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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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)
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
Elections are about choices - specifically, choices between different visions. And in the elections for our state legislature on Nov. 4, there couldn’t be more at stake.
But what’s been interesting to watch is how so many sitting legislators have gone to such extreme lengths to run away from their record of the past four years.
How many times this year have
In two weeks, voters across our state will head to the polls and decide who will be leading Alabama for the next four years. As voters are evaluating the candidates, I think it is important that we carefully look at the candidates’ background and how the candidates have presented themselves in their campaigns.
Last week, I questioned why my opponent, Doug
As a state representative, there are a lot of causes I am proud to make a stand for. My two biggest priorities, and what I have devoted the majority of my time to, have been job creation and education.
But I have also been proud to take a stand for our second amendment rights, and proud to say that I have
It’s no secret that women are a little more than half of our population. In fact, out of the more than 2.7 million registered voters in Alabama, just over 56 percent are women.
And yet, women only hold a few elected offices in our state government. In the state legislature, only 14 percent of senators and representatives are women. In the
Now that the campaign season is entering the final five weeks, there will be a huge increase in the TV ads, mail pieces and other campaign activity - all meant to persuade voters to vote one way or another. It’s the homestretch, and things are going to be ramping up.
However you may choose to vote, the most important thing you
There are many things I believe a person in leadership should be - responsive to constituents, strong in core values, possess the ability to make tough decisions and most importantly, function as a good steward of the taxpayers’ money. And being a good steward of taxpayers’ money means finding real solutions to the budget problems of our state, not simply
One of the biggest threats to our children’s education is when the politicians think they know better than the professional educators.
Last month, 30 of Alabama’s public school superintendents joined in a lawsuit challenging the legality of the so-called Accountability Act, and asking the Alabama Supreme Court to uphold a lower court’s decision that the Accountability Act is unconstitutional.
Among those 30
Recently, our state leaders have been going around patting themselves on the back for how much they have changed things over the past four years. They say that over the next four years, they are going to “be bold,” if not “bolder,” than they were before. They plan to go even further than they have in the past. This should
We celebrated Labor Day earlier this week in honor of the working families throughout this country. It is a fitting time to celebrate working families, since jobs are by far the No. 1 issue on most peoples’ minds these days.
As we get closer to Election Day, you will see more and more political ads talking about “Jobs, jobs, jobs.” But
Alabama is definitely facing some major problems with our state budgets, and it’s time for state leaders to take these problems seriously and find real solutions. But combining the two budgets is not a real solution.
Our state leaders need to realize that simply taking money from one pile and moving it to another is not a good idea.
There’s no doubt we have a jobs problem in the state of Alabama. We are the only state in the country with a rising unemployment rate, which is now at 7 percent. Last year, the state created only 366 new jobs, and we are now ranked 49th in the country for job creation. By Gov. Robert Bentley’s own measuring stick,
Back when Gov. Robert Bentley was campaigning in 2010, he made some bold statements. Statements such as, “I believe the people of Alabama need to decide at the ballot box on a YES or NO vote whether to allow gambling or abolish all forms of gambling.”
And Gov. Bentley and I were 100 percent in agreement. I firmly believe that we
This week students and educators across the state will return to school. What makes this year different from the last two years is that they will be going back to school two weeks sooner than before.
In 2012, the Alabama legislature passed a school start date bill that gave schools more flexibility in setting their schedules and allowed summers to last
I believe that education is the great equalizer. If you give children a quality education, then with hard work they can make their dreams come true. That is why it is so disheartening to see millions of dollars taken from their education every year so that a handful of (mostly wealthy) donors can get yet another tax break.
It seems the
There is a simple business principle that many understand and that economists have spent years dissecting and discussing in books, on television and in newspaper articles - creating jobs for people means generating revenue for all sectors.
Unfortunately, for Alabama, there are people in leadership that don’t understand that simple principle. Instead of wanting to create jobs that will help solve
Maybe it’s because I am a father and my wife is a teacher that I have a unique perspective. But I believe, wholeheartedly, that every child deserves a quality education. Regardless of if they are zoned for this school or that school, can afford private school or can’t afford private school.
Alabama should provide a quality education for all of our
It’s politics 101. You don’t make promises you can’t keep or lead people on to think you might do something you know you will not be able to do.
But that is exactly what Gov. Robert Bentley did to educators this year.
At the start of the year, Bentley proposed a 2.5 percent pay raise for teachers and support personnel. Newspaper headlines
There is no doubt that God has been good to me. I have received so many blessings in my life, but none have been better or more rewarding than being a father.
With all the responsibilities a person can have today, being a parent is by far the most important in significance, and it is a responsibility that I take more
There were a lot of surprises that came out of last week’s primary elections. One thing that was not a surprise was all the ads and mail pieces about Barack Obama.
It only makes sense. Republican legislators don’t want to talk about their own record. They want to make every election a referendum on Obama’s presidency.
I don’t blame them. What record
My, how the tables have turned.
Four years ago, Republican politicians in Montgomery were applauding Republican prosecutors for investigating public corruption in the bingo trials - an investigation that led to exactly zero convictions.
Now, these same Republican politicians are claiming that politics is behind the investigation into their own corruption, and that the investigation is nothing more than an attempt to