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Improving public safety in the recent session

Improving public safety in the recent session

Governor Deal signed two important bills into law last week which I supported during the 2016 legislative session. My analysis of these bills is set ... » Read More
More funding, less testing for education

More funding, less testing for education

In a year that did not see massive reforms in education, the Legislature reacted to what members had been hearing in sessions all around the ... » Read More
PSC should learn how to say ‘no’

PSC should learn how to say ‘no’

Imagine that you are the loan officer at the local community bank. » Read More
Former banker teaching peace through art

Former banker teaching peace through art

I believe that each of us has an obligation to leave this a better world than we found it. Linden Longino is trying to do ... » Read More
‘Feed my sheep’ ... and she did

‘Feed my sheep’ ... and she did

We all are much poorer, as a community, with the loss of a truly blessed lady who went to her reward last week. The good ... » Read More
Bolstering health care in rural Georgia

Bolstering health care in rural Georgia

In the Georgia House of Representatives, one of my priorities has been to improve access to healthcare for all Georgians, particularly those who live in ... » Read More
State revenues chugging right along

State revenues chugging right along

March revenues came in at a steady 2.2 percent net gain for the month, exclusive of the new fuel tax revenues which boosted the ... » Read More
Never a good time to get a DUI

Never a good time to get a DUI

It's never a good time for a politician to get arrested for driving under the influence, but it's especially bad to get pulled ... » Read More
Religious freedom bill author responds

Religious freedom bill author responds

A couple of weeks ago, I was highly critical of the efforts of proponents of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and particularly of State Sen ... » Read More
Fighting terrorism and keeping Georgia safe

Fighting terrorism and keeping Georgia safe

Given the recent terrorist attacks in Brussels, Paris, San Bernardino and Chattanooga, I wanted to focus this week's article on what we in the ... » Read More
A big session for Effingham issues

A big session for Effingham issues

As I reflect on the 2016 legislative session, I first want to extend my appreciation for your support and your valuable input as I carefully ... » Read More
Economic development, job creation aided in session

Economic development, job creation aided in session

Job creation continued to be a top issue in the 2016 General Assembly with a number of pieces of legislation passed which focus on spurring ... » Read More
The 181st school district is making a difference

The 181st school district is making a difference

Even the most casual reader of this space knows that I am bullish on public education. But there is one school system in Georgia that ... » Read More
Elected officials look to keep you in the dark

Elected officials look to keep you in the dark

Whenever you hear an elected official say they support the concept of "transparency" in government, you really shouldn't take them seriously. They usually don ... » Read More
How agriculture fared in the session

How agriculture fared in the session

This session was a good one for the future of agriculture. With the problems facing the agricultural community, declining farm income, commodity prices and other ... » Read More
Lawmakers declare their independence

Lawmakers declare their independence

This year's General Assembly session could be described as the one where legislators started to declare their independence from Gov. Nathan Deal. » Read More
Why the religious freedom bill failed

Why the religious freedom bill failed

Before you get your shorts in a wad, the following observations in no way indicate my preference for or opposition to the recent Religious Freedom ... » Read More
Protecting our vulnerable citizens

Protecting our vulnerable citizens

It is great to be back home after a productive legislative session. On Saturday I was privileged to attend the 65th annual Screven County Livestock ... » Read More
Few bright spots under the Gold Dome

Few bright spots under the Gold Dome

Missed opportunities. That's the best description of the just completed legislative session. » Read More
Session reaches Sine Die

Session reaches Sine Die

Shortly after midnight last Thursday, I was honored as Majority Leader to make the motion to adjourn the Georgia House of Representatives. I am proud ... » Read More
Health care gets attention in final bills

Health care gets attention in final bills

Last week the 2016 legislative session adjourned "sine die" which is a Latin term meaning "without assigning a day for a further meeting or hearing." » Read More
Shoring up rural hospitals

