State Government

Arise legislative update: Alabama Senate panel cuts teacher raise, slashes estimate for school tax credits despite plan to expand them

Alabama's K-12 teachers would see their proposed pay raise halved next year under an education budget that cleared the Senate's education budget committee Wednesday. The budget also would reduce the cost estimate of the Alabama Accountability Act, even though a separate bill would expand some tax credits under the act. This legislative update highlights the education budget's provisions and the proposed changes to the Accountability Act.

Read ACPP policy analyst Chris Sanders' legislative update here.

Arise legislative update: Alabama House restores some prison money to General Fund budget

The Alabama House voted 75-27 Tuesday night for a General Fund budget that would provide state prisons with more money than they would have received under a House committee's plan. The $1.7 billion budget is expected to go to a conference committee to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions. This legislative update highlights what the budget would mean for Medicaid, mental health, courts and other public services.

Read ACPP policy analyst Chris Sanders' legislative update here.

Arise legislative update: Alabama House passes Medicaid reform legislation that gives consumers voice at all levels

A Medicaid delivery reform bill that closely follows the recommendations of Gov. Robert Bentley's Medicaid reform commission passed the Alabama House 78-20 Tuesday night. The bill would create up to eight regional care organizations (RCOs) to provide Medicaid services and would allow Arise to recommend consumer members of the RCO boards. This legislative update highlights the bill's provisions.

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

Arise legislative update: Weakened payday loan reform bill moves to Alabama Senate

A compromise bill on payday lending was watered down even further by an Alabama Senate committee Tuesday. The panel approved the bill, but not before members diluted consumer protections and raised the proposed interest rate cap on payday loans. This legislative update highlights the bill's new provisions and its prospects during this year's regular session.

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

Arise legislative update: Historic preservation credits clear Alabama Senate committee; House panel OKs bonds to secure K-12 schools

A plan to create state tax credits for preserving historic buildings in Alabama took another step toward becoming law when it won Senate committee approval Wednesday. Also that day, a House committee signed off on a bond issue that would pay for safety renovations at K-12 schools. This legislative update highlights those bills' provisions.

Read ACPP policy analyst Chris Sanders' legislative update here.

Arise legislative update: Alabama House panel debates, takes no action on bill to send death penalty appeals straight to state Supreme Court

A House committee heard testimony but did not vote Wednesday on a bill that would create an "express lane" for executions in Alabama. The plan would send death penalty appeals directly to the state Supreme Court, bypassing the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. Chief Justice Roy Moore and many other criminal justice stakeholders testified against the bill. This legislative update highlights their reasons for opposition and the proposal's future prospects.

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

Arise legislative update: Alabama House committee makes few changes to General Fund budget

Medicaid and mental health services would receive flat funding next year under a General Fund (GF) budget that cleared a House committee Wednesday, while courts and prisons would get increases. ALL Kids and prisons would get less GF money than under the Senate's budget, while courts and cancer research would get more. This legislative update highlights the provisions of the House committee's budget.

Read ACPP policy analyst Chris Sanders' legislative update here.

Arise legislative update: Alabama Senate panel OKs higher sales tax to pay for grocery tax repeal

Alabama would end the state sales tax on groceries and increase the sales tax on everything else over the next four years under a bill that a Senate committee approved Wednesday. The plan simply would replace one regressive tax with another and would be little help for low-income people, Arise state coordinator Kimble Forrister told lawmakers in testimony against the bill. This legislative update highlights the bill's provisions and examines Arise's preferred grocery tax approach.

Read ACPP policy analyst Chris Sanders' legislative update here.

Arise legislative update: Bills expanding Medicaid managed care pilot projects clear Alabama House, Senate committees

Twin bills redesigning the Medicaid health care delivery system for the neediest Alabamians cleared House and Senate committees Wednesday. The bills shift Medicaid from a traditional fee-for-service system to a Medicaid-designed managed care system of regional care providers. This legislative update highlights the bills' provisions and prospects.

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

Arise legislative update: Lawmakers OK bills to extend higher court fees, restore property tax break for disabled Alabamians

Disabled Alabama homeowners would receive a full homestead exemption, regardless of their income, under a bill that the House passed 101-0 Thursday. Also this week, the Senate voted 27-3 Wednesday to make last year's court fee increases permanent. This legislative update highlights lawmakers' action on those bills and a House committee's approval of a plan to redirect some money from the Children First Trust Fund to the General Fund.

Read ACPP policy analyst Chris Sanders' legislative update here.

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