My grandfather was a John Wayne kind of guy. When he came into the room it was just like The Duke entering a saloon in those westerns. You knew he was there.
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.
We returned to the Gold Dome for the ninth week of the 2014 legislative session on March 10. In that week, we focused on reviewing, debating and voting upon legislation that had already been passed by our counterparts in the Senate. Many pieces of the Senate's legislation were reviewed by committees throughout the week. Other pieces of Senate legislation made it through the committee process and on to the House floor for a vote.
I was at the sausage-making plant last week, better known as the Georgia General Assembly. I was there for a good cause. The state Senate was honoring Dick Pettys, one of the finest journalists to walk through the doors of the state Capitol, and I was asked to be a part of that special day.
The scene: I-16 near Dublin. Waaangh! Reep! Reep! Reep!
March 3 marked the 30th legislative day of the 2014 session. Known as "Crossover Day," the critical point in the session is the last chance for bills to pass the legislative chamber from which they originated.
Some of you might remember a popular song from the '80s called "The Final Countdown."
Last week consisted of an important few days, as it was the last week for bills to pass out of committees, since "Crossover Day" was on Monday.
This week, the Georgia General Assembly hit an important deadline: Crossover Day.
As predicted in this space a few weeks ago, there is compromise legislation pending in the General Assembly regarding the Common Core curriculum, the controversial program which seeks to establish consistent education standards across the country.
I had the pleasure of knowing Ken Newell for the past eight years. Ken was a well-liked and respected man, and had a real love for the people of Dawson County.
The Cherokee County Republican Party has a blurb on its website about Rep. Sam Moore, who won the 22nd District house seat earlier this month following the death of veteran lawmaker Calvin Hill. Among other tidbits about Moore are his hobbies, including this: "Playing jokes ... watch out. You have been warned."
The snow and ice melted from Winter Storm Pax, and we returned to Capitol Hill on Feb. 17. This was the sixth week of the 2014 legislative session and an important one. This past week, we passed the Fiscal Year 2015 budget, as well as many other significant pieces of legislation.
State projects are often hindered by two things: Personnel needs and a lack of funding. We do not have an unlimited bank account or line of credit, and every taxpayer dollar counts. This means we often look to creative methods to bring in the employees and technology needed to address Georgia's biggest needs.