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.
When schools close for the summer, safe and enriching learning environments are out of reach and replaced by boredom, lost opportunities and risk for too many children. New analysis of data from the America After 3PM study measures the extent of this problem, concluding that just 21 percent of Georgia's schoolchildren (an estimated 350,878 kids) participate in summer learning programs – safe, structured programs that provide a variety of activities designed to encourage learning and development in the summer months.
Former Hinesville City Councilman Alonzo Walden once said he decided who got his vote for sheriff based on trust.
Up until the final days of the 2010 legislative session, Georgia was about to become the only state in the union without an arts council. The Georgia House had dropped all funding for the arts and it wasn't until the State Senate, under the leadership of Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Hill (R-Reidsville), stepped in and restored $860,000 for the Georgia Council for the Arts. That money will allow the state agency to qualify for federal and state matching arts grants.
While I was in Iowa for my most recent visit, people said things like, "He's been gone quite a while. He'll be back anytime now, right?" or "Your husband should be getting home soon, isn't he?"
At town hall meetings, events in my district and even trips to the grocery store, it's clear that main street America is frustrated with an out of touch Washington. The people who come up to me aren't angry as much as they are worried about the future of our country.
Sign seen outside local church:
This coming Friday, we will celebrate Georgia Arbor Day. If you love and appreciate trees like I do, then please join us in celebration of trees this week by planting a tree and increasing our community tree canopy.
Editor, There is a new House bill going through the state at a very fast pace, and it's not even being discussed like any local gossip would. This is a very important issue for the entire state of Georgia. This bill proposes to take fuel tax off of your local SPLOST, ESPLOST and LOST revenue, which means a significant change in the operations of the county.
Twelve years ago, I made a decision to follow my head, not my heart, and put my career first. I'd just completed my first post-college internship at the Abilene Reporter-News in Texas and, having impressed my supervisor, was offered full-time employment at the end of my three-month stint.
Editor, On Dec. 16, 1773, demonstrators destroyed an entire shipment of tea in the Boston Harbor in protest of taxation without representation. Today, we have ultra-taxation with representation. At the rate that we are going, we will just sign over our employment checks and accept the spending money that our government gives us.
If you watched the Super Bowl a couple of weeks ago - and reports say that 114 million of us did - perhaps you saw a portion of the reprehensible behavior of Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin who, after scoring a touchdown, proceeded to mime pulling down his pants and squatting as if on a commode, before dropping the ball to the ground as if using the restroom. The NFL fined Baldwin $11,000, which has to be chump change to this boor. Astonishingly, the incident has gotten very little mention in the media. You can bet this kind of obscene showboating ...
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.