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Friendships are the gift that keep giving

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 alwa... » Read More
Could transportation funding in state  hit a roadblock?

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." » Read More
A look at Georgia’s public retirement systems

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... » Read More
Outlaw policing for profit in state

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... » Read More
Misunderstood text messages can lead to trouble

Misunderstood text messages can lead to trouble

Can you hear me now? » Read More
Georgia, the land of opportunity

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. » Read More
Progress in state’s charter school efforts

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 sc... » Read More
Revenue gains holding up

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. » Read More
Change is coming, but slowly

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. » Read More
In Bora Bora, no one cares about football

In Bora Bora, no one cares about football

This was written in a cave somewhere in Greater Bora Bora. The column was floated across the ocean in an RC Cola bottle to this newspaper. (I have no idea how the editors got in from bottle to pri... » Read More
Rainy day fund a key to state’s prosperity

Rainy day fund a key to state’s prosperity

Having a healthy reserve is seen as a cushion against dips in the economy and provides reassurance to bond underwriters that Georgia will address any contingencies that arise. » Read More
Learning the ropes at the Capitol

Learning the ropes at the Capitol

Orientation for freshman-elect members of the 114th Congress took place in Washington, D.C., from Nov. 12-19. This is the second of two reports detailing events of that orientation. » Read More
Help your community on Small Business Saturday

Help your community on Small Business Saturday

Gallup did a survey this summer. It asked people how much confidence they had in various institutions. » Read More
Preparing to ‘downsize’ means not everything can go with us

Preparing to ‘downsize’ means not everything can go with us

I have too many clothes. » Read More
You won’t see a governor like Carl Sanders anymore

You won’t see a governor like Carl Sanders anymore

The death of former governor Carl Sanders is a reminder of how much the times and the state he ran during the 1960s have changed. » Read More
A great man who did great things

A great man who did great things

On my "to do" list last week was a reminder to call former Gov. Carl Sanders and see if he had any thoughts on how to get the field at Sanford Stadium named for the University of Georgia's former c... » Read More
A look at Georgia’s rainy day fund

A look at Georgia’s rainy day fund

The revenue shortfall reserve, or the "rainy day fund," serves important purposes in the state government. It is a contributing factor in Georgia being able to maintain its perfect triple AAA bond ... » Read More
A welcome to Washington as orientation begins

A welcome to Washington as orientation begins

Wednesday, Nov. 12: After a primary, runoff, general election and more than 19 months of campaigning, I am finally in Washington, D.C., for orientation for representatives-elect of the 114th Congre... » Read More
Should this office still be elected?

Should this office still be elected?

Early in January, Richard Woods will be sworn in as the duly elected superintendent of state schools. He could very well be the last person ever elected to this statewide constitutional office. » Read More
Junior E. Lee looks at the election

Junior E. Lee looks at the election

I was on St. Simons Island last week scarfing down massive amounts of corn-fried shrimp at the exquisite little Georgia Sea Grill when someone came to the table to inquire if Junior E. Lee had fini... » Read More
Revenue growth enough for ‘must-do’ items

Revenue growth enough for ‘must-do’ items

The solid 5 percent growth being reported right now is good news and, with four months completed of the fiscal year, a strong revenue growth year appears very possible. Obviously this fact has been... » Read More
Time for truth in Medicare accounting

Time for truth in Medicare accounting

The mid-term elections are in the rearview mirror, but Congress still has a lot of important work to take care of before lawmakers go home at year's end and the newly-elected are sworn in next Janu... » Read More
We’re lucky there are people like this

We’re lucky there are people like this

She settles down for a meal but it's obvious her mind is elsewhere. She picks at her food and pushes it around on her plate as she makes small talk. Soon, what is weighing on her mind comes out. » Read More
A familiar look to the election

A familiar look to the election

This was an election for people who enjoy watching reruns on TV. » Read More
One ‘terrorist’ who deserves thanks

One ‘terrorist’ who deserves thanks

This is a story I shared with some of you a couple of years ago, but given the well-deserved tributes this week to our veterans, it seems an appropriate time to share it with all of you. It is abou... » Read More
A big growth period for the state

