Finding formula for jobs

September 7, 2012 chris

 This week, our nation celebrates Labor Day – a day meant to honor and show appreciation to hard-working Americans throughout the country. But this year, the celebrations seem bittersweet.

For four years, our nation has struggled to climb out of this recession. Some states have been more successful than others in recruiting or keeping jobs, and until recently, Alabama appeared

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Coming up with a plan to support Alabama schools

August 31, 2012 chris

 In previous columns, I have written about the mistakes I believe Republicans are making in regards to our public education system. I have also written about the need to provide competitive compensation to keep and attract the best and brightest to the education profession.

When the legislature returns to Montgomery next year, Democrats will offer a full agenda to support

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Legislature’s Republicans failed people of Alabama

August 24, 2012 chris

  As Republicans like to point out, for 136 years, Alabama voters continued to re-elect Democrats to represent them in Montgomery. During those 136, Alabama’s taxes were among the lowest in the nation, yet we still balanced the budget every year without gutting our schools, or the state’s Medicaid program. Even in the Great Depression and the economic stagnation of

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To support children, give support to all personnel

August 17, 2012 chris

 There are several factors that can influence a child’s ability to learn - economic situation, parental involvement, access to resources like modern technology and current textbooks, and classroom sizes.

But a key ingredient to child’s academic success is having good teachers and support personnel in our schools. We have all known teachers who impacted our lives or inspired us to

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“Rightsizing” is a cop-out

July 27, 2012 chris

The new leadership in Montgomery has been quick to pat itself on the back for its performance since it took total control of our state government in 2010. 

But what has the Republican Supermajority really accomplished?

Since the Republicans took over, our state has lost thousands of jobs, many of them critical public sector jobs in education and mental

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Longer summer vacation poses challenges and opportunities

July 20, 2012 chris

Mid-July is the very heart of summer, when the temperatures are high and the cool breezes of fall seem a distant dream. 

Fall once was associated with school starting back up, though few think like that now. Over the past decade, the school start-date has crept earlier and earlier, with most schools beginning the first week of August. Most

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Jobs should be our priority

July 13, 2012 chris

For four years, our country and our state have struggled to recover from what economists are calling “The Great Recession.” It is no surprise that all the public opinion polls show the number one issue on voters’ minds is - by far - jobs and the economy.

Republican leaders in Montgomery have been claiming that Alabama is recovering and

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Remember what it means to be an American this Fourth of July

July 6, 2012 chris

This week, our nation celebrates its 236th birthday. Most of us will spend the day celebrating with family and friends, barbequing and watching fireworks. But between the fireworks and cheeseburgers, it is important that we take a moment to think about what it means to be an American and pause to remember those who have fought for this country.

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Strong leadership needed for state’s economic turnaround

June 29, 2012 chris

Ask most people and they will tell you Alabama is still in a recession. People are worried, and despite what we may hear on the national news, it certainly doesn’t feel like we’re making progress here. 

A recent report confirms what we have all been feeling.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Alabama economy was one

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Democrats put their values on display

June 22, 2012 chris

The most important responsibility given to the Alabama Legislature is to write the state’s budgets each year. What a legislator fights for and how they vote on the budgets is the strongest indicator of that legislator’s values.

This year’s budgets became a war over what was more important - protecting corporate tax loopholes or protecting funding for Medicaid, schools and

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Our veterans deserve better

June 15, 2012 chris

On June 1, seventeen Veterans’ Affairs offices across Alabama were closed, including an essential office located in Centre.

Our legislature in Montgomery has one job above all others, and that is to write a budget every year. The Republican Supermajority that controls our legislature has the power to pass any budget it wants to without even talking to Democrats.

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Now we see the real Artur Davis

June 8, 2012 chris

Was anybody really surprised when Artur Davis announced that he is now a Republican and considering running for office in Virginia?

For the past two years, everyone in Virginia and Alabama has watched this man’s public breakdown. But in defeat, we have seen the real Artur Davis - a man with no principles and no understanding of what it

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House Democrats still fighting (and winning) for people of Alabama

May 18, 2012 chris

By State Rep. Craig Ford

After the 2010 elections, there were many who said the Democratic Party was dead in Alabama. But this year, Democrats in the Alabama legislature have proven that we are alive and fighting harder than ever to protect the people of Alabama.

Democrats have stepped up and provided leadership and solutions on a number of

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Our children’s education should be a priority

May 4, 2012 chris

What if you learned that the state had a program that could improve your child’s math and science skills so much, they could be a year ahead academically by the time they graduated? The program would make it more likely they would get into college - and get scholarships. Even if your child weren’t going to college, by participating…

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Alabama families paying too much in taxes

April 27, 2012 chris

  For the 136 years that Alabama Democrats led our state, we had the lowest taxes in the nation. Even today, Alabama collects fewer dollars in state and local taxes per person than any other place in the nation.

Yet, Alabama does not have the lowest taxes for everyone. If, for example, you work for $10 to $15 an hour,…

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It’s time to invest in our children’s education

April 20, 2012 chris
  Last Saturday, thousands of educators rallied on the steps of the state capitol to send a powerful message: It is time to invest in our schools! Educators from all over Alabama came to Montgomery hoping to stop another round of drastic cuts to their classrooms. The rally came just as the state legislature is
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Covenant Marriage bill an abuse of governmental authority

April 13, 2012 chris
  A local newspaper recently conducted an online poll to see what readers think about Senator Phil Williams covenant marriage bill that makes it more difficult to get a divorce. More than 75 percent of those who voted in the poll were opposed to covenant marriages. I was not surprised to see how the citizens
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Charter schools not the answer

April 6, 2012 chris

As a state representative, and especially as a Democrat, I am a strong believer in the value of education and the need to support our children’s schools. But I am deeply concerned about the charter school bill that has been introduced by Rep. Phil Williams and the Republican Supermajority.

While legislators should always be considering ways we can improve…

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Democrats offer solution to fully fund PACT program

March 23, 2012 chris

This year, we will see significant cuts to both the state General Fund budget and the Education Trust Fund budget. Education spending will especially suffer this year.

Education spending has been cut by 20 percent from what we spent just four years ago. We have not purchased new textbooks in years, and we have lost thousands of teachers and…

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Political witchhunt backfires on Republican Supermajority

March 16, 2012 chris

  After two years and $50 million taxpayer dollars wasted, the Alabama bingo trial has finally come to an end. This investigation was an unprecedented abuse of federal authority.

The purpose of this investigation was always about influencing the outcome of the 2010 elections. That is why no arrests or indictments were made until one month before the election.


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House Democrats use common sense to help students

March 2, 2012 chris

  Much to the chagrin of students everywhere, homework is an essential part of a good education. When students do math problems or go over a history lesson at home, homework solidifies what they learned in class.

Yet, one in five Alabama students don’t have a textbook to bring home. Many Alabama textbooks are in terrible shape because they are…

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Alabama Democrats ready to work with Republicans

February 17, 2012 chris

By State Rep. Craig Ford

Since 1993, Alabama has focused its job recruiting efforts on bringing in large companies and growing the automotive industry. These efforts started with Governor Folsom and continued under Governor Siegelman. Over a period of just a few years, Mercedes, Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai took Alabama from dead last in the number of autos built to…

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Promises are good things and must be kept

February 9, 2012 dbrickhouse
By Craig Ford We are taught from a very early age that a promise is a promise. Alabama made a promise to teachers, nurses, prison guards, sheriff deputies, child-protection workers, and others serving in the public interest that they could have a decent retirement. Seventy years ago, the Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) was created
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