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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 [...]
Date
February 20, 2014
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Anti-ACA bill clears Alabama Senate committee

A bill that purports to nullify parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) sailed through an Alabama Senate committee Wednesday with few questions. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration. SB 220’s sponsor, Sen. Jerry Fielding, R-Sylacauga, told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that he needed to pass the bill out [...]
Date
February 19, 2014
Author
M.J. Ellington
Blog

Alabama Senate panel discusses plan to end state grocery tax, raise sales tax on other items

An Alabama Senate committee took no action Wednesday on a proposal to swap the state grocery tax for a higher sales tax on other items. The panel could vote next week on SB 287, sponsored by Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville. Committee members heard public testimony on the bill Wednesday. Dial’s bill would end the state’s [...]
Date
February 19, 2014
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Alabama Senate panel OKs bill to lift lifetime SNAP, TANF bans for people with felony drug conviction

An Alabama Senate committee Wednesday approved a bill that would allow people who were convicted of a drug-related felony to regain eligibility for food assistance or cash welfare benefits. The Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability (FR&A) Committee voted 5-2 to send the bill to the full Senate for consideration. Alabama is one of just 10 [...]
Date
February 12, 2014
Author
Carol Gundlach
Blog

Bill to allow some pharmacies to redispense HIV drugs goes to Alabama House

Pharmacies that dispense HIV medications for or in HIV clinics would be able to redistribute certain unopened drugs under a bill that the House Health Committee approved unanimously Wednesday. HB 138, sponsored by Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, now moves to the full House. Current regulations prohibit HIV clinics from sending back medications, Todd said, even if patients do not show up for treatment. Clinic [...]
Date
February 12, 2014
Author
M.J. Ellington
Blog

Payday, title loan reforms face uncertain future after Alabama House committee hearing

Payday and auto title lending reform bills were dealt a serious blow in an Alabama House committee Wednesday. Members of the House Financial Services Committee sent the payday loan bill to a subcommittee and deferred action on the title loan bill. The moves came after seven people testified in support of the payday loan bill [...]
Date
February 12, 2014
Author
Stephen Stetson
Blog

Alabama Senate panel narrows scope of bill regarding public benefits recipients

A state Senate committee Wednesday drastically reduced the scope of a proposal that would have required most adults who receive a wide range of public benefits in Alabama to perform community service. The committee approved a new version of SB 87, sponsored by Sen. Bryan Taylor, R-Prattville, that simply would forbid the state from continuing to [...]
Date
February 6, 2014
Author
Chris Sanders
Blog

Legislation would end Alabama Health Insurance Plan

An Alabama law that guarantees health insurance coverage for some people without regard to their health status is on the fast track to obsolescence in the Legislature. Sponsors of identical House and Senate bills that would end the Alabama Health Insurance Plan (AHIP) say the program no longer will be needed because the Affordable Care [...]
Date
February 5, 2014
Author
M.J. Ellington
Blog

Bill would erode tenants’ rights in Alabama

Renting an apartment or a house can involve a lot of challenges, ranging from security deposits and fees to potentially cantankerous neighbors or landlords. But life for Alabama renters could get a lot more difficult if the Legislature passes SB 291, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston. The bill is the second [...]
Date
February 4, 2014
Author
Stephen Stetson
Blog

Alabama Senate committees OK bills to impose tougher rules on TANF recipients

Alabama Senate committees this week considered legislation that would make getting public assistance far more complicated for low-income Alabamians. The bills, all but one of which won committee approval Wednesday, would impose additional requirements on people who receive benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Among the legislation are bills that would: [...]
Date
January 23, 2014
Author
Carol Gundlach