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.
For those who can't come to Atlanta to see first-hand how the state legislature operates, I'd like to take this opportunity to explain how business works under the Gold Dome.
To cope with a sluggish economy and plummeting revenues, Georgia's state government needs a major lifestyle change. We're putting our budget on a lean diet of essential spending by concentrating funding in the vital areas of government; such as education, public safety and transportation.
Passing a responsible, balanced state budget that meets the needs of all Georgians is the House's greatest responsibility and number one priority.
Trying to come up with a balanced budget for FY 2011 that requires another $1.2 billion cut is like riding on the back of a tiger. One slip and you are lunch for the tiger.
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.
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.
The Woman Who Shares My Name instructed me that this week's column was to be about positive things. She says she is tired of bad news and thought you felt the same way. "Surely, you can find some positive things to write about," she said, "and temporarily take people's minds off all the terrible things going on in the world. I think your readers would appreciate that."
It is a potential killer whose numbers rival the deadly Ebola virus and it doesn't get near the attention it should. Unlike the dreaded illness currently ravaging West Africa this is one with a quick cure.
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