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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
Voting Rights, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Public Transportation, Tax Reform
Date
September 29, 2022
Author
Chris Sanders
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
Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity, Voting Rights, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Housing, Safety Net
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, Health, Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity, Medicaid Expansion
Date
September 15, 2022
Author
Chris Sanders
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, Health, Tax Reform, Medicaid Expansion
Date
August 8, 2022
Author
Chris Sanders
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
Coronavirus, Budgets, 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, Public Transportation, Coronavirus
Date
June 22, 2022
Author
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
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
Budgets, Health, Medicaid Expansion
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
Budgets, Safety Net, Coronavirus
Date
May 5, 2022
Author
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
Criminal Justice, Health, Safety Net, Tax Reform, Voting Rights, Budgets
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
Tax Reform, Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Safety Net
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
Budgets, Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
April 4, 2022
Author
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
Budgets, Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity
Date
March 21, 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
Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Tax Reform
Date
March 7, 2022
Author
Chris Sanders
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
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, Health, Medicaid Expansion
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
Budgets, Voting Rights
Date
January 31, 2022
Author
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
Budgets, Housing, Public Transportation
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, Budgets, Health, Housing, Public Transportation, Tax Reform
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
Budgets, Health, Housing, Public Transportation, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion
Date
January 14, 2022
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
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Tax Reform, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion
Date
December 10, 2021
Author
Carol Gundlach
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, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets
Date
December 10, 2021
Author
Robyn Hyden
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
Budgets, Coronavirus
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
Budgets, Health, Other, Coronavirus
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
Housing, Public Transportation, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health
Date
November 8, 2021
Author
Dev Wakeley
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
Payday & Title Lending Reform, Public Transportation, Voting Rights, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health
Date
October 1, 2021
Author
Chris Sanders
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
Budgets, Health, Housing, Safety Net, Coronavirus
Date
September 7, 2021
Author
Robyn Hyden
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
Voting Rights, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Public Transportation, Safety Net
Date
September 2, 2021
Author
Chris Sanders
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
Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Health, Housing, Public Transportation, Safety Net
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
Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Housing, Public Transportation, Safety Net
Date
July 7, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
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
Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Health, Housing, Safety Net, Tax Reform
Date
June 8, 2021
Author
Carol Gundlach
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
Health, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Criminal Justice
Date
June 8, 2021
Author
Chris Sanders
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

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
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health
Date
April 26, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
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
Voting Rights, Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health
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, Housing, Safety Net, Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets
Date
April 13, 2021
Author
Chris Sanders
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
Budgets, Health, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion
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
Safety Net, Tax Reform, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Health, Housing
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
Budgets, Health, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion
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, Safety Net, Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Health
Date
March 11, 2021
Author
Chris Sanders
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, Housing, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion
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
Budgets, Health, Housing, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion
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
Budgets, Health, Housing, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion
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
Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus, Budgets, Safety Net
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
Budgets, Health, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion
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, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity, 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
Coronavirus, Budgets, Housing, Economic Opportunity
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, Health, Safety Net, Tax Reform, Coronavirus
Date
February 16, 2021
Author
Matt Okarmus
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
Coronavirus, Budgets, Criminal Justice, Voting Rights
Date
December 7, 2020
Author
Presdelane Harris
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
Criminal Justice, Health, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Tax Reform, Other, Voting Rights, Budgets
Date
October 8, 2020
Author
Chris Sanders
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
Budgets, Health, Housing, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus
Date
October 2, 2020
Author
Chris Sanders
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
Economic Opportunity, Voting Rights, Budgets, Medicaid Expansion, Criminal Justice, Health, Housing, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Public Transportation, Safety Net, Tax Reform
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
Coronavirus, Budgets, Safety Net
Date
September 23, 2020
Author
Celida Soto Garcia
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
Budgets, Health, Housing, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus
Date
September 10, 2020
Author
Chris Sanders
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
Coronavirus, Budgets, Housing, Safety Net
Date
August 11, 2020
Author
Chris Sanders
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
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Economic Opportunity, Medicaid Expansion
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
Coronavirus, Budgets, Health, Housing, Safety Net, Voting Rights
Date
July 28, 2020
Author
Chris Sanders
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
Budgets, Tax Reform, Coronavirus
Date
July 20, 2020
Author
Carol Gundlach
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
Budgets, Tax Reform
Date
June 26, 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
Payday & Title Lending Reform, Public Transportation, Safety Net, Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity, Voting Rights, Budgets, Medicaid Expansion, Criminal Justice, Health, 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
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Housing, Coronavirus
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
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Housing, Public Transportation, Economic Opportunity, Voting Rights, Medicaid Expansion
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
Coronavirus, Budgets, Health, Safety Net
Date
May 21, 2020
Author
Matt Okarmus
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, Budgets, Tax Reform
Date
April 30, 2020
Author
Carol Gundlach
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
Budgets, Health, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion
Date
April 16, 2020
Author
Matt Okarmus
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, Budgets, Health, Safety Net, Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus
Date
March 13, 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
Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health
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
Budgets, Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity
Date
February 28, 2020
Author
Matt Okarmus
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
Budgets, Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity
Date
February 25, 2020
Author
Matt Okarmus
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
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Housing, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Public Transportation, Safety Net, Tax Reform, Voting Rights, Medicaid Expansion
Date
February 4, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
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
Budgets, Economic Opportunity
Date
November 6, 2019
Author
Chris Sanders
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
Budgets, Economic Opportunity
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
Budgets, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity
Date
October 17, 2019
Author
Carol Gundlach
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
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
Criminal Justice, Health, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Public Transportation, Tax Reform, Voting Rights, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets
Date
September 9, 2019
Author
Chris Sanders
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
Criminal Justice, Health, Housing, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Public Transportation, Safety Net, Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity, Voting Rights, Budgets
Date
August 16, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
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
Budgets, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity
Date
July 2, 2019
Author
Carol Gundlach
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
Criminal Justice, Health, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets
Date
June 14, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
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
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Safety Net
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
Health, Safety Net, Tax Reform, Voting Rights, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Criminal Justice
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, Health, Medicaid Expansion
Date
May 31, 2019
Author
Jim Carnes
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

