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ACPP news releases
More Alabamians had health coverage in 2012 despite higher poverty
The share of Alabamians without health insurance decreased in 2012, even as the state continued to suffer from one of the nation's highest poverty rates, U.S. Census Bureau data released Thursday show. The data suggest Medicaid and other public insurance coverage played a significant role in holding Alabama's uninsured rate steady, ACPP executive director Kimble Forrister said, as did provisions of the Affordable Care Act that extend coverage to young adults.
"The Affordable Care Act has provided vital access to quality medical care for Alabama's young adults who are just starting out in life," Forrister said. "The Census data underscore just how much Alabama could strengthen our health care protections by fully implementing the act, including the Medicaid expansion that would start next year."
Arise statement on announcement of new payday loan regulations in Alabama
Arise's Kimble Forrister issued the following statement Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, regarding the governor's announcement of new regulations to create a centralized payday loan database in Alabama:
Alabama Arise praises Gov. Robert Bentley for new regulations to protect borrowers from excessive payday loan debt. Many supporters had written Banking Department Superintendent John Harrison, asking that he approve a set of new regulations on payday lending. Payday lenders pushed for rejection of the changes, but the regulations were approved as proposed. Coalition members of the Alliance for Responsible Lending in Alabama (ARLA) partnered with the Federation of Republican Women and ALCAP in supporting the regulations.
Arise is especially pleased with the plan for a new central database that is slated to be in place by January 2014. Current law limits payday loans to $500 per borrower at any given time, but allows lenders to check several databases, none of them comprehensive. The result is that some borrowers can go from store to store and amass a mountain of debt. The new central database will protect borrowers from excessive debt and help lenders comply with the law. It’s a great first step. Arise and ARLA will continue to press the Legislature to cap the interest rate on payday loans, currently 456 percent APR, and on auto title loans, now at 300 percent.
Join us at our 2013 annual meeting!
ACPP members will select 2014's policy priorities at our annual meeting Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, at St. John's A.M.E. Church in Montgomery. Four new proposals will compete with last year's priorities for five slots on ACPP's issue roster. Two other issues on the annual agenda are permanent priorities: tax reform and adequate state budgets for health care and human services. Review the issue proposals here.
Members will choose ACPP's priorities using a new voting system this year. Member groups in good standing can bring up to six representatives who can cast seven votes each, for a total of up to 42 votes per group. Individual members in good standing can cast up to five votes each. (A member can vote as an individual or a group representative, but not both.) Learn more about the new voting rules here.
Alabama's state K-12 funding cuts since 2008 are nation's second deepest
Alabama's cuts to state K-12 education funding since the start of the Great Recession have been the nation's second worst, according to a new study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The cuts have slowed Alabama's economic recovery and could hurt the state's future economic growth, ACPP executive director Kimble Forrister said.
"Education opens the doors of opportunity for hundreds of thousands of low-income Alabamians," Forrister said. "We can't strengthen our state's economy by eroding our foundation for economic growth."
Food assistance cuts coming for 900K+ Alabamians this fall
Nearly one in five Alabamians -- 910,000 people -- will face cuts to food assistance this fall when a temporary boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) expires, according to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The cuts will drain $98 million from Alabama's economy next year and deal a major blow to low-income Alabamians still trying to overcome the lingering effects of the Great Recession.
"SNAP benefits are a powerful tool to ease poverty," ACPP executive director Kimble Forrister said. "In tough times, we ought to look for more ways to help low-income families, instead of putting their food assistance on the chopping block."