Just like families across our state and country, the Georgia legislature has had to drastically limit spending in order to balance its checkbook.
Last year was our first year of experience under the 65-plus Senior Homestead Tax Exemption program voted in by Lumpkin County voters by over 80 percent.
On the morning of April 15, America's dreaded "tax day," Georgians awoke to the news that their state legislature had voted to completely eliminate two separate state taxes.
As usual, we continue to revel in the beauty of spring: azaleas, wisteria, dogwood, tulips, pansies and green, green, green everywhere. And as usual, we suffer through the pollen that accompanies all that green - but we understand the importance of pollination, so we go through it.
Last Wednesday I was privileged to join Gov. Sonny Perdue in recognizing two local 9-1-1 heroes from Forsyth County. Both were 9 years old at the time of their emergencies.
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.
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.
To David Perdue, Jack Kingston and Michelle Nunn: Congratulations on making it this far in your quest to become our newest U.S. Senator. As you prepare for the next phase of your campaign, I thought I would pass along to you some unsolicited advice for your consideration. Please don't thank me. It was either this or clean out my sock drawer.
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