• Day 21 (Monday, March 8): After a two week working recess to address our budget woes, we're back in session today and greeted with more bad news as we learn that February's revenues fell by nearly 10 percent from this time last year. Considering that February 2009 revenues were down by 34 percent from February 2008, this means that February 2010 revenues are down 44 percent from two years ago- devastating news.
The news in Georgia has gone to the birds. Literally. The latest big debate in the state isn't centered on how lawmakers are tackling the much-hyped $1 billion budget hole or even how the Atlanta Braves look at spring training. The campaign creating the most buzz isn't political in nature - it's ornithological.
In the midst of one of the worst economic crises in memory, the Georgia General Assembly has to make some extremely difficult financial decisions. I don't envy their job.
The news is not good for Georgia on the economic front. It seems sales tax revenue is down approximately 10 percent from February 2009, and last year revenue was down ... well, let's say they were way down and leave it at that for now.
April 1, 2010 is the deadline for accepting applications for homestead exemption for tax year 2010. Applications can be accepted year round but those received after April 1st will be applied to 2011 taxes. You can file at either of the two offices of the Tax Commissioner: (1) 11 North College Street in Pembroke or (2) 185 Richard Davis Drive in Richmond Hill.
As a child who wanted nothing more than to grow up and become a journalist, I used to write stories for and draw out my own homemade "newspapers" to distribute to my family on Sunday mornings at breakfast. I tried to design my publications based on what I thought each of my family members might want to read. Dad's "newspaper" was about sports and my younger sister's often featured reports on Strawberry Shortcake and her social circle.
For the past two weeks, the Georgia state legislature has taken a working recess to address our budget crisis. At issue are both the FY 2010 amended and the FY 2011 general budgets.
The crowd gathered behind barricades in barely contained anticipation - and in some cases adoration - Tuesday prior to President Barack Obama's arrival at Savannah Technical College reminded me of Beatle-mania way back in the 1960s, when four charismatic musicians from Manchester, England, forever changed America's rock music scene.
Editor's note: State Rep. David Casas, R-Lilburn helped write this column.
The budget was the focal point and our top priority last week. Although the General Assembly was not in session, our time consisted of attending and giving input during the subcommittee meetings of the Appropriations Committee.
I am up to my gizzard with our governor and Legislature and assorted bureaucrats stomping around in public education with little regard for the consequences of their actions. Example: One school system in the state has been considering allowing the police to bring Tasers into the schools to quell unruly students.
Editor's note: Carter (R- Pooler) is reporting each week during the Legislative Session. The session began Jan. 11, and is expected to last until the latter days of March.
The Georgia General Assembly adjourned last Thursday, after day 20 of the 2010 legislative session. The Assembly has decided to take a two-week break from the legislative session to work on the daunting task of balancing the Fiscal Year 2011 budget.
The body is a little frail and he walks with a cane but the man still has the look of a warrior. His name is Charles Ector. He experienced the uglier side of society and with dignity and determination took prejudice head on.
The House and the state Senate voted Thursday to adjourn the current legislative session until March 8 to allow Appropriations Committee members to work full-time over the next two weeks on the budget proposal for fiscal year 2011, which begins July 1.
A friend said something the other day that has clung like mist to the crevices of my mind. She's soon to turn 70 and this is what she said:
Memorial Day weekend, as you've heard time and again, is that long weekend marking the unofficial start of the summer: beaches, boats and barbecue. Fun in the sun. With all the frolicking, many may overlook that Monday is, first and foremost, a special day set aside to remember those Americans who have died serving in our armed forces.
Editor, Whose great idea was it to let all the high-school students out at lunchtime with no bus service? This is a major issue for those of us who are working and have children.
Cumberland Island was struck head-on by a major hurricane 117 years ago. The Category 3 storm pounded the Georgia coast with winds of 135 mph and massive waves, causing a 16-foot storm surge in Brunswick that left much of the city underwater.
I have been trying to figure out what to do with my free time now that I have decided not to run for president of the United States (or what's left of it).
Getting math right for the students and teachers of Georgia has been a priority of mine since day one. One of my first actions as your state school superintendent was working with the State Board of Education to provide a needed choice between integrated mathematics and traditional discrete mathematics (with assessments to match each option) for our schools.
Here, I'll announce something I've never admitted publicly: I love going barefooted. It's how I was raised.
May is a very hard time for me.
May is Building Safety Month. Although the Hinesville Department of Inspections focuses on building safety all year long, we want to take the time to highlight some building-safety concerns locally. If an individual, organization or a business is trying to find a location within the Hinesville city limits, there are a few things they should know before signing on the dotted line to buy or lease.
Premium increases for Georgia's insurance-exchange health plans beat regional and national rates, according to a recent study by the Urban Institute, cited by Georgia Health News.
I read an opinion piece recently that said Republicans couldn't be Christians because they are too hard and uncompassionate. The piece said that, pretty much, the Democratic Party was the party of Christianity.
The public's outcry in opposition to the Palmetto Pipeline has been clear. Voters don't want it and don't think it is needed. And the public doesn't trust the company that wants to build it.
Editor, Recently, in letters to the editor, some have questioned U.S. Congressman Buddy Carter's loyalty with respect to eminent domain and the Palmetto Pipeline.
Dear public-school teachers in Georgia: Congratulations on surviving another year in the classroom.
It was at lunch after a morning revival service last summer that a few of us sat around, munching on Southern casseroles and talking about one of the most memorable mothers any of us had ever known.