The 2020 Census and Alabama (September 2020)

While Alabama’s major metropolitan areas continue to experience healthy growth, the state’s population is increasing at a rate that is less than half that of the U.S. as a whole. This poses a problem because the results of the 2020 Census will be used to determine not only a decades-worth of federal government revenue allocations but Alabama’s representation in Congress and voice in the Electoral College as well. Assuming a full count, projections suggest that Alabama, along with New York,…

2020 Election: Comparing the Democratic and Republican Platforms

To help voters this election year, the Alabama Policy Institute has put together a side-by-side comparison of the party platforms on issues ranging from abortion to gay marriage, taxes to immigration, gun control to the environment. We’ve organized it and put it together in one package that is easy to navigate and will, hopefully, help each reader decide how to vote on November 3rd (click here to find your polling place). In all, our comparison includes 26 of the most important issues our…

Coronavirus Relief: How to Give by Not Taking – CARES Act Funds and a State Sales Tax Holiday, A Proposal

The following API proposal suggests using federal CARES Act dollars to provide tax-relief for every person in the state through the form of an extended sales tax holiday. The success of the recently finished weekend-long sales tax holiday illustrates the viability of waiving sales taxes on most purchases made by Alabama families in order to provide tax-relief and to stimulate the economy. “Alabama’s brick-and-mortar retailers have been hit hard by the government imposed shutdowns. It is imperative that we give them a…

The Supreme Court in Review: 2019-2020 Term

This report details the most important cases decided by the Supreme Court during its most recent term and is to serve as a resource for reporters, elected officials, and others to understand the recent rulings and their potential ramifications. “Those who hold public office do not make the law,” remarks API Professorial Fellow and Professor of Law at Faulkner University, Adam J. MacLeod, in his introduction to the report. “They must obey the law and secure our civil liberties. That is…

State Responses to the Coronavirus: A Primer

COVID-19 has impacted governments on every level, and the impact on state government has been particularly unprecedented. In response to this crisis, state legislatures across the country have sought to address issues from the sudden economic fallout to the mass medical infrastructure shortcoming apparent in many states. The state of Alabama, likewise, has the potential to address these issues and is given the unique opportunity to learn from other state legislatures. Fifteen different states have called a special session during…

Healthy Citizenry, Healthy Economy, Health Society

 Today the Alabama Policy Institute (API) submitted to the Governor’s Special Task Force on Reopening the Economy a report (“Healthy Citizenry, Healthy Economy, Healthy Society”) detailing two important factors related to returning to normalcy after the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to a request from Senate President Pro tempore Del Marsh, a member of the task force’s executive committee, API considered the impact of the shutdown on civil liberties and the Alabama Department of Labor’s response to the economic downturn. Phil…

COVID-19 in Alabama: A Primer on the Impacts of the Coronavirus on the State

Read the full report here. The impacts of the coronavirus on the health, social wellbeing, economy, and state government of Alabama are unprecedented. To this date, millions of Alabamians have upended their lives to stop the spread of COVID-19. Over 1,000 have contracted the virus and some have succumbed to it. The effects of social distancing on the economy of Alabama and, as a result, the state’s financial well-being are likely to be dramatic as well. Budget-wise, Alabama could see…

Guide to the Issues: Constitutional Amendment One, 2020

On Election Day, the people of Alabama will have the chance to cast their votes for a number of federal and state officials. In addition, voters will decide whether one proposed amendment should be added to the Alabama Constitution. Proposed constitutional amendments can be confusing. Therefore, voters need to be armed with an understanding of each amendment when it is time to confront their ballots. That is the purpose of this Guide: to succinctly explain, in plain language, Amendment One…

Report on Proposed Legislation for Medical Marijuana Legalization (February 2020)

Marijuana continues to fuel public debate, with arguments coming from all sides on the efficacy of its use for medicinal purposes. There are no conclusive studies currently available that confirm either position, although each will tell you that their expert is “the” expert. At the present time, over thirty of the fifty states have enacted some form of legalization with the majority being for “medical use”.   Several states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational use of marijuana.…

Report on Proposed Legislation for Legalization of Medical Marijuana

Marijuana continues to fuel public debate, with arguments coming from all sides on the efficacy of its use for medicinal purposes. There are no conclusive studies currently available that confirm either position, although each will tell you that their expert is “the” expert. At the present time, over thirty of the fifty states have enacted some form of legalization with the majority being for “medical use”.   Several states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational use of marijuana.…