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, 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.
The purpose of this letter to the editor is to request the residents of Dawson County to assist me in contacting our local and state officials to work toward improving the unsafe intersection of Hwy. 53 and Hugh Stowers Road.
Gov. Nathan Deal gave his annual State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly on Jan. 15. The annual event takes place in the House of Representatives and is attended by members of the House, Senate, State Supreme Court Justices, State Court of Appeal Judges and the State's Constitutional Officers.
I read a news report this week that says while we are living longer in the U.S., people in other countries are living even longer. Bummer.
Before 2013 faded out, my intentions were to congratulate a number of local people receiving honors. And though it is late, and I'll probably overlook some important ones, I'll still tip my hat to these.
I hope each of you had a safe and wonderful Christmas and that your New Year is off to a good start. My family was blessed this past year in so many ways, and we had a wonderful holiday season. Stacie and I have a tradition of taking the girls to the mountains for New Year's, and we had a great time again this year. The girls were extremely excited to be there to see their first snow of the season.