Confession: I'm not on Facebook or Twitter; although my phone has the capability, I do not text and do not wish to; I open my e-mail every two or three days, but admit that I don't forward all the entries which carry that request.
March 7 marked the 25th day of the Georgia General Assembly's 40-day 2011 Legislative Session. The House has already succeeded in passing legislation improving our early voting system, increasing the safety of bicyclists, and amending our Fiscal Year 2011 Budget.
The pace at the capitol quickened this week as we worked our way closer to the halfway point of the 2011 legislative session. As committees continued to scrutinize legislation, my colleagues and I in the House passed several important pieces of legislation. The HOPE Scholarship, K-12 education funding, and early voting reform were addressed by the House last week.
We see challenges, problems, conflicts on many fronts and we clamor for quick, obvious solutions. No way.
This week brought some high profile issues to the table, including the budget and a HOPE bill that are putting us on the right track to taking care of the issues most important to Georgians.
This week, a number of bills were introduced that aim to protect Georgians' fundamental rights.
The family of Junior Gee gives thanks to all who visited, brought food, sent flowers, cards or e-mails during our time of sorrow. We want to thank the doctors, nurses, pallbearers and singers.
In a joint session with the Senate, the House of Representatives welcomed Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein to the House as she presented the annual State of the Judiciary address.
It is my feeling that a great injustice has been done to a former county employee.
Many of us watched Larry the Cable Guy interview local citizens as they described the moonshine and car-racing part of Dawson County's heritage on his "Only in America" series on the History channel. Then as I perused the pages of our weekly newspapers, I was very much aware that, just as those early residents did what they had to do in order to make it through a great depression, so are today's residents getting things done in their own way. I want to salute a few, but there's no way to cover them all.
Last year the General Assembly passed the original FY 2011 budget totaling $17.8 billion. That budget directs all state spending from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011 and reflects the effects of our unprecedented economic downturn at the time.
A number of high profile bills have been introduced this week that are aimed at responding to the needs of our state's citizens. Georgians, along with voters across the nation, have told their elected officials loud and clear that they want smaller government and less intrusion. Here at the state level, we're working to meet that request.
Any property owner in the state of Georgia may file a "Taxpayer's Return of Real Property." If one feels the tax evaluation of their property the previous year is incorrect.
There are some organizations that would dearly love to work themselves out of existence - no longer needed. I am sure that the small group of nurses and interested residents who initiated No One Alone (then called NOA's Ark) would have been happy to think that its services would not be required 20 years later.
The senate recently voted to override former Gov. Sonny Perdue's veto of SB 1, a zero-based budget bill from the 2010 Legislative Session.
Most young Georgians have never heard of Bo Callaway, a gentleman from Georgia.
I wish I had been there. In Jerusalem. With Jesus.
April is traditionally known for showers, blooming trees and shrubs and early flowers. We have had our share of those (including the pollen) and are enjoying the "popping out" beauty.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Georgia, as proclaimed by Gov. Nathan Deal. Child abuse is a subject I don't like to think about, let alone write about and you would probably just as soon not hear about. But it is there and we need to acknowledge it and demand some solutions.
Last week Sen. Steven Gooch and Rep. Kevin Tanner wrote about the end of the general session and the bills they had sponsored and that had been passed. Some good was done.
If you attended the annual meeting of the Dawson County Homeowners Civic Association, you don't need to read this column. However, not many of you were there.
Even by my impossibly high standards, this has been a good week. It began with a whack upside the head from a reader in south Georgia after I opined that those who want to change the way we teach our children in public schools ought to have their kids in public schools. I was referring to the efforts led by Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick, to overturn the Common Core curriculum in the recent legislative session.
The 2014 legislative session came to an end March 20, when the House and Senate completed the 40th and final legislative day.
On the last day of the 2013 legislative session, a bill that would have substantially protected and enforced the Second Amendment rights of all Georgians failed to receive final legislative approval in the late night hours. Supporters of that bill, including myself, were extremely disappointed in the outcome, but we committed ourselves to making sure a stronger Second Amendment protection bill was brought back in 2014.
My high school friend in Texas stood about 5'4," yet even the biggest football players gave him a wide berth when he walked down the hall.
Since the policy of the federal government seems to be to snoop on the conversations of private citizens, I thought it would be appropriate if we turned the tables on them. So, I authorized my columnist commandos to infiltrate the White House disguised as teleprompters and get the real scoop on the latest developments in Ukraine.
My husband and I have lived in Dawson County for the last eight years. We have found it to be a very pleasant experience. However, there is one thing that could make it even more pleasant, a dog park.
One of the greatest things about serving District 51 is the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Georgians statewide.
We returned to the Gold Dome for the ninth week of the 2014 legislative session on March 10. In that week, we focused on reviewing, debating and voting upon legislation that had already been passed by our counterparts in the Senate. Many pieces of the Senate's legislation were reviewed by committees throughout the week. Other pieces of Senate legislation made it through the committee process and on to the House floor for a vote.
I was at the sausage-making plant last week, better known as the Georgia General Assembly. I was there for a good cause. The state Senate was honoring Dick Pettys, one of the finest journalists to walk through the doors of the state Capitol, and I was asked to be a part of that special day.