State Government

AT ISSUE: Drug testing for TANF applicants

Republican lawmakers have announced their intention to propose mandatory drug testing for welfare applicants in the 2012 legislative session, which begins February 7. The proposal raises a number of troubling issues.

Read issue brief.

Session enters final stretch

More than 1,000 bills have been introduced thus far this session. With a maximum of seven meeting days remaining, it will be “move or die” time when the Legislature returns next week. Of the 120-plus bills we’re following, here are a few highlights and their prospects:

 

SB 133 – General Fund (GF) budget for 2012. Two chambers passed different versions. Senate has appointed its conference committee members, and House must follow suit. The GF and Education budgets are the only bills the constitution requires the Legislature to pass.

 

HB 123  – Education budget for 2012. Passed both houses with amendments, now in conference committee.

 

HB 480  – The “untax groceries” bill. Must move out of House Ways & Means Education Committee in first week back to stay viable.

 

HB 60/SB 215 – Constitutional amendment to prohibit individual mandate in Affordable Care Act. House passed its version, Senate committee reported Senate bill out.

 

HB 380/SB 384 – Equal Pay Commission bill. Has three days to move.

 

HB 423/SB 316 – Changes by Realtors and other landlord interests to Landlord-Tenant Act 2006. Both versions have moved out of committee.

 

See our full Bills of Interest list.

 

Paid to Upgrade: Modernizing Unemployment Insurance

Alabama could get a $100 million boost for unemployed workers simply by making some common-sense changes to the way we calculate unemployment benefits. Yet, for two years running, Alabama policymakers have declined the offer.

This fact sheet examines how our current unemployment system works and what's at stake in the proposed changes.

On the Brink: Alabama's Looming Budget Shortfalls

Public services in Alabama have weathered the economic storm better than in most other states, but they're far from invincible. Rainy day funds and federal relief money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) have helped the state avoid massive budget cuts thus far. But with the economy still slumping and the ARRA money running out, Alabama soon could find itself facing the same kind of deep budget cuts that other states are making.

This fact sheet examines the budgetary consequences of structural problems in the state's tax system.

Arise Bills of Interest 2009

The Alabama Legislature adjourned sine die on May 15, bringing the 2009 Regular Session to an end. More than 3,200 bills and resolutions were introduced during the 30-day session.

Read the final report on bills monitored by Arise this year.

Arise Bills of Interest 2008

The Alabama Legislature adjourned sine die on Monday, May 19, bringing the 2008 Regular Session to an end. The Legislature failed to approve an Education Trust Fund Budget for FY2009 and will convene in a special session upon the call of the Governor.

This document gives the final status of bills monitored by the ACPP staff during this session.

Arise Bills of Interest 2006

The Alabama Legislature adjourned sine die in the early morning hours of Tuesday, April 18, 2006.

This document gives the final status of bills that ACPP has tracked during this legislative session. The status of bills receiving final passage during this session is noted in bold print. 

Arise Bills of Interest 2007

The Alabama Legislature adjourned sine die on Thursday, June 7, bringing the 2007 Regular Session to an end.

This document gives the final status of those bills monitored by ACPP staff during the session.

Rainy Day Fund Amendment: What are the stakes?

Cut funding for public services now or borrow money and pay for them later? As the nation's economy continues to slide toward a recession, that's the choice Alabamians will face next month when they vote on the proposed Rainy Day Fund Amendment, listed as Amendment 1 on the Nov. 4, 2008, ballot.

This fact sheet examines the historical background that gave rise to the amendment, as well as the potential results of a positive or negative vote.

Money & Politics

While political contributions and free meals may not "buy" legislators' votes on specific issues, everyone agrees that such gifts do help gain access to lawmakers. Alabama law makes it easy to hide the source of such contributions from the public. Allowing undisclosed gifts creates a general perception that interest groups with ample funds enjoy greater influence than others.

This fact sheet  This fact sheet outlines proposed accountability and transparency legislation for 2007.

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