The Georgia Legislature is quickly approaching the end of the 2010 session. We wrapped up last week with day 30, known as "crossover day" and the last day for Senate bills to pass over to the House. The Senate has passed many bills important to saving taxpayers' money, protecting public safety, protecting Georgian's health-care rights and dealing with Internet fraud. The following are some bills that may be of particular interest to you and your families:
By Dr. Scott Beaulier
This is an open letter to Allen Davis, president of the Coastal Estuary Protection Association, Inc.
Can you put a price on sight? A limb? A healthy newborn? The Georgia Supreme Court says no.
Even conceding our state's seemingly clueless attitude toward understanding the importance of education to Georgia's future prosperity, our politicians and bureaucrats are going to have a hard time screwing up the College of Coastal Georgia. The institution simply has too much going for it.
It occurred to me while planning for Pesach - Passover - this week, there are fellow Jews out there who may be alone or separated from family on this major Jewish holiday.
Dear Senator Carter,
Earlier this month, many Georgia television viewers, newspaper readers, radio listeners and Internet users likely were shocked at the graphic images, stomach-turning descriptions and bluntly worded warnings that turned up on their screens, pages and radios. The candid messages are part of The Georgia Meth Project, a hard-hitting ad campaign designed to discourage meth use among teenagers.
Senate Majority Whip Mitch Seabaugh (R-Sharpsburg) wants to eliminate a bunch of Superior Court judges in Georgia. Seabaugh says getting rid of 19 judges would save the state $13 million to $14 million. This means we Georgians would then have money available for really important stuff like building Gov. Sonny Perdue's $9 million horse barn in Houston County and enough cash left over for a palomino or two. When state government works well, it is an awesome sight to behold.
My parents are Americans. They are citizens of this great country, which they are proud to call home. They are also immigrants.
The Georgia concealed weapons bill, HB 615, is in sub-committee. I have major concerns about the bill. First, the talking points used to push the bill along draw focus away from the greatest risk of violence we face. Second, the bill seems to set up a challenge between gun rights advocates and property owners. Third, the bill doesn't seem to allow consideration of legitimate threat assessments needed for hospitals and other government entities with valid concerns about the safety of staff and clients.
There is currently a bill being pushed thru the Georgia Legislature that can and will have a very direct adverse effect on the ability of the people to challenge the activities of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD). I can only assume that this bill is only the beginning of the influence on policy by the new Director of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), F. Allen Barnes.
• Day 21 (Monday, March 8): After a two week working recess to address our budget woes, we're back in session today and greeted with more bad news as we learn that February's revenues fell by nearly 10 percent from this time last year. Considering that February 2009 revenues were down by 34 percent from February 2008, this means that February 2010 revenues are down 44 percent from two years ago- devastating news.
The news in Georgia has gone to the birds. Literally. The latest big debate in the state isn't centered on how lawmakers are tackling the much-hyped $1 billion budget hole or even how the Atlanta Braves look at spring training. The campaign creating the most buzz isn't political in nature - it's ornithological.
I started covering the Bryan County Board of Education in June. Maybe there's some irony in the fact that I wound up with the beat because of the economy and resulting cutbacks in the newsroom.
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.
The holidays are upon us and many people will be traveling to visit friends and family over the next few weeks.
Before I had a child, there were a few things I noticed parents doing that really annoyed me, and I swore I would never do those things if and when I became a mother. For the most part, I've been diligent about sticking to my guns.
Homecomings are the stuff of sweet dreams and dessert for breakfast - so perfect and delicious, but often followed by either a rude awakening or a few extra pounds. As a military family member who has experienced distances because of deployment and training, I can tell you it doesn't necessarily get any easier. The families who recently have or are welcoming home loved ones this week have a few battles ahead as they work together to find a new family life balance.
Editor, Remember the great Henry Ford City controversy? A brainchild of former mayor Richard Davis and some others, a major effort was launched to brand many aspects of the Richmond Hill as a "Henry Ford City." Signs proclaiming this appeared and a host of other publicity measures supported the drive, a stated purpose of which was to bring hoards of Ford-worshipping, free-spending visitors to the fair city.
While campaigning for his health care law - and in the years since its passage - President Obama repeatedly assured the American people that, "if you like your health-care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan."
Last week, family and friends gathered in the small town of Chattahoochee Hills, south of Atlanta, to celebrate a life well-lived.
Welcome to the first of many military life columns. Whether it is among civilian friends or military colleagues, military life presents its own unique challenges and opportunities. Your neighbors, children's friends and strangers in the grocery store all have been affected in different ways by the military. In our community especially, we live, work and play next to military families without realizing it.
Around the corner, out in the country where we live, is a hardware store owned by a guy I have known since the day I was born. Our bassinets were next to each other in the hospital nursery.
The Internet is bad for me. I'm an obsessive worrier, and I've only gotten worse since the advent of search engines. I often think that if someone got a hold of my web-search queries, I'd end up an international laughing stock. Among the best last week: "Can you become addicted to nasal spray?" "Affects of eating slightly brown guacamole," "Can Tums cause kidney stones?" and "My cat ate cellophane."
I attended two wonderful Veterans Day celebrations this week. One was hosted by the city of Richmond Hill, and the other was at my church. Both provided wonderful tributes to, and recognition of, our service men and women who have fought so gallantly to keep our country the greatest place on Earth.