Friday, House Resolution 1, the cornerstone legislation of this session to cap ad valorem property tax increases statewide, was scheduled to make it to the floor of the House for the first time. It didn't make it to the House floor on Friday.
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.
We returned to the Gold Dome for the ninth week of the 2014 legislative session on March 10. In that week, we focused on reviewing, debating and voting upon legislation that had already been passed by our counterparts in the Senate. Many pieces of the Senate's legislation were reviewed by committees throughout the week. Other pieces of Senate legislation made it through the committee process and on to the House floor for a vote.
I was at the sausage-making plant last week, better known as the Georgia General Assembly. I was there for a good cause. The state Senate was honoring Dick Pettys, one of the finest journalists to walk through the doors of the state Capitol, and I was asked to be a part of that special day.
The scene: I-16 near Dublin. Waaangh! Reep! Reep! Reep!
March 3 marked the 30th legislative day of the 2014 session. Known as "Crossover Day," the critical point in the session is the last chance for bills to pass the legislative chamber from which they originated.
Some of you might remember a popular song from the '80s called "The Final Countdown."
Last week consisted of an important few days, as it was the last week for bills to pass out of committees, since "Crossover Day" was on Monday.
This week, the Georgia General Assembly hit an important deadline: Crossover Day.
As predicted in this space a few weeks ago, there is compromise legislation pending in the General Assembly regarding the Common Core curriculum, the controversial program which seeks to establish consistent education standards across the country.
I had the pleasure of knowing Ken Newell for the past eight years. Ken was a well-liked and respected man, and had a real love for the people of Dawson County.
The Cherokee County Republican Party has a blurb on its website about Rep. Sam Moore, who won the 22nd District house seat earlier this month following the death of veteran lawmaker Calvin Hill. Among other tidbits about Moore are his hobbies, including this: "Playing jokes ... watch out. You have been warned."
The snow and ice melted from Winter Storm Pax, and we returned to Capitol Hill on Feb. 17. This was the sixth week of the 2014 legislative session and an important one. This past week, we passed the Fiscal Year 2015 budget, as well as many other significant pieces of legislation.
State projects are often hindered by two things: Personnel needs and a lack of funding. We do not have an unlimited bank account or line of credit, and every taxpayer dollar counts. This means we often look to creative methods to bring in the employees and technology needed to address Georgia's biggest needs.