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Archive By Section - Opinion


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 recent state history.

January 20, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


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. (Yay! Clap! Clap! Clap!) I do that gladly today.

January 20, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


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 and becomes the sharing with readers what is going on at the Legislature and what actions the body takes. It is our way of relating information and of course to elicit your input and comment.

January 20, 2015 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


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 newly elected, sat down to begin the state's business.

January 20, 2015 | By Rep. Jon Burns | Opinion


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 Deal and the slate of state officers as they were sworn in.

January 20, 2015 | By Rep. Bill Hitchens | Opinion


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 of delaying decisions, Georgia needs to address its transportation shortfall quickly and practically.

January 20, 2015 | By Kelly McCutchen | Opinion


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 11th Congressional Districts.

January 13, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


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 this year after suffering a setback in 2014 when the House and Senate got into a bit of political brinksmanship at the last minute and failed to pass his bill, which had sailed through the House with only four negative votes.

January 13, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


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 at least five years.

January 13, 2015 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


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 take this responsibility seriously as I look forward to a productive session.

January 13, 2015 | By Rep. Bill Hitchens | Opinion


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 Washington to begin the work of the 114th Congress.

January 13, 2015 | By U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter | Opinion


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 chief executive.

January 06, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


A big stack of mail can hold a treasure

What's the first thing you do when you get to your workplace?

January 06, 2015 | By Robert Williams | Opinion


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.

January 06, 2015 | By Roger Hines | Opinion


Some advice from an old man

Dear Cameron Charles Yarbrough:

January 06, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


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Articles by Section - Opinion


One lawmaker fights the power

Rep. David Stover is a brave man. He may well be one of the gutsiest people serving in the General Assembly.

March 24, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


An opportunity to improve public education

I suspect my recent silence on the subject of public education in Georgia has been deafening to some of you. I will explain.

March 24, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


Budget sails through the Senate

The Senate passed its version of the 2016 general budget with only one dissenting vote.

March 24, 2015 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


DNA tests in child support passes House

Last Friday was the 30th legislative day for the 2015 Georgia General Assembly. With "crossover day" behind us, we returned to Capitol Hill this week to focus on legislation that has already been passed by the Georgia Senate.

March 24, 2015 | By Rep. Jon Burns | Opinion


House backs local sports commissions

As I left us off last week, we were still in session waiting to conclude day 30 or "crossover day." For the most part this week, we focused on a few Senate bills and some House resolutions. The real work was in the committees as we started to review the Senate bills that crossed over.

March 24, 2015 | By Rep. Bill Hitchens | Opinion


Thankful for a new wave of ministers

I spent last week helping to assess a group of people for a job I couldn't do if my life depended on it. Actually, what they were seeking is not a job; it is a calling. And my life here and in the hereafter depends on how well they do it.

March 17, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


So what happened to local control?

When I first started writing about politics, my conservative friends would preach the gospel of "local control." They believed that local governments did a better job of running things because local officeholders were closer to the people who elected them.

March 17, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


Lawmakers pass ‘crossover day’

The Legislature begins the last three weeks of the 2015 session having passed "crossover day." Most of the top issues remain to be settled. Transportation, medical marijuana and the 2016 budget will all ultimately be completed by conference committees.

March 17, 2015 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


‘Hidden predator’ act sent to Senate

On March 13, we reached day 30 of the 2015 legislative session. This date, which is also known as "crossover day," is the final chance for bills to pass the legislative chamber from which they originated. Listed below is a brief description of several bills that passed the House and are moving forward.

March 17, 2015 | By Rep. Jon Burns | Opinion


Tax credits, fireworks highlight House bills

Last week, the General Assembly passed the 30th legislative day, or "crossover day" as it's commonly referred. As I have mentioned before, any legislation that hasn't crossed over to the Senate or the House of Representatives is dead legislation until we reconvene next year.

March 17, 2015 | By Rep. Bill Hitchens | Opinion


Plenty to see, learn in tour of the district

Monday, March 9: I was honored this past weekend to speak at the 270th birthday celebration of Gen. Casimir Pulaski, the famous American Revolutionary War hero who is buried in Monterey Square in Savannah. I also had the opportunity to wish my good friend Jerry Loupe a happy 80th birthday as well as attend the Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony of Brett Kohler in Ellabell. Brett is the youngest of three brothers who have all earned the rank of Eagle Scout. It was truly an honor for me to be invited to this ceremony and have the opportunity to ...

March 17, 2015 | By U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter | Opinion


The transportation tax bill rolls along — with help

Democrats don't have a lot of influence in the General Assembly these days. They hold roughly one-third of the seats in both the House and Senate, which means the Republican majority can safely ignore them 99 percent of the time.

March 10, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


Junior Lee opines on the legislature age limit

It is with regret I tell you that our intrepid public servants in the Legislature have scuttled a bill that would have lowered the age of eligibility to serve as a member of the House of Representatives to 18 years of age and to 21 in the state Senate.

March 10, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


State gets strong revenues for February

The Senate Appropriations committee is working on its version of the fiscal year 2016 general budget.

March 10, 2015 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Legislature takes a look at Uber-like services

The General Assembly has completed 27 legislative days and many bills have been sent to the Senate for their review. This is significant because bills that do not go to the Senate after day 30 or "crossover day" will not become law this legislative session.

March 10, 2015 | By Rep. Bill Hitchens | Opinion


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