Technology has improved and personal protective equipment and apparatus are safer, while building codes are better, but we are still losing 100 or more firefighters and around 2,000 civilians a year to fire.
The "no texting while driving" legislation (HB 944) had its first hearing last week. I want to thank Sally Sorohan for coming to the Capitol and testifying on behalf of the bill. Thanks also to all of you who have sent e-mails, written letters and made phone calls.
Georgia's current property tax system places unnecessary financial burdens on families and individuals who are already struggling to survive in this grim economy.
Unlike Washington D.C., when the people of Georgia speak, Georgia's Legislators listen.
Moving into the third week of session, we continue to focus on the legislature's role in job growth for Georgia.
Last week's budget hearings continued to produce frustrations with more predictions of revenue shortfalls. Gov. Sonny Perdue introduced both the FY 2010 Amended Budget and the FY 2011 General Budget on Tuesday.
As the Georgia General Assembly kicks off the 2010 Legislative Session, I'm honored to again represent the people of the 51st Senate District at the State Capitol. While our most immediate task is to balance the statewide budget, our overarching goal must be to revitalize Georgia's job sector. The state cannot hope to move forward until we create more jobs and get Georgians back to work.
I am writing regarding a troubling announcement made by the Atlanta Motorsports Park on Jan. 16. In a press release, the park offered any person ticketed under the new "Super Speeder" law a free half day of access to the park - if and when it is built. All they have to do is bring in their speeding ticket.
The real estate foreclosure crises have played havoc with property values throughout the nation now for more than a year.
Last week at the Capitol was not what we usually expected at the start of a session.
As I write this on the last afternoon in 2009, I probably should be considering some of the many resolutions that could be made for 2010. Instead I am remembering the theme, which I had intended to use as a focus for a column a couple of weeks ago. Obviously, my first resolution might be to take my own frequent advice: Don't just intend, do it.
Ready or not, 2010 is here. For the most part, 2009 was a year that will go down in the record books as a year of adjustments in the real estate industry.
As I have done for the last nine years during the Legislative Session, I will hold Saturday breakfast with constituents in the district to keep you up to date on what's happening under the Gold Dome.
Along with the arrival of a new year comes the start of another legislative session. It's no secret that this year, legislators must find solutions to some challenging problems - a shrinking budget, securing access to water resources, funding transportation and fixing a broken property tax system.
The above title may seem a bit unconventional, but if the wise men came back today they'd probably agree that we have too much government and not enough God.
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.