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.
Last week, Winter Storm Leon brought snow and ice to many parts of our great state. Leon's impact on the metro Atlanta area was particularly harsh.
Columbia University's John McWhorter lectures on English linguistics and he, along with other linguists, are excited people these days. That is good because I would hate to think of them being bored.
My fellow Georgians, in order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, it is a requirement that I submit to you annually a State of the Column message. This I do today. (Yea! Clap! Clap! Clap!)
Since I can't get out and about too much these days and since the weather has been too cold to be out and about much anyway, I decided to share some email chatter that might make you smile.
Every January, legislators from across the state convene at the Georgia State Capitol to set the course for Georgia's future. Because 2014 is the second half of a legislative biennial term, bills that did not pass in 2013 are still eligible for consideration in addition to the new bills introduced this year - which means legislators have a significant pile of work (literally, when you think about the stacks of printed bills on our desks...) ahead of us.
Forty years ago I embarked on a career in the oil industry that has covered decades. That career has taken me around the world far more than once. It has taken me from oil rigs to refineries, to massive tanker ships to the highest corporate towers.
The State of Georgia's Juvenile Justice System is going to the dogs. And that's a good thing.
Georgia is still refusing the federal funds to expand Medicaid to cover more than 500,000 uninsured people. This decision will cost the state's health care system about $34 billion over the next decade, according to a new report by two well-respected research organizations.
Gov. Nathan Deal made it clear during his annual "State of the State" address that Georgia's economy continues to grow in the aftermath of the worst economic collapse of the 21st century.
My fellow Georgians: In order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, it is required that I submit to you at the first of every year my State of the Column message. (Yay! Clap! Clap! Clap!)
We began the 153rd Legislative Session of the Georgia General Assembly on Jan. 12. Last Monday marked the first day of the 2015-2016 term, all the members of the Georgia House of Representatives were sworn into office. We then promptly got to work on our first order of business: Electing leaders to guide the Georgia House of Representatives through our next two years of public service.
It's that time of year again.
The 2015 legislative session is off to a fast and busy start. The Georgia State Senate swore in all 56 senators last week, including 10 new freshman senators, and announced committee assignments shortly thereafter.
Allen Peake is a man on a mission. The five-term Republican state representative from Macon is the driving force behind proposed legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Georgia.
Dear Cameron Charles Yarbrough:
When I was growing up, my parents instilled in me the importance of a good education. They both graduated from high school, but did not attend college.
I had just returned from the local toxic waste site where I had disposed of my holiday fruit cakes and was busy cramming my Christmas tree down the garbage disposal (don't ask), when I heard a knock at the door. I figured it was the Environmental Protection Agency coming to talk to me about polluting the toxic waste site with fruit cakes.
Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. It is a time to spend with family and friends and to celebrate the birth of our savior. It is also a time to reflect back over the past year and to begin to plan for the year ahead. This season I have taken time to look back over my first term serving as your State Representative.
About this time of year my family would be part of the decision to either head out to the family ranch in West Texas or not.
As 2014 winds down, all sorts of groups and individuals tend to take a look at where they've been, are, and are heading. I am not tackling that big job; I'm just tying up some of my own dangling ends.