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 ...
I'm an apologetic person. Maybe it's Catholic guilt. Maybe it's just in my nature. But I do love to apologize - mostly for things that aren't my fault. My mother has always said I'd apologize for World War II if given the opportunity. She's right; I am sorry for that horrible global conflict, but not because I think I had anything to do with it. In general, I'm just sorry it happened. It's an empathetic type of apology.
Sydney, our youngest daughter, is a member of the local Cheer Savannah competitive cheerleading team. Last week our family attended our first ever cheerleading exhibition to watch Sydney, along with the several hundred girls that are involved in this wonderful program, demonstrate all the skills and techniques they have learned over this past summer.
As Congress moves forward on budget negotiations, the word out of Washington is to expect nothing major: no grand bargain, just more stopgap, short-term fixes.
During the recent government shutdown, many numbers were thrown around. But there is one number that stands out, and it has nothing to do with the debate over the federal budget.
Last Friday morning, dozens of local golfers will take to the greens at Sterling Links Golf Course in Richmond Hill ready for a day of friendly competition and, of course, golf. But these golfers aren't playing just for the sport of it - they'll be participating in the Good Ol' Boys' 14th annual John Stevens Santa Scramble and helping raise funds for the Bryan County Children's Fund.
We often hear how pets are wonderful companions for older adults. Pets provide much-needed comfort, friendship and love to our seniors.
The waitress set down my cup of coffee, and I poured cream into the hot, black liquid while silently reflecting on and pondering something.
Funny thing happened the other day to our local newspaper on the way to obscurity: My teenage daughter asked for a printed copy.
Every phase of "babyhood" has its merits, and I've loved them all so far. In fact, every time my daughter Reese enters a new stage of development, I swear that it's the best one yet. I honestly can't pick my favorite.
Some say the adage about pigs flying originated with Washington politicians who have an uncanny ability to get nothing accomplished. If they did accomplish something - the politicians we mean - then said swine would take to the air. The horror.
I have some good news and some bad news. I read in the paper recently about a proposed venture to send people to Mars. The good news is that it will be a one-way trip. The bad news is that the launch isn't scheduled until 2022, meaning anybody dumb enough to consider the idea of going to Mars and staying there will be hanging around for another nine years on our planet and lowering the collective IQ for the rest of us. Bummer.
Finally, just when we thought it would never happen again, it does - we get some good news out of Washington, D.C.
"Hello, Gov. Deal's office. May I help you? One moment, please. Governor, you have a call on line one."
Halloween is a fun holiday, short and sweet. It doesn't require a lot of prep and is over in a few hours.
There's a topic I've always shied away from in this column - the working mom vs. stay-at-home mom debate. I never felt the need to broach this subject before because, honestly, I didn't really feel it was an issue anymore. I thought we, as parents, had moved past all that trivial nonsense and decided all mothers play important roles. Period.