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An ode to a brother

Is this what a man's life is worth?

February 24, 2016 | By Patrick Donahue | Opinion


Budget passes House muster

The Georgia General Assembly reconvened last Tuesday for a busy week during which the House considered several important pieces of legislation.

February 24, 2016 | By Rep. Jon Burns | Opinion


State works toward earlier notices for violent criminals' release

The fifth week of the legislative session was extremely productive and again we deliberated about a vast range of topics. A few weeks ago I wrote about HB 724, a bill that I co-sponsored, that would require earlier notices of the release of violent criminals put on parole.

February 24, 2016 | By Rep. Bill Hitchens | Opinion


Senate begins its budget work

The state Senate will be working on perfecting the fiscal year 2017 general budget totaling $23.7 billion after the House passed its version by a vote of 167-1.

February 24, 2016 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Endorsements don’t carry much weight any more

In every election cycle, political pundits will spend a lot of time talking about why endorsements are so important to a candidate.

February 24, 2016 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


Another stab at education reform

I had the privilege to speak to several hundred educators in Atlanta last week. I was there to talk about my experiences as a member of the Education Reform Commission but, as is my wont, I soon deviated off the purpose for which I had been invited to speak and into unchartered waters. Which raises a question: Why do I spend so much time preparing speeches if I am not going to use them? I must ask myself that sometime. I would be interested in the answer.

February 24, 2016 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


Pastor Protection Act moving forward

We are halfway through the 2016 legislative session and the General Assembly is making big steps to protect and strengthen Georgia families.

February 17, 2016 | By state Rep. Jon Burns | Opinion


Preserving religious freedom for Georgians

In the fourth week of the legislative session much of our focus was on issues that affect daily family living. Many in our community are considered the "sandwich generation," which means they are taking care of children as well as elderly parents. Perhaps this describes your situation.

February 17, 2016 | By state Rep. Bill Hitchens | Opinion


State revenues growing

As you will see from the long list of legislation introduced and the growing list of bills passed, the 2016 General Assembly is in full swing and moving towards the halfway mark. January revenues came in and continue to show strong results. An overall growth of 10 percent netted down to 6.4 percent when the new transportation revenues are subtracted.

February 17, 2016 | By Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Random thoughts on random subjects

An alert to Georgia public school teachers: Keep a close watch on these two legislators. First, Jan Jones, R-Milton, Speaker Pro Tem in the House of Representatives, evidently isn't buying a report from State School Superintendent Richard Wood and the Georgia Department of Education that shows 44 percent of new teachers leave the profession within five years and that two out of three teachers surveyed said they were unlikely or very unlikely to recommend teaching as a profession. Jones observed that teachers leaving the classroom is simply a "natural post-recession workforce adjustment." This is the same Jan Jones who ...

February 17, 2016 | By Dick Yarbrough | Opinion


The religious freedom battles have started

Whatever happened to faith, hope, and love?

February 17, 2016 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


House moves to help STEM students

The General Assembly reconvened Monday, Feb. 1, to start our fourth week of the 2016 legislative session. With a month of session behind us, we are hard at work studying, debating and voting on legislation that will have a positive impact for our citizens.

February 10, 2016 | By state Rep. Jon Burns | Opinion


Helping businesses give real-world experience to kids

Serving as your state representative allows me the unique opportunity and great privilege to hear your concerns and hopes for the future.

February 10, 2016 | By state Rep. Bill Hitchens | Opinion


Legislation starting to pour in

The Senate moved the amended FY16 budget along, working on slight changes. The philosophy behind the amended budget has evolved into the interim budget being a "true-up" bringing in line actual expenditures, funding unforeseen contingencies and critical needs. Generally, new programs or expenditures are reserved for the competitive process in the general budget.

February 10, 2016 | By state Sen. Jack Hill | Opinion


Kemp’s primary could be decisive

Two years ago, Secretary of State Brian Kemp began his push to set up an "SEC Primary" for a simple reason: he wanted the world to pay more attention to Georgia and the South in an important presidential election year.

February 10, 2016 | By Tom Crawford | Opinion


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Articles 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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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


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