Craig Ford - Instead of Super Prisons, let’s build Super Schools

February 5, 2016 chris

During his State of the State Address Tuesday night, Gov. Robert Bentley laid out his four-year plan, which included spending up to $800 million to build four new super prisons. The next day, the governor announced that he wants to transfer $181 million out of the education budget and put it in the general fund budget, which also pays

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Craig Ford - Is Republican lottery bill just an attempt to kill the lottery?

January 29, 2016 chris

There’s no doubt that momentum for the lottery is building in Alabama. A public opinion poll, paid for by the House and Senate Republican Caucuses, found that 62 percent of likely Republican Primary voters support the lottery, and 59 percent even support expanding gambling in Alabama.

These strong numbers show why two Republican state legislators, Rep. Alan Harper and

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Craig Ford - Proposed Merit Pay Bill has serious flaws

January 22, 2016 chris

When the state legislature returns to Montgomery in two weeks, one of the top issues will be a cost-of-living pay raise for educators. Both parties agree that the money is there, and now is the time. But there are some major differences between what both parties are proposing.

House Democrats will propose a five-percent pay raise for all teachers,

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Craig Ford - Alabamians want a lottery, but not a blank check lottery

January 15, 2016 chris

As droves of Alabamians recently flooded into Tennessee, Georgia and Florida for a chance to win the $1.6 billion Powerball, it’s obvious the people of Alabama want to play the lottery.

People in 44 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands are all allowed to purchase lottery tickets. Alabama is one of just six

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Craig Ford - A new year, a new opportunity to right a wrong

January 8, 2016 chris

New Years is a time of reflection and resolutions, a time for changes and fixing mistakes. With the state’s next legislative session beginning in less than a month, there’s a resolution I would like our state leaders to make: fix the problems with the Accountability Act.

The Accountability Act was sold to us as a way to give children

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Craig Ford - Time to expand Pre-K in Alabama

December 31, 2015 chris

Since 2008, education spending for K-12 in Alabama has gone down by more than 20 percent. Those cuts have been felt in every classroom in the state, from outdated textbooks and technology to larger class sizes.

But this year, the state has an opportunity to invest in education again instead of cutting it.

This year, the state of Alabama

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Craig Ford - Remembering Christmas

December 24, 2015 chris

What does Christmas mean to you? 

It’s a question that will probably get a different answer from every person you ask. Every family has their own traditions and customs that make Christmas unique to them.

Of course, certain things about Christmas are universal. For every Christian, Christmas is a time when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. He

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Craig Ford - We can’t have education without educators

December 18, 2015 chris

One of the biggest problems we have in education right now is the shortage of teachers. This is true both nationally and in Alabama.

Today, fewer college students are enrolling in education courses. Eric Mackey, the executive director of the state superintendents association, recently told the Times Daily that there are about 40 to 45 percent fewer college students

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Craig Ford - Maybe Santa will bring us what Rep. Aderholt won’t

December 11, 2015 chris

We are just a few weeks away from Christmas, and children across the state are heading to the mall or shopping center to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they want for Christmas.

I haven’t sat on Santa’s lap since I was a kid, but at this point Santa may be our best hope for finally getting

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Craig Ford - Republicans should leave teachers’ retirement alone

December 4, 2015 chris

It’s been a rough year for the powers that be in Montgomery.

There have been more than a few bad headlines this year, and we only avoided a government shutdown after three costly legislative sessions that led to an $80 million raid on public education and $86 million in new taxes.

The wheels clearly have come off the bus

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Craig Ford - Remembering our educators this Thanksgiving

November 25, 2015 chris

In our house at Thanksgiving, our family likes to sit around the table and name the things we are thankful for in our life. Of course, everyone always names the big things like family, our freedom and so on. But the things that I’m most thankful for are the people in my life who have made a difference -

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Craig Ford - Progress has been made, but more work needs to be done

November 20, 2015 chris

Congratulations to Gov. Robert Bentley and Secretary of State John Merrill on their work to fully enact the “motor voter” law. It’s refreshing to see a news article about voting in Alabama that isn’t negative. And while it did take more than 20 years and the threat of a costly lawsuit, Alabama is finally moving toward compliance with the

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Craig Ford - Appreciating our veterans on Veterans Day

November 13, 2015 chris

November is a time to be thankful. Of course, we celebrate Thanksgiving later on in the month. But November is also the time when we celebrate Veterans Day and give thanks to all those who have served our country.

Veterans Day began as a day to remember those who served in World War I. That war ended at the

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Craig Ford - Animal cruelty and neglect no laughing matter

November 6, 2015 chris
It blows my mind that we still have to deal with animal cruelty and neglect in 2015. But unfortunately there are still sad stories like the one that just came out of Walker County. A man there owned more than 50 dogs. When his house was foreclosed on, he took 11 of the dogs with
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Craig Ford - Where's the beef?

October 30, 2015 chris

Do you remember that old Wendy’s commercial with the older lady asking, “Where’s the beef?” The point of the commercial was that Wendy’s competitors didn’t deliver what they promised and, more importantly, didn’t give the customer what they wanted.

