Day 39 (Tuesday, April 27): Today, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that the last two days of the session are here. The bad news is that there is still a tremendous amount of work left to be done as is evidenced by the 53 bills we have on the calendar today. And while the sheer number of bills is intimidating, of even more concern is the importance of the bills involved. While the more glamorous bills such as ethics, transportation and property tax reform have been discussed and debated in the media and different ...
It is official, the 2010 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly adjourned Sine Die and came to an end midnight on Thursday, April 29. After spending months devoting our time and commitment in Atlanta under the Gold Dome. After being in session for 40 legislative days spread out over four months, continual committee meetings, agreements and disagreements, the members which represent people from all over our state came together and finished the work of the people. The two days of session this week the members worked into the late hours passing legislation. Key pieces of legislation were passed this ...
There are seven offices up for grabs in Bryan County. Four are on the board of education, three on the county commission.
The 2010 session of the Georgia General Assembly came to an end late last Thursday night, several hours after lawmakers finalized a $17.9 billion state budget for fiscal year 2011. Having started Jan. 11, this was the longest legislative session on record since the 1880s.
Animal-rescue groups from Liberty County and surrounding areas, while working for a very noble cause, are slowly tearing down their own credibility. The infighting among these groups is hurting their reputations and, possibly, turning off potential donors.
The Georgia Legislature has finally approved a funding mechanism for transportation. Next comes the jockeying for placement on project lists among advocates, agencies and authorities for the various modes. Just because there's finally an opportunity for transportation funding, however, doesn't mean throwing good money after bad. Taxpayers must be vigilant and demand sound solutions and bang for their buck – or their 1 percent sales tax, to be precise.
Some recent thoughts, in no particular order. No particular order at all.
Well, there you go! I spend time and take up valuable space in this paper telling people that offshore oil well drilling has a sterling reputation of success where oil spills are a concern and bingo! We now have the first serious oil rig spill in the history of the industry. I hope and pray the flow is stopped before the slick reaches the fragile eco-systems of the Chaudeleurs Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
Just a few weeks ago, most seemed glad to hear that President Barack Obama planned to open up areas off the Atlantic - and Georgia - coast to offshore drilling for oil. But there should be some second thoughts and careful assessment in the wake of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which is getting worse by the day.
Now that the legislative session is (drum roll, please) history, it is time to turn our sights to the governor's race.
In 2001 saltwater fishermen in Richmond Hill formed a chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association or CCA. The objective of the CCA is to conserve, promote and enhance the present and future availability of these coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public. CCA is a national organization with chapters in 17 coastal states. From the very beginning Richmond Hill has had a very strong chapter. Today there are 150 local members. Four of these members represent the state CCA board: Mike Odom, Fraser Bowen, Coley Bryant and Jimmy Roberts. Mike Odom represents Richmond Hill and Georgia ...
Last week was Georgia Cities Week - a Georgia Municipal Association creation that is aimed at informing the public on the importance of cities. Nearly 100 municipalities in the state participate in the event in one form or another, including Hinesville, Midway, Flemington and others.
Each day across Georgia, the state Department of Corrections prepares enough meals to feed the population of the city of Marietta. Breakfast and lunch are served to nearly 60,000 adult prisoners. Paying for 31 state prisons annually costs taxpayers $1 billion, including the cost to manage 150,000 parolees.
When we think of forests, majestic trees, precious wildlife and clean, fresh air might come to mind. We probably don't think about the water we drink.
Maybe it's the fact that I have more days in the rearview mirror than I have ahead of me, but at this special time of year I am more aware than ever of the gift of friendships. Friendships are always the correct size, the right color and don't require a set of instructions on how to operate them. They are truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Georgia has one of the more popular K-12 tuition tax-credit programs in America, which is funded by the private contributions of approximately 18,000 individual taxpayers and 200 corporate taxpayers, who receive a state income-tax credit for their contributions.
Editor, It was so pathetic to see my elected officials sprawled on the sidewalk in front of the historic courthouse in the photo published in Sunday's Courier.
I know we are all rushing around right now for the holidays with parties, shopping, tree lightings, shopping, church, etc., etc., etc.
Several weeks ago, I wrote about moonshine runner turned stock-car champion, Lloyd Seay, who was murdered in a dispute over sugar purchased to make illegal whiskey.
Editor, Common Core has curriculum mandates plus tests. The reason that this educational system is designed this way is so that special-interest groups can mine data from Common Core. Common Core is, in reality, a system of data classification. The tests enable our children's data be turned over to private organizations. No one oversees these companies nor does anyone - especially the government - know how this information will be used. Actually, this information will be accessible to the federal government. Now, Big Brother will be watching our children's progress throughout his or her school years.
You may recall that I vigorously opposed passage of a constitutional amendment in 2012 creating the State Charter School Commission that would allow an alternative method for authorizing charter schools in Georgia. You may recall, also, that the amendment passed handily. So much for my vigor.
In a recent speech at the National Press Club, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, D-NY, explained that improving economic opportunities for middle-class Americans is the key issue on which Democrats and Republicans should be focusing leading up to the 2016 presidential election and beyond.
Editor, Stop the presses and call Walter Cronkite - these stats just in:
There are few who cannot say truthfully that they miss their parents after death has laid claim to those loved ones. The parents who taught us, scolded us and, at times, annoyed us are never forgotten, never put away on a shelf to be remembered no more.
This "Santa Claus is coming soon, so you better be good" thing is working out great for me so far.
'Tis the holiday season, and Christmas is rushing across the calendar like a runaway freight train. It is a time when families and cherished friends gather around the hearth to drink in all the good cheer. It's a time of peace on Earth and good will toward men. And yet, Christmas has a sinister side - one we often exile to the extreme depths of our consciousness. I'm referring, of course, to home break-ins, thefts and frauds.
It has been another record year for Liberty County's annual Rivers Alive events, held annually in October and into November.
Orientation for freshman-elect members of the 114th Congress took place in Washington, D.C., from Nov. 12-19. This is the second of two reports detailing events of that orientation.
Editor, Referring to the headline in the Sunday Courier, let me, too, say that my concerns are aroused by the proposed millage-rate increases.