medicaid

"[Gov. Kay] Ivey’s inaugural speech laid out a vision for a prosperous future for Alabama," Arise's Jim Carnes writes in The Anniston Star. "There’s no better way to jumpstart our state’s third century than by expanding Medicaid." Read more in The Anniston Star.
Date
January 25, 2019
Source
Anniston Star
News Releases

Shutdown deal brings sigh of relief for struggling Alabamians

The White House on Friday announced a short-term agreement to end the 35-day partial shutdown of the federal government. Alabama Arise executive director Robyn Hyden issued the following statement in response: “The pain from this unnecessary shutdown has grown by the day. Fortunately, this deal will reopen the federal government without causing further damage to [...]
Issues
Housing, Safety Net
Date
January 25, 2019
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

How will the government shutdown affect SNAP food assistance in Alabama?

The partial federal government shutdown will enter its second month next week, and the stakes are high for Alabama families. Here are five things you need to know about how the shutdown will affect food assistance in Alabama: Most Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will see their February 2019 benefits issued around Sunday, Jan. [...]
Issue
Safety Net
Date
January 19, 2019
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Spread the word about our 2019 blueprint for change!

Alabama’s 2019 legislative session starts March 5, and Arise is excited to keep working to make life better for people across our state. We think Medicaid expansion, public transportation and our other priority issues offer a blueprint for real change in Alabama. You can help spread the word and build support for these changes. So [...]
Date
January 18, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
In the News

Thousands could now qualify for hardship licenses

Thousands or more Alabamians with revoked or suspended licenses may be able to qualify for hardship licenses. "These hardship licenses will allow people to drive to work, to school, to the doctor, to take their kids and their family members to those places and to do all their basic necessities of daily life,” said Dev [...]
Date
January 17, 2019
Source
WSFA 12 News
Blog

New hardship driver’s license rule will allow thousands of Alabamians to meet basic needs

A new rule could make it easier for many Alabamians to meet their basic needs. This change will allow tens of thousands of people who lost their driver’s licenses for reasons unrelated to public safety to apply for a hardship license from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA). The new regulation took effect Sunday. Some [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
January 16, 2019
Author
Dev Wakeley
In the News

Government shutdown and Alabama food stamps: What you need to know

"There’s no guarantee that this shutdown is going to end, even in February," said Carol Gundlach, policy analyst for nonprofit Alabama Arise. "If we roll into March, what is going to be a problem will turn into a catastrophe." Read more from the Montgomery Advertiser.
Date
January 11, 2019
Source
Montgomery Advertiser
Fact Sheet

Automatic voter registration: Streamlining a basic right

Voting rights are a flashpoint in Alabama’s history. The long denial of those rights to African Americans led to Bloody Sunday in Selma, the march to Montgomery and eventually passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In the half-century since, our state has taken a few steps that increase voting access for communities of [...]
Issue
Voting Rights
Date
January 11, 2019
Author
Dev Wakeley
Fact Sheet

Public transit is an investment in Alabama’s future

It’s time to jump-start public transportation in Alabama. Our lack of state support for this vital service is hurting people, communities and the broader economy. Many Alabama seniors, people with disabilities, and people with low incomes rely on public transit to go to work, get to the doctor and run essential errands. Yet unlike almost [...]
Issue
Public Transportation
Date
January 11, 2019
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Apply today for a policy fellowship with Arise!

We’re excited to announce a tremendous opportunity to nurture policy talent for crucial issues facing Alabama and the nation. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has selected Alabama Arise to participate in the competitive State Policy Fellowship program. The Center seeks candidates with recent graduate degrees in public policy, social work, public health, economics, [...]
Date
January 8, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

New year, new name, same mission!

A new year means a new start. At Alabama Arise, we’re excited to start 2019 with a new website, a new logo and a new (but familiar) name! If you came here looking for Arise Citizens’ Policy Project (ACPP), you may be a bit confused. For years, we asked people to make tax-deductible donations to [...]
Date
January 4, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

Bipartisan Farm Bill brings good news for struggling Alabamians

The U.S. House on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, passed a compromise Farm Bill that avoided threatened cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). All members of Alabama’s House delegation joined Alabama’s two U.S. senators in voting for the bill. Alabama Arise executive director Robyn Hyden issued the following statement in response: “The Farm Bill [...]
Issue
Safety Net
Date
December 12, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
Member Resources

How you can influence the legislative process

You can use your power as a constituent to influence legislators all year long. You can call them, write them or meet them in person. Arise’s Legislative Days are great, but it’s even better to contact lawmakers in their home districts. Find contact information by calling 334-261-0500 (House) or 334-261-0800 (Senate) or by visiting www.legislature.state.al.us. [...]
Date
December 5, 2018
Author
News Releases

Alabama should expand Medicaid to continue gains in children’s health coverage, new national report indicates

Alabama still has one of the lowest rates of uninsured children in the country, but its progress on that measure stalled in 2017, according to a report released Thursday by Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families (CCF). The state’s uninsured rate for children (3.1 percent) remained below the national average (5 percent) in 2017. [...]
Issues
Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
November 29, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
Fact Sheet

Medicaid work requirement hurts struggling families

Alabama Medicaid is trying to take health coverage away from our state’s poorest parents struggling to make ends meet. Gov. Kay Ivey has to get federal permission to make this harmful change. Here’s why that shouldn’t happen: The work requirement creates a no-win, catch-22 situation. It targets 75,000 of the poorest Alabamians. It’s a trap: They [...]
Issue
Health
Date
November 25, 2018
Author
Alabama Arise
Newsletter

November 2018 Newsletter

It was a vote to urge Alabama to break down barriers to voting. Arise members approved automatic universal voter registration as a new issue priority for 2019 during the organization’s annual meeting Sept. 8 at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Montgomery. Nearly 200 members from across Alabama also reaffirmed their commitment to six other issue priorities, including the permanent issues of tax reform and adequate budgets.

