The 2008 legislative session is now more than half way complete but much important work remains. Key issues that we still must address are tax reform, a budget that is fiscally responsible and meets the needs of our citizens, and transportation. Last week the House Ways & Means Committee approved several tax reform measures. With tax reform must come spending reform and last week we also laid out our spending priorities for the Fiscal Year 2009 budget.
As state legislators continue to consider various bills on issues ranging from illegal immigration to dealing with convicted sex offenders, there's an awful lot of silence coming from Atlanta on the state of property tax reform.
Just as the Republican party is in the middle of a shake-up, the Democrats find themselves in turmoil as well.
I remember one Sunday when my son Silas was about 6-years-old. He and I spent the entire day in the woods.
My wife doesn't know this and she'll probably kill me when she finds out, since she thinks I have better sense:
We have officially completed the twentieth legislative day of the 2008 Georgia General Assembly session, which signals we have passed the half-way point of the constitutionally mandated "no-more-than" forty-day legislative session. The reconciliation budget, called the "little budget" is the document that looks at where the state stands, especially with federally-mandated Medicaid and education funding. If we are short, usually due to unanticipated growth, the General Assembly must infuse new funds to offset ...
An anonymous reader writes: "In your column (Feb. 17) you state, 'The total Republican [presidential primary] vote was down nearly 25 percent from Gov. Sonny Perdue's 2006 high-water mark.' You seem to hold that as a hopeful sign that the Democrat Party is somehow making a comeback in Georgia. That's wishful thinking on your part, but what this 25 percent difference no doubt really indicates is the magnitude of Republican voters who ...
Since Gov. Sonny Perdue took the state's reins in 2003, he has methodically cut $1.4 billion in funds that would have gone to the state's school systems. The upcoming budget is no different: Perdue has recommended $140 million in education "austerity cuts" for fiscal 2009, which begins in July. Since his election, he has successfully reversed the course of previous governors who had hoped to improve Georgia's dismal record in public education by ...
Each year, the Bryan County News is proud to publish our "countywide" edition. This issue is mailed to every deliverable household in Bryan County as a way of introducing the newspaper to potential readers.
This week a friend said to me, "I thought when the children went off to college that our lives would slow down. Instead, they seem to be speeding up."
Here's the problem: Every year, more than 13,000 Georgia kids become daily smokers and nearly one-third of them will die a premature death because of it.
News that the state has abolished its portion of the property tax is no doubt welcome to homeowners. That's a good thing, but let's get real. That $15-25 saved on a home valued at $150,000 is not what's hurting local property owners - who have been hit by a double whammy in recent years thanks to rapid growth.
It's 2008 already? Do any of us remember what happened in 2007? I certainly don't. Where did that year go anyway? We're eight years into this century already and I haven't even cut my lawn yet! I was up late the other night and thinking to myself. "Self," I said. "What can we record for posterity for 2007? It deserves at least an honorable mention -- no? No?" I then fell ...
The fallout from Super Tuesday still hasn't settled yet, leaving both parties in a bit of disarray.
The 2008 Georgia General Assembly session is in mid-stream as we have completed its fourteenth day. The House and Senate Appropriation Committees put the final touches on the Fiscal Year 2008 Reconciliation Budget and are currently preparing the FY 09 state budget. The reconciliation budget, called the "little budget" is the document that looks at where the state stands, especially with federally-mandated Medicaid and education funding. If we are short, usually due to ...
Undersecretary of the Army Dr. Joseph Westphal stated that small businesses are critical to Army readiness.
It was as ugly as a warthog, but for the 11th time in the past 12 years, 38 of the past 50, and 65 out of 108, the University of Georgia -the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South -bested You-Know-Where Institute of Technology for the state football championship, 41-34.
Every year around this time, kids in neighborhoods all across South Bryan await the sound of Santa's "ho, ho, ho" to beckon through the streets - much the way they might hope to hear the footfalls of reindeer on the rooftop on Christmas Eve.
Over lunch the other day with friends - all in the newspaper business - I mentioned that I occasionally speak at writers' conferences.
Let's start with the obvious: A democracy needs intelligence agencies. It needs to know what's happening in the world - and understand the plans of allies and enemies - to keep the nation prepared and secure.
My attempts at making more mom friends still are failing miserably. At this point, I'd probably try an online "matchmaking" site for women with children who are looking to befriend other women with children. Sort of like eHarmony, but with sippy cups and strollers. Actually, that sounds like a great idea because then I'd get to be very picky with my criteria, thus reducing the chances I'd get "matched up" with another mom I have ...
I love football. When I was growing up, our neighborhood kids would organize games every day. Good weather, bad weather, even snow and ice would not keep us from playing.
Editor, Mark your calendars, dress the young'uns, pack up the car and head east because Liberty County's east end is coming alive Saturday, Dec. 7.
The holiday season is suddenly upon us. Tree lots are full, Christmas candies are out in full force and the Black Friday sales are taunting us at every turn.
Editor, While visiting my sister who lives in Richmond Hill Village, she pointed out to me the historical marker placed in her neighborhood state it to be "the 'Bottom' Village," which, she says, is just a decades-old nickname for the area.
No one likes to hear "I told you so…"
If New Year's is a time to regroup and look toward the upcoming year, then Thanksgiving is a time to gather and reflect on the year that has passed. In our family, it is a time when we thank the good Lord for both the heartaches and the blessings.
We did it for four years while I was a member of the planning and zoning board of the city of Pooler. We did it for 11 years while I was serving as either Pooler mayor pro tem or mayor. And we've done it for the past nine years while I've served in the state Legislature.
Knock! Knock! Knock!
Somehow I ran across an out-of-print book called "The Last Lap." Now 15 years old, it tells an intriguing, timeless tale of the early days of America's first stock-car racers.