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.
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.
You may recall that I vigorously opposed passage of a constitutional amendment in 2012 creating the State Charter School Commission that would allow an alternative method for authorizing charter schools in Georgia.
This was written in a cave somewhere in Greater Bora Bora. The column was floated across the ocean in an RC Cola bottle to this newspaper.
If you're expecting this column to deal with the recent protests, you will be surprised. Protests are, indeed, being heard, but not always in a positive way. And certainly, the violence is deplorable.
I stepped nervously through the glass door of the main exhibition racquetball court to start my semi-final match.
On my "To Do" list last week was a reminder to call former Gov. Carl Sanders and see if he had any thoughts on how to get the field at Sanford Stadium named for UGA's former coach and athletic director Vince Dooley.
I am writing regarding Dawsonville's Veterans Day Celebration.
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.
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