Date
November 21, 2018
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

The less you make, the more you pay: Alabama’s taxes remain upside down

Low-income Alabamians pay twice as much in state and local taxes as a share of their income compared to the state’s wealthiest residents, according to a study released Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C. The study, Who Pays?, analyzes major state and [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
October 17, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
Fact Sheet

Proposed Alabama Medicaid changes are ‘a catch-22 that forces people into the coverage gap,’ Alabama Arise tells officials

Alabama’s proposed new Medicaid work requirement waiver would be costly, counterproductive, ineffective and harmful to thousands of families who live in deep poverty, Alabama Arise wrote in official comments submitted to state Medicaid officials on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. “Threatening loss of health care in an attempt to force work efforts, without providing the supports that [...]
Issue
Health
Date
October 11, 2018
Author
Alabama Arise
In the News

AL ranked third for most higher education cuts since recession

Over the last decade only two states have cut their state funding for higher education, per student, more than Alabama. This is according to a report released Thursday by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Between 2008 and 2018, Alabama has cut $4,290 per student for higher education. Here is how Alabama compares to other states.
Date
October 4, 2018
Source
WSFA 12 News
News Releases

Alabama’s state higher ed funding cuts since 2008 are country’s third deepest

Alabama’s cuts to state higher education funding over the last decade are among the deepest in the country, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a nonpartisan research organization based in Washington, D.C. The funding decline persisted even as the state’s economy began to rebound from the Great Recession. [...]
Issues
Economic Opportunity, Budgets
Date
October 4, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
Member Resources

2019 Alabama Arise issue priorities brochure

Arise members have chosen the following issues as policy priorities for 2019. The first two are permanent priorities. The remaining five reflect this year’s member voting. The Arise board also may approve action on other emerging issues during the year. Adequate state budgets Tax reform Public transportation Payday/title lending reform Automatic universal voter registration Criminal [...]
Issue
Other
Date
October 1, 2018
Author
Alabama Arise
In the News

High uninsured rates plague Alabama’s rural areas, new report shows

Alabama’s small towns and rural areas have among the highest rates of uninsured low-income adult citizens in the country, and residents there are more likely to be uninsured than those in metro areas, according to a new report by Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families (CCF) and the University of North Carolina’s NC Rural Health Research [...]
Date
September 25, 2018
Source
Alabama Today
News Releases

High uninsured rates plague Alabama’s rural areas, show need to expand Medicaid

Alabama’s small towns and rural areas have among the highest rates of uninsured low-income adult citizens in the country, and residents there are more likely to be uninsured than those in metro areas, according to a new report released Sept. 25, 2018, by Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families (CCF) and the University of North [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health
Date
September 25, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

Alabama’s persistently high rate of uninsured adults shows the need for Medicaid expansion

New U.S. Census data show that the share of uninsured Alabamians increased between 2016 and 2017 and remained higher than the national average. Alabama Arise policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement in response on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018: “The White House’s efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act and Alabama’s refusal to expand [...]
Issues
Medicaid Expansion, Health
Date
September 13, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

Medicaid expansion, end to grocery tax highlight Alabama Arise’s 2019 priorities

Medicaid expansion and legislation to end the state sales tax on groceries are among the top goals on Alabama Arise’s 2019 legislative agenda. More than 200 Arise members picked the organization’s issue priorities at its annual meeting Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in Montgomery. The seven issues chosen were: Tax reform, including untaxing groceries and closing [...]
Issues
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Tax Reform, Medicaid Expansion, Public Transportation, Health, Voting Rights
Date
September 12, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
In the News

Fight hunger in Alabama by protecting food assistance and strengthening school meals

The thought of a hungry child moves all of us to want to help. Alabamians are among the most generous people in the nation. We give generously to charities fighting childhood hunger, including food banks and food closets from which local agencies and churches distribute food to hungry families.
Date
September 7, 2018
Source
AL.com
Newsletter

August 2018 Newsletter

We expect another lively, uplifting day when Arise members gather to pick our 2019 issue priorities at our annual meeting Sept. 8 in Montgomery. (See details and voting rules at right.) Two new proposals will compete with five current priorities for the five available slots on Arise’s issue roster next year. Two other issues are permanent priorities: tax reform and adequate state budgets.

Date
August 8, 2018
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

Alabama’s costly catch-22 Medicaid waiver plan would punish parents in poverty

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Monday, July 2, 2018, in response to Alabama Medicaid’s submission of a “work requirement” proposal for federal approval: “Alabama Medicaid’s work requirement proposal would create a no-win situation for thousands of parents living in deep poverty. They’ll lose health coverage if they don’t get [...]
Issue
Health
Date
July 2, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
Annual Report

Annual Report 2018

Change and persistence. Those two words, perhaps more than any others, capture the essence of Arise’s work. Sweeping change – the realization of our vision for a state where everyone has a voice and a chance to get ahead – is our ultimate goal. Dogged persistence – the years and decades that our members selflessly devote to [...]
Date
June 30, 2018
Author
Alabama Arise
Newsletter

June 2018 Newsletter

“I mean, what does Arise even look like without Kimble?” one of my coworkers asked earlier this year. It’d been a topic of discussion around the office for a few years, ever since our executive director, Kimble Forrister, attached a specific date to his years of warnings that he would, in fact, retire one day. Now, perhaps sooner than any of us expected, that day is at hand.

