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Archive By Section - Opinion


Why can’t every day be like Christmas?

It's Christmas again, which means we were granted another year. Ben Franklin was right: "Time is the stuff life is made of." It behooves us to give thought to its swift passage.

December 23, 2014 | By Roger Hines | Opinion


Everyone has potential to be a customer

All of us in business work hard to build repeat customers. It's a lot easier, and less expensive, to keep a customer than it is to attract a new one.

December 23, 2014 | By Robert Williams | Opinion


A new face for the state Capitol

Visitors who come to Atlanta next month to see Gov. Nathan Deal take the oath of office for his second term will encounter a capitol complex that looks different from four years ago when Deal was first sworn in as the state's chief executive.

December 23, 2014 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

On Sept. 21, 1897, Francis Pharcellus Church of the New York Sun penned the response now known as "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus."

December 23, 2014 | Staff Report | Opinion


I wish I had been there in Bethlehem

I wish I had been there. In Bethlehem.

December 23, 2014 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


A look at the state retirement system

Defined contribution plans help save money in the long run by reducing the amount that the state and taxpayers must contribute toward employees' retirement funds each year.

December 23, 2014 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Friendships are the gift that keep giving

Maybe it's the fact that I have more days in the rearview mirror than I have ahead of me, but at this special time of year I am more aware than ever of the gift of friendships. Friendships are always the correct size, the right color and don't require a set of instructions on how to operate them. They are truly the gift that keeps on giving.

December 16, 2014 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


Could transportation funding in state hit a roadblock?

The overall disrepair of Georgia's roads and bridges has reached the point where the state's political and business leaders agree that "something must be done."

December 16, 2014 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


A look at Georgia’s public retirement systems

In recent weeks, this column outlined the revenue shortfall reserve as a hallmark of Georgia's financial health. This week we take a look at another important state function, the state's retirement systems. Georgia's retirement systems are well-funded and currently serve over 375,000 active and 212,000 retired members.

December 16, 2014 | By state Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Outlaw policing for profit in state

Back in 1966, Bobby Fuller sang about, "Robbin' people with a six-gun, I fought the law and the law won." And rightfully so: Robbery is a crime. But what happens when it's the law doing the robbing and the law wins?

December 09, 2014 | By Benita Dodd | Opinion


Misunderstood text messages can lead to trouble

Can you hear me now?

December 09, 2014 | By Robert Williams | Opinion


Georgia, the land of opportunity

Each year, according to the National Conference of Bar Examiners, about 55,000 people pass the bar exam in the United States, which admits them to the practice of law.

December 09, 2014 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


Progress in state’s charter school efforts

You may recall that I vigorously opposed passage of a constitutional amendment in 2012 creating the State Charter School Commission that would allow an alternative method for authorizing charter schools in Georgia. You may recall, also, that the amendment passed handily. So much for my vigor.

December 09, 2014 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


Revenue gains holding up

November state revenues continued the strong showing so far in the fiscal year with the five-month total showing a gain of $358.9 million, compared to the five-month total of a year ago.

December 09, 2014 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Change is coming, but slowly

Last month's election results were a reminder that, for all its demographic changes, Georgia is still a conservative state.

December 02, 2014 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


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Articles by Section - Opinion


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?

February 24, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


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.

February 24, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


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.

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


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 bill. Both have been sent to the governor for his signature.

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


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 freshman legislators to the House of Representatives. Every two years, the House reorganizes itself as new members come in and others retire. And due to that reorganization, every bill has to be introduced initially, and then begin the committee process.

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


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.

February 24, 2015 | By Benita Dodd | Opinion


Does the governor have a magic formula for schools?

Gov. Nathan Deal unveiled his plan last week to fix our low-performing public schools.

February 17, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


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.

February 17, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


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.

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


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 hear from "home folks" on their perspectives on important issues. I value and welcome your input concerning legislation being considered in the General Assembly.

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


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. We have set March 13 as "crossover" day. This is the day when any legislation that will eventually become law must be passed by the House or Senate, thus allowing the other body 10 legislative days to pass the bill.

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


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 really do.

February 10, 2015 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


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 after scoring a touchdown proceeded to mime pulling down his pants, squatting as if on a commode before dropping the ball to the ground as if defecating. The NFL fined Baldwin $11,000, which has to be chump change to this boor. Astonishingly, the incident has gotten very little mention in the media. You can bet this kind of obscene showboating will wend its ...

February 10, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


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. He highlighted Georgia's specialty courts and veterans' courts and their role as an alternative to prison for the state's non-violent offenders. Justice Thompson also celebrated Georgia's first Hispanic and Asian superior court judges in the state's history.

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


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 considered the pros and cons of possible solutions toward improving our infrastructure, roads and bridges.

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


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