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,

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

Craig Ford - You can’t fix something you don’t believe in

July 10, 2015 chris

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

Read More

Craig Ford - Time for a real solution to gambling question

July 6, 2015 chris

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

Read More

Craig Ford - Opposing gambling legislation protects gambling interests

June 26, 2015 chris

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

Read More

Craig Ford -The Legislature’s Failures Keep On Coming

June 19, 2015 chris

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,

Read More

Craig Ford - Can the legislature solve the budget crisis?

June 12, 2015 chris

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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,

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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,

Read More

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

Read More

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.

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

Armistead not entitled to his own facts

February 5, 2015 chris

  Alabama Republican Party Chairman, Bill Armistead recently took to 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

Read More