It is that time again!
In theory and by law, businesses in Liberty County are supposed to charge customers only 6 percent sales tax. That has been the case since April 1, when the county's Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax expired because a majority of voters chose not to renew it during the November election.
Fifteen months ago, a local reporter asked me if there was any interest within the General Assembly in taking on the medical marijuana issue for the 2014 legislative session, and I told him, emphatically, that there was none and that I did not foresee that issue coming up anytime soon in Georgia. Then, a week later, I met a little 4-year-old girl named Haleigh and her courageous mom and dad, and was I proved ever so wrong.
Editor, If you are a father seeking custody of your children in Hinesville, please read this carefully.
The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was called catastrophic by many. President Barack Obama declared, "This oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced." The National Resource Defense Council said two years later, "A people wronged and a region scarred remains."
My fellow Americans, it is with a heavy heart that I announce to you today that I will not be a candidate for president of the United States in 2016.
Editor, It is mindboggling to me to hear Liberty County Board of Education members and Liberty County School System administrators talk of the millions of dollars tossed about our school district's budget during school-board meetings, work sessions and public forums as if it's no big deal. According to information presented by the district, our revenues for the 2013-14 school year were $92,203,140, and our expenditures were $98,130,080 - meaning, our school board authorized $5,926,940 in overspending. However, the board continued to operate in the same manner for the first half of the 2014-15 ...
Many people have crossed the path of my life, but only one crossed it from three different directions. Don Light, one of Nashville's most admired powerbrokers and star-makers, was meant to be part of my life. I said this repeatedly because I encountered him through friends in country music, Southern gospel and NASCAR racing.
Sometimes a man, despite his best efforts, doesn't find his destiny. Try as he might, down through the earnest years of his life, he chases it and even can believe he has it, only to awaken one morning and discover he doesn't - that what he has is an illusion, a mirage that he tried to turn into reality.
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.
Editor, Locked out!
You've got to give credit to U.S. Rep. Dr. Tom Price, R-Ga.: He introduced his first post-Obamacare bill as early as 2009 and has reintroduced an updated version in every Congress since then. The latest Empowering Patients First Act (House Resolution 2300), introduced this month, is the fourth iteration.
On June 19, a Vietnam veterans welcome-home ceremony will be held at Cottrell Field on Fort Stewart. Many local communities also have designated the day as a time to honor all veterans who served during this war. This ceremony is a great event and one that everyone in the community should make plans to attend.
Last week, Congress passed, and President Barack Obama signed, legislation that will alter somewhat how federal law enforcement can monitor our phone calls in the future.
It's that time of the year again that most coastal communities dread - mosquito season.
Georgia's system of state and local government evolved from a long and rigorous series of historical events that occurred in Europe hundreds of years ago, when tyrants ruled absolutely, were often absolutely corrupt and maintained power by force. Under their command, property rights were limited only to what a person could possess, protect and continue to maintain control through might. There were no other property rights per se.
Hollywood, more often than not, gets it wrong about the South in movies and television. When they do get it right, we Southerners are both amazed and appreciative.
Editor, In the June 3 edition of the Courier, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation promoted the Trade Promotion Authority in hopes that it will enable passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement being negotiated by 12 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.