Education budget a slap in the face

April 19, 2013 chris

 It has been a rough year for public education in Alabama. In fact, for the past three years, the Republicans in the Alabama legislature have been waging a war on public education.
    And because of the education budget that passed the state House of Representatives last week, next year isn’t looking much better.
    Particularly, there are two proposals included in

Read More

Accountability Act can’t be fixed

April 12, 2013 chris

 Repeal is the only solution

When Gov. Bentley signed the Alabama Accountability Act into law, he acknowledged that there were, in his words, “Some concerns [that] have been raised regarding the impact of this legislation.”

The governor also said he believed those concerns could be fixed through more rules and regulation.

At the same time, Republicans in the state legislature are saying

Read More

Make our children’s safety a priority

April 5, 2013 chris

The Bible says in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” I believe in the truth of that scripture, and over the next couple of months we will see where our state’s leadership is putting their hearts.

As the legislature returns for the second half of the legislative session, one of its top priorities will

Read More

Be careful what you wish for…

March 29, 2013 chris

 Be careful what you wish for…
We’ve all heard the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.” It seems that Republicans in the Alabama legislature are learning the meaning of this saying the hard way after they failed to show up for work this past Tuesday and ended up burning a legislative day and

Read More

An ugly bill passed in an ugly way

March 22, 2013 chris

It is amazing to read what some legislators have written in the weeks since the state legislature passed the so-called Alabama Accountability Act.

The Republicans in the Alabama legislature who concocted this bill and the deceitful (not to mention illegal) tactics to pass it, are now trying to tell us that they followed the rules and thoroughly debated this bill, which

Read More

We have to slow down the legislative process

March 15, 2013 chris

There has been a lot said over the past two weeks about the tactics used by Republicans in the Alabama legislature to pass the so-called Alabama Accountability Act. You have also read about how Democrats have responded by filibustering legislation and using the rules to slow the legislative process down.

I want to explain why Democrats are doing what we are

Read More

Republicans in Montgomery broke promise

March 8, 2013 chris
By State Rep. Craig Ford If there was any doubt that the Republican leadership in Montgomery is waging a war on public education in Alabama, those doubts were put to rest last week. By passing the so-called school “Accountability Act,” and doing so in the way that they did it, the Republicans in the Alabama
Read More

Sequestration would be disaster for State of Alabama

March 1, 2013 chris

If there has been a theme for the Republicans in Montgomery this legislative session, it would be that the federal government is bad and we don’t need the federal government’s money.

While I am all for the state being in control of its own destiny, the truth is that we rely on the federal government in order to provide the services

Read More

Governor, legislature treating state employees like second-class citizens

February 22, 2013 chris

I never thought that I would live to see a governor brag about how he has eliminated 4,000 jobs, especially in the middle of a recession! But two weeks ago, that is exactly what Gov. Robert Bentley did in his State of the State address.

The only thing more shocking than hearing the governor brag about how he has put 4,000

Read More

School flexibility bill must be fixed or it should be rejected

February 15, 2013 chris

Public education is one of the most important services our state and local governments provide. All of us want to see our schools improve and our children’s quality of education rise.

For Republicans in Montgomery, their signature proposal for public education is a bill they call the “School Flexibility Act.”

What this bill would do is allow local school systems to seek

Read More

Why the Democratic Party is not dead in Alabama

February 8, 2013 chris

 Since 2010, some people have argued that the Democratic Party is dead in Alabama.
    They are wrong.
    There are several reasons why Democrats not only are alive, but in good position to take back several seats we have lost.
    First, the 2010 and 2012 elections are not a good indicator of what is going to happen in 2014.
    In 2010,

Read More

To get results, we must invest in our children’s education

February 1, 2013 chris

As legislators prepare to return to Montgomery next week for the 2013 Legislative Session, one of the biggest issues we will address will be public education.

Last week, Republicans in the state legislature announced their legislative agenda for this year. Their only education proposal was a school flexibility bill that would allow local school systems to seek waivers on state statues,

Read More

What we can learn from Dr. King

January 25, 2013 chris

“…there is nothing greater in all the world than freedom. It’s worth going to jail for. It’s worth losing a job for. It’s worth dying for. My friends, go out this evening determined to achieve this freedom which God wants for all of His children.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jan. 1, 1957

As our country celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Read More

Setting legislative goals for 2013

January 18, 2013 chris

As legislators prepare to return to Montgomery on Feb. 5, we have to determine what issues will be our priorities in the coming legislative session. In the coming weeks, House Democrats will announce our official legislative agenda for the year. But today, I’d like to discuss what the legislature’s top priorities should be when we return to the capitol.

One of

Read More

How to make our schools safer

January 11, 2013 chris
Most of us have always taken for granted that our children are safe at school. None of us are ever prepared to hear about what happened last month in Newtown, Connecticut, or at Columbine High School almost 14 years ago.

