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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.
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.
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.
Arise legislative update: Alabama House approves education budget with money for private school tuition subsidies, K-12 teacher pay raises
The Alabama House voted 84-16 Wednesday for an education budget that would provide slight funding increases for K-12 and higher education next year. The $5.7 billion budget also would fund 2 percent pay raises for K-12 teachers and support staff and set aside up to $66 million for income tax credits that could subsidize private school tuition for some students. This legislative update highlights the House budget's implications for education in Alabama.
Arise legislative update: Predatory lending bills sent to Alabama House subcommittee, likely dead for 2013 regular session
An Alabama House committee referred three predatory lending bills to a subcommittee Wednesday morning, likely signaling their demise in the 2013 regular session. The move was a disappointing anticlimax to an extended public hearing that featured a broad coalition of advocates pushing for the bills. This legislative update highlights that hearing, the committee's decision and the remaining prospects for reform this year.
Arise legislative update: Alabama House to vote Wednesday on education budget with slight increases for K-12, higher education
K-12 and higher education in Alabama would receive slightly more state funding next year under an Education Trust Fund budget that the House's education budget committee approved 9-3 Tuesday, but the increases would not come close to reversing Alabama's enormous education cuts since 2008. The full House will consider the budget Wednesday. This legislative update highlights some of the budget's major provisions.