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On the road to solving transportation funding

On the road to solving transportation funding

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 befor... » Read More
Highlights from a busy session

Highlights from a busy 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 affec... » Read More
Highlights from a busy session

Highlights from a busy session

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 opportunitie... » Read More
Session could be called ‘year of the child’

Session could be called ‘year of the child’

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 p... » Read More
Why one outstanding candidate won't be running for president

Why one outstanding candidate won't be running for president

My fellow Americans, it is with heavy heart that I announce to you today that I will not be a candidate for president of the United States in 2016. » Read More
An emotional day symbolizes big changes in Georgia

An emotional day symbolizes big changes in Georgia

It was a joyous and emotional day when Gov. Nathan Deal signed historic legislation that legalized the possession and use of medical marijuana in Georgia. » Read More
The parties switch roles

The parties switch roles

Judging from the recent session of the General Assembly, Republicans seem to have become the new Democrats in state politics. » Read More
When good people do good things

When good people do good things

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 t... » Read More
State tops region in revenue growth

State tops region in revenue growth

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... » Read More
Let legislators legislate

Let legislators legislate

There are many members of the Legislature who work hard and try to represent the best interests of their constituents back home. » Read More
No ‘Playtoe,’ and not on great leaders list

No ‘Playtoe,’ and not on great leaders list

Fortune magazine has announced its list of the World's Greatest Leaders for 2015 and would you believe that I got snubbed again this year? » Read More
Legislative session ends

Legislative session ends

The House and Senate approved a $21.82 billion budget for fiscal year 2016, with only one dissenting vote between the two bodies. A total of $490 million in new funds were directed for K-12 educati... » Read More
Road clears for transportation funding

Road clears for transportation funding

The General Assembly concluded business last week, and while we were in session for just two days, they were very long days in an effort to complete important tasks. The following are some of the b... » Read More
Session closes with several bills passing

Session closes with several bills passing

On Thursday, the House and Senate completed the 40th and final legislative day. While we passed numerous bills in the final days of session, I would like to bring to your attention several key piec... » Read More
'Haleigh’s Hope' is now Georgia’s hope

'Haleigh’s Hope' is now Georgia’s hope

Fifteen months ago, a local reporter asked me if there was any interest within the General Assembly in taking on the medical marijuana issue for the 2014 legislative session, and I told him, emphat... » Read More
Meet the state’s real superintendent of schools

Meet the state’s real superintendent of schools

If you want to meet the person who's the real state school superintendent, it's easy to find his office. » Read More
The best and the brightest for 2019

The best and the brightest for 2019

If you are a high school senior hoping to attend the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, you have probably ... » Read More
Medical marijuana bill passes

Medical marijuana bill passes

Transportation and budget conference committees highlight the final week as the medical marijuana bill, HB 1, is passed and an agreement on autism. » Read More
Finish the drill on transportation funding

Finish the drill on transportation funding

Those of us who love Georgia football often use coach Mark Richt's phrase "finish the drill," whether we are talking about the game or about other important goals. Usually, getting to the point whe... » Read More
State to take a look at the use of drones

State to take a look at the use of drones

I am happy to report that the General Assembly session for 2015 is down to its last two legislative days. We have had a productive session but several important issues remain unresolved. The follow... » Read More
Action heats up as final day approaches

Action heats up as final day approaches

The 2015 General Assembly session has just two days left, and we are expected to adjourn sine die on Thursday. Consequently, a flurry of legislation will travel back and forth between the House of ... » Read More
One lawmaker fights the power

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. » Read More
An opportunity to improve public education

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. » Read More
Budget sails through the Senate

Budget sails through the Senate

The Senate passed its version of the 2016 general budget with only one dissenting vote. » Read More
DNA tests in child support passes House

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 p... » Read More
House backs local sports commissions

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 rea... » Read More
Thankful for a new wave of ministers

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 ... » Read More
So what happened to local control?

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 loca... » Read More
Lawmakers pass ‘crossover day’

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 wil... » Read More
‘Hidden predator’ act sent to Senate

‘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 orig... » Read More
Tax credits, fireworks highlight House bills

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 ... » Read More
Plenty to see, learn in tour of the district

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 S... » Read More
The transportation tax bill rolls along — with help

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 ign... » Read More
Junior Lee opines on the legislature age limit

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 Representa... » Read More
State gets strong revenues for February

State gets strong revenues for February

The Senate Appropriations committee is working on its version of the fiscal year 2016 general budget. » Read More
Legislature takes a look at Uber-like services

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 "... » Read More
Transportation funding moves through the House

Transportation funding moves through the House

The House of Representatives has completed 27 legislative days and many bills have been sent to the Senate for their review. Friday is the last day to send bills to the Senate so they may be consid... » Read More
Why funding transportation is important

Why funding transportation is important

There are few things more important to any community than transportation, and the same goes for any business. No matter what size or location, our communities need safe, efficient connectivity for ... » Read More
The prognosis is grim for many rural hospitals

The prognosis is grim for many rural hospitals

If you operate or work for a hospital located in one of Georgia's rural communities, you should be very afraid. There's a strong possibility your hospital will be closing down soon because of finan... » Read More
Will this be a better world because we were here?

Will this be a better world because we were here?

Will this be a better world because you and I spent some time here? Can we really make a difference? » Read More
Budget sent to the state Senate

Budget sent to the state Senate

The House passed the fiscal year 2016 budget and the Senate has begun holding subcommittee hearings. » Read More
Haleigh’s Hope bill passes the House

Haleigh’s Hope bill passes the House

Feb. 23 marked the 20th day and halfway point of the 2015 legislative session. Among the bills passed last week was one of the most crucial pieces of legislation of the session, the fiscal year 201... » Read More

County making progress, especially on road work

A word from the county » Read More
Legislature reaches the halfway point

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? » Read More
Don’t know much about history?

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. » Read More
Twenty days left in the session

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. » Read More
Important bill for port sails through House

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 bi... » Read More
Legislature starting to pick up the pace

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 freshma... » Read More
Legislature making progress this session

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. » Read More
Does the governor have a magic formula for schools?

Does the governor have a magic formula for schools?

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


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