The Georgia Constitution requires that the House of Representatives appropriate money for an annual budget to operate the functions of the State. That is the main reason we have an annual legislative session. This year the economy has declined so quickly, that projection of future revenues is like hunting rabbits in a briar patch. The target keeps moving, while the thorns keep grabbing you. When it's over, you are bleeding and covered in scratches.
As the crisis in common sense continues in Washington and across the nation, here in Georgia I'm working with my Senate colleagues for real stimulus solutions to put the economy back on track.
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.
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.
Severe winter weather in Georgia is a rare occurrence. Although a few snowflakes do fall during the winter months, the snowflakes only stick around long enough to take a few pictures before melting away the next day in 50 degree weather.
Monday, February 10, 2014, marked the 20th day and half-way point of the 2014 legislative session. With only 20 days left to pass laws this year, we quickly got to work, voting on legislation and reviewing bills in committee.