Gallup did a survey this summer. It asked people how much confidence they had in various institutions.
I have too many clothes.
The death of former governor Carl Sanders is a reminder of how much the times and the state he ran during the 1960s have changed.
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 the University of Georgia'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.
The revenue shortfall reserve, or the "rainy day fund," serves important purposes in the state government. It is a contributing factor in Georgia being able to maintain its perfect triple AAA bond rating, and it also has helped the state ride out declines in revenues from time to time.
Wednesday, Nov. 12: After a primary, runoff, general election and more than 19 months of campaigning, I am finally in Washington, D.C., for orientation for representatives-elect of the 114th Congress. I actually came up late in the afternoon the day before after participating in Savannah's Veterans Day Parade at the invitation of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies.
Early in January, Richard Woods will be sworn in as the duly elected superintendent of state schools. He could very well be the last person ever elected to this statewide constitutional office.
I was on St. Simons Island last week scarfing down massive amounts of corn-fried shrimp at the exquisite little Georgia Sea Grill when someone came to the table to inquire if Junior E. Lee had finished his analysis of the recent election. That really puffed Junior up when I told him that.
The solid 5 percent growth being reported right now is good news and, with four months completed of the fiscal year, a strong revenue growth year appears very possible. Obviously this fact has been noticed by state departments and while they were instructed by the governor to submit "flat" budget requests, there are already meetings being held where new slides mysteriously appear with new initiatives that could happen "with new funding."
The mid-term elections are in the rearview mirror, but Congress still has a lot of important work to take care of before lawmakers go home at year's end and the newly-elected are sworn in next January. At the top of the "lame duck" to-do list: Congress must address urgent problems with Medicare - the most costly federal program and largest driver of national debt - or there will be harsh ramifications for seniors and caregivers in Georgia.
She settles down for a meal but it's obvious her mind is elsewhere. She picks at her food and pushes it around on her plate as she makes small talk. Soon, what is weighing on her mind comes out.
This was an election for people who enjoy watching reruns on TV.
This is a story I shared with some of you a couple of years ago, but given the well-deserved tributes this week to our veterans, it seems an appropriate time to share it with all of you. It is about a terrorist; an honest-to-God terrorist. Not only does he not deny the appellation, he's proud of it.
As a lady in my district said one time, "There's been a lot of water under the dam since then." Well, since last month's revenue report, there has definitely been a lot of activity "under the bridge" or in some cases "over the dam" and maybe, just maybe "under the dam."
I called Junior E. Lee and asked when he would have some post-election analysis to share with you. Junior, as you know, is general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, home of Round-or-Square Polls, whose motto is, "You supply the dough and we will cook the results." Junior E. Lee is also a certified pest control professional. That is a rare combination these days and I am very proud of him as are the citizens of Greater Garfield.
Georgia's elected leaders agree the most pressing issue right now is the state's transportation system.
The state of Georgia's Juvenile Justice System is going to the dogs. And that's a good thing.
Governor Deal's fiscal year 2015 amended and FY16 general budget proposals were reviewed during a week of budget hearings.
The second week of the General Assembly is traditionally reserved for the Appropriations committee to receive the governor's budget. We review his recommendations for funding the state's programs for the 2016 fiscal year which begins July 1.
The activity in the second week of the Georgia General Assembly was limited to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees meeting in joint conference to receive the governor's $21.8 billion budget request.
Gov. Nathan Deal's office released his state budget for fiscal year 2016 late last week, and if you work your way through the numbers in the document you will see a significant turning point in recent state history.
My fellow Georgians: In order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, it is required that I submit to you at the first of every year my State of the Column message. (Yay! Clap! Clap! Clap!) I do that gladly today.
As you know, during the year, this column examines mostly budget-related issues as well as other governmental areas along with occasional topics. During the General Assembly, this format changes and becomes the sharing with readers what is going on at the Legislature and what actions the body takes. It is our way of relating information and of course to elicit your input and comment.
I am honored and humbled to represent you again in the Georgia House of Representatives. As with the start of each new General Assembly, we took the oath of office on Jan. 12. The 180 members, some newly elected, sat down to begin the state's business.
As the 2015 General Assembly was gaveled into session, there was much activity as we took the oath of office, elected our leadership, and then proceeded to watch the inauguration of Gov. Nathan Deal and the slate of state officers as they were sworn in.
In politics, you must take advantage of windows of opportunity. Sometimes good ideas are sidetracked by events, a bad economy or even personality conflicts among political leaders. Given the risk of delaying decisions, Georgia needs to address its transportation shortfall quickly and practically.
When Jody Hice and Barry Loudermilk went to Washington last week, they left Georgia with the adulation of tea party activists who had voted to elect them as the new representatives for the 10th and 11th Congressional Districts.
Allen Peake is a man on a mission. The five-term Republican state representative from Macon is the driving force behind proposed legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Georgia. He may succeed this year after suffering a setback in 2014 when the House and Senate got into a bit of political brinksmanship at the last minute and failed to pass his bill, which had sailed through the House with only four negative votes.
December state revenues came in with a big gain for the month, $158 million, or a 9 percent growth rate on revenues totaling $1.9 billion. This makes December 2014 the highest revenue December in at least five years.
On Monday, the 2015 session of the Georgia General Assembly formed and organized at the State Capitol in Atlanta. I am deeply honored to be able to represent you in the House of Representatives and take this responsibility seriously as I look forward to a productive session.