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.
The one thing on everyone's mind during the first week of the 2009 session was the budget, which will be sure to dominate all business under the Gold Dome this year.
The real estate and foreclosure crises have played havoc with property values throughout this nation.
Many folks still feel that too much government is conducted behind closed doors.
The 2009 legislative session has begun and is shaping up to be a crucial time for Georgia as the legislature determines how to best carry the state through these difficult economic times. The local media has been saturated with stories on the critical issues facing our state, including the budget, our economy and the transportation system.
Ever since George W. Bush was elected as President, there has been a push to eliminate the Electoral College and go to a popular vote for electing the President. Had the 2000 election been decided by popular vote, Bush would have lost to Al Gore by 543,816 votes. Bush was not the first President to be elected while losing the popular vote, simply the last.
I was interested to see that READ, Dawson County's literacy advocate organization, announced that it will partner with the Adult Learning Center (Lanier Technical College as the county's vendor of service) in becoming a Certified Literate Community Participant for Dawson County.
We are quickly approaching the end of a challenging 2008, and we are excited about the possibilities for 2009.
During this hopeful season we are reminded of the many blessings we enjoy, and we renew our sense of what is important in our lives. We gather with our family and friends to share old traditions and create new ones.
I am a child of the "Great Depression."
I read with interest the letter in your Dec. 24 edition in which the writer referred to a community becoming a Certified Literate Community Participant as a "hollow victory" and feel compelled to write as this is a very personal thing for me - something very "near and dear to my heart."
At year's end, it's a good time to review what your Georgia Legislature and local legislators have done for you, not to you, as some believe.
The housing market slump is a multi-faceted issue and declines in this industry are affecting jobs, state and local taxes, property values as well as peripheral industries such as banking, local jobs, automotives and retail.
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 ...