Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Darrio Melton: This budget crisis is a ticking time bomb for Alabama

  Monday marked exactly one month before the state enters full-blown crisis mode without a functional general fund budget. Governor Robert Bentley called a special session to resolve the $300 million budget shortfall, and it was a tremendous failure to say the least. Three different Republican leaders are fixed firmly on three different plans for the state of Alabama, but it seems to me the right hand doesn't understand what the left is doing, and nobody is willing to compromise to find the solutions that will work for the people of Alabama.

Monday, August 31, 2015

New overtime rule could raise wages for 4.7 million Millennial workers

  This summer, the U.S. Department of Labor proposed a new rule that will give 13.5 million workers, including 4.7 million Millennials, a raise if it becomes a regulation. The new rule, which determines who is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, more than doubles the annual salary threshold for guaranteed overtime pay from $23,660 to $50,440. This change would guarantee that workers with salaries below this level earn overtime pay—the equivalent of 1.5 times their hourly wage—whenever they work more than 40 hours per week. The fate of the rule will be decided by the Department of Labor after a comment period ends on September. 4, 2015.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Craig Ford: State leaders say life matters, but they need to prove it

  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 article–specifically the title–also raised another point: the difference between being “pro-life” and “pro-birth.” The title of the lieutenant governor’s article was “Life Matters,” but she didn’t write about life after birth.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Hank Sanders: Senate Sketches #1472: Reaping the Whirlwind

  They sow the wind and they reap the whirlwind. That principle is embedded in the Biblical Book of Hosea. It is rooted in the sowing and reaping of farming and other areas of life. We plant one grain and reap many grains. We see that as good. We sow one trouble and we reap many troubles. We see that as bad. This principle applies beyond agriculture and wind, revealing itself in every area of life including politics. We sow the wind and we reap the whirlwind.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Darrio Melton: Budgets show our priorities: Where are Alabama’s?

  When families sit down each year to make our household budgets, it's a negotiating process. It's an exercise in give-and-take. It's a time to sit down and evaluate where we are and prioritize our plans for the upcoming year.

  Yet as we are still in the process of creating our state's operating budget, we have to wonder if we see the same level of prioritizing and planning that we would expect of our own families.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Steve Flowers: Inside the Statehouse: Are lawmakers doing what their constituents want them to?

  Many would argue, and indeed numerous surveys indicate, that Alabama is one of, if not the most, conservative states in America. I would argue that if that is true then our Alabama Legislature is reflective of its constituents.

  A good many of the online and remaining large city daily newspapers castigate our super majority Republican legislature as ultra right wing, uncaring crazies that pass ludicrous social issue fanatical bills that are blatantly unconstitutional. They also say that they have taken an ostrich approach to facing the state’s financial crisis in favor of sticking to their no tax pledges. I would argue, however, that they are representing their constituents’ beliefs and concerns. These left-leaning modern day journalists have never run for, nor could they get elected, to any public office in Alabama.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Charles C. Haynes: Despite settled law, schools still struggle to get religion right

  Although I can’t cite a scientific survey to prove it, I have detected a recent upswing in conflicts over religion in public schools. Just as I was beginning to believe that most schools were finally getting religion right, it appears that the trend is in the other direction.

  Two examples from the past school year — one from each end of the spectrum — will suffice to illustrate the wider problem.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Our Stand: Montgomery deserves stability and progress

  In an election season that has been marked by an unsavory level of negativity and questionable claims, one thing has remained constant - incumbent Mayor Todd Strange is clearly the most logical choice to provide stability and continue a streak of progress in Montgomery, Alabama.

  From a rapidly expanding, thriving downtown that is making the most of its historical value while embracing new opportunities, to cracking down on residential and commercial decay and neglect, Mayor Strange has led a movement to balance growth with revitalization. The renovation and expansion of Cramton Bowl even earned the City of Montgomery a college football bowl game.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Hank Sanders: Senate Sketches #1470: Alabama's bad tooth syndrome

  “Son, most people have the bad tooth syndrome. I hope you never have the bad tooth syndrome.” These words were spoken by my dear mother who passed 18 years ago. She had a 7th grade education but was one of the wisest persons I've ever known.

  My mother was Ola Mae Sanders who gave birth to 13 children. She was not only wise but really had a way with words. The following is how she explained the bad tooth syndrome.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Craig Ford: A new school year is starting, but it should be starting later

  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 preparing to head back to school. Why?