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Archive By Section - Opinion

A good man is called home by the Lord

Yes, a good man has gone home. The community of Effingham and, more particularly the First Baptist Church of Springfield, has sustained a shock. Jeffrey Rollins, their pastor, was killed in a single-vehicle accident late Saturday afternoon.

February 17, 2014 | By Ruth Lee | Opinion

Session hits the halfway point as Pax hits the capital

Feb. 10 marked the 20th day and half-way point of the 2014 legislative session. We quickly got to work, voting on legislation and reviewing bills in committee.

February 17, 2014 | By Rep. Jon Burns | Opinion

Watch what they do, not what they say

When you're writing about people in politics, you should pay closer attention to what they do than to what they say.

February 17, 2014 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion

Protecting children takes precedence

Let me run some numbers by you. 152: The number of children who died in 2012 in Georgia, despite the intervention of the state's Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS). 13: The number of children who died in 2012 while in foster care. Zero: The number of people who died in shootouts in a house of worship in our state during the same period. 152 to 13 to zero. So what is the hot-button issue in this session of the General Assembly? Guns for God, of course. HB 875, authored by Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper.)

February 17, 2014 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion

Christmas boosts January revenues

Strong Christmas sales reported to the state in January helped total revenues to reach the highest total since 2007, some $1.805 billion, the fourth-largest month in state history.

February 17, 2014 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion

Slowpoke Bill in neutral, for now

While legislators have the weekend off from the Gold Dome pressure cooker - with a deadline of March 20 already set for its work - the session's halfway point has been reached. Lawmakers would have been on the downhill side of the 40-day session, except that Son of Snowpocalypse forced officials and staff to flee the Capitol beginning Wednesday. At least they're working, or are scheduled to, on Monday, which is a holiday.

February 13, 2014 | By Patrick Donahue | Opinion

State House tries to clear up interest

It was very good to get back to work at the State Capitol after the temporary closure due to the inclement weather two weeks ago. We addressed, and passed, a bill that could potentially affect the pocketbook of every Georgian. Personal finances are always a concern for individuals trying to earn a living for the betterment of their families. Many Georgians have been frustrated with additional fees charged by local financial institutions that were vaguely annotated by our banks as "interest."

February 13, 2014 | By Rep. Bill Hitchens | Opinion

Bills coming fast and furious in session

State Sen. Buddy Carter (R-Pooler) will be reporting each week during the legislative session. The session began Jan. 13 and is expected to last until the first of March.

February 13, 2014 | By Sen. Buddy Carter | Opinion

Accountability courts making a difference

The first week of February continued a very active, focused week of floor activity and committee deliberation. We heard the annual report on the State of the Judiciary. In his first address as leader of our highest court, Chief Justice Thompson applauded a series of criminal justice reform bills passed over the last few years.

February 10, 2014 | By Rep. Jon Burns | Opinion

Lawmakers feel the need for speed

When legislators launched this year's episode of the General Assembly, they were determined to get the session completed quickly so they could start campaigning for those early primary elections on May 20.

February 10, 2014 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion

Random thoughts on random subjects

Many of you have written to say you oppose HB 875, which would allow weapons in houses of worship and is currently making its way through the Legislature faster than a speeding bullet. I suggest you let the bill's author, State Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper), know, too. Call him at 404-656-0188, or email:

February 10, 2014 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion

Senate passes amended FY14 budget

The Senate passed its version of the fiscal year 2014 amended budget totaling $20.2 billion. The main change to the FY14 amended is the addition of $313.98 million that includes $129.5 million for the mid-year enrollment adjustment.

February 10, 2014 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion

A beacon of hope in the icy logjam

The metro Atlanta region came to a standstill last week, its interstates, highways and side streets glazed over with ice after a sudden snowfall, and thousands of commuters left stranded. Children spent the night at school, and people bedded down in churches, restaurants, hotel lobbies and grocery stores.

February 06, 2014 | By Benita Dodd | Opinion

Before the snow, there’s work and raisin bread

State Sen. Buddy Carter (R-Pooler) will be reporting each week during the legislative session. The session began Jan. 13 and is expected to last until the first of March.