Date
June 28, 2018
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

U.S. Senate vote to protect SNAP is great news for Alabama

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project executive director Kimble Forrister issued the following statement Thursday, June 28, 2018, in response to the U.S. Senate’s 86-11 vote for a Farm Bill that protects and strengthens the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): “SNAP helps nearly 900,000 Alabamians make ends meet, and we’re pleased that the Senate voted overwhelmingly today for [...]
Issue
Safety Net
Date
June 28, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

House Farm Bill would take food assistance from thousands of Alabamians, hurt rural communities

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project executive director Kimble Forrister issued the following statement Thursday, June 21, 2018, in response to the U.S. House’s passage of a Farm Bill that would cut food assistance for millions of Americans: “The U.S. House just voted to make life harder for tens of thousands of Alabamians. The House Farm Bill [...]
Issue
Safety Net
Date
June 21, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
Letters & Testimony

Arise and partner groups urge Jones, Shelby to support Senate Farm Bill without harmful changes

Nearly 1 in 8 Americans, including nearly 900,000 Alabamians, depend on SNAP to help them keep food on the table. And each year, SNAP contributes $1.3 billion to Alabama’s economy, spent in more than 5,000 Alabama stores. Standing in stark contrast to the House Farm Bill, which could terminate or reduce benefits for more than 2 [...]
Issue
Safety Net
Date
June 18, 2018
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

Congress should embrace Farm Bill without SNAP cuts, following lead of U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee vote

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project executive director Kimble Forrister issued the following statement Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in response to the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee’s vote to approve a Farm Bill that protects and strengthens the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): “SNAP plays a vital role in feeding tens of millions of children, parents, seniors, people with [...]
Issue
Safety Net
Date
June 13, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Governor candidates answer Arise questions on housing, lending, transportation

Arise reached out to 2018 Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates to seek their thoughts on policies that affect low-income people in Alabama. (We contacted candidates via email or other electronic means available on their websites. Those resources were not available for all candidates.) Arise does not support or oppose any candidates for elected office. This [...]
Date
June 2, 2018
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Governor candidates answer Arise questions on taxes, budgets

Arise reached out to 2018 Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates to seek their thoughts on policies that affect low-income people in Alabama. (We contacted candidates via email or other electronic means available on their websites. Those resources were not available for all candidates.) Arise does not support or oppose any candidates for elected office. This [...]
Date
June 1, 2018
Author
Alabama Arise
Newsletter

May 2018 Newsletter

The Board of Directors of Arise has chosen Robyn Hyden as the organization’s next executive director. Hyden will begin her tenure in July. She will take over for Arise’s current executive director, Kimble Forrister, who will retire at the end of June after 27 years leading the organization.

Date
May 31, 2018
Author
Alabama Arise
In the News

Alabama Voices: Expanding Medicaid would improve Alabama’s health, budgets and economy

Imagine being an Alabama leader and having a tool at your disposal that could help families, strengthen the workforce, save rural hospitals, fight opioid addiction, improve the state’s health status and grow the economy. The only catch: It was created by members of another political party. That’s the dilemma that has kept Alabama from expanding [...]
Date
May 31, 2018
Source
Montgomery Advertiser
Fact Sheet

Payday lending reform: Ending a debt trap in Alabama

On busy highways and run-down streets across the state, you can’t miss them: big, bright signs promising easy money. From payday loans to auto title pawns to anticipation loans on tax refunds, Alabamians face a dizzying array of credit services designed to trap consumers in financial quicksand. This fact sheet highlights the pitfalls of payday [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
May 31, 2018
Author
Dev Wakeley
News Releases

U.S. House vote against Farm Bill shows need to reject SNAP cuts, take bipartisan approach to fighting hunger

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy analyst Carol Gundlach issued the following statement Friday, May 18, 2018, in response to the U.S. House vote against a Farm Bill that would have cut food assistance for millions of struggling Americans: “The U.S. House was right to reject a harmful Farm Bill that would have left millions of [...]
Issue
Safety Net
Date
May 18, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

Proposed CHIP cut would hurt Alabama’s working families

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in response to President Trump’s proposal to cut $7 billion from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP): “The last thing Alabama parents need is yet more uncertainty about their children’s health coverage. But just four months after Congress reached an [...]
Issue
Health
Date
May 9, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
Fact Sheet

Proposed new SNAP work requirements would harm struggling families across Alabama

Congress is considering legislation that would impose harsh work requirements on participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP, also known as food stamps, is part of the U.S. Farm Bill that must be reauthorized by Sept. 30, 2018. The version of the Farm Bill that has passed the House Agriculture Committee contains harmful and [...]
Issue
Safety Net
Date
May 1, 2018
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

Alabama Arise names Robyn Hyden as next executive director

The Board of Directors of Alabama Arise has chosen Robyn Hyden as the organization’s next executive director. Hyden will begin her tenure in July. She will take over for Arise’s current executive director, Kimble Forrister, who will retire in June after 27 years leading the organization. Hyden joins Arise from the United Way of Central [...]
Date
April 28, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
In the News

Opinion: Governor Ivey should withdraw catch-22 Medicaid plan

We can’t create a healthier Alabama by taking away people’s health insurance. That’s why Gov. Kay Ivey should withdraw a plan that would punish families by stripping Medicaid coverage from thousands of parents who live in deep poverty.
Date
April 25, 2018
Source
Montgomery Advertiser
Fact Sheet