Schools should be a safe place where our children can learn and grow without fear or danger. And when you consider
Read More

Stop playing politics with peoples’ lives

January 4, 2013 chris

I don’t envy Gov. Bentley. He has a tough job to do and has had to make some tough choices over the past two years. But one of the choices he has made should not have been tough at all. Yet he took months to make his choice, flip-flopped on that choice, and ultimately made the wrong decision.

I’m talking about

Read More

The universal Christmas gift

December 21, 2012 chris

The holidays are a time for giving. We give gifts to our friends, families and co-workers. We give money and other donations to charities like Toys for Tots, the Salvation Army or a local food bank. But money and presents are the only gifts we can give, and sometimes are not the gifts that are most needed.

One thing we all

Read More

Remembering Yvonne Kennedy

December 14, 2012 chris

This week, I lost a true friend, colleague and mentor when Rep. Yvonne Kennedy passed away.

When I first heard the news, I was shocked. It was very unexpected. But as I began to mourn her passing, the thought occurred to me that this shouldn’t just be a time for saying goodbye to a friend we lost.

This should also be a

Read More

Legal, responsible gun owners should not have to choose

December 7, 2012 chris

When our founding fathers wrote the Bill of Rights, they made the “right to keep and bear arms” a priority. In fact, the right to own a firearm comes second only to the First Amendment rights to free speech, freedom of religion and the freedom of the press.

The founding fathers were wise to provide constitutional protections for gun ownership.

The actual

Read More

Governor wrong on Medicaid-Health Insurance Exchange

November 30, 2012 chris

I have been very disappointed to read that Gov. Bentley has chosen to hand over control of the state’s health insurance exchange to the federal government.

Federal law requires the state to set up an insurance exchange. Because the governor has refused to follow the law, the federal government is going to set up the exchange anyway and without any input

Read More

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

November 21, 2012 chris

 This week we celebrate Thanksgiving, and, in my opinion, it could not come soon enough.
    This year has been filled with political fights, Hurricane Sandy and a scandal involving the head of the CIA.
    With all of that, it can be easy to get consumed with the bad and forget all the good we have in our lives.
    So it

Read More

Where is the ethical government the Republicans promised?

November 16, 2012 chris

I was deeply disappointed last week when I read about the Republican leaderships’ hypocrisy on gambling in Alabama and the subsequent threats they made to the papers that printed the story.

Disappointed, but not surprised.

For years, there have been accusations that the Alabama Republican Party and its leadership have actively sought out contributions from gaming interests in Alabama and Mississippi while

Read More

Take time to honor our veterans this Veterans’ Day

November 9, 2012 chris

November is a special time of year. The leaves begin changing, the fall becomes winter, and there is plenty of great football on television. Every November, our nation takes a day to give thanks for the blessings God has given us.

But November is also the month when we take a day to honor America’s veterans and to thank them for

Read More

Amendment 4 has strings attached

November 2, 2012 chris

Recently, I wrote an article about the 11 statewide amendments that will be on our ballots next week. Today, I want to talk a little more about Amendment 4, which would remove some of the racist language that is currently in our state constitution.

If you only read the description of Amendment 4 that will appear on our ballots, it appears

Read More

Remember amendments on Nov. 6

October 26, 2012 chris

 In two weeks, we will cast our votes in several crucial elections. But there will be more than just political offices on our ballots. This year’s ballot also includes eleven statewide amendments, some of which will have significant impacts on our state.

To help voters have a better understanding of what these amendments will do, I have written a summary of

Read More

Fighting against domestic violence

October 19, 2012 chris

 Recently I wrote an editorial about October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month and what we can do to help raise awareness and support the work to end breast cancer.

But did you know that October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month?

Domestic violence occurs when one person uses force or threats to control another person. This is typically done through

Read More

Reviewing ways to repay trust fund

October 12, 2012 chris

 We must repay the trust fund sooner and with interest

One of the reasons that voters approved the constitutional amendment to allow the state to borrow $437 million from the state’s Trust Fund was because the Governor and legislative leaders promised that they would repay the money.

The bill that Republican Sen. Bryan Taylor filed would require the state to

Read More

How you can help fight breast cancer

October 5, 2012 chris

 Did you know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

  Most of us know someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. It’s an illness that can affect any woman, regardless of age, race, where they live, or their socio-economic background.

  The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2012 alone, 226,870 more women will be diagnosed with new cases of

Read More

Who looks out for working families?

September 28, 2012 chris
 In 1992, the economy was the top issue on every voter’s mind. Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign captured that sentiment when they coined the phrase, “It’s the economy, stupid.”   Twenty years later, it’s still the economy.   Last week, it was reported that Alabama’s unemployment rate has risen for the fourth consecutive month. From April
Read More

What state should do to fix finances

September 21, 2012 chris

 Last Tuesday (Sept. 18), the people of Alabama will have decided the fate of the constitutional amendment that would allow our state government to borrow $437 million from the state’s Trust Fund. I recently wrote about why I believe voters should vote no on the constitutional amendment. Today, I would like to offer three proposals that legislators and the governor

Read More