The Senate returned to session last week with all eyes and ears on the first bills and resolutions of the session. Most notable were bills on transportation, zero-based budgeting and tougher restrictions for metal theft crimes. However, the two major issues on everyone's mind were the Homeowner Tax Relief Grant (HTRG) funding and capping property taxes.
Anyone who thought Democrats and Republicans in Washington would join hands and skip into the sunset together on the Yellow Brick Road must have been dreaming.
This first person account of Barack Obama's presidential inauguration was delayed when I got caught up in the crowd of an estimated 2 million people trying to leave Washington, D.C., at the same time. Thanks to the overtaxed metro system, it took me nearly six hours to make the 18-minute trip back to Arlington, Va., where I was staying.
From what I read in this and other newspapers around the world is that everybody's broke or are going to be soon.
The news out of Atlanta in recent weeks has been how the state is going to deal with a shortfall in the current budget year. Lawmakers are there trying to figure that out now. State law prohibits deficit spending, so our represenatives are trying to figure out what to do. The question is why does the state have a $2 billion deficit?"
On Jan. 12, the 150th legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly was gaveled open as members of the House of Representatives and members of the Senate were sworn in for our legislative duties. This process repeats itself every two years following the elections, and the winners of the 180 districts in the House and 56 districts in the Senate are seated to serve their district and state.
If you believe President Obama inherited a truckload of problems from George W. Bush, consider what the next Georgia governor faces.
As the 2009 Legislative Session convenes, we are addressing issues that are being discussed around kitchen tables throughout the state. As Georgians in every corner of our state closely watch their bottom lines during this economic downturn, it will also be a tough session for lawmakers.
It's getting to the point where every time I watch The View, I have to take a tranquilizer and lie down to keep my head from imploding or exploding or just unscrewing and rolling across the floor.
If we are to continue Georgia's growth and prosperity, we must solve our transportation issues for the entire state. Adding a lane along a busy interstate, extending a rail line by a couple of miles or simply allowing Metro Atlanta to tax itself won't solve our problems.
At least the word "trillion" still has cachet as denoting a lot of money. "Billion" has been surpassed during the past few months, and "million" has long been positively quaint.
In the spring of 1972, the plaintiffs in Acree v. Richmond County Board of Education petitioned the federal court to find the board of education in contempt for not complying with the desegregation orders of Federal District Judge Alexander Lawrence. The contempt motion was assigned to U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Griffin B. Bell.
Breaking out of the recession in Georgia may be even more difficult than many experts think. One reason: The federal government and the Georgia Gold Dome appear to be pulling in opposite directions on several fronts to warm up the economy.
How sour is the public mood? An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found about half of people believe 2008 was one of the worst years in American history. At times, Abraham Lincoln's lament has seemed apt, "We live in the midst of alarms; anxiety beclouds the future; we expect some new disaster with each newspaper we read."
Well thank goodness some thing's never change.
This was written in a cave somewhere in greater Bora Bora. The column was floated across the ocean in an RC Cola bottle to this newspaper.
One afternoon, I had a hankering - a primal-like craving - for a supper of pinto beans and cornbread with a tall glass of cold, rich buttermilk thrown in for good measure and extra filling.
I didn't cook Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. My husband, daughter and I went to a restaurant in Richmond Hill that offered all the traditional holiday fare at a reasonable price. It was the first time in my life I did not eat a home-cooked meal on Thanksgiving.
Editor, Supposedly, taxes are going up again because SPLOST was voted down. Don't you know that taxes are raised whether or not SPLOST is approved? Taxes also will be raised no matter how many concerned citizens attend the three public hearings on the proposed millage-rate hikes.
We believe that every day should be about recycling. It's one easy action that everyone can do to help our environment. But America Recycles Day, celebrated Nov. 15 this year, is designated to educate and motivate people on recycling.
Editor, To SPLOST or not to SPLOST - that was the question ... and SPLOST lost! The citizens of Liberty County finally got tired of unconstrained spending and spoke up the only way they could - through the ballot box.
Editor, An editorial cartoon by R. McKee serves as a modern take on the old Hans Christian Anderson tale about the emperor who was swindled by to weavers who promise to make him a suit of clothes that is invisible to people who are stupid and incompetent. When the emperor and his cabinet members cannot see the clothes, they pretend to be able to see them for fear of being deemed unfit for their positions. In reality, the swindlers only pretended to make the suit and clothe the emperor. He isn't wearing anything.
Editor, Today, I was nursing Gauge, my 2-month old son, at the Dunkin' Donuts in Hinesville. I have nursed in public like this numerous times. I sat in the corner and even had my friend stand in front of me to make sure nobody saw anything. As I was leaving and getting Gauge buckled into his car seat, an employee followed me to my car and told me that from now on when I nursed in the donut shop, I needed to cover up because customers complained.
Back in 1966, Bobby Fuller sang about, "Robbin' people with a six-gun, I fought the law and the law won." And rightfully so - robbery is a crime. But what happens when it's the law doing the robbing and the law wins?
On my "to-do" list last week was a reminder to call former Gov. Carl Sanders and see if he had any thoughts on how to get the field at Sanford Stadium named for UGA's former coach and athletic director Vince Dooley. I knew he would like the idea and perhaps could jerk a few chains I seem to have been unable to rattle thus far.
I love this time of year. All the lights and decorations really can make our community look pretty. It would be wonderful if we all made that kind of effort all year long.
It started accidentally. Some good ideas and memorable moments are like that. They aren't planned. They're born, bringing with them an ability to nudge a way naturally into our lives and become a tradition.
Moms want everything and nothing at all. We want to be everywhere at once and also nowhere to be found. We want to impress everyone, handle every chore imaginable and spend every waking second bonding with our children. We also want to totally escape from life. Failure to accomplish this leads to immense guilt and, occasionally, foul moods.
Editor, In my humble opinion, the failure of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax was not a criticism of the tax, but rather of the excessive - and perhaps arrogant - spending of our tax dollars by our elected officials. The threat of the new Transportation SPLOST, another tax, was maybe another factor.
Editor, "it's gr8 dy.h.a mtg @ d mal l8r"