Why SNAP and the Farm Bill matter to Alabama

The Farm Bill is a federal law that funds and governs many food and agricultural programs. It must be renewed about every five years and is up for reauthorization now. The largest program in it is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP provides vital food assistance to people with very low incomes. It also plays [...]
Issue
Safety Net
Date
April 18, 2018
Author
Carol Gundlach
News Releases

Farm Bill proposal would take food from thousands of Alabamians, jeopardize rural communities

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy analyst Carol Gundlach issued the following statement Friday, April 13, 2018, in response to the release of the draft 2018 Farm Bill by Republicans on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee: “The proposed Farm Bill would increase hunger and hardship across Alabama by undercutting the best anti-poverty program we have: the [...]
Issue
Safety Net
Date
April 13, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
Newsletter

April 2018 Newsletter

The Alabama Legislature had a fairly quiet regular session in 2018 – but it was a big year for Arise. Thanks to our members’ dedicated advocacy, we made meaningful breakthroughs on public transportation and criminal justice debt reform. Arise members also led the charge to defeat a proposed state tax break for private school tuition and to prevent the Legislature from creating new barriers to food assistance and health care access.

Date
April 4, 2018
Author
Alabama Arise
Letters & Testimony

Alabama Arise submits comments in opposition to Alabama’s ‘flagrantly cruel’ Medicaid work requirement proposal

Alabama’s proposed new Medicaid work requirement waiver would be costly, counterproductive, ineffective and harmful to thousands of families who live in deep poverty, Arise wrote in comments submitted to the Alabama Medicaid Agency on Thursday, March 22. Click the "Download" button to read the full comments. About 1 million Alabamians – mostly children, seniors, people [...]
Issue
Health
Date
March 22, 2018
Author
Alabama Arise
Fact Sheet

SB 55: Allowing ALEA to issue hardship driving permits makes sense for Alabama

Update: SB 55 is now law! Gov. Kay Ivey signed the bill on March 22, following votes in the Alabama House (95-1) and Senate (26-1) to pass a conference committee version of the bill on March 15. Earlier, the House voted 88-5 for a similar version on March 1, while the Senate voted 26-1 for [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
March 22, 2018
Author
Dev Wakeley
Fact Sheet

4 reasons why a new state tax break for private school tuition would hurt public education in Alabama

Update: Arise members stopped this plan in its tracks! After lawmakers received hundreds of emails and phone calls from our supporters opposing this bill, the Senate amended HB 251 on March 14 to remove the language that would have created a tax break for private school tuition. The House agreed to the change on March [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
March 22, 2018
Author
Kimble Forrister
Blog

Push to block Alabama tax break for private school tuition succeeds; Ivey signs bill to create hardship driver’s licenses

Arise members had two big reasons to celebrate Thursday, as Gov. Kay Ivey signed a pair of bills that finalize policy wins related to our organization’s 2018 issue priorities. One law will halt (at least for now) an effort to create a new state tax break for private school tuition in Alabama, while the other [...]
Issues
Tax Reform, Criminal Justice
Date
March 22, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Alabama Legislature rejects tax break for private school tuition

Update: Gov. Kay Ivey signed HB 251 into law on March 22 – without the language that would have cost public schools millions of dollars a year. Thank you to all the Arise members and everyone else who helped protect education funding in Alabama! Great news, y’all: Arise members just helped save millions of dollars a year [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
March 22, 2018
Author
Kimble Forrister
News Releases

‘Flagrantly cruel’ Medicaid changes would mean ‘poorer, more desperate and less healthy Alabama families,’ Arise tells state officials

Alabama’s proposed new Medicaid work requirement waiver would be costly, counterproductive, ineffective and harmful to thousands of families who live in deep poverty, Arise Citizens’ Policy Project wrote in official comments submitted to state Medicaid officials on Thursday, March 22, 2018. “Threatening loss of health care in an attempt to force work efforts, without providing the [...]
Issue
Health
Date
March 22, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
In the News

Lack of affordable housing ‘at crisis levels’ across Alabama

Right now Alabama is 77,000 housing units short for low income families. The crisis was compounded by the April 2011 tornadoes which wiped out many homes. Advocates say the situation is leaving many in substandard housing conditions. ABC 33/40 talked with a state lawmaker and Arise Citizens' Policy Project about the problem and potential solutions.
Date
March 16, 2018
Source
ABC 33/40
Blog

Education budget, landlord-tenant changes, HIV drug bill advance in Alabama Legislature

K-12 teachers in Alabama wouldn’t get a raise next year under the Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget that a House committee approved Wednesday. The House is expected to vote on the plan next week. The committee’s $5.9 billion budget would restore $10 million of state funding for Alabama State University that the Senate had removed. [...]
Issues
Housing, Health, Budgets
Date
March 14, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Alabama House passes bill that would erode renters’ rights

In a setback for renters throughout Alabama, the House voted 78-4 Thursday to erode protections for the state’s tenants. HB 421, sponsored by Rep. David Sessions, R-Grand Bay, now moves to the Senate. HB 421 would reduce the number of curable, or fixable, breaches of a lease in a year from the current four to [...]
Issue
Housing
Date
March 8, 2018
Author
Dev Wakeley
Blog

Senate passes 30-days-to-pay bill that would help Alabama payday loan borrowers

Payday loan borrowers across Alabama would get more time to repay and collectively would save tens of millions of dollars a year under a bill that the state Senate passed 20-4 Thursday. The 30-days-to-pay bill – SB 138, sponsored by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur – now goes to the House. SB 138 would extend Alabama’s [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
March 8, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
Letters & Testimony

