Day 37 (Tuesday, April 20, 2010): With only four days remaining in this year's session, we get down to business today by passing the amended FY 2010 budget that runs through June 30 of this year. The historic drop in state revenue is evident here as the FY 2010 budget has been reduced to 2004 and 2005 levels as revenues have fallen $1.6 billion since the original 2010 budget was passed last April. Totaling $17.7 billion, the average agency has been cut 18 percent while vital services such as Medicaid and Education have been cut only 9 ...
The 2010 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly is nearing an end after months of hard work and dedication. Major milestones were completed this week and now with day 38 completed, the marathon is almost finished and the finish line is in sight. With two days left, this week legislators met some of our goals for the session. The General Assembly has now balanced the budget for the state, passed a transportation funding bill, and passed ethics reform.
School-aged children make a variety of independent choices daily pertaining to their routines and behavior. While parents usually set guidelines and ultimately hold veto power, most students are free to decide who to befriend, what to eat for lunch, how much to study, what activities to participate in and how to handle conflict. However, one choice Liberty County School System students don't face is what to wear to school. And that's OK.
With the legislature about to wind up another colossal performance of democracy in action, there is still some unfinished business awaiting our public servants.
Each year, many people spend some time on Earth Day planting a tree, cleaning up a park or participating in some other activity that raises awareness of environmental issues.
By Jeff Whitten
A year and a half after the country came perilously close to economic collapse, average Americans are sitting up and taking notice of the debate in Washington over financial reform. No one wants another financial crisis, and one thing that consumers, the White House, Congress, regulators and bankers of all stripes agree on is that financial reform is needed.
Day 34 (Monday, April 12): This is the sixth year that I have had the honor and privilege of serving in the Georgia State Legislature and one of the things that I am most proud of is how we begin each session in the House and Senate with the Pledge of Allegiance, a short devotion led by our "Pastor of the Day," and a prayer. Today is a special day for me as I have my pastor from Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church in Savannah, Rev. Creede Hinshaw as our "Pastor of the Day." As usual, Creede does a wonderful ...
Returning from our recess, the General Assembly was refreshed and ready to get back to doing the people's work. It has been a longer legislative session in comparison to the past few years; however, the end is in sight. With only four legislative session days left, the General Assembly confirmed that our last day of the 2010 Legislative Session will be Thursday, April 29. One of the most complex budget years in the history of the state, we have made necessary, but difficult, choices as we reduced spending and therefore the size of our government. When the economy does ...
Georgians applaud President Obama's decision to allow offshore drilling along the mid-Atlantic coast. With the state unemployment rate at 10.6 percent, we understand that tapping into U.S. oil and natural gas resources offshore would create hundreds of thousands of new, well-paying jobs, boost the state and local economies, and help secure our energy future. We also know many factors play a role in whether or not development will ever occur. If the president has our best interest in mind, he needs to act quickly and prudently on his words.
Editor's note: Dr. Jack Blanton is professor emeritus at the Skidaway Island Institute of Oceanography in Savannah. He has researched physical oceanography for more than 40 years. For that reason, we invited him to answer questions regarding the Liberty County Development Authority's proposed wastewater treatment facility. Here are our questions and his replies.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.
I'll hand it to you, Liberty County - you sure know how to make a person feel welcome. And, apparently, you've decided the old adage holds true: The way to an editor's heart is through her stomach, which is just fine with me. Heck, if I'd known our readers and sources were going to invite me to so many functions featuring delicious meals, I'd have tried for my recent promotion even sooner.
A majority of the House of Representatives voted this week to approve a $17.8 billion state budget for fiscal year 2011. I was among the 52 House members voting against the spending plan because it is a continuation of the misguided priorities and fiscal irresponsibility that have plagued Georgia for the last eight years.
Every year, millions of Georgia drivers engage in a behavior almost as risky as texting or talking on their cell phones. And they may not even know it -- until it's too late.
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.