By Jeff Whitten
A year and a half after the country came perilously close to economic collapse, average Americans are sitting up and taking notice of the debate in Washington over financial reform. No one wants another financial crisis, and one thing that consumers, the White House, Congress, regulators and bankers of all stripes agree on is that financial reform is needed.
Day 34 (Monday, April 12): This is the sixth year that I have had the honor and privilege of serving in the Georgia State Legislature and one of the things that I am most proud of is how we begin each session in the House and Senate with the Pledge of Allegiance, a short devotion led by our "Pastor of the Day," and a prayer. Today is a special day for me as I have my pastor from Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church in Savannah, Rev. Creede Hinshaw as our "Pastor of the Day." As usual, Creede does a wonderful ...
Returning from our recess, the General Assembly was refreshed and ready to get back to doing the people's work. It has been a longer legislative session in comparison to the past few years; however, the end is in sight. With only four legislative session days left, the General Assembly confirmed that our last day of the 2010 Legislative Session will be Thursday, April 29. One of the most complex budget years in the history of the state, we have made necessary, but difficult, choices as we reduced spending and therefore the size of our government. When the economy does ...
Georgians applaud President Obama's decision to allow offshore drilling along the mid-Atlantic coast. With the state unemployment rate at 10.6 percent, we understand that tapping into U.S. oil and natural gas resources offshore would create hundreds of thousands of new, well-paying jobs, boost the state and local economies, and help secure our energy future. We also know many factors play a role in whether or not development will ever occur. If the president has our best interest in mind, he needs to act quickly and prudently on his words.
Editor's note: Dr. Jack Blanton is professor emeritus at the Skidaway Island Institute of Oceanography in Savannah. He has researched physical oceanography for more than 40 years. For that reason, we invited him to answer questions regarding the Liberty County Development Authority's proposed wastewater treatment facility. Here are our questions and his replies.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.
I'll hand it to you, Liberty County - you sure know how to make a person feel welcome. And, apparently, you've decided the old adage holds true: The way to an editor's heart is through her stomach, which is just fine with me. Heck, if I'd known our readers and sources were going to invite me to so many functions featuring delicious meals, I'd have tried for my recent promotion even sooner.
A majority of the House of Representatives voted this week to approve a $17.8 billion state budget for fiscal year 2011. I was among the 52 House members voting against the spending plan because it is a continuation of the misguided priorities and fiscal irresponsibility that have plagued Georgia for the last eight years.
Every year, millions of Georgia drivers engage in a behavior almost as risky as texting or talking on their cell phones. And they may not even know it -- until it's too late.
As we all commit to helping our youth, we find that encouragement is needed at all levels of development, starting at home, in the schools and the community. I will engage on the second of the three-legged stool as it relates to the importance of our educational system. That is commitment.
Bob Ryan, noted sports columnist for the Boston Globe recently ripped the National Collegiate Athletic Association for considering University of Georgia president Michael Adams as CEO of that organization to succeed the late Myles Brand, saying it would be a "colossal mistake." The NCAA search is being conducted by Parker Executive Search of Atlanta, the same firm that recommended Adams for the UGA job.
The Easter bunny was good to Georgia last week as he brought us the news that March revenue collections were up from a year ago, marking the first monthly increase in revenues since November of 2008.
Most of the hoopla about off-shore drilling is born from an absence of the facts, or political posturing. For example, Florida bristles at offshore drilling. It's political positioning and nothing more. They already have a plan for a pipeline to connect them directly with inshore drilling platforms suggested for adjoining states along the Gulf Coast. A perfect example of the "not in my back yard" mindset. It's a way to get the oil and the votes at the same time.
Years of research by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation have yielded a sad truth: If free market academics are few and far between in Georgia, free market economists have been scarcer than hen's teeth.
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."