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Order your copy of The Alabama Tax & Budget Handbook today!
Arise has done it again! We’ve created the most accessible, awe-inspiring and mind-blowing guide to Alabama’s finances since 2005 – the last time we published The Alabama Tax & Budget Handbook.
The 10th anniversary edition has everything you always wanted to know about where state dollars come from and where they go, complete with eye-catching new charts and graphs! (Not to mention cartoons! Who doesn’t love cartoons?)
Order it. Binge-read it. Impress others with your mastery of budgets, tax thresholds, structural deficits and what they all mean in the real world. It’s all yours at the bargain price of free!
Join us at the 2015 annual meeting!
Your voice matters! We expect a huge crowd at the 2015 Arise annual meeting. ACPP members will gather Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Montgomery (get directions here) to choose our 2016 issue priorities. New proposals will compete with four existing priorities for five slots on ACPP's issue roster.
Both member groups and individual members can help choose next year's priorities. Member groups in good standing can bring up to six representatives who can cast seven votes each, for a total of up to 42 votes per group. Individual members can cast five votes each. A member can vote as an individual or a group representative, but not both. Attendance is free, though we ask you to bring $10 for lunch if you can.
Click here to RSVP today. If you have questions about the event or your membership status, call us at 334-832-9060. We hope to see you there!
Arise Daily News Digest 7-7-2015
AL.COM - More Alabama counties issuing gay marriage licenses.
AL.COM - Presidential candidate Ted Cruz set for Alabama visit.
AL.COM - Alabama, other states want safeguards for churches' tax-exempt status.
AL.COM - BP oil spill settlement: Alabama coast got shortchanged, Byrne says.
AL.COM - Hospitality wages are going up in southern Alabama: how much higher could they rise?
AL.COM - State Sen. Larry Stutts responds to negligence lawsuit.
AL.COM - Miniature battle flags, other Confederate items for sale in Alabama Capitol store.
AL.COM - Alabama lawmakers acquire taste for Sunday sales, draft beer.
AL.COM – Contributor Andrew Manis: Southern heritage is both black and white, but Confederate 'cornerstone' was white supremacy.
ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER - Questions Remain About $250 Million "Advance"
ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER - Alabama Jobs Foundation on BP Settlement
ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER - Bentley Defends His Decision to Take Down Confederate Flags
ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER - Alabama Still Needs Gambling Dollars Says Alabama Jobs Foundation Director
ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER - Contributor Jim Ziegler: State should not waste $2.3 Billion BP settlement.
ANNISTON STAR - State suicide rates near all-time high.
ANNISTON STAR - Alabama GOP faces shifting ground on same-sex marriage.
ANNISTON STAR - The Anniston Star: Alabama's budgetary wounds.
ANNISTON STAR - The Anniston Star: More gun deaths in Chicago.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER - BP money unlikely to address General Fund woes.
OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS - UAB launches network for women leaders in higher education.
DOTHAN EAGLE - No Child Left Behind reform needed to address achievement gaps.
DOTHAN EAGLE - The Dothan Eagle: A debate without resolution.
WASHINGTON POST - Is this cold, rural state home to the nation’s healthiest democracy?
WASHINGTON POST - Steve King wants resolution denouncing Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling.
WASHINGTON POST - Columnist Michael Gerson: Rust-belt revivalists can’t save the GOP.
WASHINGTON POST - The Washington Post: How Texas is whitewashing Civil War history.
NEW YORK TIMES – Study Finds Most States Have No Black Elected Prosecutors
NEW YORK TIMES – White House Solar Plan Aims at Low- and Middle-Income People
NEW YORK TIMES – Screen Addiction Is Taking a Toll on Children
NEW YORK TIMES – Columnist Joe Nocera: The Good Jobs Strategy
New revenue for a stronger Alabama
What makes a state strong? We likely all could agree on a few answers: healthy people, a dependable workforce, a stable government, safe streets and vibrant communities. But without new revenue to address a huge General Fund budget shortfall, Alabama will face devastating cuts to education, health care, public safety and other vital services that make shared prosperity possible.
If the Legislature can’t agree on new revenue to avoid these cuts, Alabamians would see thousands of lost jobs, a sharp decline in our state’s quality of life and a weaker future for years to come. Here’s a snapshot of what Alabama would look like if the cuts in a no-new-revenue General Fund budget become reality.
ACA ruling a huge win for affordable health care in Alabama
Arise Citizens’ Policy Project policy director Jim Carnes issued the following statement Thursday in response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding Affordable Care Act tax credits in Alabama and other states:
“The Supreme Court’s decision is a huge victory for millions of Americans, including more than 170,000 Alabamians who have gained health coverage through the federal Marketplace. This ruling protects tax credits that make coverage more affordable for 132,000 Alabamians, and it protects all Americans from the soaring insurance costs that would have resulted from a decision the other way.
“With today’s ruling, health coverage for thousands of Alabama families is safe and sound. Now it’s time for Alabama to take the next step and close the Medicaid coverage gap for thousands more. Health reform is the law of the land, and our leaders should work to make sure it succeeds in providing access to affordable coverage for all Alabamians.”
2015 legislative update: What went well in 2015 -- and the challenges that remain for Alabama
It’s over! But it’s not over yet. After approving a wholly inadequate General Fund budget that would jeopardize our state’s future, the Alabama Legislature ended the 2015 regular session Thursday. But Gov. Robert Bentley vetoed that budget, and he will call lawmakers back for a special session on the budget later this summer.
Arise members celebrated some big victories this year, but major challenges still remain. Here’s a quick review of how Arise issues fared:
Budgets and taxes: None of Bentley’s revenue bills passed. Without new revenue, vital services like Medicaid and public safety face devastating cuts that would hurt Alabama’s quality of life for years to come. Just a few examples:
But there was some good news, too. Lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a bill to save money and give Alabamians more choices in Medicaid long-term care services. The state will have a powerful new tool – a “tax expenditure report” – to determine if tax breaks are worth the cost. And a new prison reform law will help save money and reduce overcrowding – but it only takes effect if the state funds it.
Ending Alabama’s lifetime SNAP ban: Alabamians can celebrate a big win for second chances! The prison reform bill includes language ending the state’s lifetime SNAP and TANF eligibility bans for people with a past felony drug conviction. Thousands of people can regain SNAP eligibility on Jan. 30, 2016, if the prison reform law gets the money required for it to take effect.
Alabama Accountability Act: The Legislature approved major changes to the act. The new version allows more money that would have supported public education to go to private schools instead – but it also includes some of Arise’s recommendations for greater accountability and transparency.
Housing Trust Fund: A bill to fund affordable housing in Alabama encountered powerful opposition and did not emerge from committee. Supporters plan to meet with opponents to seek agreement before the 2016 session.
Payday and title lending reform: In a big win for consumers, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled the state Banking Department can create a single statewide database of payday loans. But much work remains in the drive for a 36 percent interest rate cap: No bills to regulate payday or auto title loans passed, but public pressure for reform continues to grow.
The regular session is over, but Arise’s work continues. Stay tuned for updates as we prepare for this summer’s crucial debates over our state’s future. Together, we can build a better Alabama for all!
By Kimble Forrister, executive director. Posted June 4, 2015. Updated June 12, 2015.