Day 14 (Feb. 8): As we head back into session today, we are greeted with the disappointing news. The January revenues are down 8.7 percent over those in January 2009. Combined with the losses from a year ago, this means January revenues are a whopping 23 percent lower than January 2008. More importantly, the governor's proposed amended FY10 budget called for a $1.44 billion shortfall with the expectation that the remaining six months revenues would be flat.
While you and I have been tending to the mundane matters of life like filing our taxes and paying our bills, members of the General Assembly have been watching too many science fiction movies.
The U.S. Constitution begins with arguably the most powerful words in the English language, "We the People" not "we the government."
Whenever this world starts looking too complicated, I call my friend Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter's Tree Stump Removal and Plow Repair in Greater Metropolitan Pooler. Skeeter puts things into perspective.
Members of the Democratic Caucus in the Georgia House this week introduced the Transportation Jobs Development Act, a legislative solution to the transportation funding problem that has caused Georgia to fall behind other states in recent years.
Some important news came out of Atlanta on Monday, when Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, a Woodstock Republican, introduced what he called a "much needed" overhaul of Georgia's property tax system. In doing so, Rogers acknowledged what most homeowners have known all along: the current system is a mess.
State Senator Buddy Carter, R-Pooler, will be reporting each week during the legislative session. The session began Jan. 11 and is expected to last until the latter days of March.
In the wake of losing Teddy Kennedy's Senate seat, in an electoral rebuke for the ages, liberaldom has a new catechism. These articles of faith may seem strange and implausible to the outsider, but they give comfort to the believer in these times of trial.
In addition to the national recession, another contributing factor in Georgia's state budget deficit is the hundreds of millions of dollars foregone through a number of special-interest tax cuts and exemptions implemented over the past several years. On Jan. 25, a House subcommittee moved forward with legislation to evaluate those tax breaks' impact on the budget and their success in achieving their intended goals.
At last year's inaugural Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Savannah, a small band of women from Liberty County walked together calling themselves Team Suzie Q.
A bill in the Georgia legislature proposing a ban on using a cell phone to send text messages while driving has been sent back to the drawing board due to concerns over how it would be enforced, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported earlier this week.
What this state needs is a good old-fashioned Tea Party. Not one directed at the liberal weenies in Washington who tried to ram health care reform down our throats. This protest needs to focus on the state of Georgia.
With the 2010 session under the Gold Dome, there are many issues on the minds of lawmakers that will have a significant impact on you, your families and all of Georgia.
"We want our money back" is a battle cry you'd expect from a tea-party rally. Such lack of nuance. Such grasping materialism. Such us-vs.-them populism.
Let's cut our legislators a little slack as they begin deliberations in the current session of the General Assembly. They need time to get adjusted. You don't just go to Atlanta and start passing laws. The first thing is to find out if anybody moved the bathrooms while you were gone because you might just find yourself in some bureaucrat's new digs for all the wrong reasons. That is very important.
A wise man once said that our only reason for occupying space on this earth is to leave things better than we found them. Unfortunately, not enough of us will. Len Pagano is an exception.
Tens of thousands of Georgians live with lifelong disabilities due to brain and spinal cord injury.
I read with interest a recent column submitted to the newspaper concerning SPLOST and ad valorem taxes. While I fully support one's right to free speech and voting, I am troubled by incompleteness and/or inaccuracies in material discussed. While the kinder and gentler side of me attributes this to "just a small misunderstanding of the true facts," I feel it's necessary to accurately inform readers on these matters.
Editor, The Liberty County Commission and Development Authority leaders poured millions of dollars into MidCoast Regional Airport. Now they are spending millions more to extend one of the four runways from 5,000 to 6,500 feet. Why? Are they planning on implementing nonstop commercial air service?
This happened years ago. Mama was alive then, so it's been seven or eight years. I hadn't thought about in almost that many years but when it came to mind the other day, I took to studying on it and how the circumstances and opportunities of life's journey can be so fascinating.
OK, I admit it - a few months ago, I suffered from a very short-lived bout of baby fever. I'm happy to announce, however, that I've fully recovered.
"Water, water everywhere" is especially true for a coastal county like ours.
Editor, Why are we dumbing down our children? Our high schools send 90 percent of students out the door without the most basic skills high school is supposed to teach. High-tech businesses won't locate to Liberty County because of our inability to provide educated workers.
While most voters are familiar with the candidates on the Nov. 4 general-election ballot, many are unaware of the ballot's three referendum questions.
Editor, Our country is in a precarious position. Our government is intruding in our personal lives, and our religions are under attack. The government is ignoring the invasion from south of the border, as well as the dangers imposed by ISIS and other terrorist groups.
Last week, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter shared via this column his vision for public education in Georgia.
Yes, I know that I am, occasionally, prone to embellishment. But trust me when I say this is the law and the gospel: I have a longtime friend who only calls me when someone dies. Most times, I know the person, but sometimes I don't have a clue the person ever existed.
This month, we are making a positive difference for our local waterways by participating in the statewide Rivers Alive waterway cleanups.
Go get a flu shot. Also, make sure you're children get flu shots. It's a plain and simple set of instructions, but following them could save a life. Please, go do it.
The talking heads and politicians love to use the term, "boots on the ground." It sounds macho.