‘Simply cruel’: Testimony from Alabama Arise’s Carol Gundlach against Alabama’s Medicaid work requirements plan

Arise policy analyst Carol Gundlach testified against Alabama’s proposed Medicaid work requirements waiver during a public forum on Monday, March 5, 2018, in Montgomery. Here is the full text of Gundlach’s prepared remarks: It is important for us to recognize that the people who will be affected by this proposed policy are exclusively the parents [...]
Issue
Health
Date
March 5, 2018
Author
Carol Gundlach
Letters & Testimony

‘Alabama’s new catch-22’: Testimony from Alabama Arise’s Kimble Forrister against Alabama’s Medicaid work requirement plan

Arise executive director Kimble Forrister testified against Alabama’s proposed Medicaid work requirements waiver during a public forum on Monday, March 5, 2018, in Montgomery. Here is the full text of Forrister’s prepared remarks: When we compare Medicaid’s waiver proposal to DHR’s welfare reform proposal in 1996, what’s most striking is Medicaid’s lack of data. How [...]
Issue
Health
Date
March 5, 2018
Author
Kimble Forrister
In the News

Advocates say Medicaid work proposals will target women

Ashley Edwards had a few questions Monday about a move to impose work requirements on a small and mostly-female population receiving Medicaid benefits. “Who is going to help recipients find gainful employment?” Edwards said at a public hearing on the proposed changes. “Who will provide child care for recipients who get gainful employment? Will new [...]
Date
March 5, 2018
Source
Montgomery Advertiser
In the News

Alabama Medicaid work requirement plan called cruel, misguided

Speakers at a public hearing today said a proposal by the Alabama Medicaid Agency to impose new work requirements on some able-bodied parents would be punitive, partly because those affected face major barriers to employment and would eventually lose their health coverage even if they got jobs.
Date
March 5, 2018
Source
AL.com
News Releases

Alabama mothers, children bear brunt of proposed new Medicaid restrictions

Alabama’s bid to impose a work requirement on parents receiving Medicaid could cost as many as 8,700 people their health coverage in the first year, mainly affecting mothers whose children also would feel the impact, according to a new analysis by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families (CCF) and Arise Citizens’ Policy Project (ACPP). [...]
Issue
Health
Date
March 1, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
Report

The impact of Alabama’s proposed Medicaid work requirement on low-income families with children

Alabama is seeking federal permission through a Section 1115 Medicaid demonstration waiver to require parents and caregivers who rely on Medicaid to work 20 to 35 hours a week, prove they are looking or training for a job or do community service before receiving Medicaid. This proposal targets the very poorest and most vulnerable families [...]
Issue
Health
Date
March 1, 2018
Author
Alabama Arise
Newsletter

February 2018 Newsletter

It’s a good “problem” for Arise to have: Our crowds keep bursting at the seams. Supporters like you helped us break yet another Legislative Day attendance record, as 199 people came to Montgomery on Feb. 6 to speak out on public transportation and other issues vital to making Alabama better.

Date
February 28, 2018
Author
Alabama Arise
Fact Sheet

Alabama’s renter protections at risk under HB 421

Just three days. If HB 421 becomes law, that’s all the time Alabama renters would get to correct a minor lease violation before landlords could kick them out of their homes. It would be a bad deal for more than 1 million Alabamians who rent their homes. HB 421, sponsored by Rep. David Sessions, R-Grand Bay, [...]
Issue
Housing
Date
February 28, 2018
Author
Dev Wakeley
News Releases

House vote for public transportation bill is a win for mobility, economic development across Alabama

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project executive director Kimble Forrister issued the following statement Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in response to the House passage of a bill to create the Alabama Public Transportation Trust Fund: “Creating the Alabama Public Transportation Trust Fund is an important step forward for public transportation. Today’s House vote for SB 85 brings us [...]
Issue
Public Transportation
Date
February 22, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

Senate committee vote for ’30 days to pay’ was a good first step on payday lending reform in Alabama

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project executive director Kimble Forrister issued the following statement Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in response to a Senate committee’s approval of a bill that would give Alabama borrowers 30 days to repay payday loans: “Today’s Senate committee vote in favor of the ‘30 days to pay’ bill was a big win for [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
February 15, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

White House’s proposed cuts to nutrition, health care and housing would hurt struggling Alabamians

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project executive director Kimble Forrister issued the following statement Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in response to the release of the White House’s proposed 2019 federal budget: “The White House’s budget proposal lays out a vision of a dark and troubling future for struggling families across Alabama. This plan would slash services like [...]
Issues
Housing, Safety Net, Health
Date
February 13, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
In the News

For decades Alabama has not funded public transportation; bill aims to end that

For more than two decades, Kimble Forrister has looked for ways to steer any amount of state funding toward public transportation. It's been a futile attempt, and Alabama has long remained in dubious company as one of only five states that does not provide any state money for public transportation.
Date
February 6, 2018
Source
AL.com
Fact Sheet

New Medicaid hurdles would create barriers to health in Alabama

The Trump administration is encouraging states to impose work requirements on “non-elderly, non-pregnant adult Medicaid beneficiaries who are eligible for Medicaid on a basis other than disability.” State Medicaid Commissioner Stephanie Azar told lawmakers the agency likely will seek approval for such a requirement this year. SB 140, sponsored by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, and HB 331, [...]
Issue
Health
Date
February 1, 2018
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Public transportation bill sails through Alabama House committee

A good month for public transportation advocates in Alabama continued Wednesday when a state House committee approved legislation to create an Alabama Public Transportation Trust Fund. SB 85, sponsored by Sen. Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, now goes to the House, which could vote on the bill and send it to Gov. Kay Ivey as soon as [...]
Issue
Public Transportation
Date
January 31, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
Fact Sheet

Four reasons to oppose work requirements for Alabama Medicaid

(1) The vast majority of enrollees are children or otherwise exempt. Medicaid covers about 1 million Alabamians (roughly one in every five people in the state), and most of them are children. Almost all of the rest are seniors, pregnant women, or people with disabilities who would be exempt from work requirements. Only about 7.5 percent of [...]
Issue
Health
Date
January 26, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
Newsletter

January 2018 Newsletter

“Pass budgets and go home.” That’s the spirit in the air as Alabama legislators look to make quick work of the 2018 session. Even so, we still see some opportunities.