A big growth period for the state

As a lady in my district said one time, "There's been a lot of water under the dam since then." Well, since last month's revenue report, there has definitely been a lot of activity "under the bridg... » Read More
Junior E. Lee ready to break down election

Junior E. Lee ready to break down election

I called Junior E. Lee and asked when he would have some post-election analysis to share with you. Junior, as you know, is general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company,... » Read More
A prediction with a guarantee

A prediction with a guarantee

There were many predictions being made by pundits, analysts and journalists in the weeks before election day as Georgia's voters endured a very long campaign season. » Read More
Population growth complicated the recovery

Population growth complicated the recovery

Georgia's relentless population growth throughout the recession made funding state services more difficult in the face of drastically falling revenues. Even during the recovery period since 2012, G... » Read More
Coming up with an answer to Ebola threat

Coming up with an answer to Ebola threat

In 1976, a virus transmitted to people from wild animals and spread in the human population through human-to-human contact was identified in the rainforest. » Read More
When it comes to this election, no one knows anything

When it comes to this election, no one knows anything

For the past few months, I have heard the same question nearly everywhere I go. » Read More
A salute to someone trying to make the world better

A salute to someone trying to make the world better

A wise man once said that our only reason for occupying space on this earth is to leave things better than we found them. Unfortunately, not enough of us will. Len Pagano is an exception. » Read More
A non-economist looks at unemployment

A non-economist looks at unemployment

We don't pay too much attention to the unemployment rate normally, maybe being vaguely aware of the trend down or up, but not much else. The injection of the rate as a signal of failure of the curr... » Read More
Reckless drivers should share cost of harm they cause

Reckless drivers should share cost of harm they cause

Tens of thousands of Georgians live with life-long disabilities due to brain and spinal cord injury. As medical technology, safety and trauma care have improved, more people survive traumatic injur... » Read More
‘Undermining the state,’ unnerving the left

‘Undermining the state,’ unnerving the left

When the State Policy Network was founded in 1996, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation - then 5 years old - was one of just 12 independent, free-market, state-focused think tanks around the nation... » Read More
More school systems back to 180 days

More school systems back to 180 days

With all of the attack ads running on TV this election season, Georgians have no doubt had their fill of pessimism and negativity. » Read More
Deal talks public education reform

Deal talks public education reform

Last week Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter shared via this column his vision for public education in Georgia. » Read More
Ballot questions for voters

Ballot questions for voters

Georgia voters will make decisions on three issues when they vote in this general election. Two decisions involve amending the state constitution and one is a referendum question. » Read More
Lifeline phones have been a call for abuse

Lifeline phones have been a call for abuse

In 2012, I began raising the issue of "free" cell phones being handed out to individuals under the federal Universal Service Fund's Lifeline program, which was originally intended to provide low-co... » Read More
Will Georgia repeat the runoff experience?

Will Georgia repeat the runoff experience?

It's looking more and more possible that voters will have to return to the ballot box after the general election. » Read More
Candidate Carter talks education

Candidate Carter talks education

I have asked the two major gubernatorial candidates to talk to Georgia public school teachers about their respective education platforms. This week the floor belongs to Jason Carter, the Democratic... » Read More
Solid growth in first-quarter revenues

Solid growth in first-quarter revenues

September completes the first quarter of the 2015 fiscal year. A solid 5 percent growth in September revenues completes a strong first quarter of FY15 with an overgrowth of 4.7 percent on total col... » Read More

Bringing reform to juvenile justice

HB 242 enacted many of the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform for Georgia's recommendations. HB 242 is similar in nature to HB 1176 which addressed the adult criminal justice reform in the ... » Read More

Don’t overlook the other races on the ballot

With all of the focus on campaigns for governor and senator, it's easy to overlook the fact there are other statewide races on the ballot for November. » Read More

Random thoughts on random ideas

If I die anytime soon - and I have no plans to do so at the moment - please see that the first paragraph of my obituary reads, "He was past president of the University of Georgia National Alumni As... » Read More

To fee or not to fee

Last week, the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) approved allocating up to $3 million for maintenance of the shipping channel to the Port of Brunswick, marking the second straight year GPA has had to s... » Read More


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