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Archive By Section - Opinion


One lawmaker fights the power

Rep. David Stover is a brave man. He may well be one of the gutsiest people serving in the General Assembly.

March 24, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


An opportunity to improve public education

I suspect my recent silence on the subject of public education in Georgia has been deafening to some of you. I will explain.

March 24, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


Budget sails through the Senate

The Senate passed its version of the 2016 general budget with only one dissenting vote.

March 24, 2015 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


DNA tests in child support passes House

Last Friday was the 30th legislative day for the 2015 Georgia General Assembly. With "crossover day" behind us, we returned to Capitol Hill this week to focus on legislation that has already been passed by the Georgia Senate.

March 24, 2015 | By Rep. Jon Burns | Opinion


House backs local sports commissions

As I left us off last week, we were still in session waiting to conclude day 30 or "crossover day." For the most part this week, we focused on a few Senate bills and some House resolutions. The real work was in the committees as we started to review the Senate bills that crossed over.

March 24, 2015 | By Rep. Bill Hitchens | Opinion


Thankful for a new wave of ministers

I spent last week helping to assess a group of people for a job I couldn't do if my life depended on it. Actually, what they were seeking is not a job; it is a calling. And my life here and in the hereafter depends on how well they do it.

March 17, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


So what happened to local control?

When I first started writing about politics, my conservative friends would preach the gospel of "local control." They believed that local governments did a better job of running things because local officeholders were closer to the people who elected them.

March 17, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


Lawmakers pass ‘crossover day’

The Legislature begins the last three weeks of the 2015 session having passed "crossover day." Most of the top issues remain to be settled. Transportation, medical marijuana and the 2016 budget will all ultimately be completed by conference committees.

March 17, 2015 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


‘Hidden predator’ act sent to Senate

On March 13, we reached day 30 of the 2015 legislative session. This date, which is also known as "crossover day," is the final chance for bills to pass the legislative chamber from which they originated. Listed below is a brief description of several bills that passed the House and are moving forward.

March 17, 2015 | By Rep. Jon Burns | Opinion


Tax credits, fireworks highlight House bills

Last week, the General Assembly passed the 30th legislative day, or "crossover day" as it's commonly referred. As I have mentioned before, any legislation that hasn't crossed over to the Senate or the House of Representatives is dead legislation until we reconvene next year.

March 17, 2015 | By Rep. Bill Hitchens | Opinion


Plenty to see, learn in tour of the district

Monday, March 9: I was honored this past weekend to speak at the 270th birthday celebration of Gen. Casimir Pulaski, the famous American Revolutionary War hero who is buried in Monterey Square in Savannah. I also had the opportunity to wish my good friend Jerry Loupe a happy 80th birthday as well as attend the Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony of Brett Kohler in Ellabell. Brett is the youngest of three brothers who have all earned the rank of Eagle Scout. It was truly an honor for me to be invited to this ceremony and have the opportunity to ...

March 17, 2015 | By U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter | Opinion


The transportation tax bill rolls along — with help

Democrats don't have a lot of influence in the General Assembly these days. They hold roughly one-third of the seats in both the House and Senate, which means the Republican majority can safely ignore them 99 percent of the time.

March 10, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


Junior Lee opines on the legislature age limit

It is with regret I tell you that our intrepid public servants in the Legislature have scuttled a bill that would have lowered the age of eligibility to serve as a member of the House of Representatives to 18 years of age and to 21 in the state Senate.

March 10, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


State gets strong revenues for February

The Senate Appropriations committee is working on its version of the fiscal year 2016 general budget.

March 10, 2015 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Legislature takes a look at Uber-like services

The General Assembly has completed 27 legislative days and many bills have been sent to the Senate for their review. This is significant because bills that do not go to the Senate after day 30 or "crossover day" will not become law this legislative session.

