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Arise Daily News Digest 12-5-2013
AL.COM - More than a quarter of uninsured rather pay Obamacare fine than get insurance, Gallup finds.
AL.COM - UA System Chancellor Robert Witt selected to lead state's college presidents council.
AL.COM - Rep. Martha Roby joins powerful Appropriations Committee.
AL.COM - President Obama: Growing income gap 'greatest challenge of our time.'
AL.COM - State Rep. Alvin Holmes says he refused request to turn ASU investigation into a racial fight.
AL.COM - Drug research among growing economic development areas for Alabama.
AL.COM - Center for Public Integrity gives Alabama, 41 other states, failing grades for financial disclosure requirements for judges.
ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER - Marsh Testifies Six Hours Before Grand Jury; Collins Follows
AL.COM - In bidding war for Boeing, Alabama has more to offer than money, governor says.
AL.COM - Columnist John Archibald: We found the 1 percent. They're the ones who vote.
AL.COM - U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell appointed to House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.
AL.COM - Burton LeFlore, Bradley Byrne spar over debt, gun control and partisanship in only AL-01 debate.
AL.COM - National business group backs Bradley Byrne for Congress.
DECATUR DAILY - Boeing contributes to local lawmakers’ campaigns.
DECATUR DAILY - The Decatur Daily: A look at payday lender vote.
(FLORENCE) TIMES DAILY - The Times Daily: Benefits of women in politics.
ANNISTON STAR - Bentley returns donation from school reform group; Donations to re-election campaign down in November.
LOS ANGELES TIMES - The Los Angeles Times: Politics, not justice, in Alabama death penalty cases.
ANNISTON STAR - The Anniston Star: A lack of leadership — Responsible GOP leaders should avoid rigid stances and offer policy fixes.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER - Study: States that reject Medicaid expansion lose money.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER - Montgomery City Council extends payday loan, title pawn moratorium.
DOTHAN EAGLE - The Dothan Eagle: Another ‘crisis.’
WASHINGTON POST - Obama’s claim that there is ‘no solid evidence’ that boosting the minimum wage harms jobs.
WASHINGTON POST - Report criticizes lax disclosure rules for state judges.
WASHINGTON POST - Columnist Dana Milbank: ALEC stands its ground.
WASHINGTON POST - Columnist E. J. Dionne: Obama, building ladders to the middle class.
NEW YORK TIMES - Large Companies Prepared to Pay Price on Carbon
NEW YORK TIMES - Student Debt Load Found to Vary by College and State
NEW YORK TIMES - The New York Times: The President on Inequality
NEW YORK TIMES - Room for Debate: Making Low Wages Livable
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.