When news of former House Speaker Glenn Richardson's alleged affair with a lobbyist broke late last year, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle beat the drum for tougher ethics laws. In fact, you could hardly turn around without hearing a candidate for governor talking about ethics.
States with weak gun laws supply guns to criminals in other states at a rate five times higher than dealers in states with stronger gun laws, according to a Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence analysis of newly released crime gun trace data.
Next week, Georgia's seniors will receive a $250 rebate check from the federal government to pay for some lifesaving medications if they fall within the Medicare Part D coverage gap known as the "donut hole." That $250 check is the beginning of the end for the donut hole – and was made possible by the Affordable Care Act.
According to current nuclear industry proposals, over two dozen new nuclear reactors would be constructed in the United States, the vast majority in the Southeast and Texas. President Obama recently offered $8.3 billion worth of taxpayer-backed loan guarantees to two of them in Georgia, which could be the first to be built in the U.S. in nearly four decades.
OK, class. Our word this week is Kakistocracy.
During the six years that I have served in the Georgia state legislature, this past session may have been the most productive yet.
President Barack Obama said at his BP press conference that when he was shaving the other day, his daughter Malia asked him, "Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?"
What a Paine!
It was the mistake heard round the world.
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce was heartened to see our state's significant achievements in education reform recognized earlier this year with a strong finish in the initial round of Race to the Top (RT3) grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education. We believe RT3 represents an excellent opportunity to build on Georgia's success, and we commend the state on its submission of a second-round application.
Many in Liberty County were surprised last week when Liberty County Probate Court Judge Nancy Aspinwall appointed Polly Martin to succeed her late husband, J. Don Martin, as sheriff of Liberty County. The public outcry generally questioned whether Martin's wife was the most qualified person to manage and lead Liberty County's law enforcement.
Would somebody tell that guy that runs Mexico to buy a map?
There are 78 million baby boomers and a very large number of them have retirement on their minds. If the past is a guide, more than 80 percent of them will retire before they become eligible for Medicare (at age 65). Although about one-third of U.S. workers have a promise of post-retirement health care from an employer, almost none of these promises are funded and, as is the case of the automobile companies, are likely to be broken in whole or in part.
Fifteen months ago, a local reporter asked me if there was any interest within the General Assembly in taking on the medical marijuana issue for the 2014 legislative session, and I told him, emphatically, that there was none and that I did not foresee that issue coming up anytime soon in Georgia. Then, a week later, I met a little 4-year-old girl named Haleigh and her courageous mom and dad, and was I proved ever so wrong.
Editor, If you are a father seeking custody of your children in Hinesville, please read this carefully.
The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was called catastrophic by many. President Barack Obama declared, "This oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced." The National Resource Defense Council said two years later, "A people wronged and a region scarred remains."
My fellow Americans, it is with a heavy heart that I announce to you today that I will not be a candidate for president of the United States in 2016.
Editor, It is mindboggling to me to hear Liberty County Board of Education members and Liberty County School System administrators talk of the millions of dollars tossed about our school district's budget during school-board meetings, work sessions and public forums as if it's no big deal. According to information presented by the district, our revenues for the 2013-14 school year were $92,203,140, and our expenditures were $98,130,080 - meaning, our school board authorized $5,926,940 in overspending. However, the board continued to operate in the same manner for the first half of the 2014-15 ...
Sometimes a man, despite his best efforts, doesn't find his destiny. Try as he might, down through the earnest years of his life, he chases it and even can believe he has it, only to awaken one morning and discover he doesn't - that what he has is an illusion, a mirage that he tried to turn into reality.
The activity surrounding each legislative session is always a combination of fast action with periods of slow-moving, tedious meetings as legislation is researched, deliberated and reconciled before the actual vote. This session was no different, and each day was used to the fullest as we set our sights on tackling some tough issues for the betterment of our state. The following is a summary of some of the major accomplishments and most-significant legislation passed this session.
On Wednesday, Liberty County residents will join millions of people around the world in celebrating the Earth on Earth Day.
There will be a public hearing Tuesday in Richmond Hill held by the Georgia Department of Transportation in reference to the proposed pipeline Kinder Morgan wants to install along the entire coast of Georgia. It is important that Coastal Georgia residents attend.
Lawmakers passed a nearly $22 billion spending plan that includes about $900 million in new revenues, consumed for the most part by school-enrollment growth, increasing retirement benefit-plan expenses for state employees and about $288 million to reduce an austerity cut for public schools. The 2016 budget also increases the local school-district cost of insurance for bus drivers and other non-certified school workers by more than $100 million, so it remains to be seen how much of the $288 million is used for teacher raises and undoing recession-era cuts.
Sometimes we forget that there are a lot of good people on this Earth doing good things. I was reminded of that by my friend, Jack Cookston, who recently had some medical issues that required him to cart around an oxygen tank wherever he went. (Happily, his health has improved and the oxygen tank is history.)
As expected, transportation funding and the governor's proposal to address persistently failing public schools dominated Georgia's legislative session. The measures passed, yet several opportunities to address critical economic issues were missed.
Carrie called the other day, and I grabbed the phone just as I was coming in from the garage. I dropped my purse at the foot of the stairs and sat down on a step to talk. No conversation with Carrie is ever short. Even her voicemails run three to four minutes.
I would love a good, old-fashioned rain - or, as we used to call it, gully washer - this week.
I just finished reading an article written by Valerie Tarico on Yahoo. The story was titled "Right-wing Christianity teaches bigotry: The ugly roots of Indiana's new anti-gay law."