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Focus on people, not politics

POSTED: March 11, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Every four years, our nation's presidency is up for grabs. That means far right wingers, far left wingers, backwoods folks, city-slickers and everyone in between get mobilized behind their preferred candidate.
In the past few election cycles, the fight for the majority in Congress and the White House has bitterly divided the country along party and philosophical lines in a way we have not seen in our lifetime. Every other story on the nightly news relays the stalled struggle in DC to create good government.
Frankly, people are getting tired of partisan bickering. People want simple things from their government; fiscal responsibility, minimal government interference and the ability to raise a happy, healthy family.
As the 2008 presidential election and the Hillary-Obama-McCain mudslinging continues to divide us nationally, I think it is a good time to highlight the progress we're seeing here in Georgia.
As you read this, the Georgia General Assembly is approaching Legislative Day 20, the midway point in our legislation session. We have actually had a very productive session so far. As the majority party, Republicans have set out a tough legislative agenda early this year to attack water, taxes, traffic, education and trauma care.
The governor has already signed the Statewide Water Management Plan, which passed out of the Senate and House in the early days of this session. Just last week, the Senate passed out two tax measures that would give voters the ability to vote to freeze property taxes.
Significant proposals to improve our education system are also under way. Bills are currently moving to give school systems as well as parents different choices in the way schools are created and managed. More options will always lead to better education. And we continue to work toward a solution to trauma funding.
This month's tragedy at the Imperial Sugar plant in my hometown is a sad but timely reminder of how desperately we need to support and expand Georgia's trauma network. So, as you see, it's not even the halfway point of the session and the Senate has successfully tackled some pretty tough issues.
There is a friendly rivalry between the House and Senate and we frequently take make good-natured jokes about each other. But don't be fooled: the Legislature takes its job very seriously. We are here to make Georgia better for all her citizens, present and future. As the majority party, we are doing our best to lead the Senate with respect, courtesy, and deliberation.
We've been building good working relationships with the minority party since winning the majority six years ago. No one sits in dark rooms, plotting to destroy their political counterparts. Under our leadership, an open, respectful atmosphere has been fostered where Senators from both political parties are comfortable having frank conversations to work toward good compromises to make Georgia better.
We do, however, protect and promote what we believe in, including fiscal conservatism, less government interference, and pro-business initiatives.
Your Georgia Senate is working together for you. We're leading with a deliberative hand and keeping every Georgia citizen on the forefront of our daily business.

Johnson is president pro tem of the Georgia Senate. The Savannah Republican's District 1 covers much of Liberty County. 

 

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