Day 20 (Feb. 28): For the second session day in a row I had a bill on the floor as I presented SB 95, legislation that I am sponsoring on behalf of the Police Chiefs Association of Georgia.
The General Assembly completed a full five days of session this week, which concluded on Friday with its 24th legislative session day. Several key pieces of legislation were debated and discussed on the House floor. The highlight this week was the passage of a solution to continue the HOPE Scholarship program and also legislation to address illegal immigration within our state.
In the midst of declining funding, it's tempting to see almost any state legislative attention to the Georgia Council for the Arts as a good thing.
Dear Editor: I was greatly dismayed to recently find out that the Baseball Committee of the Richmond Hill Recreation Association had decided to hire all of its umpires from Hinesville. In essence, they are outsourcing jobs previously held by local teenagers.
I recently came across the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association's Daily Legislative Watch and learned something quite disturbing. This legislative update contained a reference to SB 7, a bill proposed by the Insurance and Labor Committee that would essentially prevent illegal immigrants the ability to collect workers' compensation if injured or sick on the job. My question to the committee members is, "Are you trying to attract more illegal immigrants to Georgia?" Because with this bill, that is exactly the effect it will have.
State Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Savannah, touched off public outcry this month when announcing an intent to introduce legislation that would allow a form of video gambling in certain state facilities. Jekyll Island would be one of them.
On Feb. 25, I had the opportunity to attend a soccer game played by two middle schools. The game was a match between the Richmond Hill Middle School Wildcats and the team representing the Burke Middle School of Waynesboro.
John Oxendine apparently spent his last day in office as Georgia's insurance commissioner bestowing licenses on himself to sell insurance and adjust claims.
It is not easy being a househusband cum columnist. Trying to figure out where the paper towels are located at the same time I am trying to figure out where the commas go makes my brain hurt.
Sometimes a good idea is so good it's hard to sustain over the long haul. That's often true with ideas that come from government that depend on revenues that blow with the economic winds.
• Day 17 (Tuesday, Feb. 22): While much of this session has been dedicated to talks about the HOPE scholarship program and the changes that will have to be made, Gov. Nathan Deal announced his proposals at a news conference today. The successful program that has provided numerous Georgia students with opportunities to continue their education has fallen on difficult times recently due to rising costs and declining revenues. The program is projected to show a deficit of around $240 million in the current fiscal year and more than $300 million in the next fiscal year. To give the program the ...
President Barack Obama is stirring up the forces of reaction. Or at least he wants to. He is their inspiration and their leader, the nation's most eloquent and powerful advocate of a government of the past.
Does Georgia have a higher percentage of criminals in its population than any other state? Let's hope not.
"You will be president of a small country."
Dear Editor: I read with interest the front page article in your countywide edition "Drop in Values could mean tax increases." In that article, chief tax appraiser Dan Rollf repeatedly warned of seeing "no way around tax millage increases." He stated that current property assessments were higher than current home values. What a surprise.
While most voters are familiar with the candidates on the Nov. 4 general-election ballot, many are unaware of the ballot's three referendum questions.
Editor, Our country is in a precarious position. Our government is intruding in our personal lives, and our religions are under attack. The government is ignoring the invasion from south of the border, as well as the dangers imposed by ISIS and other terrorist groups.
Last week, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter shared via this column his vision for public education in Georgia.
Editor, Those of you familiar with the Long County School System are aware of the student growth and financial struggles faced by our system for many years. We are a low-wealth system, ranked 171st out of 180 school systems. Our students and teachers presently occupy many classrooms built in 1951 or earlier. The hardships we have faced have been many, but with the dedication of previous and present boards, superintendents, administrators, teachers and staff, we have survived.
Yes, I know that I am, occasionally, prone to embellishment. But trust me when I say this is the law and the gospel: I have a longtime friend who only calls me when someone dies. Most times, I know the person, but sometimes I don't have a clue the person ever existed.
Go get a flu shot. Also, make sure you're children get flu shots. It's a plain and simple set of instructions, but following them could save a life. Please, go do it.
Editor, Watch out, Bryan County, in case the Sunday-voting issue rears its head in your neck of the woods, just as it has in Liberty County. This is something I think everyone in our region needs to be aware of, because it involves something greater than just run-of-the-mill politics.
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.
The talking heads and politicians love to use the term, "boots on the ground." It sounds macho.
A friend of mine, long embroiled in upsets, distractions, problems and tribulations, called one day to announce happily that she was learning to let things roll right off her back.
Letting a child watch too much TV may be as bad for parents as it is for little ones. In fact, depending on which shows a child is allowed to watch, it may be worse for parents.
Last week, the Georgia Ports Authority approved allocating up to $3 million for maintenance of the shipping channel to the Port of Brunswick, marking the second-straight year the GPA has had to supplement federal funds for this project.
I talk to a wide variety of people throughout the week. The topics of our discussions vary greatly, but it is safe to say that many of my conversations deal with aging parents and aging issues in general.
Over the next three years, as many as 60,000 military members are expected to return to Georgia. Already, 770,000 veterans call Georgia home. In fact, the Peach State is home to the fourth-largest population of veterans nationwide. In addition to those returning to Georgia, more than 10,000 service members will be transitioning from the state's Army installations - 4,000 from Fort Stewart alone.
If I die anytime soon - and I have no plans to do so at the moment - please see that the first paragraph of my obituary reads, "He was past president of the University of Georgia National Alumni Association." You can save for later paragraphs the part about my being often mistaken for Brad Pitt and my uncanny ability to put commas where they don't belong.