When I think about Alabama politics and what’s going on in our state government, I find myself asking that same

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Craig Ford - Our state leaders need to get back to the mainstream

October 23, 2015 chris

When even the Republican leader in the state senate says you’re out of touch, you know things have gone too far. But that is where we are in Alabama politics these days. It’s about the mainstream versus the extreme, and right now the extreme is winning.

In a recently released recording of a meeting between the governor and the

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Craig Ford - What education surplus?

October 16, 2015 chris

Stealing from children is wrong. Period. But that’s exactly what the Alabama Legislature has done and will probably continue to do.

Several members of the Alabama Senate and House of Representatives have written and spoken publicly about a “surplus” in education. They have also claimed that if we combine the budgets, it will solve all our general fund budget

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Craig Ford - The importance of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 9, 2015 chris

There are a lot of things that make October a special month - the Major League Baseball playoffs, the heart of football season and the changing weather, just to name a few. But October is also important because it is the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I’ve always been proud to support those who fight against this terrible disease,

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Craig Ford - Bentley got his tax increases but still closing parks and DMV offices

October 2, 2015 chris

As if $86 million in new taxes and an $80 million raid on public education weren’t bad enough, Gov. Robert Bentley now has announced that he will close more than 30 drivers license offices, as well as some state parks and National Guard armories.

The governor has spent this entire year trying to convince legislators and the people of Alabama

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Craig Ford - Paul Lee is the one who should be ashamed

September 25, 2015 chris

It would be an understatement to say that this year has been an odd one for Alabama politics. But nothing surprised me more than when Rep. Paul Lee, a Republican from Dothan, came up to the microphone on the last night of the legislative session that ended last week and gave a speech during which he said that it

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Craig Ford - State Republicans still don’t solve the budget crisis

September 18, 2015 chris

In a special legislative session where their options were to either raise taxes, cut services or raid education, the Republicans in the Alabama Legislature somehow managed to do all three and still not solve the long-term problems in the budget.

What is also very telling are the taxes they chose to raise. Every one of their tax increases is

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Craig Ford - Ford introduces legislation to protect school chaplains

September 11, 2015 chris

College football has finally started back, and it couldn’t have come soon enough! Football is a way of life here in Alabama. Only family and God are more important.

That’s why I was so troubled a few weeks ago when the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter to Auburn University asking them to “abolish the chaplaincy” in

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Craig Ford - Legislature shouldn't waste another chance to pass lottery

September 4, 2015 chris

There aren’t a whole lot of good things anyone can say about what’s been going on in Montgomery lately. The legislature has failed to pass a budget - twice! Legislators return to Montgomery next week for a third legislative session to address the budget crisis, but there is still no agreement on any solution.

But despite all of this,

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Craig Ford -Time for state leaders to prove that life matters

August 28, 2015 chris

Last week, Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey wrote an article entitled “Life Matters” in response to the recent Planned Parenthood videos. Like Lt. Gov. Ivey, I am 100 percent pro-life, and was shocked by the videos that came out. Life does matter, and should be treated with dignity and respect at every stage, including before birth.

But Lt. Gov. Ivey’s

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Craig Ford - A new school year is starting, but it should be starting later

August 21, 2015 chris

Remember when school didn’t start until after Labor Day? Over the last few weeks, students across Alabama have started a new school year right in the middle of August. Some have even been back for two or three weeks.

Instead of spending the last few weeks of August working summer jobs or on family vacations, teachers and students are

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Craig Ford - A path forward

August 14, 2015 chris

It isn’t often that legislators in Montgomery are universally in agreement on anything. But this week it happened, twice.

First, legislators in the State House of Representatives agreed by a vote of 92-2 to kill the budget that had passed earlier in the year. Additionally, everyone agreed that this legislative session has been a complete failure and waste of

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Craig Ford - Republican legislators need to stop blaming Democrats and start leading

August 7, 2015 chris

The wheels have come off the bus in Montgomery. 

That’s the only way to describe what’s happening in our state legislature. Now more than ever is the time for legislators to reach across the aisle and work together to solve this budget crisis. But instead, Republican legislators are attempting to blame Democrats because they can’t pass their own tax

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Craig Ford - Robbing our children is not the answer

July 31, 2015 chris

The crisis in the General Fund budget has dominated lawmakers’ focus this year, and for good reason. But one proposed solution continuing to come up would be devastating for Alabama.

State Sen. Paul Bussman (R-Cullman) has introduced a bill to combine the General Fund and Education Trust Fund budgets. In the past, I argued that all that would

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Craig Ford - The “Element of Surprise” is Just Another Game

July 24, 2015 chris

Two weeks ago, Gov. Bentley surprised everyone when he called the special legislative session. Legislators had expected the governor to wait until mid-August to call the session, but the governor said he wanted to use “the element of surprise” and take pressure off legislators over the gambling issue.

The people of Alabama expect their leaders to work together, and

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Craig Ford - The smart way to spend the BP money

July 17, 2015 chris

Alabama won a huge victory last week when the BP Oil settlement was announced. As a part of that settlement, the state will receive $2.3 billion dollars over the next 18 years, with a billion of those dollars being given to our state’s General Fund budget. That means legislators now have to determine what is the best use of

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