Date
January 26, 2018
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Alabama Senate passes public transportation trust fund bill

Public transportation took another step forward Thursday when the Alabama Senate voted 26-0 for legislation to create an Alabama Public Transportation Trust Fund. SB 85, sponsored by Sen. Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, moves to the House. A similar bill – HB 10, sponsored by Rep. Jack Williams, R-Vestavia Hills – won House committee approval last week. Alabama [...]
Issue
Public Transportation
Date
January 25, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

CHIP renewal is overdue good news for parents of 85,000 Alabama children on ALL Kids

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in response to the U.S. Senate’s vote to renew federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years: “The parents of more than 85,000 children with ALL Kids coverage finally received some overdue good news today: [...]
Issue
Health
Date
January 22, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
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 [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
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, [...]
Issue
Public Transportation
Date
January 18, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
Fact Sheet

A new way forward: The Alabama Public Transportation Trust Fund

Alabama is one of only five states with no state funding for public transportation. That lack of investment makes it difficult or even impossible for tens of thousands of low-income Alabamians to get to work, the doctor’s office or other places they need to go when they need to get there. It also means our [...]
Issue
Public Transportation
Date
January 17, 2018
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

Alabamians must keep urging Congress to protect health care

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, after the U.S. House approved a resolution that would make it easier for Congress to repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act: “Protecting access to quality, affordable health care is more important than ever. Congress voted this week to [...]
Issue
Health
Date
January 13, 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 [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
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 [...]
Issues
Health, Budgets
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 [...]
Issue
Budgets
Date
January 3, 2018
Author
Carol Gundlach
Member Resources

Electronic Funds Transfer agreement

When you choose electronic fund transfers, your tax-deductible gift will be paid automatically each month by your bank, and you will never have to write us another check (unless you want to!). A record of your contribution will appear on your monthly bank statement, making it easy to track your annual contributions for tax purposes. [...]
Date
January 1, 2018
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

Children’s health care takes a back seat as Congress rushes to cut taxes for corporations, wealthy people

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project executive director Kimble Forrister issued the following statement Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, in response to Congress’ passage of a tax bill that disproportionately benefits rich people and corporations: “Congress’ misplaced priorities were on clear display today. Nearly 84,000 Alabama children are about to lose their ALL Kids coverage because lawmakers allowed [...]
Issues
Health, Tax Reform
Date
December 20, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

Congress’ shameful neglect puts health coverage at risk for 84,000 Alabama children on ALL Kids

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Monday, Dec. 18, 2017, in response to the announcement of ALL Kids’ pending termination: “Tens of thousands of Alabama working families learned today – one week before Christmas – that their children will lose health insurance Feb. 1 if Congress continues to delay funding [...]
Issue
Health
Date
December 18, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

Congress’ tax plan is still a bad deal for everyday Alabamians

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, in response to the release of Congress’ revised tax bill: “At its core, Congress’ tax plan is a massive giveaway to huge corporations and wealthy people at the expense of working families. This bill is bad for everyday Alabamians, [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
December 15, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

U.S. Senate tax plan is a windfall for the wealthy at the expense of everyday families

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in response to passage of the U.S. Senate tax bill: “The U.S. Senate tax plan is a huge giveaway to wealthy households and big corporations, and working families across Alabama and across the country will pay the price for [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
December 2, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

Alabama may lose big if 2020 Census isn’t properly funded, study finds

The results of the 2020 Census will help guide the allocation of more than $7.5 billion in federal funding for Alabama each year. But an undercount of the state’s population could put a huge amount of that support at risk over the next decade, according to “Counting for Dollars 2020,” a new study led by Professor Andrew [...]
Issue
Other
Date
November 15, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

If you’re rich, the House GOP tax plan is great for you. If not? Not so much

The richest 1 percent of Alabamians would get large tax cuts that would grow even larger over the next decade under U.S. House Republicans’ tax plan, according to projections released Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, nearly one in five [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
November 6, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

GOP tax plan would slash taxes for wealthy people while laying groundwork for cuts to education, Medicaid

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project executive director Kimble Forrister issued the following statement Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, in response to the release of U.S. House Republicans’ tax proposal: “The House Republican tax plan is an expensive new giveaway to wealthy households and big corporations at the expense of working families. It would offer little or nothing [...]
Issues
Budgets, Health, Tax Reform
Date
November 3, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
Fact Sheet

Keep kids covered: Congressional inaction threatens ALL Kids coverage for Alabama children

Federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has expired, and health coverage for millions of American kids is at stake. Despite a history of strong bipartisan support, Congress allowed a Sept. 30 deadline to pass without renewing federal funding for the program, which offers affordable coverage for children whose low- and moderate-income families don’t [...]
Issue
Health
Date
October 27, 2017
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

Executive order could mean soaring health insurance costs for Alabamians with pre-existing conditions

