After a long, cold and wet winter, spring has finally arrived in North Georgia.
Congress' passage of national health care reform proves that despite speaking loudly, Americans' voices were not heard in Washington. For the 59 percent of Americans who did not want Washington to pass such reform, we have been abandoned by a government that used to work for us, not against us.
Congratulations to Sally Sorohan for all of her work to get a "no texting while driving" bill passed. We still have a long way to go, but SB 360 and HB 938 both passed their respective houses. Surely one of them will make it to the Governor's desk. It was my privilege to be a sponsor of a House version of the bill. The final bill will incorporate the best efforts of all legislators who participated in this landmark legislation.
I am a new face to the Dawsonville Community and love it here.
Many of you have contacted me wanting to know what the General Assembly is doing to collect from delinquent taxpayers. We are determined to make sure everyone is paying their fair share of taxes and are looking at ways to reform our tax code to make it fair for all Georgians. This is what you honest, hardworking, taxpaying Georgians deserve.
Based on state revenues, Georgia's government is 25 percent smaller than it was two and a half years ago. In order to meet the demands of our state's growing population, we are finding ways to do more with less. To that end, the Budget Task Force released their recommendations to the Senate this week on new ways to cut state spending.
When we are looking at all the red ink in the FY 2010 Budget, it is very difficult to find ways of dispensing hope. In spite of the difficulties, I'll try my best.
For those who can't come to Atlanta to see first-hand how the state legislature operates, I'd like to take this opportunity to explain how business works under the Gold Dome.
To cope with a sluggish economy and plummeting revenues, Georgia's state government needs a major lifestyle change. We're putting our budget on a lean diet of essential spending by concentrating funding in the vital areas of government; such as education, public safety and transportation.
Passing a responsible, balanced state budget that meets the needs of all Georgians is the House's greatest responsibility and number one priority.
Trying to come up with a balanced budget for FY 2011 that requires another $1.2 billion cut is like riding on the back of a tiger. One slip and you are lunch for the tiger.
By now a lot of you know that most members of the General Assembly are taking a two-week recess while the rest of us work on the FY 2011 Budget.
Halfway through session, the Senate and House have passed a Fiscal Year 2010 Amended budget that takes us to July 1 and has been reduced to $15.5 billion.
In (Real story on Gov. Perdue's performance pay for teachers, Feb. 17, 2010), we at the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE), felt compelled to set the record straight for your readership. Rep. Amos Amerson's contention that we spread "pay myths" is incorrect.
I applaud the school boards in the 9th Georgia House District for making the same tough decisions that we at the capitol have been coping with. We have tried to cut the least from those who are the most vulnerable; still, some people and organizations can't seem to accept or deal with today's reality.
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.