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.
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."
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.
Last Wednesday I was privileged to join Gov. Sonny Perdue in recognizing two local 9-1-1 heroes from Forsyth County. Both were 9 years old at the time of their emergencies.
I am a new face to the Dawsonville Community and love it here.
After a long, cold and wet winter, spring has finally arrived in North Georgia.
Congress' passage of national health care reform proves that despite speaking loudly, Americans' voices were not heard in Washington. For the 59 percent of Americans who did not want Washington to pass such reform, we have been abandoned by a government that used to work for us, not against us.
Congratulations to Sally Sorohan for all of her work to get a "no texting while driving" bill passed. We still have a long way to go, but SB 360 and HB 938 both passed their respective houses. Surely one of them will make it to the Governor's desk. It was my privilege to be a sponsor of a House version of the bill. The final bill will incorporate the best efforts of all legislators who participated in this landmark legislation.
Many of you have contacted me wanting to know what the General Assembly is doing to collect from delinquent taxpayers. We are determined to make sure everyone is paying their fair share of taxes and are looking at ways to reform our tax code to make it fair for all Georgians. This is what you honest, hardworking, taxpaying Georgians deserve.
Based on state revenues, Georgia's government is 25 percent smaller than it was two and a half years ago. In order to meet the demands of our state's growing population, we are finding ways to do more with less. To that end, the Budget Task Force released their recommendations to the Senate this week on new ways to cut state spending.
When we are looking at all the red ink in the FY 2010 Budget, it is very difficult to find ways of dispensing hope. In spite of the difficulties, I'll try my best.
During the third week of the Georgia General Assembly's 2015 legislative session, my colleagues and I passed one of the most important pieces of legislation of the year: The 2015 amended fiscal year budget (AFY 2015).
The third week of the 2015 legislative session saw a significant piece of legislation pass through the Georgia State Senate. I am proud to say that with unanimous consent, Senate Bill 1 passed the Senate and is now under consideration in the House.
Let's get off the backs of law enforcement, shall we? Most of us couldn't do their job, or wouldn't do it, if we had the chance.
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