Policy Priorities for Alabama is a handbook compiled specifically for each legislative session as a research and education guide on the issues facing our state. The 2013 edition consists of 23 policy briefs taken from the Alabama Policy Institute’s Guide to the Issues which provide background, policy considerations, and recommendations, along with research citations. The Alabama Policy Institute believes that a more informed electorate will lead to a stronger state.

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MORE ON API in the Editorials

It’s Not Personal

One of the cultural problems we have today is our insistence on making everything personal. We can no longer discuss and debate ideas without someone assuming that disagreement is tantamount to a personal attack. Our skin is so thin it’s transparent. Take last week, for example. In the run-up to Super Tuesday, Alabamians were debating […]

Female Athletes Deserve Fair Competition

Silly me. I thought that with the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972, we had settled the question of whether girls deserve a chance to compete and win as high school and college athletes. Feminists fought like warriors to pass the act against gender discrimination, which among other things ensured […]

It’s Time for Prison, Mental Health Reform

Two of the major items on Governor Kay Ivey’s 2020 agenda are finding solutions to the problem of Alabama’s overcrowded and broken prison system, and bolstering our mental healthcare system. Both are badly needed, and in some ways intersect. I understand the political challenge of getting folks excited about funding a major overhaul of something […]

MORE ON Civil and Criminal Justice

It’s Time for Prison, Mental Health Reform

Two of the major items on Governor Kay Ivey’s 2020 agenda are finding solutions to the problem of Alabama’s overcrowded and broken prison system, and bolstering our mental healthcare system. Both are badly needed, and in some ways intersect. I understand the political challenge of getting folks excited about funding a major overhaul of something […]

Huntsville Radio: J. Pepper Bryars makes the case for new prisons

API senior fellow J. Pepper Bryars recently explained why Alabama must build new prisons during an appearance on the Jeff Poor Show @jeffpoorshow, 92.5 FM WVNN in Huntsville. Listen to the interview here: https://audioboom.com/posts/7341473-the-jeff-poor-show-pepper-bryars-joins-us-to-debate-prison-reform-and-tolls-and-sean-ross-weig

MORE ON Education

An Amendment One Post-Mortem: Idealism Trumps Reality

The failure of Amendment One is a story of idealism trumping reality. On Tuesday, residents of Alabama denied Amendment One. The constitutional amendment, which would have shifted the State Board of Education from popularly elected positions to ones appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate, received a “YES” vote from only 25% […]

Education in Alabama is Dead Last, It’s Insanity to Not Make a Change

They say the definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing time and again, yet expecting a different outcome. But that’s exactly what opponents of Amendment One on Tuesday’s ballot are asking you to do. While our state’s educational system sits dead last in the nation, they want you to protect the status […]

What if you could really vote out some politicians? I mean really!

Has there ever been a ballot initiative that reduced the number of politicians? I mean, ever? What if I told you that with the stroke of a pen you could get shed of several ineffective politicians? What if the pot was sweetened just a bit by having that same stroke of a pen do away […]

MORE ON Fiscal Policy

For Whom the Bridge Tolls

If you’ve followed the news lately you could not have missed the fact that there has been a kerfluffle of the highest order near the Alabama coastline. Like a scene from the old fairy tale, the Three Billy Goats Gruff, the local populace has thrown the “bridge trolls” into the bay and seemingly defeated the infamous toll payments that were at issue. The difference between our coastal brethren and sistren and the Goats is that the Goats got a bridge out of it.

