This is what House Minority Leader Craig Ford (D) says about the HB159 vote, via Facebook:
“On Tuesday, we put five amendments on House Bill 160 that will protect the Education Trust Fund. This bill is a double-edged sword. It is far from perfect, but with these amendments I had to vote in favor of this bill because it was in the best interest of my district. We have a large manufacturing plant in Gadsden. It is largest employer in my district, and I have to balance the needs of our schools with the needs of all those hard working families. We are having to compete with other states to keep this plant and all of those jobs in Gadsden. Furthermore, House Bill 159 is a constitutional amendment which has to be approved by the voters in a statewide election. We live in a democracy, and I can't justify denying the people of Alabama the right to vote. That is also why I am also advocating for a constitutional amendment to institute a state lottery. It is time to let the people decide this issue.
The teachers in my district know my reputation and my voting record. I have always supported our teachers and our schools, and I will continue to do so. This year, I have introduced legislation to give teachers a 4% pay raise and reinstitute the DROP program. I have also sponsored legislation to repeal the Rolling Reserve Act so that our schools can get access to the $110 million dollars that should be going to our schools but are instead sitting in the bank. I appreciate teachers and all that they do for our children. I will continue to support them, just as they have supported me.”