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Press Releases

A Massive Setback for Education in Alabama

After speaking with Michael Sentance today upon his resignation from his role as state superintendent, the Alabama Policy Institute releases the following statement: “At API, we are saddened to hear that Michael Sentance was forced to resign as Alabama State Superintendent of Education. We see this as a massive setback for education in Alabama. This […]

API Joins 36 Conservative Groups and Activists: Congress Must Stop New Obamacare Taxes

Lawmakers must act to prevent Obamacare taxes from going into effect next year, 36 conservative groups and activists wrote in a letter addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Absent Congressional action, the Obamacare health insurance tax and medical device tax will both go into effect in 2018. […]

Op-Eds

Understanding Constitutional Amendment One: The Ten Commandments and Religious Freedom

For years, discussion over the public display of the Ten Commandments has animated Alabama’s political landscape. The issue is so energizing, it seems, that many politicians frame their own races through the lens of this battle––that support for their candidacy is a vote for the Ten Commandments. Even so, Alabamians have never actually gotten a […]

Limited government demands more, not less, of Alabama

In Alabama, politicians and residents alike proclaim the benefits of limited government. Appropriately, our state’s motto is Audemus jura nostra defendere, which, when translated into the more popular language of English, reads “We dare defend our rights”. The phrase in original context––an 18thvcentury poem by Sir William Jones––is followed by the potential thief of rights: “the tyrant while […]

Learning fiscal responsibility from the fall of MoviePass

One year ago, a relatively-unknown company announced that, for a monthly fee of $9.95, subscribers could see one movie a day without paying anything at the box office. That’s right – even though the average movie ticket in the U.S. is $9 – a $9.95 monthly subscription could get you into 31 movies. Since last […]

Guides to the Issues

Guide to the Issues: Education Savings Accounts (ESAs)

An education savings account is an individual student bank account, established by state law, which holds some or all of the public funds that would normally be allocated for the education of the participating student. Generally, the student must meet certain qualifications and the parent or guardian of the student must sign a contract with […]

Guide to the Issues: Charter Schools in Alabama

While the state of Alabama has seen incremental reform in the realm of public education in recent years, one major component of the national education reform movement has remained elusive. Despite rapid and often successful growth nationwide over the last twenty-five years, Alabama has been slow to embrace charter schools. One of the reasons for this […]

Guide to the Issues: Tax Credits in Alabama

Tax credits, at both the federal and state levels, directly offset an individual or business’ tax bill for the year. Tax credits are often part of a package deal when it comes to policymaking: tax deductions, tax incentives, and tax “breaks” are all closely associated with tax credits. It is often counterintuitive to think that […]

Research

Private Certification as an Alternative to Occupational Licensing

Evidence from Teacher Quality in North Carolina From the Mercatus Center at George Mason University “Supporters of occupational licensing often argue that the practice has two notable benefits: first, licensing can convey information about the quality of services to consumers, and second, it can raise the earnings of individuals with licenses, encouraging them to develop […]

Cutting the Competition?: The Effects of Licensing Barbers in Alabama

This paper, published by the Mackinac Institute, estimates the effects of Alabama’s reintroduction of barbering licensing requirements on the receipts and growth of barber shops in the state. It contains state-level comparisons of barber and beauty shops in Alabama, as well as comparing these Alabama statistics to that of nearby bordering states. In addition, I […]

The Costs of Occupational Licensing in Alabama

An occupational license is essentially a government permission slip to do certain work. In Alabama, before one can become a hair braider, cosmetologist, shampooer, massage therapist, auctioneer, pest control worker, and so on, one must first jump through a variety of hoops—attending classes, taking exams, and paying costly initial and recurring fees—mostly set at the […]