Shoring up rural hospitals

Of all of the bills that were voted on during a frenetic 40th day of the 2016 General Assembly, the one that could conceivably affect ... » Read More
Sharing life’s bumps and bruises

Sharing life’s bumps and bruises

She is not going to be pleased that I have told you this, but we are all family here, even if some of you consider ... » Read More
Lawmakers don’t follow the clock

Lawmakers don’t follow the clock

Georgia legislators have some problems when it comes to telling time. » Read More
General Assembly heads to the finish line

General Assembly heads to the finish line

With two legislative days remaining until sine die (adjournment), we in the General Assembly are working hard to pass meaningful legislation that reinforces our values ... » Read More
Religious freedom bill moves to the governor

Religious freedom bill moves to the governor

The 2016 Georgia General Assembly is down to the last few days and I believe that much has been accomplished that will serve our state ... » Read More
The days dwindle down to a precious few

The days dwindle down to a precious few

Final passes - and on to the governor » Read More
Remembering what Easter is all about

Remembering what Easter is all about

Editor's note: Continuing a long-standing Easter Week tradition in this space. » Read More
Gov. Deal’s two choices on ‘religious liberty’

Gov. Deal’s two choices on ‘religious liberty’

As Gov. Nathan Deal ponders the "religious liberty" bill that the General Assembly has adopted, he can look to recent examples of how two other ... » Read More
Sine die approaching quickly

Sine die approaching quickly

With Crossover Day behind us, the General Assembly is working diligently to pass meaningful legislation before the clock strikes midnight on Sine Die (adjournment) later ... » Read More
Senate passes FY17 budget

Senate passes FY17 budget

Last week the Senate passed its version of the fiscal year 2017 budget by a vote of 53 to 2. The $23.7 billion budget ... » Read More
Incumbents playing defense this year

Incumbents playing defense this year

Congressman Doug Collins is the kind of politician who would seem to be very conservative. » Read More
Time growing short for 2016 session

Time growing short for 2016 session

Last week the House of Representatives spent time in committees and on the floor discussing bills that passed the Senate and were delivered to our ... » Read More
Bill to halt pipelines’ eminent domain passes

Bill to halt pipelines’ eminent domain passes

Crossover Day at the Capitol » Read More
Helping returning soldiers on their property taxes

Helping returning soldiers on their property taxes

As we head toward the final days of the legislative session, our deliberations this week in one way or another addressed living responsibly in regard ... » Read More
Amendment would alter state taxes

Amendment would alter state taxes

SR 756 would amend the state constitution and set up a procedure that could lower the state income tax. If the net amount of revenue ... » Read More
Why shouldn’t parents be held accountable?

Why shouldn’t parents be held accountable?

To my friends in the Legislature (and, yes, you are my friends. Without you, I wouldn't have a job.) » Read More
Why you should care about qualifying week

Why you should care about qualifying week

Qualifying week, when candidates fill out the paperwork to be on the election ballot, is something I call "put up or shut up" time. » Read More
A flurry of activity for Crossover Day

A flurry of activity for Crossover Day

We ended our week on Friday with a flurry of activity in the Georgia House, in anticipation of Crossover Day on Monday. Our legislation this ... » Read More
Legislators turn attention to public safety

Legislators turn attention to public safety

In the sixth week of the legislative session, our focus primarily turned to issues regarding criminal activity and personal safety. Every family in our district ... » Read More
Bills pile up for Crossover Day

Bills pile up for Crossover Day

Senate or House bills not passed by one of the bodies by Day 30, February 29, are considered dead for the 2016 session as a ... » Read More
If you’re tired of negative news, read this

If you’re tired of negative news, read this

I had intended to provide you with an in-depth analysis of the SEC primary this week but that will have to wait. For one thing ... » Read More
State’s lawmakers contradict themselves

State’s lawmakers contradict themselves

Talk to any member of the General Assembly and most of them will tell you one of their biggest goals is to bring business to ... » Read More


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