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, in response to the White House’s release of a new executive order on health care: “This executive order risks turning back the clock to the bad old days when many people were priced out of health insurance just because [...]
Issue
Health
Date
October 12, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

New CFPB rule on payday, title loans is a good first step that should prompt further action to protect Alabama consumers

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project executive director Kimble Forrister issued the following statement Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017, after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a new federal rule on payday and auto title loans: “High-cost payday and title loans have sent far too many Alabamians spiraling into a long-term cycle of debt. The CFPB’s new rule [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
October 5, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

More than half of GOP plan’s tax cuts in Alabama would go to top 1 percent

Alabamians with incomes of more than $1 million would get an average tax cut of nearly $116,000 a year under the tax framework unveiled by congressional Republicans and the White House, according to a study released Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
October 4, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

Graham-Cassidy health plan would cost Alabama $27 billion through 2036

Alabama would lose $27 billion in federal health care funding through 2036 if the Graham-Cassidy health care plan becomes law, according to a new study by Avalere Health, an independent analysis firm. The proposal also would open the door to erosion or elimination of pre-existing condition protections for more than 2 million Alabamians with cancer, diabetes or other [...]
Issue
Health
Date
September 28, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
In the News

Alabama Arise members vote on key issues to tackle in 2018

The anti-poverty group “Alabama Arise” is deciding what specific issues they’ll tackle in 2018.  Arise members voted on five of seven possible issues for next year, during their annual meeting. Each has the goal of helping low income people.
Date
September 16, 2017
Source
Alabama News Network
News Releases

Medicaid funding, public transportation highlight Arise’s 2018 priorities

New Medicaid revenue and creation of a state Public Transportation Trust Fund are among the goals on Alabama Arise’s 2018 legislative agenda. Nearly 200 Arise members picked the group’s issue priorities at its annual meeting Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, in Montgomery. The seven goals chosen were: Tax reform, including untaxing groceries and closing corporate income [...]
Issues
Housing, Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Public Transportation, Tax Reform
Date
September 16, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

Alabama’s rate of uninsured children plunged to 2.4 percent in 2016

Nearly 49 of every 50 children in Alabama had health coverage in 2016, according to U.S. Census data released the week of Sept. 12, 2017. Alabama’s share of uninsured children fell to 2.4 percent last year, far below the national average and an improvement on the state’s 2015 rate of 3.1 percent. A huge piece [...]
Issue
Health
Date
September 12, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

New Alabama Medicaid reform plan must include strong consumer engagement and oversight

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Thursday, July 27, 2017, in response to Alabama Medicaid’s announcement that it will pursue an “alternative” to the regional care organization (RCO) reform plan: “Alabama Medicaid’s decision to end its effort to develop homegrown managed care through regional care organizations is a disappointment [...]
Issue
Health
Date
July 27, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

ACA repeal plans would hurt everyday Alabamians

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Tuesday, July 25, 2017, in response to the U.S. Senate vote to begin limited debate on repealing the Affordable Care Act: “The Senate’s 51-50 vote to fast-track a health care plan before even deciding which plan to consider was beyond reckless, but this [...]
Issue
Health
Date
July 25, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

Now is the time to repair, not repeal, the Affordable Care Act

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project executive director Kimble Forrister issued the following statement Tuesday, July 18, 2017, in response to the collapse of U.S. Senate efforts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act: “The defeat of the Senate’s awful health care bill was a victory for Alabama families. This cruel plan would have gutted Medicaid, [...]
Issue
Health
Date
July 18, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
Fact Sheet

What’s at stake for Alabama Medicaid?

Our state simply can't afford any more Medicaid cuts. Alabama's Medicaid program is essential, and it has already been cut to the bone. More than 1 million people -- or one in five Alabamians -- have Medicaid coverage, and almost all of them are children, seniors, pregnant women, or people with disabilities. Medicaid covers thousands of [...]
Issue
Health
Date
July 15, 2017
Author
Alabama Arise
Annual Report

Annual Report 2017

Despite it all, we stand tall. The last year has been difficult, but with your help, we survived and thrived. Arise always prefers to focus on proactive policies to reduce poverty and promote inclusion. But a tough political landscape forced us to spend much of 2016-17 playing defense. We needed Arise members to step up in [...]
Date
June 30, 2017
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

U.S. Senate health care bill would be bad for Alabama

Arise Citizens' Policy Project executive director Kimble Forrister issued the following statement Thursday, June 22, 2017, in response to the release of the U.S. Senate's proposed health care bill: "The Senate bill would be devastating for children, seniors, working families, and people with disabilities across Alabama. This mean-spirited plan would slash Medicaid and force millions [...]
Issue
Health
Date
June 22, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
Fact Sheet

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 [...]
Issue
Budgets
Date
May 26, 2017
Author
Carol Gundlach
News Releases

U.S. Senate should protect Americans’ health care by rejecting House’s reckless ‘repeal and replace’ plan

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Thursday, May 4, 2017, in response to the U.S. House’s passage of the American Health Care Act: “Today’s narrow U.S. House vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act in exchange for a giant tax cut for the wealthiest Americans sends a harsh message to [...]
Issue
Health
Date
May 4, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
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 [...]
Issue
Public Transportation
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 [...]
Issues
Economic Opportunity, Criminal Justice
Date
April 12, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
News Releases

End of judicial override is a win for justice in Alabama

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project executive director Kimble Forrister issued the following statement Tuesday, April 4, 2017, after the House voted 78-19 for a bill to end Alabama’s judicial override policy, which allows judges to impose a death sentence in capital cases despite a jury’s sentencing recommendation of life in prison without the possibility of parole: “Judicial [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
April 4, 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
News Releases