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
Health, Budgets
Date
May 10, 2019
Author
Carol Gundlach
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

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
Budgets, Safety Net
Date
April 26, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
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
Tax Reform, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Health, 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
Budgets, Health, Tax Reform, Medicaid Expansion
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
Budgets, Medicaid Expansion
Date
April 12, 2019
Author
Matt Okarmus
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
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, Economic Opportunity, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Health
Date
March 4, 2019
Author
Chris Sanders
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, Health, Safety Net, Medicaid Expansion
Date
February 1, 2019
Author
Chris Sanders
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
Budgets, Economic Opportunity
Date
October 4, 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
Voting Rights, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Public Transportation, Tax Reform
Date
September 12, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
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, Budgets, Health
Date
March 14, 2018
Author
Chris Sanders
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
Budgets, Health
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
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
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
Public Transportation, Tax Reform, Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Housing, Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
September 16, 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
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

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
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
Tax Reform, Budgets, Health
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
Blog

Medicaid cuts loom, payday reform falls just short as Alabama Legislature ends 2016 regular session

The Alabama Legislature’s 2016 regular session, which ended Wednesday, was more notable in many ways for what didn’t happen than for what did. Lawmakers did not agree on a revenue solution to prevent devastating Medicaid cuts that would reduce health care access for hundreds of thousands of children, seniors, and people with disabilities in Alabama. Despite enormous [...]
Issues
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Housing, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Tax Reform, Voting Rights
Date
May 6, 2016
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Quick overviews of Arise’s 2016 issue priorities

Your time is important, and your voice for a better Alabama is essential. That's why we've prepared these quick overviews to keep you up-to-date on what's happening at the Alabama Legislature on Arise's 2016 issue priorities. We'll update this post as needed. "Ban the box" legislation: 'Ban the box' law would help rebuild lives in Alabama -- The [...]
Issues
Voting Rights, Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Housing, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity
Date
May 5, 2016
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Alabama’s education budget begins to rebuild, but General Fund struggles put Medicaid at risk

The usual contrast between Alabama’s starving General Fund (GF) budget and its slightly healthier but still inadequate Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget is exceptionally stark this year. Nearly halfway through the Legislature’s 2016 regular session, both major state budgets have begun to move – in one case toward a predictable conclusion, and in the other [...]
Issues
Health, Budgets
Date
March 4, 2016
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Same old song: Alabama faces another shortfall for vital services, but lawmakers aren’t eager to raise revenue to prevent cuts

