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.
Do you know how much water a family of four uses in one day?
In case you haven't noticed, it's an election year. Soon, those of you who are responsible citizens will begin receiving prerecorded phone calls from candidates and their supporters asking for your vote, and your mailbox, well, it will begin to fill up with mailers from candidates asking for your vote, too.
Thank you for your leadership in making the difficult decision to close school last week because of the weather.
Last week, Winter Storm Leon brought snow and ice to many parts of our great state. Leon's impact on the metro Atlanta area was particularly harsh.
Columbia University's John McWhorter lectures on English linguistics and he, along with other linguists, are excited people these days. That is good because I would hate to think of them being bored.
My fellow Georgians, in order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, it is a requirement that I submit to you annually a State of the Column message. This I do today. (Yea! Clap! Clap! Clap!)
Since I can't get out and about too much these days and since the weather has been too cold to be out and about much anyway, I decided to share some email chatter that might make you smile.
Every January, legislators from across the state convene at the Georgia State Capitol to set the course for Georgia's future. Because 2014 is the second half of a legislative biennial term, bills that did not pass in 2013 are still eligible for consideration in addition to the new bills introduced this year - which means legislators have a significant pile of work (literally, when you think about the stacks of printed bills on our desks...) ahead of us.
The purpose of this letter to the editor is to request the residents of Dawson County to assist me in contacting our local and state officials to work toward improving the unsafe intersection of Hwy. 53 and Hugh Stowers Road.
Gov. Nathan Deal gave his annual State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly on Jan. 15. The annual event takes place in the House of Representatives and is attended by members of the House, Senate, State Supreme Court Justices, State Court of Appeal Judges and the State's Constitutional Officers.
I read a news report this week that says while we are living longer in the U.S., people in other countries are living even longer. Bummer.