Fact Sheets

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Fact Sheet

The basics: Alabama’s meager but vital TANF program

The cost of living has increased in the last two decades, but federal money for temporary cash aid for very low-income families has not kept up. The federal government in 1997 froze its allocations for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, informally known as welfare. Since then, the number of families receiving benefits has [...]
Issue
Safety Net
Date
July 10, 2014
Author
Carol Gundlach
Fact Sheet

The basics: Child nutrition programs in Alabama

Many hungry children miss out on far more than regular meals. Hunger can do serious, long-term harm to a child's health and ability to learn, and childhood hunger is a bigger challenge in Alabama than in most other states. More than one in four of the state's children live in families with incomes below the poverty [...]
Issue
Safety Net
Date
June 10, 2014
Author
Carol Gundlach
Fact Sheet

Out of step: Alabama’s unusual state tax system

Taxes are the tools that Americans use to pay for education, public health, transportation and other elements of the common good. But in Alabama, the tax system is upside down, with low- and middle-income people paying twice the share of their income in state and local taxes that the top 1 percent pay. This updated fact [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
April 22, 2014
Author
Chris Sanders
Fact Sheet

Hidden power: The story behind your electric bill

For most of us, the monthly electric bill is a fact of life. Though its share of the household budget rises and falls with consumption, electricity ranks with water, food and shelter as an essential expense. Meeting this demand in homes and businesses across Alabama requires production and distribution on an enormous scale. Because of [...]
Issue
Other
Date
June 25, 2013
Author
Stephen Stetson
Fact Sheet

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
Fact Sheet

Against the tide: The death penalty in Alabama

In Alabama, the death penalty is a curious exception to concerns about government efficiency. When it comes to executing people, a majority of Alabamians appear to trust the government to get it right every time. Lack of transparency in our capital punishment system prompts little public comment. Similarly, on the fiscal side, calls for reducing Alabama's [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
December 6, 2012
Author
Stephen Stetson
Fact Sheet

No-frills Alabama Medicaid brings health care, jobs

Alabamians often are surprised to learn that Medicaid is a major engine for the state's economy. Medicaid creates thousands of jobs, supports rural hospitals and the state's only children's hospital, pays for medical equipment that all patients use, boosts tax revenue in local communities and enhances our quality of life. Medicaid touches the lives of average [...]
Issue
Health
Date
April 17, 2012
Author
M.J. Ellington
Fact Sheet

Ending the state grocery tax and protecting schools

Alabama's tax system is upside down, and the state sales tax on groceries is one reason why. Alabama remains one of only two states -- the other is Mississippi -- with no tax break on groceries. Food costs consume a larger portion of the household budget for low-income families than for those who are better off, so [...]
Issue
Tax Reform
Date
March 13, 2012
Author
Alabama Arise
Fact Sheet

A temporary halt: Alabama’s executions

Alabama has a long and tangled history with the death penalty. A Tuskegee University archive preserves the grim evidence of the "lynch law" that long terrorized African Americans. The state's historic enthusiasm for legal executions, which remains strong, bears the stain of racism as well. One measure of the problem is the frequency of national court [...]
Issue
Criminal Justice
Date
January 6, 2012
Author
Stephen Stetson
Fact Sheet

Alabama bound: Our unjust 1901 constitution

Advocates for a new Alabama constitution have been divided for decades over how best to achieve that goal. Some have wanted to hold a convention at which elected delegates would craft a new constitution all at once, subject to voter approval. Others have favored a gradual, article-by-article rewrite. A recent development may render the debate moot, at [...]
Issue
Other
Date
November 1, 2011
Author
Stephen Stetson