By now a lot of you know that most members of the General Assembly are taking a two-week recess while the rest of us work on the FY 2011 Budget.
Halfway through session, the Senate and House have passed a Fiscal Year 2010 Amended budget that takes us to July 1 and has been reduced to $15.5 billion.
In (Real story on Gov. Perdue's performance pay for teachers, Feb. 17, 2010), we at the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE), felt compelled to set the record straight for your readership. Rep. Amos Amerson's contention that we spread "pay myths" is incorrect.
I applaud the school boards in the 9th Georgia House District for making the same tough decisions that we at the capitol have been coping with. We have tried to cut the least from those who are the most vulnerable; still, some people and organizations can't seem to accept or deal with today's reality.
Greetings from your 400 North Board of Realtors.
Georgia consumers and businesses stand to benefit from two bills that have already received final passage by the full legislature this session. Banking customers in good standing, notably businesses and homeowners, now have a greater chance of getting their loans renewed.
Technology has improved and personal protective equipment and apparatus are safer, while building codes are better, but we are still losing 100 or more firefighters and around 2,000 civilians a year to fire.
The "no texting while driving" legislation (HB 944) had its first hearing last week. I want to thank Sally Sorohan for coming to the Capitol and testifying on behalf of the bill. Thanks also to all of you who have sent e-mails, written letters and made phone calls.
Georgia's current property tax system places unnecessary financial burdens on families and individuals who are already struggling to survive in this grim economy.
Unlike Washington D.C., when the people of Georgia speak, Georgia's Legislators listen.
Moving into the third week of session, we continue to focus on the legislature's role in job growth for Georgia.
Last week's budget hearings continued to produce frustrations with more predictions of revenue shortfalls. Gov. Sonny Perdue introduced both the FY 2010 Amended Budget and the FY 2011 General Budget on Tuesday.
As the Georgia General Assembly kicks off the 2010 Legislative Session, I'm honored to again represent the people of the 51st Senate District at the State Capitol. While our most immediate task is to balance the statewide budget, our overarching goal must be to revitalize Georgia's job sector. The state cannot hope to move forward until we create more jobs and get Georgians back to work.
I am writing regarding a troubling announcement made by the Atlanta Motorsports Park on Jan. 16. In a press release, the park offered any person ticketed under the new "Super Speeder" law a free half day of access to the park - if and when it is built. All they have to do is bring in their speeding ticket.
The real estate foreclosure crises have played havoc with property values throughout the nation now for more than a year.
I was on St. Simons Island last week scarfing down massive amounts of corn-fried shrimp at the exquisite little Georgia Sea Grill when someone came to the table to inquire if Junior E. Lee had finished his analysis of the recent election. That really puffed Junior up when I told him that.
Well, this morning (Nov. 11) I got up out of bed, exhausted and not motivated to do much. I turned on the computer and thought maybe this year I would attend some veteran's appreciation event.
This is a story I shared with some of you a couple of years ago but given the well-deserved tributes this week to our veterans, it seems an appropriate time to share it with all of you. It is about a terrorist; an honest-to-God terrorist. Not only does he not deny the appellation, he's proud of it.
I called Junior E. Lee and asked when he would have some post-election analysis to share with you. Junior, as you know, is general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, Ga., home of Round-or-Square Polls, whose motto is "You supply the dough and we will cook the results." Junior E. Lee is also a certified pest control professional. That is a rare combination these days and I am very proud of him as are the citizens of Greater Garfield.
My name is Judy Cox, wife of "good ole boy" Joe Lane Cox.
A wise man once said that our only reason for occupying space on this earth is to leave things better than we found them. Unfortunately, not enough of us will. Len Pagano is an exception.
Last week Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter shared via this column his vision for public education in Georgia.
"You need to write something about domestic violence," a friend told me recently. I hadn't thought about tackling that subject because so many others have done so.
With all of the attack ads running on TV this election season, Georgians have no doubt had their fill of pessimism and negativity.
For more than 40 years I was fortunate to be able to work in international business. I traveled the globe, not as a simple tourist, but living, in some cases for years, in other countries, getting to really know the people, the cultures and the governments in those many places.
I have asked the two major gubernatorial candidates to talk to Georgia public school teachers about their respective education platforms. This week the floor belongs to Jason Carter, the Democratic challenger. Next week, it will be Republican Gov. Nathan Deal's turn.
I have one of the most interesting jobs in the world. One day I am advising world leaders on the nuances of international monetary policy. The next day I am consoling a distraught reader who thinks I need to "look within myself spiritually." The last time I looked within myself, I saw my navel. It was full of lint. Never again.
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