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."
Fortune Magazine has announced its list of the World's Greatest Leaders for 2015, and would you believe that I got snubbed again this year?
The Georgia General Assembly adjourned last week, and much was accomplished during a very busy session. The following are some of the bills that were agreed upon by both the House and Senate and have been sent to the governor for his approval.
With the 2015 General Assembly session ending last week, here's a list of the health-care winners and losers during the 40 days of the Legislature.
"The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations, whose words of thanks will not be heard." - Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day
Editor, I want to address the front-page, above-the-fold news story by Randy C. Murray, "Is there racial profiling in Liberty County?" (Wednesday, April 1).
Before Thanksgiving, as I "juned" - a mountain word Mama used to mean "moved faster" - around the kitchen preparing for company, it occurred to me that I should invite Jerry.
Editor, National Small Business Week was May 4-9, but the must-attend event for small business entrepreneurs this month is the Mayor's Small Business Conference on May 20.
You are going to have to give me a little scat room today. I am having an attack of the nostalgias. Going down someone else's Memory Lane can be as boring as a lecture on the life cycle of guppies, but this has been a reflective few weeks for me. My beloved Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia and the campus chapter of my college fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, both celebrated their 100th anniversaries this past month in Athens.
On May 22, my youngest child will graduate from high school, and I am ecstatic to see her turn that tassel and move on to her next chapter in life.
Once on "The Andy Griffith Show," Ernest T. Bass tried to join the Army. Several times, Barney says comically, "He's a nut!"
Someone asked the question, "Is Buddy Carter beholden to oil?" Would approximately $400,000 from a super PAC in Texas that represents big-oil interests mean anything? After all, the folks in Texas want Georgia to have good representation in Washington.
April certainly was the month for showers this year.
What if you were told that 95 percent of Georgians are using a product that may not always be the best value for money?
A college education in Georgia just got less affordable. Tuition is rising again in the wake of cuts in state funds for the university system. The HOPE Scholarship covers far less than it used to, and many students do not receive it. A college degree is more important than ever, yet it may be priced out of reach for many students.
Editor, I, along with many other Americans, breathed a sigh of relief at the news that the six officers involved in the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore will face multiple charges. The death has been ruled a homicide. This is a great day for the cause of justice in our country.