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
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
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
For months, we have been told that the state needs at least another $200 million to avoid catastrophe. We have been told that we are broke because the way we budget for our state government is broken.
Unfortunately, what we have been told is true: our government is broke, and it is broken. But you can’t fix something if
Decisions made by the government and high-profile court rulings consumed the news last week. Most of the breaking news has centered on the U.S. Supreme Court decisions. But there is one court ruling that hasn’t gotten as much attention, and it’s just as important to the people of Alabama because it has such a huge impact on the future
Last week, Gov. Robert Bentley announced that he would not include any gambling proposals in the call for a special legislative session later this year. I believe Gov. Bentley is wrong to refuse to include gambling in the call for a special session, and I will introduce a gambling bill when the legislature returns to Montgomery.
There are only two
There have been a lot of things said about the state’s legislative session that just ended. But no one is calling it a success (at least not anyone who wants to maintain any credibility).
From the legislature’s failure to pass a General Fund budget, to the Republicans’ inability to agree among themselves on a solution to the budget crisis,
It’s been a joke on the internet for who knows how long - somebody takes a picture of a stop sign missing a letter or the University of Minnesota’s logo painted on the 45-yard line instead of at midfield, and there’s a caption that reads, “You had one job to do.”
The Alabama Legislature also only has one job
It’s no secret that the state of Alabama is in a budget crisis. It’s a crisis that we’ve known for three years was coming, but our state leaders waited until the elections were over before they publicly acknowledged it or offered any solutions. There have been several solutions proposed, from more taxes to expanding gambling. However, the most recent
We are often reminded that this nation was founded on Christian principles, and certainly a majority of the representatives in the Alabama legislature are Christians.
So when the General Fund budget, which finances all government services and agencies outside of education, came up for a vote last week, I couldn’t help but think about that popular phrase from the
Every organization needs leaders. An army needs a general. A team needs a coach. A company needs a president or CEO.
The Alabama House of Representatives also needs leadership, especially when we are facing a crisis like the one we are facing now. But over the last few weeks, it has become obvious that the wheels are coming off
After five years of passing millions of dollars in tax cuts for big businesses and billion-dollar, out-of-state corporations that, in some cases, pay zero state income taxes, Republicans in the state House of Representatives are about to raise taxes on working men and women.
Only six months after campaigning on a pledge to create more jobs and never raise
When I first saw the list of bills we would be debating in the state House of Representatives, I thought it was a joke. The first bill up for debate was a bill to make brown shrimp the official state crustacean.
This is your state legislature’s priorities, folks. Not peoples’ lives or jobs, and certainly not being responsible
Late Saturday night, Inside Alabama Politics reported that Republicans in the Alabama Legislature will introduce their own gambling bill this week, which will include a lottery and authorization for a possible compact with the Poarch Creek Indians.
On the one hand, I’m glad to see Republicans embracing the Democratic Party’s legislative agenda. A lottery has been a part of
By State Rep. Craig Ford
The day the Accountability Act was signed into law,
legislative leaders said it would need to be revised. Three months later,
Republican leaders offered their first “fix” bill, which expanded the tax
credits for corporate donors.
Now, Republican legislators are pushing another “fix” bill that, once again, raises the cap. But
It isn’t often these days that you see Democrats and Republicans agreeing on major policies. But that’s exactly what began to happen last week.
It is no secret that our General Fund budget is in desperate shape. The proposed budget cuts that were released the other week would gut our government to the point that it could shut down,
My wife Gwen is an incredible woman. I see it every day of my life. Not just in how hard she works or in the way she supports me, but in the most important job any of us could ever have: being a parent. Gwen always goes above and beyond for our family, as do many other mothers, wives
Gadsden’s representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Robert Aderholt, was recently chosen as the National Association of Development Organizations’ Legislator of the Year. In the article announcing the award, Congressman Aderholt said he was honored to receive an award from an organization dedicated to growing communities.
The irony in all this is mind blowing! Just weeks after
This week is the state legislature’s spring break, and we are now almost a third of the way through the legislative session. And as last week came to an end, legislative leaders were quick to congratulate themselves on passing their legislative agenda.
I’m sure the taxpayers will be relieved Republicans were able to pass their “Alabama First” agenda. I
Other than the $700 million hole in the state’s General Fund budget, no issue has been more talked about than the charter school bill.
Republicans in the Alabama legislature have made charter schools a part of their legislative agenda, and a priority in this legislative session (which is ironic, given these same Republican legislators campaigned on stopping President Obama’s agenda,
It amazes me to think how far we’ve come over the last 50 years, and yet how far it seems we still have to go.
All eyes were on Selma during the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, and rightfully so. The march that took place all those years ago brought national attention to the evil that is discrimination, and
It is no secret that our state government is in serious financial trouble. The hole in the state’s General Fund budget is estimated to be at least $250 million. But while everyone acknowledges the problem, what has been most surprising is how so many of those in leadership have failed to offer any solutions.
The exception has been Gov.
Many times in my life, I’ve seen that teamwork really does work. Whether it’s in sports, business or government, every member of the team gets together and comes to an agreement - a little give from some people and a little take from others. For teamwork to really work, however, everyone involved, including the leaders, must be willing to
I’ve always admired U.S. President Harry S. Truman. Even though he never earned a college degree, I believe he had more wisdom than most of our Ivy-League educated leaders.
Truman once said, “There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.” That is a profound statement. It is also very true and very relevant
Alabama Republican Party Chairman, Bill Armistead recently took to al.com to discuss his thoughts on the state budget. It left me scratching my head, as he kept putting words like “budget crisis” and “shortfall” in quotes like he doesn’t believe we have a budget crisis. Gov. Robert Bentley himself has predicted a minimum $265 million shortfall in the general
There’s a saying in the insurance business: “Grow with those we know.” It means when you are out looking for new business, always think of your existing customers first. I think this is a good concept that we need to apply to job creation here in Alabama.
Many of our state’s leaders have been touting a declining unemployment rate,
“I have decided to stick with love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go From Here, 1967
The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one I have spent years trying to not only fully understand, but also to live up to. I am amazed by how powerful
“You can’t work across party lines when there aren’t many of them. So I’m going to work across Republican Party lines because there are a lot of divisions in the Republican Party.” - Gov. Robert Bentley
I was very disappointed when I read this quote from the governor earlier this week. Partisanship is a part of politics. And it’s
One of the things that makes our government work is the self-reporting of financial information. This self-reporting, and in some cases, outside auditing, allows the people of Alabama to know exactly where their money is going. And each year, at the end of the year, the Alabama Department of Revenue puts out these reports for all to see.
There’s no doubt that 2015 will be a difficult year, as our state is facing many difficult challenges. From plugging a massive hole in the budget to reforming our prisons, the legislature has its work cut out for it this spring.
Considering how daunting these challenges will be, it would be easy to be pessimistic about what will be coming. We’ve