Defeat of House health bill is a victory for children, seniors and families across Alabama

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Friday, March 24, 2017, in response to U.S. House leaders’ withdrawal of the American Health Care Act: “The House health plan would have taken coverage away from 24 million Americans and put essential protections at risk for tens of millions more. It would [...]
Issue
Health
Date
March 24, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
Fact Sheet

SB 284 offers Alabama consumers protections from high-cost loans and moves lending reform forward

Most states have laws against usury, or excessive interest. Alabama’s Small Loan Act of 1959 caps the interest rate on traditional small, short-term loans at 3 percent a month, or an annual percentage rate (APR) of 36 percent. But more recent laws covering payday and auto title lenders allow APRs many times higher than that. For [...]
Issue
Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
March 23, 2017
Author
Alabama Arise
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. [...]
Issues
Budgets, Health
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
News Releases

Senate judicial override vote a good step to improve Alabama’s justice system

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project executive director Kimble Forrister issued the following statement Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, after the state Senate voted 30-1 to end Alabama’s judicial override policy, which allows judges to impose a death sentence in capital cases despite a jury’s sentencing recommendation of life in prison without the possibility of parole: “The Senate’s vote to [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
February 23, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
Fact Sheet

Juries matter: Why Alabama must end judicial override

The right to a trial by jury is one of the most sacred elements of the American criminal justice system. The basic principle of being judged by a jury of peers is a cornerstone of a nation built on a populist spirit and suspicion of elites. But in Alabama, members of a jury in a capital [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
February 15, 2017
Author
Stephen Stetson
Blog

Momentum to end judicial override in Alabama grows as bills clear committees in House, Senate

The movement to end judicial override in Alabama has won two big victories in the first two weeks of the Legislature’s 2017 regular session. The House Judiciary Committee voted 10-2 Wednesday to approve a bill to end Alabama’s practice of allowing judges to override juries’ sentencing recommendations in death penalty cases. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
February 15, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Kicking the can: Windfall temporarily cushions shortfalls for Medicaid, other General Fund services in Alabama

The state budget hearings that ended Tuesday made one thing clear: There’s still no long-term answer to Alabama’s budget woes. The state once again likely will use one-time money next year to delay hard decisions about how to provide sustainable funding for vital services like Medicaid, child care and mental health care. And even though [...]
Issues
Budgets, Health
Date
February 9, 2017
Author
Carol Gundlach
Fact Sheet

A higher minimum wage would help Alabama families make ends meet and strengthen our state’s economy

Too many hard-working Alabamians aren’t paid enough to get ahead. Alabama ranks in the bottom third of states for average hourly wages. Around 77,000 Alabamians earn wages at or below the $7.25 per hour minimum established by the federal government in 2009, and another 394,000 earn less than $10 an hour. In the absence of a [...]
Issue
Economic Opportunity
Date
February 8, 2017
Author
Alabama Arise
News Releases

‘No repeal without replacement’ is essential step to protect health care for Alabamians

Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, in response to the release of Gov. Robert Bentley’s letter to U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy on suggested changes to the Affordable Care Act: “We’re glad the governor recognizes the importance of not repealing the Affordable Care Act without a replacement, [...]
Issue
Health
Date
January 19, 2017
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Alabama avoids deep Medicaid cuts. What’s next?

Alabama Medicaid is safe – for now. State lawmakers wrapped up their special session last week with a sigh of relief after approving a one-time solution to stop deep Medicaid cuts. The Legislature agreed to use BP oil spill settlement money to address Medicaid’s $85 million shortfall for 2017 and to give the program another [...]
Issues
Budgets, Health
Date
September 15, 2016
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Lottery bill dead, BP settlement bill still alive in Alabama Legislature

A state lottery bill died, returned to life and then died again in the Alabama Legislature this week. The House voted 64-35 Thursday night for an amended version of SB 3, sponsored by Sen. Jim McClendon, R-Springville, that included revenue earmarks for Medicaid, education, and rural and community fire departments. That move came after the House [...]
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform
Date
August 26, 2016
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Lottery bill squeaks through Alabama Senate; BP settlement bill also advances

(The latest: A state lottery bill died, returned to life and then died again in the Alabama Legislature this week. The House voted 64-35 Thursday night for an amended version of SB 3that included revenue earmarks for Medicaid, education, and rural and community fire departments. That move came after the House reconsidered its initial 61-37 vote on [...]
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform
Date
August 26, 2016
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Lottery, BP settlement bills clear Alabama legislative committees as special session on Medicaid funding continues

(Update: The Alabama House voted 91-10 Wednesday to pass the BP settlement bill (HB 36). A Senate committee approved the bill Friday, positioning it for a Senate vote Tuesday. SB 11 lost a procedural vote in the Senate on Thursday, greatly reducing its chances of passage. Senators are expected to debate SB 3 on Friday.) Two [...]
Issues
Budgets, Health, Tax Reform
Date
August 19, 2016
Author
Carol Gundlach
Fact Sheet

What Alabamians should know about a state lottery

On the question of a state lottery, Arise’s member organizations hold widely varying positions, some of them based on strong moral or religious beliefs. Because our bylaws prevent us from taking positions that deeply divide our membership or offend members’ deeply held beliefs, Arise Citizens' Policy Project and Alabama Arise are neutral on the lottery. However, [...]
Issue
Budgets
Date
August 12, 2016
Author
Carol Gundlach
Fact Sheet

A long-term budget fix includes Medicaid expansion

As Alabama lawmakers grapple to prevent deva