FY 2010 and 2011 budgets couldn't have been balanced without getting some of our hard-earned taxpayer dollars back from the federal government. That's the only thing that kept a lot of elected officials from the dreaded task of raising taxes. Raising taxes in good times is risky business for elected officials; in bad times it's a death wish.
While the steady stream of illegal immigrants continues to flood American streets, our country's leaders do nothing more than offer a political nod to securing our borders.
As most of you know, I seldom dabble in politics in this column. For one thing, my own political views often differ from those of many of my friends and relatives, and, since I am not likely to change anyone's mind, why provoke? But this week, I felt an urge to drop a few comments.
The 2010 Legislative Session officially ended on April 29, but for those of us waiting for the governor's signature, the session has been much longer.
"The military is at war. America is at the mall." This has become a popular phrase used by military service members and Internet bloggers alike to remind Americans that U.S. troops need our support, encouragement and prayers every day.
With the end of school and the start of summer, the Dawson County Parks department is getting ready to open the pool located at Veteran's Park on Hwy. 9 just north of Dawsonville.
Backers of the reckless spending that has permeated Washington have found company in our European neighbors. The mega bailouts on which modern governments rely threaten to drown entire countries in their own debt.
The 2010 Session has ended with the passage of about 250 bills that are now under consideration by Gov. Sonny Perdue.
One of the longest legislative sessions in the history of the Georgia General Assembly finally came to an end on April 29. This final day is known as "Sine Die," a Latin term meaning "without assigning a day for further meeting."
Now that we've reached the end of what has been one of the longest sessions in Georgia's history, it's time to move forward on new policies that will change the face of our state economy. Job creation is at the center of this transformation.
Working with David Ralston as Speaker of the House this session has been a real joy, just like sharing representation duties for Dawson County with David the past several years.
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.
I stood on an oil rig miles off the coast of Africa as the final pipe joints were pulled from a just completed well. The mood was somber because we had not found oil. The following week I sat in an uncomfortable meeting where our corporate vice president declared my efforts had resulted in the driest well in years. Back in my office overlooking the beautiful San Francisco hills I pondered what to do next with the project.
When the phone rang, I knew who was on the other end: Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter's Tree Stump Removal and Plow Repair in Greater Metropolitan Pooler. I can't tell you exactly why but the phone always sounds more urgent when Skeeter calls. One thing about Skeeter Skates. He gets right to the point. Niceties aren't his style.
In January, the Georgia State Senate started the first term of the 152nd legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly with a challenging task list. We were asked to find a way to fill a large anticipated Medicaid shortfall, evaluate the ethical behavior of elected officials, do more with less in the state budget, revamp the state's juvenile justice system, clarify points from 2012's tax code overhaul and find ways to expand access to higher ...
In my last column, I shared some observations about current happenings and promised some more. So here they are. As Christians observed Holy Week leading to Easter, one of the emphases has been on service and sacrifice.
One of the best parts about serving in the Georgia State Senate is the ability to honor groups and individuals in the Senate chamber. I am proud to represent District 51 at the State Capitol, and I am even more proud of the efforts that keep our district one of the best places to work and raise a family in Georgia. While the work we do in the Senate is great, it pales in comparison to the way each of you represents the pride and labors of our communities.
It is IRS time and I've been putting together information to take to the CPS who has figured Taylor taxes for decades (one thing I have not completely learned). Surprisingly, I admit my gratitude that, even with a limited income, I usually must pay some extra dollars. That means that I have had money to live well enough and have something left. Fortunately, I don't have huge medical bills or credit interest payments and I ...
It is a theological fact that God really likes Georgia. That is why He put mountains in north Georgia and the Golden Isles smack up against the Atlantic Ocean and added a bunch of lakes and parks and historical sites in between. Otherwise, we could have been Iran. Or Detroit. I stopped by last week to visit the man who is entrusted with these assets, Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources Mark Williams, to ...