Groundhog Day, the first day of the Alabama Legislature’s 2016 regular session, left advocates for human services feeling a powerful sense of déjà vu. A mere five months ago, the Legislature managed, with small tax increases and large transfers from the Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget, to pass a 2016 General Fund (GF) budget that barely [...]
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform
Date
February 4, 2016
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

A budget at last: What got cut, what didn’t, and what’s next for Alabama

Three times proved to be the charm Wednesday night as the Alabama Legislature finally passed a General Fund (GF) budget and accompanying revenue bills. Gov. Robert Bentley signed the budget Thursday morning, a mere two weeks before the start of the 2016 budget year. Tax bills: What passed and what didn’t Alabama faced a GF [...]
Issues
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Safety Net, Tax Reform
Date
September 18, 2015
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Mental health, DHR, courts would face cuts under Alabama House’s General Fund budget

Mental health care, trial courts and the Department of Human Resources (DHR) would be among the vital services suffering cuts next year under the General Fund (GF) budget that the Alabama House passed 59-37 Friday. A Senate committee is set to consider the GF budget Monday. The House’s budget would fund new reforms of Medicaid [...]
Issues
Budgets, Health
Date
September 11, 2015
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Committee breakthrough: Alabama House panel OKs General Fund budget, tax increases

An Alabama House budget committee Wednesday approved a set of tax increases worth approximately $130 million – and a General Fund (GF) budget that would cut $55 million from many core state services. The full House is set to consider the budget and many revenue measures Thursday. The total revenue package falls far short of [...]
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform
Date
September 9, 2015
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Alabama Senate committee eases Medicaid cuts, approves budget that Bentley already vetoed

Update: The Alabama Senate passed a no-new-revenue General Fund budget 19-15 Monday, but the House swiftly rejected it 92-2. The first special session ended without a budget, meaning Gov. Robert Bentley will have to call the Legislature back for a second special session. Get ready for another special session. That seems to be the takeaway [...]
Issues
Budgets, Health
Date
August 7, 2015
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Alabama House passes budget that could end Medicaid in state

Medicaid could end in Alabama under a General Fund (GF) budget that the Alabama House passed Wednesday. Medicaid would lose 23 percent of its state funding, or $156 million, next year under the plan. Lost federal matching money would increase those cuts significantly. Cuts that large could end the Medicaid program in Alabama, State Health Officer [...]
Issues
Budgets, Health
Date
August 5, 2015
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Medicaid could end under Alabama House committee’s budget

Medicaid could end in Alabama under devastating cuts in a proposed General Fund (GF) budget that the Alabama House’s GF budget committee approved Tuesday, State Health Officer Don Williamson said. About one in five Alabamians would lose their health coverage, including nearly half of Alabama’s children and about 60 percent of the state’s seniors in [...]
Issues
Budgets, Health
Date
August 4, 2015
Author
Carol Gundlach
Fact Sheet

New revenue for a stronger Alabama

What makes a state strong? We likely all could agree on a few answers: healthy people, a dependable workforce, a stable government, safe streets and vibrant communities. But without new revenue to address a huge General Fund budget shortfall, Alabama will face devastating cuts to education, health care, public safety and other vital services that make [...]
Issue
Budgets
Date
July 1, 2015
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

What went well in 2015 — and the challenges that remain for Alabama

It’s over! But it’s not over yet. After approving a wholly inadequate General Fund budget that would jeopardize our state’s future, the Alabama Legislature ended the 2015 regular session Thursday. But Gov. Robert Bentley vetoed that budget, and he will call lawmakers back for a special session on the budget later this summer. Arise members celebrated some [...]
Issues
Criminal Justice, Health, Housing, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Safety Net, Tax Reform, Budgets
Date
June 12, 2015
Author
Kimble Forrister
Blog

Alabama Accountability Act changes receive final legislative approval

A bill that would expand tax credits under the Alabama Accountability Act (AAA) received final legislative approval Wednesday and went to Gov. Robert Bentley. SB 71, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, is not the total repeal that Arise supported. But the bill would make significant improvements to the existing law (including [...]
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform
Date
June 4, 2015
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Alabama needs a lasting solution to its General Fund shortfall

Taxes pay for important things. Services like education, health care and public safety are the backbone of economic growth, and tax dollars support them. Alabama has a long, sad history of not raising enough revenue to fund these vital services adequately, and it’s all led to this: a looming 2016 budget shortfall that could undermine [...]
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform
Date
May 29, 2015
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Medicaid, mental health, child care would be slashed under Alabama House’s General Fund budget