Statewide Radio: Phil Williams on Viewpoint Alabama

API director of policy strategy Phil Williams recently appeared on Viewpoint Alabama, a weekly radio show that is broadcast on over 60 Alabama radio stations, to discuss the potential toll bridge in Mobile, the increase in the gas tax, and more. You can listen to the interview here (beginning at the 0:30 timestamp). Viewpoint Alabama, […]

J. Pepper Bryars: Time to stop daydreaming about a lottery

Lottery supporters were left saying “so close …” last week after the latest attempt to establish the game in Alabama collapsed under the weight of competing interests and power plays. It was reminiscent of the failed lotto player, successfully matching his numbers one-by-one until his hopes are dashed when that final digit proves ever elusive. […]

MORE ON Good Governance

Leadership Revealed in a Crisis

Unusual challenges such as this Coronavirus pandemic teach us who we really are. They reveal whether we are courageous and generous or fearful and selfish. Our leaders are no different. We learn their virtues and vices when they are tested by difficult times. Three such virtues are especially important for leaders in a time such […]

As I Write This, I Am Seeking Balance in an Unbalanced Time

As I write this it is mid-morning and I’ve already washed my hands multiple times. I’ve got rubber gloves in my car now. I skipped the gym in favor of a good ‘ol driveway workout but I paid my gym dues anyway. My law firm invested in enhanced video conferencing capabilities. My wife checked on […]

MORE ON Health Care

Statewide Radio: Phil Williams discusses medical marijuana on Viewpoint Alabama

API director of policy strategy Phil Williams recently appeared on Viewpoint Alabama, a weekly radio show that is broadcast on over 65 Alabama radio stations, to discuss the proposed medical marijuana legislation and its potential effects on everyday Alabamians. You can listen to the interview here. Viewpoint Alabama, January 25 and 26, 2020

HUNTSVILLE RADIO: Is there a groundswell of pro-life momentum in Alabama?

API Senior Fellow Rachel Blackmon Bryars and WTKI Radio host Fred Holland talked Friday about Rep. John Rogers’ recent grisly comments about the Alabama Human Life Protection Act and whether or not there is a groundswell of support for ending abortion in Alabama. Listen to the discussion here:

MORE ON Lottery and Gambling

If the People Only Knew

“The people want to vote!”—the most oft-repeated catchphrase of the lottery debate. Even politicians who declare themselves personally opposed to a state-run lottery try to justify their support of it because “the people want to vote.” But politicians know full well that they have not been honest with the people when it comes to a […]

Looking at the Lottery Math

“Which is the most immoral,” Governor Robert Bentley mused philosophically to the press last week, “buying five lottery tickets with money you earned or allowing a child to die?” A state lottery in Alabama is “the only real choice,” he warned ominously. “There is no plan B.” Governor Bentley was making an extremely serious argument, to […]

Republicans’ Proposal a Bad Move for Alabama

We have known for months that a deal was in the works to expand gambling operations in Alabama either through a lottery, a tribal compact, or privately run casinos. This move under Republican leadership is disheartening, but not surprising. Any chance at a money grab, be it through tax increases or gambling, is far easier […]

MORE FROM The Alabama Policy Institute

Our Evaluation of Michael Sentance

The Alabama State Board of Education will meet tomorrow in Montgomery for a special meeting abruptly called last week. The stated purpose is to evaluate Superintendent Michael Sentance. The rumored purpose is to fire him. We trust that the latter is just that—a rumor—as there is absolutely no justification for firing Mr. Sentance. Indeed, allow […]

API Joins National Coalition of Education Choice Advocates and Releases Letter Applauding Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

Letter Encourages Trump Administration to Champion Constitutionally Focused Education Choice Agenda Yesterday, Alabama Policy Institute (API) joined 12 other leading state and national organizations in sending a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos praising her outspoken commitment to parental choice in education. The letter outlines the importance of state-led efforts on education choice, emphasizing […]

Statement on the Alabama Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act

The Alabama Pro-Life Coalition (APLC) commends Governor Kay Ivey for signing the Alabama Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act into law on May 3, 2017. By her signature, the rights of religion based adoption agencies are protected. APLC also commends the sponsors of the legislation, Senator Bill Hightower (R-Mobile) and Representative Rich Wingo (R-Tuscaloosa). Their understanding, […]