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Archive By Section - Opinion


Revenues ending fiscal year with just a whimper

May's revenues report completes 11 months of the fiscal year and while the level of refunds going out of the treasury can affect the revenue total, you just get the feeling that revenues are slowing to a crawl. May's revenues totaled $1.7 billion but increased only $31.4 million or 1.8 percent. Individual Income Taxes, half of state revenues, limped in at a 1.4 percent increase.

June 13, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Land stewardship bill tops natural resources laws

There has always been an effort by private land conservation groups and the state to purchase land that all agree should be protected. Some examples would include wilderness areas, lands along wild rivers and other resources that if not protected could and would be developed and lost forever. Funding is always an issue, but the state has come up with purchase funds when valuable lands were available for sale as in the lands along the Altamaha River which were sold by paper companies. But a steady consistent fund is seen as advantageous over time.

June 06, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Children's issues, funding take center stage

The Legislature sometimes is criticized for issues either not addressed or coming up with the wrong answers for those problems. I would beg to differ when it comes to addressing the problems facing children over the past few years. There has been a good bit of legislation passed and certainly there has been funding provided recently. Part of the reason those same issues have been addressed would have to be the work of several commissions or study groups that have worked on solutions, presented findings and produced legislation. Governor Deal and a number of advocates in the Legislature have led ...

May 30, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Georgia April state revenues edge upward

This week we take a look at State Revenues for April, a month usually marked by large amounts of refunds as taxpayers file returns.

May 23, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Let's worry about our own behavior

Most of us think of ourselves as relatively tough people, that we can take it as well as give it out. While I like to believe that about myself, I still remember greeting folks as they were leaving after a super sermon. One lady said, "That was a lot better than last week's." Talk about being taken down a peg or two!

May 16, 2018 | John Bressler | Opinion


Governor vetoes 21 pieces of legislation

Governor Deal released his list of 21 pieces of legislation he vetoed on the very last day he could do so. Here's a brief synopsis of each. See a link at the end for further reference.

May 16, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Do we take agriculture for granted in Georgia?

The arrival in grocery stores of delicious sweet Vidalia Onions in the last week or so only serves to remind us of our wonderful ability to grow food on our farmlands. I wonder if we take for granted sometimes that we can walk into a grocery store and find a bounty of fresh vegetables. For a good bit of the year, we can find vegetables grown locally.

May 10, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Education a winner in 2018

Whether you are interested in more funding for public education, a better deal for charter schools, scholarship funds for private schools or the future of the Teachers Retirement System, the FY 2019 Budget and legislation passed this year held something you could like. This week's column looks at education related legislation and funding initiatives that will help education all over the state.

May 02, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Candidates run to the right in GOP primary

We've talked about the difficulty facing Democratic primary voters who must choose between two candidates for governor holding similar positions on basic issues important to Democrats.

May 02, 2018 | Tom Crawford | Opinion


Number of seniors growing faster than state population

Even though Georgia is a fast growing state, now the country's 8th most populated, the rate of senior citizens is growing even faster. According to the Department of Human Resources Division of Aging, the population of citizens 60 and above in Georgia will double between 2010 and 2030 to around 3.1 million.

April 25, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


How do you choose between these two candidates?

When it comes to the issues that really move Democratic voters, it's hard to see any daylight between the two candidates fighting for the party's nomination in the Democratic primary.

April 25, 2018 | Tom Crawford | Opinion


Revenues negative for month -- what gives?

Just when we had grown accustomed to accelerated revenue growth (6.2 percent) for the year and the state was riding a wave of positive developments, and having passed budgets of over $26 billion, March revenues dropped in at minus 0.5 percent for the month. Individual Income Taxes were negative at -3.2 percent, Corporate Taxes at -16 percent, and other categories like Alcoholic Beverages, -2.4 percent, Title Ad Valorem Taxes at -17.9 percent and highway impact fees at -21.1 percent.

April 18, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Will the blue wave wash over Georgia?

The pundits say that a blue wave is coming in this year's elections.

April 18, 2018 | Tom Crawford | Opinion


Rural Georgia gets legislative attention, funding

The plight of Rural Georgia has been the subject of discussion from time to time over the years, but when preliminary population figures began to show how little many rural counties had grown in the past decade, attention again was focused on the problems facing the rural parts of the state. Last year the House of Representatives formed a Rural Development Council that traveled the state, listening to rural leaders outline their problems and the ideas they had for growth. At the same time, a Senate Study Committee was formed and had a number of meetings around the state highlighting ...

April 11, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Beware of political rhetoric on the campaign trail

Now that the legislative session has ended, the candidates are fanning out across the state as they run for statewide office or for another term in the General Assembly.

April 11, 2018 | Tom Crawford | Opinion


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Articles by Section - Opinion


Starting the year off right

July begins the FY 2019 Fiscal Year. Since July of last year was a negative revenue month, it was important that July of 2018 be ...

August 15, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


The 2020 Census and reapportionment

ears away and preparations have already begun on work to secure the best count possible. The Census is important for even more reasons than the ...

August 08, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Georgia's response to opioid crisis -- Part 1

Addiction recovery support centers

August 01, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Georgia sells bonds, exploits AAA rating

The FY 2019 Budget contained $1.18 billion in projects to be paid for in bonds. On June 20, the State of Georgia sold $1 ...

July 25, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


A weird but banner year for Georgia revenues

Maybe we just chalk it up to the federal tax cut altering people's behavior, or maybe the state just had a great holiday season ...

July 19, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Tying up loose ends from the 2018 session

There won't be any more columns on legislation from the 2018 Session unless an issue develops. This column will tie up the loose ends ...

July 12, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Legislation going into effect July 1

After the Legislature completes its work, the Governor has 40 days to sign or veto legislation or just allow a bill to become law without ...

June 28, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


2018 a pivotal year for transportation in Georgia

Transportation events don't seem to happen every year, but when they do, their impact is huge. After a lot of conversation about transportation needs ...

June 20, 2018 | Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


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