The senate made great strides this week in bringing needed relief to Georgians on the road and at home.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that every department in state government has compelling reasons for not cutting "their" budget during these challenging economic times.
Those of us who have children know what a positive influence they can have on our lives.
Session is now officially in full swing as lawmakers filed key bills this week.
Friday, House Resolution 1, the cornerstone legislation of this session to cap ad valorem property tax increases statewide, was scheduled to make it to the floor of the House for the first time. It didn't make it to the House floor on Friday.
This week, as I sat with my Senate and House colleagues through state budget hearings, I was encouraged to see a sense of cooperation emerging. Our state leaders have been advocating such cooperation since the beginning of session, as it is the only way we will solve the serious issues facing our state.
During each legislative session, some 2,000 bills are introduced by legislators.
When Roy Barnes was governor, and the state economy was riding high, he instituted the Homeowners Tax Relief Grant, which started as a $2,000 homestead exemption credit against the assessed value of property and topped out a few years later as an $8,000 credit.
The one thing on everyone's mind during the first week of the 2009 session was the budget, which will be sure to dominate all business under the Gold Dome this year.
The real estate and foreclosure crises have played havoc with property values throughout this nation.
Many folks still feel that too much government is conducted behind closed doors.
The 2009 legislative session has begun and is shaping up to be a crucial time for Georgia as the legislature determines how to best carry the state through these difficult economic times. The local media has been saturated with stories on the critical issues facing our state, including the budget, our economy and the transportation system.
Ever since George W. Bush was elected as President, there has been a push to eliminate the Electoral College and go to a popular vote for electing the President. Had the 2000 election been decided by popular vote, Bush would have lost to Al Gore by 543,816 votes. Bush was not the first President to be elected while losing the popular vote, simply the last.
I was interested to see that READ, Dawson County's literacy advocate organization, announced that it will partner with the Adult Learning Center (Lanier Technical College as the county's vendor of service) in becoming a Certified Literate Community Participant for Dawson County.
We are quickly approaching the end of a challenging 2008, and we are excited about the possibilities for 2009.
The U.S. Senate race this November between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue will be one of the more unusual campaigns we have witnessed in Georgia. Neither has held public office and both are anxious to portray themselves as the ultimate "outsider."
In 1997, Gov. Zell Miller appointed me to fill a vacant seat on the five-member State Ethics Commission and then reappointed me to a full term where I served until 2002. It was a rewarding experience and I am proud of the good things we accomplished at the commission.
I am humbled. I am grateful. I am honored. And I am overwhelmed. I said it to the people who came to my 90th birthday celebration at Bethel, and I say it again to the many people who made that lovely celebration possible and to those who sent good wishes even if they couldn't attend.
With the July 22 runoff elections fast approaching, I called Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Ga., to get his thoughts on the various races and to see who he thinks will make it to the finals of the November general election and who will be eliminated this round.
The things you learn while surfing the Internet in desperation for column material. Did you know that there is a National Association for the Humor-Impaired? May Jimmy Carter (speaking of the humor-impaired) wash my socks if I am not telling the truth.
This year in memory of Charles [Finley] on his birthday, Ben and I have asked LifeSouth to hold a blood drive. They have made arrangements to have it at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, 59 Main Street, in downtown Dawsonville, from 9 a.m. -4 p.m. July 5.
With all the flurry some friends are making about my upcoming 90th birthday, and with watching the CNN specials on the momentous changes our nation made in the '60s, I've been made particularly aware of the amazing changes that I have witnessed in this near-century that I've lived.
I have said it before but it bears repeating: If I don't qualify for heaven (a distinct possibility), my preferred alternates are: (a.) Athens, Ga., on a crisp fall Saturday afternoon; (b.) Athens, Georgia, on a warm spring day or (c.) Athens, Georgia, on any day.
Before the start of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, Billy Payne, the organization's CEO, reminded everyone that while much of the attention during the Games would be focused on the high-profile athletes, not to forget that all 10,000 athletes from the 107 countries represented were and would forever be Olympians - a title few people in the world would ever attain.
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