Georgia agriculture continues to be a critical part of the state's economy. The Legislature provided a number of funding additions to benefit agriculture and forestry in the fiscal year 2016 Budget. In addition, a number of bills were passed which affect agriculture positively.
What time is it, boys and girls? It's time for Answer Man! Time to dip into the ol' mailbag and see what is on your mind and show you how little is on ours. While we can't guarantee total and complete accuracy in our answers, it is Answer Man's opinion that this won't matter because if you knew the answer, you probably wouldn't have asked the question in the first place.
Many older Georgians recall our economic leadership in what were called the "Four Ps" - peanuts, poultry, pine trees and pecans. These were solid building blocks of the Georgia economy decades ago, and we can be proud that Georgia still leads in these areas.
The activity surrounding each legislative session is always a combination of fast action with periods of slow-moving, tedious meetings as legislation is researched, deliberated and reconciled before the actual vote. This session was no different and each day was used to the fullest as we set our sights on tackling some tough issues for the betterment of our state. The following is a summary of some of the major accomplishments and most significant legislation passed this session.
The 2015 legislative session has concluded and much sound legislation was researched, deliberated and passed for the betterment of our state. I will highlight the ones that most significantly affect the livelihood of Georgia families.
As expected, transportation funding and the governor's proposal to address persistently failing public schools dominated Georgia's legislative session. The measures passed, yet several opportunities to address critical economic issues were missed.
Between investment in the Division of Family and Children Services and new legislation protecting children, the 2015 General Assembly demonstrated its commitment to children, their protection and promotion of their welfare. This column brings together the funding initiatives and the legislation that will protect children and insure their chances of success.
Sometimes we forget that there are a lot of good people on this earth doing good things. I was reminded of that by my friend, Jack Cookston, who recently had some medical issues that required him to cart around an oxygen tank wherever he went. (Happily, his health has improved and the oxygen tank is history.)
Another excellent month, 9 percent growth in March, pushed Georgia to a year-to-date 6.1 percent increase, which leads virtually every other state in the South and puts the state neck-and-neck with Texas. Here are March's numbers:
Last month, National Nurses Week celebrated the work that nurses perform to provide quality care for patients every day. In Georgia, there are currently over 164,600 active nursing licensees, including approximately 119,200 registered nurses (RNs), 35,700 licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and 9,700 advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).
You won't often see so many history-making events crammed into such a small period of time, but that was the case last week with three huge stories breaking in a little less than 30 hours - a bonanza for those of us who work in the news industry.
Dr. Michael Adams, former president of the University of Georgia, has announced he is returning to Pepperdine University, located in the wilds of Malibu, California, to become chancellor, effective Aug. 1. He had once been that institution's vice president of university affairs.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the administration to allow ObamaCare subsidies to flow through HealthCare.gov. This is a disappointment for the rule of law and for the states that have fought to keep some of ObamaCare's flawed policies out of their states.
The state sold $1.28 billion in bonds last week, fulfilling the commitment of the governor and the General Assembly to the major capital needs facing the state including, k-12 education, transportation, Board of Regents institutions, technical colleges, the state's natural resources and funds to continue protecting Georgia's citizens.
Five young men, ages 18 to 23. Two college graduates. Two currently attending college. The youngest headed that way this fall. All good students. All excellent athletes. All standing resolutely before a large assemblage to pay tribute to their grandfather, Rob Neely, who passed away recently after a courageous battle with cancer. And what a tribute it was.
Monday, June 15: I'm very fortunate to be able to return home from Washington on most weekends but traveling can certainly be challenging at times. Today we sat on the runway in Savannah for almost an hour before finally being cleared to take off as we were told that air traffic in the Washington airport was backed up.
With 3.1 percent growth in May, Georgia's state revenues are building toward the end in June of an outstanding year in fiscal year 2015, a year where the state appears poised to lead the Southeast in revenue growth.
In case you missed it, this week I joined a bipartisan majority in the House to advance Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to assert Congress' role in and bring transparency and accountability to international trade negotiations.
As a state with boundless natural resources, Georgia leaders work to protect those resources with legislation, to promote hunting and fishing and to fund various water initiatives, preserve natural resource areas and wildlife area preservation. This week, we look at legislation passed in the 2015 session and the fiscal year 2016 budget for Natural Resource areas.