Before 2013 faded out, my intentions were to congratulate a number of local people receiving honors. And though it is late, and I'll probably overlook some important ones, I'll still tip my hat to these.
I hope each of you had a safe and wonderful Christmas and that your New Year is off to a good start. My family was blessed this past year in so many ways, and we had a wonderful holiday season. Stacie and I have a tradition of taking the girls to the mountains for New Year's, and we had a great time again this year. The girls were extremely excited to be there to see their first snow of the season.
This could be an important piece of information I am about to share with you. Whether it is or not is up to you. It depends on how much you care about the money being spent on our state's politicians. If you don't care and want to cop the "it doesn't make any difference" attitude, then I suggest you blow the dust off the ol' Funk & Wagnall and look up the word "apathy." Or go kiss a goat. Your choice.
Good grief. I just took a peek at next week's calendar. It says 2014. That can't be correct. I'm still waiting for Y2K and for all our computers to crash. I must have overslept.
The Georgia Hospital Administration and the Georgia State Medical Association are asking Gov. Nathan Deal to accept the federal government's offer of $40.5 billion for Medicaid expansion in our state.
Santa is a big part of our annual Christmas party for Friends of Recovery, but I had not met the man playing Santa this year.
There is no way I can send Christmas cards to all the wonderful people who expressed concern for me during my recent "confinement" through cards, calls, flowers, food, visits and prayers. So please accept this as my personal greeting to you. It is also a greeting to those whom I don't even know.
The mood in the galley of the research ship was gloomy. Our grand experiment had failed and we were pounding our way through the rough seas of the Gulf of Mexico bound for New Orleans.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela has received much-deserved praise following his death on Dec. 5 at the age of 95, and rightly so. South Africa could have sunk into chaos and a bloody civil war with Mandela's rise to power following 27 years of imprisonment and the end of apartheid. Instead, he preached reconciliation and forgiveness, not vengeance. For that, the world can be grateful.
It is hard to believe that 2013 is about to come to a close. It has been a productive and busy year for my family. I was blessed to be able to serve in my first session as your representative. It is a true honor to represent you at the Georgia State Capitol. With the year coming to an end, we are gearing up for the 2014 legislative session that will start on Jan. 13.
When "Dawson County, Georgia Heritage 1857-1996" was published, Dawson County Historical Society members didn't visualize that 27 years later there would be a third printing. For several years, there have been no copies available for sale, but this year they had a limited number of books reprinted and are now offering them as a Christmas special for the price of the original book, $65.
Recently Rep. Kevin Tanner wrote about how great it is to live in Georgia.
Last week, family and friends gathered in the small town of Chattahoochee Hills, south of Atlanta, to celebrate a life well-lived. Our late grandson, Zack Wansley, was honored at the dedication of "Zack's Glade," a pristine and picturesque piece of Cochran Mill Park near where he died while training for the Atlanta Marathon in 2008.
Thank you to Amicalola EMC Foundation and to each and every person who takes part in Operation Round-up on behalf of Caring Hands Ministries and each person and family the Operation Round-up grant to Caring Hands will help us help.
Last week consisted of an important few days, as it was the last week for bills to pass out of committees, since "Crossover Day" was on Monday.
This week, the Georgia General Assembly hit an important deadline: Crossover Day.
As predicted in this space a few weeks ago, there is compromise legislation pending in the General Assembly regarding the Common Core curriculum, the controversial program which seeks to establish consistent education standards across the country.
I had the pleasure of knowing Ken Newell for the past eight years. Ken was a well-liked and respected man, and had a real love for the people of Dawson County.
The Cherokee County Republican Party has a blurb on its website about Rep. Sam Moore, who won the 22nd District house seat earlier this month following the death of veteran lawmaker Calvin Hill. Among other tidbits about Moore are his hobbies, including this: "Playing jokes ... watch out. You have been warned."
The snow and ice melted from Winter Storm Pax, and we returned to Capitol Hill on Feb. 17. This was the sixth week of the 2014 legislative session and an important one. This past week, we passed the Fiscal Year 2015 budget, as well as many other significant pieces of legislation.
State projects are often hindered by two things: Personnel needs and a lack of funding. We do not have an unlimited bank account or line of credit, and every taxpayer dollar counts. This means we often look to creative methods to bring in the employees and technology needed to address Georgia's biggest needs.
Severe winter weather in Georgia is a rare occurrence. Although a few snowflakes do fall during the winter months, the snowflakes only stick around long enough to take a few pictures before melting away the next day in 50 degree weather.
Monday, February 10, 2014, marked the 20th day and half-way point of the 2014 legislative session. With only 20 days left to pass laws this year, we quickly got to work, voting on legislation and reviewing bills in committee.
The Georgia General Assembly is now halfway through the 40-day legislative session and just days away from a significant deadline. The 30th day of the legislative session - also known as Crossover Day - is the last day for Senate bills to transfer to the House for consideration, and vice versa.
We returned to the Gold Dome on Feb. 3, 2014. With the 2014 legislative session heating up, we had a very busy and productive week.
Many of you have written to say you oppose HB 875, which would allow weapons in houses of worship and is currently making its way through the legislature faster than a speeding bullet. I suggest you let the bill's author, State Rep. Rick Jasperse, R-Jasper, know, too. Call him at (404) 656-0188, or email: email@example.com.
Do you know how much water a family of four uses in one day?
In case you haven't noticed, it's an election year. Soon, those of you who are responsible citizens will begin receiving prerecorded phone calls from candidates and their supporters asking for your vote, and your mailbox, well, it will begin to fill up with mailers from candidates asking for your vote, too.
Thank you for your leadership in making the difficult decision to close school last week because of the weather.