As the chairman of the House Committee on Science & Technology and as a member of the House Committee on Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications, I have been asked to be a participant on the "Energy and Environment" panel for Georgia Tech's annual Legislative Roundtable.
What'll you have? Have your order in your mind and your money in your hand.
It has become abundantly clear that the current tax system in Georgia will not produce the revenues to support requirements for our growing population. An expected short-fall of $1 billion to $2 billion is expected this fiscal year, and short-falls are expected to continue in future years if the tax system is not changed.
Thinking twice about a decision doesn't necessarily mean changing one's mind: It really should ensure that we have garnered facts and considered angles.
Many voters do not understand the five proposed State Constitutional Amendments on the November ballot and have asked me what they mean.
As you cast your vote in this year's general election, you will be asked to vote for or against five proposed changes to the state constitution. Each amendment was passed by the General Assembly during the 2010 legislative session and will appear on the ballot this year for voter approval. Following is a breakdown of each proposed amendment to give you a clearer understanding of the proposals you'll be voting on as you fulfill your important role in our state's electoral process.
I'm writing this hurriedly to slide it in past deadline, but I promised the papers that I'd do it today. I just had to wait to see how the "10 Years of Bowen Center" gala turned out. And it was great.
As chairman of the House Science & Technology Committee, I was encouraged and enthusiastic with gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal's educational platform. He considers job creation to be the state's top priority and knows that jobs are "reliant on a top-notch education system that focuses on math, science and technology."
As autumn approaches, the North Georgia mountains are gearing up for a busy fall season. Our beautiful mountain communities play host to a variety of activities in the fall, from the Ellijay Apple Festival, Oktoberfest in Helen, Gold Rush Days in Dahlonega and of course my personal favorite, the Dawsonville Moonshine Festival. These experiences are made all the more unique with Georgia's touch of Southern hospitality. Our ability to make anyone and everyone feel welcome is a quality that can give our state a competitive edge in tourism.
During summer months, a number of regular activities are canceled or relaxed. Families are on vacation or just playing around at home; picnics and cookouts replace ordinary dinners; here in Lake Lanier country, water sports help to relieve heat stress.
Although I sometimes mention something about my personal religious beliefs and I often get "preachy" about civic responsibilities, this may be my first attempt to use my column to deliver a sermon.
Following the unprecedented downturn of the economy during the past two fiscal years, the positive revenue collections for June and July seem to signal a significant change in direction. But are two back-to-back months of positive revenue really good news?
With the downturn in the economy many businesses and individuals have had to reinvent themselves. We all have had to look for ways to cut back and to be more efficient with the limited resources that are available. Your local Dawson County government is no exception.
When our country's financial deficit reaches into the trillions, it's hard to put such excessive government spending into perspective.
An overwhelming number of homeowners are happy with their decision to purchase a home, despite the challenging housing market.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.