Alabamians’ quality of life would suffer for years to come if the no-new-revenue General Fund (GF) budget that the state House passed 66-36 Tuesday becomes reality. The barebones budget would slash vital services like health care, child care and public safety. Alabama’s promising new reforms of Medicaid and prisons would end, and services for low-income [...]
Issues
Budgets, Health
Date
May 19, 2015
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Alabama would suffer for years to come under no-new-revenue General Fund budget

Alabamians’ quality of life would suffer for years to come if the no-new-revenue General Fund (GF) budget that the House’s GF budget committee approved Thursday becomes reality. The House is expected to vote Tuesday on the budget, which would slash vital services like health care, child care and public safety. The state’s promising new reforms of Medicaid [...]
Issues
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Tax Reform
Date
May 15, 2015
Author
Carol Gundlach
Handbook

The Alabama Tax & Budget Handbook

We’re all in this together. All of us – regardless of age, health, wealth, background or location – depend on a network of services from our local, state and national governments. From garbage collection to fire protection, from roads to schools, from public health to public safety, our tax dollars support the daily upkeep of [...]
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform
Date
May 1, 2015
Author
Alabama Arise
Blog

Alabama crossroads: We need new revenue

We all want to live in a healthy, secure and prosperous state. Alabama is taking important steps toward that goal now, but deep General Fund budget cuts could undo that progress. Medicaid’s new regional care organizations will keep patients healthier while cutting costs. Prison system improvements will protect Alabamians while lowering costs and helping former inmates transition back [...]
Issues
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Tax Reform
Date
April 23, 2015
Author
Kimble Forrister
Blog

Bills to reform payday lending, change Accountability Act clear Alabama legislative committees

Alabama borrowers would have much longer to repay payday loans under a bill that emerged from a state Senate committee Wednesday. SB 335, sponsored by Sen. Slade Blackwell, R-Mountain Brook, now awaits action by the full Senate. Blackwell’s bill would bring substantial reform to the payday loan industry in Alabama. It would extend the length [...]
Issues
Tax Reform, Budgets, Payday & Title Lending Reform
Date
April 15, 2015
Author
Stephen Stetson
Blog

Plan to write ETF spending limit into state constitution wins Alabama Senate panel’s approval

The Rolling Reserve Act’s education spending limit would be written into the Alabama Constitution under a measure that the state Senate’s education budget committee approved 8-4 Wednesday. SB 248, sponsored by Sen. Trip Pittman, R-Montrose, now awaits action by the full Senate. Pittman, who chairs the Senate’s education budget committee, defended his proposal from criticism [...]
Issue
Budgets
Date
April 1, 2015
Author
Kimble Forrister
Blog

Six things to know about the Accountability Act changes that the Alabama Senate passed

A bill that would expand tax credits under the Alabama Accountability Act (AAA) passed 20-14 in the state Senate on Tuesday night. SB 71, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, now goes to the House. Below are six major aspects of the AAA that would change under SB 71: (1) More tax [...]
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform
Date
March 31, 2015
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Testimony from Arise’s Kimble Forrister on proposed Accountability Act changes

Arise’s Kimble Forrister testified before a state Senate committee Wednesday, March 11, 2015, about SB 71. The bill would make numerous changes to the Alabama Accountability Act, which provides state tax breaks for donations to certain groups that give scholarships to pay for private school tuition. Here's the full text of Forrister’s prepared remarks: “Alabama [...]
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform
Date
March 11, 2015
Author
Kimble Forrister
Blog

Four things to know about Alabama’s 2016 funding challenges

It’s the latest verse of a decades-old song: Alabama faces yet another funding shortfall next year for vital services like Medicaid, mental health care and corrections. Here are four things to know about the budget challenges facing the Legislature during the 2015 regular session that began Tuesday. (1) Alabama’s revenues for the budgets that fund [...]
Issues
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Tax Reform
Date
March 4, 2015
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

General Fund budget, changes to Alabama’s landlord-tenant law enacted

Next year’s General Fund (GF) budget became law Thursday night when the Alabama House ended the 2014 regular session without considering Gov. Robert Bentley’s proposed amendment to it. Bentley’s changes to the $1.8 billion GF budget were enacted automatically when the House adjourned. Check out AL.com’s report to learn more about Thursday’s action. Bentley still must decide [...]
Issues
Budgets, Health, Housing
Date
April 4, 2014
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Alabama Legislature passes ETF budget, goes home without approving bills on payday lending, execution drug secrecy

