The 2014 legislative session came to an end March 20, when the House and Senate completed the 40th and final legislative day.
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.
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.
One of the greatest things about serving District 51 is the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Georgians statewide.
My husband and I have lived in Dawson County for the last eight years. We have found it to be a very pleasant experience. However, there is one thing that could make it even more pleasant, a dog park.
Some of you might remember a popular song from the '80s called "The Final Countdown."
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.
The scene: I-16 near Dublin. Waaangh! Reep! Reep! Reep!
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.
This week, the Georgia General Assembly hit an important deadline: Crossover Day.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
The Woman Who Shares My Name instructed me that this week's column was to be about positive things. She says she is tired of bad news and thought you felt the same way. "Surely, you can find some positive things to write about," she said, "and temporarily take people's minds off all the terrible things going on in the world. I think your readers would appreciate that."
It is a potential killer whose numbers rival the deadly Ebola virus and it doesn't get near the attention it should. Unlike the dreaded illness currently ravaging West Africa this is one with a quick cure.
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