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Archive By Section - Opinion


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 forth below for your information:

April 27, 2016 | By Rep. Jon Burns | Opinion


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 state: "Do something about testing, and a raise is overdue." A couple of pieces of legislation that addressed parents' and teachers' concerns over testing made some changes but did not completely reform the frequency nor content of school testing. Funding continued to reduce the austerity cut and focused on new technology for schools.

April 27, 2016 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


PSC should learn how to say ‘no’

Imagine that you are the loan officer at the local community bank.

April 27, 2016 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


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 exactly that.

April 27, 2016 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


‘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 that she was doing, and had been doing for years, for those with physical needs and spiritual needs, will need many to fill her space.

April 27, 2016 | By Ruth Lee | Opinion


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 rural areas. This session, we passed legislation that will increase access to healthcare in innovative and fiscally conservative ways without increasing taxes or expanding the size of government. I was proud to support each of these measures:

April 20, 2016 | By state Rep. Jon Burns | Opinion


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 overall increase to 6.8 percent.

April 20, 2016 | By state Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


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 in by law enforcement when the next election is less than six weeks away.

April 20, 2016 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


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. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus). The senator did a smart thing: He reached out and asked for the opportunity to explain his position directly to you. After the cuffing he took, I figured I owed him that. Here is what he had to say:

April 20, 2016 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


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 state legislature have done recently to protect Georgians from terrorism.

April 13, 2016 | By state Rep. Jon Burns | Opinion


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 considered how to best represent our district with each vote. Several pieces of legislation were passed that will have a great impact on our community and ultimately make our lives a little better.

April 13, 2016 | By state Rep. Bill Hitchens | Opinion


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 job creation. In the fiscal year 2017 general budget, there were some strong initiatives which should continue making Georgia "the best state to do business in America."

April 13, 2016 | By state Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


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 I haven't talked about much even though it is near and dear to my heart. It is the Georgia Preparatory Academy, the state's 181st school district and a part of the Department of Juvenile Justice, on whose board I have had the pleasure to serve for the past several years.

April 13, 2016 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


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't mean what they're saying.

April 13, 2016 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


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 issues… policy and research take on a new importance. So this week, we will look at legislation that affects agriculture and how the state budget will assist long-term agricultural success.

April 06, 2016 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


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Articles by Section - Opinion


Small HOPE changes and the bond sale

While there is not usually a large volume of legislation addressing higher education, any changes to the HOPE Scholarship draws a lot of attention.

June 29, 2016 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Two senators who give politics a good name

This is a bit weird. I find myself in the position of having to defend politicians. Well, not all of them, just the good ones.

June 29, 2016 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


Maybe David Shafer should run for president

As Republicans and Democrats prepare for their national nominating conventions next month, it's clear that this has become one of the strangest - and most ...

June 29, 2016 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


Bond rating another reason to celebrate

On June 8, the state sold $1.37 billion (net $1.026 billion) in bonds for projects around the state. The Georgia State Financing and ...

June 22, 2016 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


This Sebastian is the real deal

I don't know how schoolteachers manage to do what they do and do it as well as they do, given the obstacles tossed in ...

June 22, 2016 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


Georgia can learn something from Louisiana

This may be the first time I've ever written these words, but here goes: Georgia could learn a lesson from Louisiana.

June 22, 2016 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


Strong year for the state continues

Revenues totaling $1.56 billion for May complete 11 months of a very successful year for the state. Revenues grew at a strong 9.9 ...

June 15, 2016 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


What bugs Junior E. Lee this election year

I had hoped to catch you up on the current status of the presidential race before now but in order to do so, I needed ...

June 15, 2016 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


Is Sen. Perdue aiming for higher office?

During his first 18 months as a U.S. senator, David Perdue had not made much of a splash on the national scene. He was ...

June 15, 2016 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


Health care gets attention in 2016

Since over 20 percent of the state budget is spent on health care and human services, it is not surprising that 2016 saw a number ...

June 08, 2016 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


UGA AD does the right thing the right way

I haven't met UGA Athletic Director Greg McGarity, but I give him high marks for the way in which he has handled the blowback ...

June 08, 2016 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


Some good guys are leaving the playing field

We've spent a lot of time talking about people running for office this year, but I want to note the departure of a few ...

June 08, 2016 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


Morgan has served community, hospital well for many years

The big news last week was the retirement of Norma Jean Morgan, the CEO of Effingham Health Services, which includes our growing hospital.

June 01, 2016 | By Ruth Lee | Opinion


What United Way is and what it does

Have you ever wondered what United Way does? Most people have seen the United Way logo on TV ads through our partnership with the NFL ...

June 01, 2016 | By Julie Dickey | Opinion


Legislation affecting natural resources

• HB 1028-Sponsored by Tattnall's Rep. Bill Werkheiser, requires owners and operators of a solid waste landfill to notify local governments of any release ...

June 01, 2016 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


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