Alabama lawmakers passed a $5.9 billion Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget without a pay raise for K-12 teachers just before the 2014 regular session ended Thursday night. The House voted 54-45 to agree to the compromise budget that the Senate approved Tuesday. That leaves Gov. Robert Bentley, who urged the Legislature to approve a 2 percent [...]
Issues
Tax Reform, Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health, Payday & Title Lending Reform, Safety Net
Date
April 3, 2014
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Alabama House sends tight General Fund budget to Bentley; ETF plan wins Senate approval, awaits House vote

The Alabama House voted 76-25 Tuesday night to agree to the Senate version of the General Fund (GF) budget and send it to Gov. Robert Bentley for his consideration. GF support for the Department of Corrections would fall by about $2 million, or 0.5 percent, next year under the budget, even though Alabama’s prison system is operating [...]
Issue
Budgets
Date
April 1, 2014
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Final shape of General Fund, education budgets unclear as plans advance in Alabama Legislature

Alabama’s prison system would get slightly less money next year under a General Fund (GF) budget that cleared the Senate’s GF budget committee 9-1 Wednesday. Even though the committee’s budget includes more prison funding than the House-passed version, total GF support for the Department of Corrections next year still would fall by about $2 million, [...]
Issue
Budgets
Date
March 19, 2014
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Alabama House committee votes to lift individuals’ scholarship credit cap under Accountability Act

An Alabama House committee Wednesday approved a bill to erase a size limit on the state income tax credit that an individual can claim for contributions to groups that grant scholarships under the Alabama Accountability Act. HB 558, sponsored by Rep. Chad Fincher, R-Semmes, moves to the House. The Accountability Act, enacted last year, provides [...]
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform
Date
March 12, 2014
Author
M.J. Ellington
Blog

Alabama Senate passes education budget; changes likely in House

State K-12 and higher education funding next year would remain far lower than it was before the recession under the Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget that the Alabama Senate passed 21-10 Thursday. The $5.9 billion budget is identical to the version that cleared a Senate committee Wednesday, but changes likely are ahead in the House. K-12 [...]
Issue
Budgets
Date
February 27, 2014
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Legacies of recession, chronic shortfalls linger in Alabama’s budgets

State support for education and other public services under the Education Trust Fund (ETF) and General Fund (GF) next year would not come close to its pre-recession level under the budgets that advanced in the Alabama Legislature on Wednesday. Both budgets are built on the assumption that the state will see no major revenue increases [...]
Issues
Tax Reform, Medicaid Expansion, Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health
Date
February 26, 2014
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Medicaid, prison funding challenges remain as Alabama House committee OKs barebones General Fund budget

Medicaid, mental health and other human services in Alabama would face yet another year of tight funding under the General Fund (GF) budget that cleared a state House committee Wednesday. The committee’s version was virtually identical to the one that Gov. Robert Bentley recommended last month. The committee approved next year’s proposed $1.8 billion operating [...]
Issues
Budgets, Criminal Justice, Health
Date
February 20, 2014
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

ETF increase not enough to restore Alabama schools to pre-recession funding

Alabama’s education funding is expected to increase next year, but K-12 and higher education need a far larger increase to meet students’ needs adequately, lawmakers heard Tuesday during the second day of state budget hearings in Montgomery. Spending in the Education Trust Fund (ETF) budget will be $134 million, or 2.3 percent, higher next year, [...]
Issue
Budgets
Date
January 14, 2014
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

More money available for education, less for General Fund services next year

Alabama will have more money available for education next year, but funding is expected to drop for the perennially cash-strapped General Fund (GF), the director of the Legislative Fiscal Office (LFO) said Monday during the first day of state budget hearings in Montgomery. The GF provides a sizable amount of state funding for Medicaid, mental [...]
Issue
Budgets
Date
January 13, 2014
Author
M.J. Ellington
Report

Earthquake on Goat Hill: How the Alabama Accountability Act passed and what it means

Alabama would provide income tax credits to help subsidize private or religious school tuition for parents of children zoned for "failing schools" beginning this fall if Gov. Robert Bentley signs the plan into law. The House and Senate approved the measure, known as the Alabama Accountability Act, mere hours after it was first introduced on Feb. [...]
Issues
Budgets, Tax Reform
Date
March 6, 2013
Author
Chris Sanders