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‘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
Criminal Justice, Economic Opportunity
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