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Arise Daily News Digest 12-7-2013
AL.COM - Wall Street Journal columnist: Auburn student wrongfully expelled amid sexual assault claims.
AL.COM - Alabama State University search committee OKs three presidential candidates for board consideration.
AL.COM - Governor's office cleared to spend another $338K on Alabama State University forensic audit.
AL.COM - Taesung Alabama starts work on $6.6 million Shorter plant, creating 70 jobs.
AL.COM - Tougher new rules under consideration for Birmingham payday lending and title pawn businesses.
AL.COM - Missouri lawmakers approve $1.7B incentive package for Boeing; Alabama's offer due Tuesday.
AL.COM - From cars to planes: Alabama workers have proven themselves and will again, recruiter says.
AL.COM - U.S. unemployment rate falls to 7 percent, lowest point in 5 years.
AL.COM - Alabama Commission on Higher Education approves request for 5 percent state funding increase.
ANNISTON STAR – The Anniston Star: In Mandela’s footsteps — Who will assume South African’s role as moral crusader for equality?
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER - Alabama Supreme Court OKs approves work release costs.
WSFA - Columnist Ken Hare In Depth: Boeing a long shot, but still worth pursuing.
ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER - Ford Critical of Republicans 2014 Legislative Agenda
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS - Alabama Sen. Shadrack McGill won't run again.
WASHINGTON POST - Slowing fiscal drag could clear the runway for economic recovery.
WASHINGTON POST - Prove Me Wrong: Black voters are out of reach for GOP.
WASHINGTON POST - Boeing’s 777X wish list revealed.
WASHINGTON POST - Here’s where the end of unemployment benefits will hurt the most.
NEW YORK TIMES - Enrollment Errors Put Medical Coverage at Risk.
NEW YORK TIMES - Health Care Law Providing Relief and Frustration
AT ISSUE: Payday and auto title lending in Alabama
How much should people have to pay to get financial help in a tight spot? Payday and auto title lending are two forms of high-cost credit marketed toward Alabamians who are desperate for short-term cash. These loans carry triple-digit interest rates that can threaten the economic well-being of borrowers who fall behind on payments.
Examining Alabama's lifetime SNAP and TANF bans for people with felony drug convictions
How long should former drug felons who have completed their prison term continue to pay for their crime? Alabama is one of 10 states that still impose a lifetime ban on receipt of SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) benefits for anyone who has ever had a felony drug conviction, and one of 12 states with a similar ban on receipt of TANF (formerly known as welfare) benefits. The bans include no exceptions for people who have completed their sentences, complied with their probation terms, paid all their fines and penalties, and overcome their addictions.
This issue brief examines how many Alabamians may be affected by this lifetime ban and the potential financial and social effects of keeping it in place.
910,000 Alabamians to see cut in food assistance beginning Nov. 1, 2013
More than 900,000 Alabamians -- nearly one in five -- will see their food assistance benefits cut beginning Nov. 1, 2013, when a temporary boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) expires. More than 47 million Americans, including 22 million children, will face the reductions. For a family of three in Alabama, the cuts mean a reduction of $29 each month. Families' benefits this month now will average less than $1.40 per person per meal.
"SNAP has been a powerful tool to keep families out of poverty during the long recession and recovery, and for most of the 910,000 Alabamians still on SNAP, it doesn't feel like the recession has ended," ACPP executive director Kimble Forrister said. "To adjust for this week's cuts, many struggling families in Alabama will literally have to tighten their belts."
A fresh start: Debtor protections in Alabama
When people fall into debt, it shouldn't ruin their lives. Nearly every state endorses this simple idea by placing some limits on how much creditors can collect from people struggling to pay what they owe. But in Alabama, weak and outdated limits make it much harder for many debtors to rebuild their lives after a judgment.
Alabama's exemptions from debt collection are far lower than those in many nearby states. This issue brief examines how an update to the state's exemptions could give people who are struggling with debt a better chance to keep working and continue meeting their family's basic needs.
Health security for Alabama's working families
Hundreds of thousands of uninsured Alabamians would qualify for Medicaid if Alabama expanded eligibility to adults with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. (That's about $15,000 a year for individuals and $31,000 a year for a family of four.) Many hard-working Alabamians have no health coverage because they earn too much to qualify for Medicaid and too little to afford private health insurance. This fact sheet examines what's at stake for Alabama in deciding whether to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.