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PSC's impact on Alabamians
There was a time when utility bills were a hot topic in Alabama. In the 1980s, congregations and agencies were overwhelmed with requests for help from families struggling to pay high utility bills. A "utilities coalition" of 32 congregations and organizations pressured the Public Service Commission to approve some form of relief for families that fell on hard times. The fledgling coalition soon learned a lot about how things really work.
This Anniston Star op-ed by ACPP executive director Kimble Forrister offers some historical perspective on the current PSC controversy.
Usury incorporated: Some lending practices are simply defective
Product recalls happen all the time. A Wisconsin company just issued a recall on 2,500 pounds of ground beef possibly contaminated with E. coli. Car seats, cribs and strollers are frequently recalled for shoddy manufacturing or simple failure to consider the ingenuity of infants. And everyone remembers the recent high-profile recalls of peanut butter (for salmonella) and Toyotas (for faulty accelerator pedals). But two defective products on the market in Alabama won't ever be recalled by the companies that make them: payday loans and automobile title loans.
This op-ed by ACPP policy analyst Stephen Stetson examines the defective products of predatory lenders.
Transit gap strands seniors
Arranging to have a parent's driver's license revoked or confiscating the car keys can be an agonizing step for everyone involved, taken only when the person becomes dangerous behind the wheel. But does giving up the car keys have to mean house arrest?
This Anniston Star op-ed by ACPP policy analyst Stephen Stetson highlights a policy failure that places Alabama seniors at risk.
Health care debate misses shortcomings of our system
Critics of the national health reform law known as Obamacare rarely bring up the life-changing predicaments that led people to push for the law's protections in the first place. In the coming days, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether Alabamians and our fellow Americans get to keep the new health security the Affordable Care Act provides.
This op-ed by ACPP health policy analyst M. J. Ellington examines what's at stake in the health care debate.
What's behind Alabama's jobs numbers?
Supporters of HB56, Alabama's harshest-in-the-nation immigration law of 2011, have seized on favorable unemployment numbers as evidence of the law's success. Yet all of our neighboring states also have managed to create jobs in recent months without claiming to have driven off their populations of undocumented immigrants. What's really going on?
This Anniston Star op-ed by ACPP policy analyst Stephen Stetson sorts out the facts behind the figures.
Hedging Our Bets
You'd have to live under a rock not to know that Alabama is suing to overturn the Affordable Care Act of 2010, often mocked as "Obamacare." But even many daylight-loving Alabamians are unaware of the state's innovative efforts to hedge its bets on health reform.
This (Mobile) Press-Register op-ed by ACPP health policy analyst Jim Carnes highlights the work of the Alabama Health Insurance Exchange Study Commission and Alabama's progress in implementing the Affordable Care Act.
One Family, One Alabama
Join state and national leaders as they stand together to uphold the legacy of a shared struggle for dignity and justice for all. The gathering in opposition to Alabama's anti-immigrant law will take place Mon., Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. at historic 16th Street Baptist Church, Birmingham.
Create jobs, cut poverty
"Anytime we create more jobs, we get more people off the unemployment rolls and out of poverty," Sen. Del Marsh said in a recent Birmingham News profile of Alabama Arise. We agree. That's why many items on Arise's agenda this year (and every year) are designed to achieve both goals.
This Montgomery Advertiser op-ed by ACPP executive director explains why Alabama does not have to choose between improving the economy and making life better for its most vulnerable residents.
Medicaid for the common good
If you're fortunate enough to have health insurance through your employer or can afford it on your own, you probably don't spend a lot of time thinking about Medicare and Medicaid. Maybe you aren't even sure which is which and what they do. In a high-poverty state like Alabama, Medicaid is the backbone of the entire health-care infrastructure, regardless of who carries a Medicaid card.
This Anniston Star op-ed by ACPP health policy analyst Jim Carnes examines what's at stake for Alabama's health care system in the debate over federal spending.
'Hand up' bill moves beyond handouts
With the shot clock winding down on the 2011 legislative session, lawmakers have one last chance to pass a piece of legislation that ought to be a slam-dunk for Alabama's low-income families.
This Montgomery Advertiser op-ed by Arise policy analyst Stephen Stetson highlights need for SB 295 -- the IDA bill -- which would help qualifying Alabamians use individual development accounts to build assets for escaping poverty.