The Georgia House of Representatives has passed an ethics reform bill and has sent it on its way to the state Senate for its consideration and action. But don't get out the confetti just yet. What one body sees as true ethics reform, the other sees as a desultory effort to curb the power and influence of those lizard-loafered lobbyists skulking the halls of the Gold Dome. We the Unwashed? We are caught in the middle, as usual.
This past week, the Senate passed House Bill 266, which would update Georgia's IRS code and clarify measures from 2012's tax reform overhaul by a vote of 41-7. The bill was amended from its original version to reconcile any unintended financial repercussions from last year's comprehensive tax reform package.
Now that we're almost three quarters through session, the House is considering more legislation than at any other time this session. We spend longer days at the Capitol, and vote on more legislation. This past week the House voted on several major pieces of legislation that will have a positive impact on our state.
Although I was just recently named chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, I am not new to the discussion on Georgia's wide range of transportation needs. As a former DOT board member and a former county commissioner, I am well-versed in the transportation needs of more rural areas of the state, and as a former member of the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Overview Committee (MARTOC) I have also had the chance to review some of ...
It is often difficult to foresee the end results of an action when it is initiated, although we are constantly taking actions that have far-reaching outcomes. That's exactly what life is all about. Sometimes the results are serendipitous (look that one up), sometimes calamitous or run-of-the-mill or even unobserved. Generally, I think, we must look back and analyze situations in order to realize the cause/effect steps.
Last Wednesday marked the 20th legislative day, which puts us half way through the 2013 legislative session. The day was extremely special for me, because this was the day that House Bill 122 passed the House of Representatives.
My recent observations on the lack of respect given public school teachers in Georgia engendered a lot of responses but none better than this story sent to me by my friend, David Egan, co-director of the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island and a former educator himself. I commend it to those members of the General Assembly who seem to spend more time and effort these days trying to starve public schools to death financially and ...
I often write adventures from the past, but today I am writing about an event that is occurring this very moment - the Rome Confluence.
Last December, after a long day of meetings, I could think of nothing more important than going home and hugging my kids tightly. The Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy was everywhere that day - TV, newspaper, social media and general conversation. When a parent sends a child to school or when a teacher goes to work, it is assumed both will return home safe and sound at the end of the day.
Experts tell us that we need a vision of a desired outcome in order to achieve it. I've been thinking about some of the visions I have heard recently.
Are you sitting down? I had a meeting with House Speaker David Ralston last week at the Capitol. Got your breath yet? There's more. It was a good meeting.
Last week was another busy week under the Gold Dome. Bills were introduced on various topics and all of my committees met to discuss legislation and to learn about issues occurring in our State. The House and Senate went into a joint session on Thursday in the House of Representatives for the State of the Judiciary Address.
So far this winter we have had periods of chilly weather mixed in with more mild conditions. This is the time when we might expect to see some springtail activity popping up. I have already had one call from a household that was experiencing a sudden flush of tiny purple insects invading their house. This description is consistent with springtail activity, and if we continue to have mild and moist periods this winter, we can expect more springtail infestations.
As many of you recall, I opposed the recent charter school amendment, not because I oppose charter schools - I don't - but because I thought the wording of the amendment was duplicitous. I thought it grossly unfair that Gov. Nathan Deal could wax eloquently on the need for passage of the amendment but State School Superin-tendent John Barge was not allowed to talk about opposing it. It was like Goliath beating up David.
There are many things that I simply do not understand and that's OK. The fact that I am not able to take advantage of lots of electronic devices may make me feel stupid, but it does not raise my blood pressure. I have long ago acknowledged that my finite mind will not comprehend infinity or divinity. But arguments being floated against some measures of gun control not only surprise but outrage me.
The mood in the galley of the research ship was gloomy. Our grand experiment had failed and we were pounding our way through the rough seas of the Gulf of Mexico bound for New Orleans.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela has received much-deserved praise following his death on Dec. 5 at the age of 95, and rightly so. South Africa could have sunk into chaos and a bloody civil war with Mandela's rise to power following 27 years of imprisonment and the end of apartheid. Instead, he preached reconciliation and forgiveness, not vengeance. For that, the world can be grateful.
It is hard to believe that 2013 is about to come to a close. It has been a productive and busy year for my family. I was blessed to be able to serve in my first session as your representative. It is a true honor to represent you at the Georgia State Capitol. With the year coming to an end, we are gearing up for the 2014 legislative session that will start on Jan. 13.
When "Dawson County, Georgia Heritage 1857-1996" was published, Dawson County Historical Society members didn't visualize that 27 years later there would be a third printing. For several years, there have been no copies available for sale, but this year they had a limited number of books reprinted and are now offering them as a Christmas special for the price of the original book, $65.
Recently Rep. Kevin Tanner wrote about how great it is to live in Georgia.
Last week, family and friends gathered in the small town of Chattahoochee Hills, south of Atlanta, to celebrate a life well-lived. Our late grandson, Zack Wansley, was honored at the dedication of "Zack's Glade," a pristine and picturesque piece of Cochran Mill Park near where he died while training for the Atlanta Marathon in 2008.
Thank you to Amicalola EMC Foundation and to each and every person who takes part in Operation Round-up on behalf of Caring Hands Ministries and each person and family the Operation Round-up grant to Caring Hands will help us help.
That statement is more a "both/and" than an "either/or."
Over the past few years most everyone in our community has been affected in some way by the downturn in the economy.
Dear Dr. Morehead:
Ring! Ring! Ring!
The crisp fresh air and the falling of leaves most certainly signal that the fall season is upon us. This time of year always invokes special thoughts and recollections. Some of my fondest memories involve the cool autumn months, intricately carved jack-o-lanterns, and obviously participating in one of the year's more enjoyable festivities - trick or treating.
I called Junior E. Lee, general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company located in Greater Garfield, to see what kind of reactions he was getting from the public to the recent shutdown of the federal government.
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