The Legislature needs to pass the Lottery in the Special Session

June 8, 2017

Guest Editorial from Rep. Craig Ford

The Alabama Legislature is quickly running out of excuses for failing to let the people vote on a State Lottery.

Last summer, Gov. Bentley called a Special Session specifically for the purpose of passing a Lottery. After passing out of the State Senate, the Lottery went to the House where it passed on its second vote after a few changes had been made. Those changes meant the bill had to go back to the Senate, and the Senators didn’t agree with the changes the House had made. So, the Lottery once again died without getting a chance to go before the people.
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It’s not about right wing and left wing, it’s about right and wrong

May 25, 2017

By Rep. Craig Ford

It would be easy to think nothing good has happened lately in the world of Alabama politics, and that Montgomery is so mired in corruption and bickering that nothing ever gets done.

After all, the Legislative Session that just ended began with one governor and ended with a different one; tensions over Legislative redistricting and a controversial email slowed its final days to a crawl; and important issues that were left unfinished will most likely lead to a costly Special Session.
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State feeling buyer’s remorse on Superintendent of Education

May 4, 2017

Rep. Craig Ford

When we hear the words, “buyer’s remorse,” we usually think of somebody who bought a car they couldn’t afford or some luxury item that ended up not being as great as they thought it would be.

But the term also applies to the way a lot of members of the Alabama Legislature and the State Board of Education feel about our School Superintendent, Michael Sentance.

The warning signs should have been there from the beginning.
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Hypocrisy, injustice from the Alabama Legislature

March 22, 2017

By Rep. Craig Ford

State Legislatures and the US Congress typically have the lowest approval ratings of any government branch or agency, and last week the Alabama Legislature showed exactly why that is.

The same State Legislators who made their own pay raises part of the State Constitution, and are subsequently receiving more than a $2,000 pay raise this year for their part-time job, have decided our it isn’t a question of money. The budget passed by the House of Representatives is holding back $97 million “for future needs and uncertainties,” while the cost of a four percent pay increase would only be one-fifth of that (about $19 million).
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Is the Legislature about to pass a $250 million backdoor tax increase?

March 16, 2017

By Rep. Craig Ford

It doesn’t claim to be a $250 million tax increase, but that’s exactly what would happen if the State Legislature passes a proposed bill to privatize the state’s ABC stores.

Though it may seem like a reasonable, pro-private sector bill that would decrease government bureaucracy and expenses, in reality this bill would hurt small businesses, cost the taxpayers $250 million (or more) a year and worsen the “wild west” situation we already have with private liquor stores.
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Public leaders set the example, whether we like it or not

March 9, 2017

Rep. Craig Ford

Bullying and intimidation are nothing new to American politics. In 1856, Congressman Preston Brooks famously beat Senator Charles Sumner with a walking stick. Just ten years ago, State Senator Charles Bishop assaulted state Senator Lowell Barron on the floor of the Alabama Senate.

People can be passionate about their beliefs – especially their political beliefs. For the most part, these passions are not expressed in violent ways. But recently we have seen our country become more violent over politics, and part of that increase in violence is due to the example our leaders have set.
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My Hope For The Future Of Alabama And The Democratic Party

February 6, 2017

By Minority Leader Rep.Craig Ford

For the last six years, it has been my privilege to serve as Minority Leader in the Alabama House of Representatives. On Wednesday, I will step down and a new leader will be elected.

While I will continue to serve in the Legislature and represent the great people of Etowah County, I would like to share my outgoing thoughts on our state and the Democratic Party.
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Are Our Schools Really Failing?

January 30, 2017

House Minority Leader Rep. Craig Ford

A lot has been said about the state of Alabama’s public school system. And for the last six years, State leaders have been obsessed with defining public schools as failing, even going so far as to require by law that at least 6 percent of all schools must be labeled as failing.

Making the situation worse is that students and schools have seemingly been set up to fail. Read More

The Goal of Education

January 20, 2017

House Minority Leader Rep. Craig Ford

When it comes to education policy, I don’t often agree with my colleague, Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur). But this year she plans to bring legislation that would set education goals for our state, and I like this idea.

I like this idea because it finally forces us to address the most important and fundamental question concerning education: What is the goal?

It’s a question that I’m afraid too often gets lost in the debate over education policy and reform. It certainly gets lost in our obsession with standardized test scores. Read More

A sports complex would be big for our local economy

January 6, 2017

By House Minority Leader Rep. Craig Ford

Etowah County has produced a lot of great athletes over the years, including several NFL players like Dre Kirkpatrick and Carnell “Cadillac” Williams. In November, the “Lady Fusion 03” soccer team won the state championship in the U13 division.

We have a proud sports tradition here, and now more than ever we need a sports complex to accommodate these teams. Whether its you soccer like our state champion Lady Fusion team (soccer is the fastest growing sport in the country) or travel ball and little league baseball and softball teams, there is a significant need for a sports complex. Read More

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