Now that the gavel has fallen on the 2009 legislative session, Georgians will soon begin to see the product of the past 40 legislative days.
As a first step towards permanently eliminating "back door" ad valorem property tax increases statewide, the House and Senate passed House Bill 233 and sent it to the Governor for his signature.
The General Assembly took heed this week to provide Georgia residents with solutions that will stimulate the state's economy. Two important sectors of the economy are targeted under measures on their way to final passage: Housing and jobs.
Special Olympics recently announced a new campaign, "Spread the Word to End the Word - 3.31.09," encouraging people to stop using the derogatory word "retard" in casual conversation.
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.
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.
For more than 40 years I was fortunate to be able to work in international business. I traveled the globe, not as a simple tourist, but living, in some cases for years, in other countries, getting to really know the people, the cultures and the governments in those many places.
I have asked the two major gubernatorial candidates to talk to Georgia public school teachers about their respective education platforms. This week the floor belongs to Jason Carter, the Democratic challenger. Next week, it will be Republican Gov. Nathan Deal's turn.
I have one of the most interesting jobs in the world. One day I am advising world leaders on the nuances of international monetary policy. The next day I am consoling a distraught reader who thinks I need to "look within myself spiritually." The last time I looked within myself, I saw my navel. It was full of lint. Never again.
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