Alabama’s likely voters overwhelmingly support using federal COVID-19 relief funds to increase funding for mental health and rural hospitals, according to a new Alabama Arise poll released Monday.
More than four in five respondents (81.1%) supported using a portion of Alabama’s funding under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to invest in rural hospitals and increase rural Alabamians’ access to health care. And nearly three in four likely voters (73.6%) said lawmakers should boost mental health funding to increase access to services across Alabama.
“Alabamians are loud and clear that they want our lawmakers to use federal relief money to strengthen our state’s health care system,” Alabama Arise executive director Robyn Hyden said. “ARPA offers an unprecedented chance to protect rural hospitals and increase access to mental health care and other services. We must seize this opportunity to build a healthier future for Alabama.”
Sizable majorities also approved of other uses of ARPA money to improve living conditions for Alabama’s children and families. Those proposals include:
Expanding access to subsidized child care for working families.
Establishing a state child tax credit to lower costs for working families.
Expanding access to affordable housing throughout the state.
Investing in public transportation, particularly in rural areas.
“The pandemic has made it harder for people across our state to find child care, keep a roof overhead and get where they need to go,” Hyden said. “We should use ARPA funding to ease families’ suffering and provide the supports needed to help every Alabamian succeed. It’s time for our lawmakers to meet this moment and ensure Alabama’s post-pandemic future is a bright and inclusive one.”
Click here for more on Arise’s poll results on ARPA funding priorities in Alabama.