March 10, 2015 | By Rep. Bill Hitchens | Opinion


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Articles by Section - Opinion


Divided budgets still not a good idea

Frequent readers of the column may remember back last September two columns that covered Alabama's separate education budget. The columns explored the difficulties that earmarking funds can cause to limit the flexibility the state has to address shortfalls.

May 26, 2015 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Teachers open up on the future of public education

My recent open letter to Georgia's public school teachers produced as much response as I have received in a long time. Teachers from one end of the state to the other have weighed in and the comments are still coming.

May 26, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


What’s the purpose of the university system?

The Board of Regents, which makes the decisions on how the University System is operated, voted April 14 to raise tuition rates at Georgia's public colleges by as much as 9 percent.

May 26, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


From our nation's Capitol

Monday, May 18: This past Saturday I had the honor of delivering the commencement address for the graduating class of Frederica Academy on St. Simons Island. This was my first commencement address since being elected to Congress, and it was truly a delight to share a few words with such a fine group of young people. It was especially good to catch up with Mike Temple, who currently serves as principal of the high school at Frederica and who coached all three of my sons in baseball at a high school in Savannah.

May 26, 2015 | By U.S. Rep Buddy Carter | Opinion


Making military lives matter

Memorial Day weekend, as you've heard time and again, is that long weekend marking the unofficial start of the summer: beaches, boats and barbecue fun in the sun. With all the frolicking, many overlook that Monday is, first and foremost, a special day set aside to remember those Americans who have died serving in our armed forces.

May 26, 2015 | By Benita Dodd | Opinion


A look at governor’s vetoes

Maybe it's a sign of better times, or a sign of clearer communication between the House, Senate Appropriations Committees and the governor's office, but there was only one veto of an appropriations from HB 76 when he signed the Appropriations Act in Statesboro last Monday.

May 19, 2015 | By state Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


GOP chooses the practical route

Georgia Republicans chose electoral pragmatism over ideological purity when they elected their state chairman last weekend, but it was a close call.

May 19, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


What Nobel Laureates should have incurred

I have been trying to figure out what to do with my free time now that I have decided not to run for president of the United States (or what's left of it.) Some of you wrote and asked me to reconsider my decision. I am humbled by your pledges of support but I don't want to broach the subject again with the Woman Who Shares My Name. She has access to a lot of broccoli and says she know where she can get more. I had best leave that alone.

May 19, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


The vulnerable gain protection

Both in funding and in legislation, issues facing human services, the disabled and the elderly were addressed by the Legislature this session. Legislation included the following:

May 12, 2015 | By state Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Governor shows he can create jobs — by himself

Now that the General Assembly has adjourned for the year and all of the bills have either been signed or vetoed, what lessons can we take away from this latest legislative session? I can think of a few.

May 12, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


A thank you note to teachers

Dear Public School Teachers in Georgia:

May 12, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


Helping small businesses

Each year since 1963, Small Business Week is held to recognize the contributions of America's small businesses. In America, 99.7 percent of all employers are small businesses and they employ more than half of America's workforce. Responsible for more than half of our gross domestic product, small businesses are the backbone of our nation.

May 12, 2015 | By U.S. Rep Buddy Carter | Opinion


Georgia gets students moving on

While you were distracted by this year's transportation funding or Opportunity School District debates - or possibly ignoring the Legislature entirely - Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, and both parties in both chambers unanimously set a tiny pebble rolling from the top of the mountain known as public education.

May 12, 2015 | By Russ Moore | Opinion


Legislation bolsters education

While transportation legislation and funding along with issues such as medical marijuana took the headlines, important education legislation passed the Legislature this year and increased funding for education was a centerpiece of the fiscal year 2016 budget. High school students will have a wide array of opportunities from dual enrollment in colleges and universities to technical certification that will give them both a skill certification and a high school diploma.

May 05, 2015 | By state Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Transportation bill is a turning point for lawmakers

Gov. Nathan Deal has finally signed the bill that dominated most of the discussion and media coverage in this year's legislative session: HB 170, the transportation funding bill.

May 05, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


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