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Arise Daily News Digest 8-22-2014
AL.COM - In which metropolitan area in Alabama, Mississippi does $100 buy the most?
AL.COM - Read why Superintendent Tommy Bice says he accepted a $52,000 raise.
AL.COM - GOP Legislature has made big changes, but are they good? Lieutenant governor candidates debate.
AL.COM - Attorney General Strange touts record, Democratic challenger accuses him of 'dirty tricks'.
AL.COM - Just 21 percent of Alabama high school graduates ready for college-level coursework in all subjects.
AL.COM - Democrat Griffith calls Alabama 'failed state' in blistering attack on Governor Bentley.
AL.COM - How many people has your Alabama county blocked from buying guns for mental health commitments?
AL.COM – Columnist Charles Dean: Bentley and Strange play it safe while Griffith and Hubbard attack.
AL.COM - Campaign booster for Alabama Gov. Bentley was lobbyist for Corizon, prison health care contractor targeted in lawsuit.
AL.COM - Former DHR case worker forced sex acts 'in return for not taking her kids,' woman claims in lawsuit.
AL.COM - Have gun, won't travel: Which states won't honor your Alabama pistol permit.
AL.COM - Being naughty in the House just got a little harder, thanks in part to Alabama's Laverne Cox.
AL.COM - State incentives for Opelika manufacturing plant expansion to top $5.1 million.
AL.COM - Ronald Reagan, Condoleezza Rice and Parker Griffith: Alabama Democrat lands on Washington list in today's political update.
AL.COM - Arab, Red Bay and air wars: Bentley and Griffith gubernatorial campaigns fight over the skies.
AL.COM - Check out the most telling quotes from experts on Alabama's prison overcrowding.
AL.COM – Contributor Judge John Rochester: KIDS COUNT report provides road map for lawmakers.
AL.COM – Op-ed: Personal failings should lead federal judge to resign.
AL.COM – Columnist Edward Bowser: Help Heart Gallery Alabama find homes for foster children.
AL.COM – Contributor Richard Garrett: The Alabama legislature must respond to tort liability expansion.
ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER - Deadline Passes for Arguments in Rep. Barry Moore Case
AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald: That big gator wasn't a monster. These are monsters.
ALABAMA POLITICAL REPORTER - Bice to Tour Alabama to Explain Standards 2020 as Support for Common Core Drops
ALABAMA SCHOOL CONNECTION - Is Using Test Results a Good Way to Compare Schools?
DECATUR DAILY - The Decatur Daily: Desperate times, desperate measures.
(FLORENCE) TIMES DAILY - Sessions: Jobs, immigration toughest issues facing nation.
(FLORENCE) TIMES DAILY - TVA to replace coal plant.
(FLORENCE) TIMES DAILY - The Times Daily: Buying the same cow again.
ANNISTON STAR - Bentley appointment of donor unlikely to bring trouble, political experts say.
ANNISTON STAR - The Anniston Star: A flaw in our democracy.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER - Central Ala VA director, chief of staff placed on leave.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER - Alabama judge could avoid prosecution in Atlanta.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER - The Montgomery Advertiser: Infant mortality battle still on.
WASHINGTON POST - Columnist Catherine Ramell: Shareholders, public deserve tax transparency.
WASHINGTON POST - Contributor Juleanna Glover: Rein in pay-to-play politics on Capitol Hill.
NEW YORK TIMES – Columnist Paul Krugman: Hawks Crying Wolf
NEW YORK TIMES – Contributors Tali Mendelberg an Bennett Butler: Obama Cares. Look at the Numbers.
NEW YORK TIMES – The New York Times: Get Predatory Colleges Out of Job Training
THE NATION - How to End the Criminalization of America’s Mothers
SALON - It’s racism, not “principled conservatism”: The South, civil rights, GOP myths — and the roots of Ferguson
WALL STREET JOURNAL - Sweet Lawsuit Home, Alabama
Join us at the 2014 annual meeting!
Our members are our strength, and we expect a full, vibrant house at the 2014 annual meeting. ACPP's members will gather Sept. 27, 2014, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. John's A.M.E. Church in Montgomery (get directions here) to select our 2015 issue priorities. Six new proposals will compete with the five existing priorities for five slots on ACPP's issue roster. Review the issue priorities and proposals in the August 2014 newsletter here.
Both member groups and individual members can help select next year's priorities. 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 can cast five votes each. A member can vote as an individual or a group representative, but not both. Attendance is free, though we ask you to bring $10 for lunch if you can.
The Basics: WIC Saves Lives, Prevents Malnutrition
Congress established WIC in the 1970s to try to reduce disturbingly high infant death rates, and the program has been a success story ever since. Infant mortality rates in Alabama and nationwide have fallen by nearly two-thirds since the creation of the program officially known as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
WIC has saved tens of thousands of lives and improved the health of hundreds of thousands, all while pumping billions of dollars a year into the economy. But WIC also sometimes runs out of money and has to remove participants until the next budget year. This fact sheet by ACPP policy analyst Carol Gundlach looks at what makes WIC so effective and considers some of the near-term challenges that may lie ahead for the program.
Statewide payday loan database a good first step for Alabama consumers
Arise Citizens’ Policy Project executive director Kimble Forrister issued the following statement Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, after a Montgomery circuit judge’s dismissal of a lawsuit against the state Banking Department’s proposal to create a statewide common database of payday loans in Alabama:
“We’re excited about this week’s ruling. A statewide payday loan database will make it possible to enforce current limits on how much payday loan debt a borrower can have at one time. That will help protect vulnerable borrowers from racking up thousands of dollars in high-interest debt, and it’ll help slow the drain of millions of dollars from our state’s retail economy.
“Alabama still needs to reduce interest rates on payday loans. It’s outrageous that our state condones an interest rate of 456 percent APR on these loans. But a statewide database is a good first step toward protecting borrowers and communities from the high costs of high-interest loans.”
Report: Alabama's process to estimate revenues lags those of other states
Alabama should improve the way it estimates revenues to create a more fiscally responsible budget, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a nonprofit research organization in Washington, D.C. In the report's evaluation of how states estimate annual revenues, Alabama scored only a 1 on a scale of zero to five because it lacks some practices that Kentucky, Louisiana and other states use to help create strong estimates to guide state spending on education, health care, public safety and other vital public services.
"Our state's revenue estimating process has room for improvement," ACPP executive director Kimble Forrister said. "Lawmakers should reform it to improve fiscal discipline and create a more robust debate about how Alabama raises and spends money."
Most Alabamians who would benefit from Medicaid expansion are working
Nearly 185,000 uninsured Alabamians working in a range of important jobs could gain health coverage if Alabama closed its Medicaid coverage gap, according to a new report released by ACPP and Families USA. That number is more than half of the 342,000 low-income Alabamians who could gain access to affordable health coverage through Medicaid expansion, the report finds.
"Too many hard-working Alabamians are caught in the coverage gap," ACPP policy director Jim Carnes said. "These are the people all around us who keep things going. Without coverage, they often struggle to work while health problems sap their productivity, add stress to their households and get worse without timely care. Imagine what a difference regular health care could make for families' lives, for our workforce and for our economy."