February 06, 2014 | By Sen. Buddy Carter | Opinion

Teamwork pays off for Georgia Power customers

Though I have always regarded legislation as a last resort in solving any issue, I became increasingly convinced that a legislative solution might be necessary to deal with the cost overrun problem at the Vogtle nuclear plant.

February 06, 2014 | By Rep. Jeff Chapman | Opinion

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Articles by Section - Opinion

Ready for takeoff with the Mars

The grand re-opening of the Mars Theatre is just a week away, and it is a highly-anticipated event.

April 17, 2014 | Staff Report | Opinion

Voting is easier than you think

One of my main goals as Georgia's Secretary of State has been to increase efficiencies and decrease costs by using technology. Of all of the innovations that the Office has made over the years, I could not be more proud of the state's ability to offer online voter registration and the My Voter Page mobile app. These tools truly accomplish both goals.

April 17, 2014 | By Brian Kemp | Opinion

Lawmakers should be allowed to do their jobs

Gov. Nathan Deal currently is reviewing the hundreds of bills passed during this year's General Assembly session. He presumably will have everything signed or vetoed by April 30.

April 14, 2014 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion

Remember what Easter is about

I wish I had been there. In Jerusalem. With Jesus.

April 14, 2014 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion

Positive trends for state revenues

March is one of the top months for income tax refunds, so revenues can be affected. But this March, state revenues showed very positive growth coming in at an overall increase of 12.3 percent, increasing $144.4 million on revenues of $1.3 billion. Individual income taxes were up 13 percent as refunds for the month were essentially flat. The state actually issued more in individual income tax refunds, $527 million, than the net increase in individual income taxes for the month, $477.4 million, but only slightly more, 0.6 percent, than March 2013.

April 14, 2014 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion

Thinking outside the Obamacare box

Health care costs threaten to bankrupt our country. Debates over Medicaid expansion, the Medicare "doc fix," the state of Georgia's health plan, coverage of autism and so many other health care issues merely shift these costs from one party to another.

April 10, 2014 | By Kelly McCutchen | Opinion

What starts out small may end up big

In the Georgia State Legislature, even a relatively simple bill can sometimes turn into one of the most important pieces of legislation that is considered.

April 10, 2014 | By Sen. Buddy Carter | Opinion

Deal’s wounds are self-inflicted

Within minutes after a Fulton County jury returned a devastating verdict against the state ethics commission last week, Gov. Nathan Deal's aides were already trying to put their own spin on the story.

April 07, 2014 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion

Make stopping child abuse, neglect a priority

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Georgia, as proclaimed by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. Child abuse is a subject I don't like to think about, let alone write about, and you would probably just as soon not hear about. But it is there and we need to acknowledge it and demand some solutions.

April 07, 2014 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion

Agriculture gains in budget

Both in legislation passed and in appropriations from the fiscal year 2014 amended and FY15 general budgets, agriculture in Georgia was strengthened by the 2014 General Assembly.

April 07, 2014 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion

Why Georgia needs medical cannabis

When the 2014 General Assembly session began 10 short weeks ago, the odds of a medical cannabis bill passing this year would have been longer than having a perfect March Madness bracket in Vegas, because no one was crazy enough to take that bet.

April 03, 2014 | By Rep. Allen Peake | Opinion

GOP Senate race may be shaking out

For the past few months, the Senate Republican primary has looked like a cage match between five politicians biting and gouging to see who can move most sharply to the far right edge of the ring.

March 31, 2014 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion

Hard work irking liberals and conservatives

Even by my impossibly high standards, this has been a good week. It began with a whack upside the head from a reader in South Georgia after I opined that those who want to change the way we teach our children in public schools ought to have their kids in public schools. I was referring to the efforts led by Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) to overturn the Common Core curriculum in the recent legislative session.

March 31, 2014 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion

Bills await governor’s action

At the end of the General Assembly, everyone always goes back and gets a grip on legislation that passed and how the provisions of bills evolved in the final hectic days of the session. However, the governor is doing the same thing but for different reasons. His office is reviewing bills passed for conflicts, constitutionality, and in some cases, to correct errors.

March 31, 2014 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion

Budget bolsters local education

On Thursday, March 20, the 2014 legislative session came to an end when the House and Senate completed the 40th and final legislative day. There were several key legislative actions that I want to bring to your attention.

March 27, 2014 | By Rep. Jon Burns | Opinion

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