Craig Ford - Combining state’s budgets will only make crisis worse

June 5, 2015 chris

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

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What would Jesus do? - Craig Ford

May 29, 2015 chris

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

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Who’s leading the Alabama House of Representatives?

May 22, 2015 chris

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

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Republicans are trading in job slogans for taxes

May 15, 2015 chris

  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

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State legislature thinks brown shrimp are more important than people

May 8, 2015 chris

 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

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Maybe Democrats won the 2014 elections after all

May 1, 2015 chris

  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

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Accountability Act? Or Bob Riley Bailout?

April 24, 2015 chris

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

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A big step forward for the lottery and a bipartisan solution to budget crisis

April 17, 2015 chris

  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,

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A disturbing trend in the Alabama legislature

April 10, 2015 chris

  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

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Congressman Aderholt needs to earn his award

April 3, 2015 chris

  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

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Democrat's lottery or Republicans' taxes?

March 27, 2015 chris

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

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Why charter schools are a bad for Alabama

March 20, 2015 chris

  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,

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An ironic time for history to repeat itself

March 12, 2015 chris

  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

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Serious problems require serious policy solutions

March 6, 2015 chris

  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.

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Making progress on I-759 will take the whole team

March 2, 2015 chris

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

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Learning from history

February 15, 2015 chris

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

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Armistead not entitled to his own facts

February 5, 2015 chris

  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

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Grow with the one you know

January 30, 2015 chris

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,

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A legacy to live by

January 23, 2015 chris

“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

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The importance of working together

January 15, 2015 chris

  “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

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Still haven’t quite figured out how to help students

January 9, 2015 chris

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.

The

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The hope of a new year

January 2, 2015 chris

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

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The most wonderful time of the year

December 24, 2014 chris

Christmastime has always been one of my favorite holidays. It’s a time of giving to others and a time for visiting with family, some of whom we haven’t seen in a year or more. Most importantly, for me as a Christian, Christmas time is a time to honor and praise our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

This time of

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Should Montgomery be the new Washington?

December 19, 2014 chris

If there was ever any doubt about how politicians in Alabama feel about the federal government, just look at some of their campaign ads. During this past election, Alabama politicians spent millions of dollars on ads about how they would stand up to Washington and “fight Obama”. The phrase “federal overreach” is about as common now as hearing “Sweet Home

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Good ideas are bigger than political parties

December 12, 2014 chris

Without question, the biggest issue facing our state legislature this spring will be funding our state budgets, and specifically addressing the crisis in the General Fund budget. While the Education Trust Fund is expected to be in decent shape, Gov. Robert Bentley has projected a potential shortfall of anywhere between $250 million and $700 million in the General Fund budget.

Several

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Ford to sponsor lottery bill, resolution to negotiate compact with Poarch Creek

December 5, 2014 chris

When our state legislature returns to Montgomery, legislators will have to take on a major problem: funding our state budgets.

There are no easy solutions to our budget problems. But there are simple solutions that can generate millions of dollars for our budgets and put us on a path to fiscal stability without raising income or property taxes, or other taxes

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Protecting democracy, our American birthright

November 26, 2014 chris

There are many things about this country that make us great - our economy, our military and our people, to name a few. But perhaps our greatest accomplishment has been democracy. Democracy is our most precious and cherished blessing, and it is the foundation of our freedom.

Before America, kings with absolute power ruled nations. While there are still

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Alabama Democrats ready to build a better Alabama

November 21, 2014 chris

Last week, a journalist wrote an article claiming that the Alabama Democrats are making “phony” attempts to “whitewash diversity” in an attempt to keep white voters from leaving the party and taking their money with them. We’ll ignore the ridiculous assumption that Black Democrats don’t donate and that Black leadership can’t fundraise. We’ll even look past the Republican Party’s lack

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“Thank you” doesn’t always cover it

November 14, 2014 chris

This week we had the pleasure of celebrating our nation’s true heroes - our veterans. This is always one of the most important holidays of the year in my mind. Not because I am a veteran, but because I believe it is important that we take time to appreciate and understand the sacrifice members of the military (and their families)

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It’s time to work together

November 7, 2014 chris

Now that the 2014 election is over and the people of Alabama have spoken, it is time for state legislators to work together and honor our commitments to the people of Alabama to create jobs and provide every child in Alabama with a quality education.

We have been chosen by our constituents to serve the people. That means remembering that, first

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