The 2010 session of the Georgia General Assembly came to an end late last Thursday night, several hours after lawmakers finalized a $17.9 billion state budget for fiscal year 2011. Having started Jan. 11, this was the longest legislative session on record since the 1880s.
Animal-rescue groups from Liberty County and surrounding areas, while working for a very noble cause, are slowly tearing down their own credibility. The infighting among these groups is hurting their reputations and, possibly, turning off potential donors.
The Georgia Legislature has finally approved a funding mechanism for transportation. Next comes the jockeying for placement on project lists among advocates, agencies and authorities for the various modes. Just because there's finally an opportunity for transportation funding, however, doesn't mean throwing good money after bad. Taxpayers must be vigilant and demand sound solutions and bang for their buck – or their 1 percent sales tax, to be precise.
Some recent thoughts, in no particular order. No particular order at all.
Well, there you go! I spend time and take up valuable space in this paper telling people that offshore oil well drilling has a sterling reputation of success where oil spills are a concern and bingo! We now have the first serious oil rig spill in the history of the industry. I hope and pray the flow is stopped before the slick reaches the fragile eco-systems of the Chaudeleurs Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
Just a few weeks ago, most seemed glad to hear that President Barack Obama planned to open up areas off the Atlantic - and Georgia - coast to offshore drilling for oil. But there should be some second thoughts and careful assessment in the wake of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which is getting worse by the day.
Now that the legislative session is (drum roll, please) history, it is time to turn our sights to the governor's race.
In 2001 saltwater fishermen in Richmond Hill formed a chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association or CCA. The objective of the CCA is to conserve, promote and enhance the present and future availability of these coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public. CCA is a national organization with chapters in 17 coastal states. From the very beginning Richmond Hill has had a very strong chapter. Today there are 150 local members. Four of these members represent the state CCA board: Mike Odom, Fraser Bowen, Coley Bryant and Jimmy Roberts. Mike Odom represents Richmond Hill and Georgia ...
Last week was Georgia Cities Week - a Georgia Municipal Association creation that is aimed at informing the public on the importance of cities. Nearly 100 municipalities in the state participate in the event in one form or another, including Hinesville, Midway, Flemington and others.
Each day across Georgia, the state Department of Corrections prepares enough meals to feed the population of the city of Marietta. Breakfast and lunch are served to nearly 60,000 adult prisoners. Paying for 31 state prisons annually costs taxpayers $1 billion, including the cost to manage 150,000 parolees.
When we think of forests, majestic trees, precious wildlife and clean, fresh air might come to mind. We probably don't think about the water we drink.
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.
The Georgia Senate had a busy week. We held numerous committee meetings to review legislation and listen to testimony either opposing or supporting bills being considered. The committee process is where the bills are vetted before being considered by the Senate, and it is a crucial part of the legislative process.
What mystical powder or elixir anoints our elected officials with the knowledge contained in the Encyclopedia Britannica and all the experience amassed by mankind since Adam and Eve? Apparently, the substance - whatever it is - imparts this knowledge and experience within the first 30 seconds of being sworn into office.
A few years back, someone I knew ever so slightly died. Though I didn't know him well, I knew him to be mean, egoistical and quite a bully.
A conversation I had with a co-worker a week ago left me feeling glad I don't have to make the tough decisions and unpopular calls that will be necessary when my daughter becomes a teenager.
This month, we celebrate trees in Georgia.