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There's a great new opportunity for uninsured Alabamians: the Health Insurance Marketplace. Open enrollment for 2016 coverage begins Nov. 1, 2015, and continues until Jan. 31, 2016. At the Marketplace, you can compare and shop for health plans, and you can learn about premium discounts that make coverage more affordable.
Get the facts and get started today! Click here to learn about how to enroll, how to get help and the information you'll need to start the enrollment process. For more information, visit healthcare.gov or call the toll-free helpline at 800-318-2596 any time (TTY 855-889-4325).
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Arise Daily News Digest 11-28-2015
AL.COM - In a place of opulence the homeless find a meal, a governor and a warm welcome.
AL.COM - Mobile's 'Wicked History': Massacres, arsons, and a crime of passion.
AL.COM - Since Alabama's last execution, 6 Death Row inmates have died of natural causes or suicide.
AL.COM - Goodyear-Gadsden moving ahead with expansion.
AL.COM - How the University of Alabama produced two top Clinton staffers
AL.COM - Alabama tough on animal cruelty, but puppy mills see little oversight.
AL.COM - With the days of high cotton over, farmers roll the dice on iconic crop.
AL.COM - The 2016 presidential election is already decided in the Heart of Dixie.
ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER - Five Things to Watch Next Session
ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER - Trump Supporters Could Face Charges for Alleged Birmingham Attack
(FLORENCE) TIMES DAILY - Company gets notice to proceed with solar farm.
GADSDEN TIMES - Rubio to hold rally in Guntersville on Tuesday.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER - AU puts additional security measures for Iron Bowl.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER - AEA approaching critical vote on oversight, governance.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER - Next focus for Alabama prison reform: Mental health.
WASHINGTON POST - GOP contenders are talking about drug abuse, but racial and partisan rifts persist.
WASHINGTON POST - Donald Trump’s various rude and offensive comments haven’t hurt him at all.
WASHINGTON POST - NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records ends Sunday.
NEW YORK TIMES - Paris Climate Talks Avoid Scientists’ Goal of ‘Carbon Budget’
NEW YORK TIMES - Tighter Lid on Records Threatens to Weaken Government Watchdogs
NEW YORK TIMES - Kentucky, Beacon for Health Law, Now a Lab for Its Retreat
NEW YORK TIMES - Instability in Marketplaces Draws Concern on Both Sides of Health Law.
NEW YORK TIMES - Student Debt in America: Lend With a Smile, Collect With a Fist
HUFFINGTON POST - Moore, Gays and Alabama
All voices heard: How to modernize voting in Alabama
Alabama forever will be linked to the struggle for voting rights. An important question today is whether our state can shed its legacy of voter suppression, or whether we will continue to be seen as hostile to the idea of equal voting access and broad participation in democracy.
A 2015 report on healthy democracies ranked Alabama in last place out of 50 states and the District of Columbia. A big reason for the low ranking is our election participation policies. Alabama doesn’t allow pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds, and voters aren’t permitted to register online. We lack early voting, and Election Day is not a holiday.
Several proposals have been put forward to make voting easier in Alabama. They include bills to allow prospective voters to register on the same day as the election, give voters five days to cast a ballot, and automatically register eligible voters who apply for a driver's license, allowing them to "opt out" of voter registration instead of having to opt in. Digitization of voting records and restoration of voting rights also are potentially fruitful areas of reform.
'Ban the box' law would help rebuild lives in Alabama
How long should a mistake follow people through their lives? Should it prevent them from earning a living? The "criminal history checkbox" on many standardized job application forms often keeps otherwise qualified employees from making it to the next stage of the hiring process, where they could explain their past face-to-face. This creates discouraging barriers to employment for people who are looking to rebuild their lives after serving their time and paying their debt to society.
A nationwide "ban the box" movement is urging some simple but important changes to job application processes. Removing questions about conviction histories can level the playing field and give all applicants a fair chance to compete for jobs on the basis of qualifications and skills. Nineteen states, including Georgia, have removed the conviction history question from their applications for state jobs, and a growing number of major corporations have, too. Banning the box helps former inmates become productive members of society and provide for their families. It could do the same for thousands of Alabamians.
Home at Last: The Alabama Housing Trust Fund (2015 update)
A home is more than just somewhere to sleep at night. It’s a stable foundation from which people can work to build better lives for themselves and their families. It’s a place where people can put down roots and team with their neighbors to create and maintain a supportive, thriving community. It’s a sanctuary that gives children a better chance to succeed in school, confident that they won’t be uprooted before they can develop and sustain relationships with teachers and friends. A home, in short, is somewhere that allows people to feel that they belong.
Alabama has a shortage of almost 90,000 affordable and available homes for residents with extremely low incomes, but the Alabama Housing Trust Fund (HTF) could reduce this shortfall and make dreams of home a reality for tens of thousands of families, seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities. This fact sheet examines how the HTF could improve lives and how the Legislature could develop a dedicated funding stream for those efforts.