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Legislature reaches the halfway point

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? » Read More
Don’t know much about history?

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. » Read More
Twenty days left in the session

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. » Read More
Important bill for port sails through House

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 bi... » Read More
Legislature starting to pick up the pace

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 freshma... » Read More
Legislature making progress this session

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. » Read More
Does the governor have a magic formula for schools?

Does the governor have a magic formula for schools?

Gov. Nathan Deal unveiled his plan last week to fix our low-performing public schools. » Read More
Jekyll holds fire on deer population

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. » Read More
State revenues up for January

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. » Read More
Residential solar power bill passes the House

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 ... » Read More
State begins push to eliminate graduation test

State begins push to eliminate graduation test

It has been a very busy week in the Georgia House of Representatives. Most importantly, we have decided on a timeline for the remaining 24 days of the session, which by law cannot go over 40 days. ... » Read More
School workers shouldn’t be denied health coverage

School workers shouldn’t be denied health coverage

When it comes to handing out taxpayers' money, the governor and the General Assembly sometimes seem more willing to direct those funds to people who don't really need them instead of those who real... » Read More
Random thoughts on random subjects

Random thoughts on random subjects

If you watched the Super Bowl a couple of weeks ago - and reports say that 114 million of us did - perhaps you saw a portion of the reprehensible behavior of Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin, who... » Read More
Alternative courts have been a success

Alternative courts have been a success

Chief Justice Hugh P. Thompson delivered the state of the judiciary address to the General Assembly on Feb. 4, focusing on the achievements and challenges currently facing Georgia's judicial system... » Read More
Transportation, medical marijuana dominate conversations

Transportation, medical marijuana dominate conversations

Last week in the Georgia House of Representatives, most of our time was spent in committee meetings vetting legislation. A subcommittee meeting regarding the transportation bill was held as we cons... » Read More
Solar power bill expected to hit House floor

Solar power bill expected to hit House floor

We had a busy week in the Georgia General Assembly as our efforts have been focused on the committee process. This is where we review legislative initiatives, listen to the testimony of those suppo... » Read More
Week’s action includes vote to repeal the ACA

Week’s action includes vote to repeal the ACA

Monday, Feb. 2: I start the week in Glynn County to speak at the Georgia Foreign Trade Conference. This annual conference is important to shipping and maritime companies as well as the many busines... » Read More
Legislators go for a ‘tax grab’

Legislators go for a ‘tax grab’

The stage has been set for the issue that will draw most of the attention in this legislative session: revising Georgia's transportation taxes. » Read More
‘Don’t Shoot’ T-shirt aimed at wrong target

‘Don’t Shoot’ T-shirt aimed at wrong target

Let's get off the backs of law enforcement, shall we? Most of us couldn't do their job or wouldn't do it if we had the chance. » Read More
Bills make their way through Senate

Bills make their way through Senate

Legislation that has passed the Senate and is on its way to the House of Representatives: » Read More
Effingham visit, budget highlight busy week

Effingham visit, budget highlight busy week

The Georgia General Assembly convened for its third week and it was especially nice to welcome folks from Effingham County for their annual day at the Capitol who came to the State House to discuss... » Read More
House weighs transportation funding

House weighs transportation funding

We just completed a very busy week at the state capital. It was such a pleasure to see so many Effingham County residents come for Effingham Day and to visit with many folks from Chatham County at ... » Read More
Where you look for facts is important

Where you look for facts is important

It is no fun to be wrong. » Read More
Road mess probably won’t get cleaned up

Road mess probably won’t get cleaned up

Georgia's elected leaders agree the most pressing issue right now is the state's transportation system. » Read More
Juvenile Justice going to the dogs

Juvenile Justice going to the dogs

The state of Georgia's Juvenile Justice System is going to the dogs. And that's a good thing. » Read More
Budget proposals take center stage

Budget proposals take center stage

Governor Deal's fiscal year 2015 amended and FY16 general budget proposals were reviewed during a week of budget hearings. » Read More
Setting our budget priorities for the coming fiscal year

Setting our budget priorities for the coming fiscal year

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 f... » Read More
Battle over the state budget begins

Battle over the state budget begins

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 bud... » Read More
Budget shows what the state really wants to do

Budget shows what the state really wants to do

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 rec... » Read More
State of the column has never been better

State of the column has never been better

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... » Read More
What to expect — from this column

What to expect — from this column

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 an... » Read More
Governor lays out his priorities for the General Assembly

Governor lays out his priorities for the General Assembly

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... » Read More
Transportation, education still top issues

Transportation, education still top issues

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 Dea... » Read More
A window of opportunity to get transportation funding right

A window of opportunity to get transportation funding right

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 o... » Read More
Lesson No. 1: Learn to keep your promises

Lesson No. 1: Learn to keep your promises

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... » Read More
Macon legislator on a mission

Macon legislator on a mission

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... » Read More
Are revenues a spike or a trend?

Are revenues a spike or a trend?

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 a... » Read More
A busy 40 days begin under Gold Dome

A busy 40 days begin under Gold Dome

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... » Read More
Settling into the nation’s capital

Settling into the nation’s capital

Monday, Jan. 5: After a wonderful ceremonial swearing-in yesterday at Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church, where my family and I have worshipped since 1980, it's time to board a flight to Was... » Read More
Tough challenges lie ahead this year

Tough challenges lie ahead this year

In a little less than a week, Georgia legislators will convene a new session for 2015 and Gov. Nathan Deal will follow shortly after by taking the oath of office for his second term as the state's ... » Read More
A big stack of mail can hold a treasure

A big stack of mail can hold a treasure

What's the first thing you do when you get to your workplace? » Read More
They’ll love you when it matters

They’ll love you when it matters

I know. It's considered abuse. Modern psychology and the American Academy of Pediatrics have won the spanking debate. Common sense has lost and so have children. » Read More
Some advice from an old man

Some advice from an old man

Dear Cameron Charles Yarbrough: » Read More
Reflections on past ‘optimistic’ columns

Reflections on past ‘optimistic’ columns

We published our "10 reasons to be optimistic" column last week, and I mentioned I started doing that during the recession. This year, I went back and reread previous "10 reasons" columns dating ba... » Read More
Seeing the year out with some good people

Seeing the year out with some good people

It's clear that politicians and political institutions are not very popular with the general public. » Read More
Ten reasons to be optimistic

Ten reasons to be optimistic

This "10 Reasons" column began during the dark days of the recession, when there was little reason for optimism. Economists were being proven wrong about the depth and longevity of the recession, a... » Read More
Potato Bowl looking like 2015 high mark

Potato Bowl looking like 2015 high mark

I had just returned from the local toxic waste site where I had disposed of my holiday fruit cakes and was busy cramming my Christmas tree down the garbage disposal (don't ask), when I heard a knoc... » Read More
Love, marriage and hope

Love, marriage and hope

My wife and I welcomed a new member to our family on Dec. 13 as our middle son married his college sweetheart whom he has dated for the past nine years. She is from New Orleans and the wedding too... » Read More


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