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Archive By Section - Opinion


The prognosis is grim for many rural hospitals

If you operate or work for a hospital located in one of Georgia's rural communities, you should be very afraid. There's a strong possibility your hospital will be closing down soon because of financial problems.

March 03, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


Will this be a better world because we were here?

Will this be a better world because you and I spent some time here? Can we really make a difference?

March 03, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


Budget sent to the state Senate

The House passed the fiscal year 2016 budget and the Senate has begun holding subcommittee hearings.

March 03, 2015 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Haleigh’s Hope bill passes the House

Feb. 23 marked the 20th day and halfway point of the 2015 legislative session. Among the bills passed last week was one of the most crucial pieces of legislation of the session, the fiscal year 2016 budget. This year's budget was set by a revenue estimate of $21.7 billion, a 4.5 percent increase from the fiscal year 2015 budget.

March 03, 2015 | By Rep. Jon Burns | Opinion


County making progress, especially on road work

A word from the county

March 03, 2015 | Staff Report | Opinion


Legislature reaches the halfway point

Georgia's lawmakers have reached the halfway point of the General Assembly session, raising the question we ask every year: what have they done for you?

February 24, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


Don’t know much about history?

As you may have heard, some of our intrepid public servants under the Gold Dome are unhappy with the Advanced Placement U.S. history test and the College Board which administers the tests.

February 24, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


Twenty days left in the session

The Senate and the House agreed on the fiscal year 2015 budget and Governor Deal signed it Feb. 19. The legislature passed the halfway, 20-day mark Monday, with adjournment scheduled for April 2.

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


Important bill for port sails through House

We had a very active week with several important pieces of legislation passing the House. The first was the supplemental budget and the second was the Georgia Ports harbor expansion indemnifying bill. Both have been sent to the governor for his signature.

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


Legislature starting to pick up the pace

The first 19 days of the General Assembly's 2015 session are over, and we are running at full speed after the slower-paced start due to the inauguration of the governor and the welcoming of freshman legislators to the House of Representatives. Every two years, the House reorganizes itself as new members come in and others retire. And due to that reorganization, every bill has to be introduced initially, and then begin the committee process.

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


Legislature making progress this session

As the legislative session reached the halfway mark for 2015, there are signs of promising action from the General Assembly.

February 24, 2015 | By Benita Dodd | Opinion


Does the governor have a magic formula for schools?

Gov. Nathan Deal unveiled his plan last week to fix our low-performing public schools.

February 17, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


Jekyll holds fire on deer population

If you are a supercilious liberal you-know-what or a sanctimonious Bible thumper, I have some good news for you. I am giving you both the week off. Enjoy it while you can. I will be back.

February 17, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


State revenues up for January

The Senate passed the fiscal year 2015 amended budget, 54-1. The House and Senate will work out the few differences possibly without a conference committee.

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


Residential solar power bill passes the House

It was good to visit with the Leadership Bulloch group in Atlanta this past Thursday. On Saturday in Sylvania, the annual Screven County Eggs and Issues event was held. It is always informative to hear from "home folks" on their perspectives on important issues. I value and welcome your input concerning legislation being considered in the General Assembly.

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


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Articles by Section - Opinion


Agriculture a winner in budget

Georgia agriculture continues to be a critical part of the state's economy. The Legislature provided a number of funding additions to benefit agriculture and forestry in the fiscal year 2016 Budget. In addition, a number of bills were passed which affect agriculture positively.

April 28, 2015 | By state Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Answer man has all the answers

What time is it, boys and girls? It's time for Answer Man! Time to dip into the ol' mailbag and see what is on your mind and show you how little is on ours. While we can't guarantee total and complete accuracy in our answers, it is Answer Man's opinion that this won't matter because if you knew the answer, you probably wouldn't have asked the question in the first place.

April 28, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


Coming soon: a $1 billion dollar pipeline

The Palmetto Pipeline will be one of the largest and most expensive infrastructure projects ever undertaken in Georgia.

April 28, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


Leadership, economic diversity spur Georgia

Many older Georgians recall our economic leadership in what were called the "Four Ps" - peanuts, poultry, pine trees and pecans. These were solid building blocks of the Georgia economy decades ago, and we can be proud that Georgia still leads in these areas.

April 28, 2015 | By Kelly McCutchen | Opinion


Letter to the editor

Dear Editor,

April 28, 2015 | Staff report | Opinion


On the road to solving transportation funding

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.

April 21, 2015 | By Rep. Jon Burns | Opinion


Highlights from a busy session

The 2015 legislative session has concluded and much sound legislation was researched, deliberated and passed for the betterment of our state. I will highlight the ones that most significantly affect the livelihood of Georgia families.

April 21, 2015 | By Rep. Bill Hitchens | Opinion


Highlights from a busy session

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.

April 21, 2015 | By Kelly McCutchen | Opinion


Session could be called ‘year of the child’

Between investment in the Division of Family and Children Services and new legislation protecting children, the 2015 General Assembly demonstrated its commitment to children, their protection and promotion of their welfare. This column brings together the funding initiatives and the legislation that will protect children and insure their chances of success.

April 21, 2015 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Why one outstanding candidate won't be running for president

My fellow Americans, it is with heavy heart that I announce to you today that I will not be a candidate for president of the United States in 2016.

April 21, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


An emotional day symbolizes big changes in Georgia

It was a joyous and emotional day when Gov. Nathan Deal signed historic legislation that legalized the possession and use of medical marijuana in Georgia.

April 21, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


The parties switch roles

Judging from the recent session of the General Assembly, Republicans seem to have become the new Democrats in state politics.

April 14, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


When good people do good things

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.)

April 14, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


State tops region in revenue growth

Another excellent month, 9 percent growth in March, pushed Georgia to a year-to-date 6.1 percent increase, which leads virtually every other state in the South and puts the state neck-and-neck with Texas. Here are March's numbers:

April 14, 2015 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Let legislators legislate

There are many members of the Legislature who work hard and try to represent the best interests of their constituents back home.

April 07, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


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