State Government

100-0 House vote sends IDA bill to Gov. Bentley

A savings incentive program for low-income Alabama workers -- one of Arise's 2011 priority issues -- is just one step away from becoming law. The Alabama House voted 100-0 on June 1 for SB 295, which would establish a statewide Individual Development Account (IDA) program in Alabama. The Senate passed the bill 24-3 last month. The proposal to help low-income workers build assets for economic stability now goes to Gov. Robert Bentley for his signature.

SB 295, sponsored by Sen. Priscilla Dunn, D-Bessemer, would allow the state to provide matching funds for up to $2,000 that low-income participants save to attend college or a job training program, buy a first home, or start a small business. Federal and state IDA matching funds would triple that $2,000 in savings to $6,000.

Read more about IDAs here.

Arise legislative update: Advocates assemble at State House to support interest rate caps for payday, title loans

A large coalition gathered Thursday at the State House in Montgomery to urge legislators to pass legislation limiting high-interest lending in Alabama, notably payday and auto title loans. The Alliance for Responsible Lending in Alabama made its debut, and several presenters spoke eloquently on the harms of predatory lending. This legislative update highlights the various proposals to rein in payday and title loans in Alabama.

Read ACPP policy analyst Stephen Stetson's legislative update here.

Arise legislative update: Medicaid committee chairmen unveil report, but no bills yet

The Joint Legislative Committee on Medicaid Policy released a report on Medicaid reform Wednesday, but it did not unveil any legislation. This legislative update highlights the committee's four proposed goals for changing Medicaid in Alabama.

Read ACPP health policy analyst M.J. Ellington's legislative update here.

Arise legislative update: Committees OK military payday loan rate cap, TANF drug tests

Alabama would enforce a federal interest rate cap on payday loans to military families if a bill approved by a Senate committee Wednesday becomes law. Senate committees also signed off on a proposal to require drug tests for certain TANF applicants, a plan to sell bonds to buy K-12 career tech equipment, and a bill to increase the state income tax credit for rural doctors. This legislative update highlights committee action and debate on those measures.

Read ACPP policy analyst Chris Sanders' legislative update here.

Arise legislative update: Needs of Medicaid, other human services are outpacing General Fund support

Alabama's health and human services likely can find enough budget cuts and one-time money to hobble through next year, but 2015 could be bleak without substantial funding increases, state officials said Wednesday during General Fund budget hearings in Montgomery. This legislative update highlights the FY 2014 budget needs of Medicaid, DHR, mental health and public health.

Read ACPP policy analyst Chris Sanders' legislative update here.

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