A majority of the House of Representatives Thursday approved an amended state budget for the remainder of fiscal year 2010. Overall state spending is reduced by $1.2 billion to reflect that state revenues have declined for 14 consecutive months.
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.
Editor, An editorial cartoon by R. McKee serves as a modern take on the old Hans Christian Anderson tale about the emperor who was swindled by to weavers who promise to make him a suit of clothes that is invisible to people who are stupid and incompetent. When the emperor and his cabinet members cannot see the clothes, they pretend to be able to see them for fear of being deemed unfit for their positions. In reality, the swindlers only pretended to make the suit and clothe the emperor. He isn't wearing anything.
Editor, Today, I was nursing Gauge, my 2-month old son, at the Dunkin' Donuts in Hinesville. I have nursed in public like this numerous times. I sat in the corner and even had my friend stand in front of me to make sure nobody saw anything. As I was leaving and getting Gauge buckled into his car seat, an employee followed me to my car and told me that from now on when I nursed in the donut shop, I needed to cover up because customers complained.
Back in 1966, Bobby Fuller sang about, "Robbin' people with a six-gun, I fought the law and the law won." And rightfully so - robbery is a crime. But what happens when it's the law doing the robbing and the law wins?
On my "to-do" list last week was a reminder to call former Gov. Carl Sanders and see if he had any thoughts on how to get the field at Sanford Stadium named for UGA's former coach and athletic director Vince Dooley. I knew he would like the idea and perhaps could jerk a few chains I seem to have been unable to rattle thus far.
I love this time of year. All the lights and decorations really can make our community look pretty. It would be wonderful if we all made that kind of effort all year long.
It started accidentally. Some good ideas and memorable moments are like that. They aren't planned. They're born, bringing with them an ability to nudge a way naturally into our lives and become a tradition.
Moms want everything and nothing at all. We want to be everywhere at once and also nowhere to be found. We want to impress everyone, handle every chore imaginable and spend every waking second bonding with our children. We also want to totally escape from life. Failure to accomplish this leads to immense guilt and, occasionally, foul moods.
Editor, In my humble opinion, the failure of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax was not a criticism of the tax, but rather of the excessive - and perhaps arrogant - spending of our tax dollars by our elected officials. The threat of the new Transportation SPLOST, another tax, was maybe another factor.
Editor, "it's gr8 dy.h.a mtg @ d mal l8r"
Editor's note: U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Georgia, and other area elected officials will contribute periodic columns during the upcoming legislative sessions. This is a report about orientation that he went through last week.
I was on St. Simons Island last week, scarfing down massive amounts of corn-fried shrimp at the exquisite little Georgia Sea Grill, when someone came to the table to inquire if Junior E. Lee had finished his analysis of the recent election. That really puffed up Junior when I told him.
Editor, Why did SPLOST fail? Just take a look at the article in Sunday's Coastal Courier: "City council looks at property-tax increase."
One afternoon, I had a hankering, a primal-like craving, for a supper of pinto beans and cornbread with a tall glass of cold, rich buttermilk thrown in for good measure and extra filling.
Typically, I use this weekly column to address parenting issues, reflect on challenges faced by (fairly) new moms and provide what I hope are amusing anecdotes that stem from daily life encounters with a toddler. This Sunday, though, I'm going to explore a topic that's more indirectly related to - but still very much a part of - child-rearing.
I really do love the holidays - but I cringe as we also approach the trashiest season of the year.