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.
Many are aware that Faith Baptist Christian Academy of Ludowici recently experienced an investigation by the U.S. Homeland Security Department. We wish to express, first of all, our deep regret that such a situation has occurred. It has never been our desire to bring any undue attention or embarrassment to our ministry, our church or our city. We would, however, like to set the record straight on a few items.
Congress has developed a fondness for open letters when it comes to Iran. First came the warning shot signed by 47 Republican senators that touched off a storm of criticism. Not to be outdone, the House checked in with its own bipartisan and more diplomatically stated letter to the president, warning that its members must be satisfied with any agreement before they'll vote to reduce sanctions.
Will the real Liberty County please stand up and be counted?
You may be surprised to learn that people sometimes disagree with me. You may be equally surprised that sometimes I see their point in the disagreement. Sometimes, I agree with that disagreement.
Many years ago, at the conclusion of the longest criminal jury trial in Liberty County's history, I overheard an attorney's son, who sat through several days of presentation of evidence during the trial, tell his father that, of all the jobs of court officials involved, he wanted my job as clerk of superior court.
Are you planning your summer vacation? I hope you don't think you have to toss out all your good green and sustainable habits when you travel!
Editor, The following is written in response to your article on June 10, 2015, discussing the indictment of Crystal Tilley. The Coastal Courier called the City of Walthourville earlier in the week seeking comments on the indictment. Then, as now, it would have been inappropriate for the city to officially comment on this matter. There is an ongoing criminal case, and current city officials and employees may be witnesses or called to give testimony.
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.