There is a Jewish proverb that says: "Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws him, and then choose that way with all his strength."
Last Thursday marked the 30th legislative day of the 2009 Session. Known as "Crossover Day," it marked the deadline for legislation to pass from one house to the other.
The legislature cleared the annual Crossover Day hurdle this week with both the Senate and House working feverishly to pass bills out of their respective chambers before the midnight deadline on Thursday.
My name is James Thurmond and I love my family.
"Georgia's property tax system is a broken relic of a bygone agrarian-based economy. It fails every test of what constitutes good tax policy. It is not transparent, it is not easy to understand, it is not fair, it is not flat and, worst of all, it does not facilitate accountability.
Consumer concerns were high on the Senate's list of priorities this week. We engaged in a spirited debate over how to finance two nuclear generators that will be built at Plant Vogtle near Augusta.
When I was a boy up in rural Tennessee I got really interested about the county sheriff.
The senate made great strides this week in bringing needed relief to Georgians on the road and at home.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that every department in state government has compelling reasons for not cutting "their" budget during these challenging economic times.
Those of us who have children know what a positive influence they can have on our lives.
Session is now officially in full swing as lawmakers filed key bills this week.
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.
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.
Before 2013 faded out, my intentions were to congratulate a number of local people receiving honors. And though it is late, and I'll probably overlook some important ones, I'll still tip my hat to these.
I hope each of you had a safe and wonderful Christmas and that your New Year is off to a good start. My family was blessed this past year in so many ways, and we had a wonderful holiday season. Stacie and I have a tradition of taking the girls to the mountains for New Year's, and we had a great time again this year. The girls were extremely excited to be there to see their first snow of the season.