There is a Jewish proverb that says: "Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws him, and then choose that way with all his strength."
Last Thursday marked the 30th legislative day of the 2009 Session. Known as "Crossover Day," it marked the deadline for legislation to pass from one house to the other.
The legislature cleared the annual Crossover Day hurdle this week with both the Senate and House working feverishly to pass bills out of their respective chambers before the midnight deadline on Thursday.
My name is James Thurmond and I love my family.
"Georgia's property tax system is a broken relic of a bygone agrarian-based economy. It fails every test of what constitutes good tax policy. It is not transparent, it is not easy to understand, it is not fair, it is not flat and, worst of all, it does not facilitate accountability.
Consumer concerns were high on the Senate's list of priorities this week. We engaged in a spirited debate over how to finance two nuclear generators that will be built at Plant Vogtle near Augusta.
When I was a boy up in rural Tennessee I got really interested about the county sheriff.
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.
It is a potential killer whose numbers rival the deadly Ebola virus and it doesn't get near the attention it should. Unlike the dreaded illness currently ravaging West Africa this is one with a quick cure.
Rap. Rap. Rap.
I just learned of a book called, "Say Goodbye to your Southern Accent."
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.
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