Sen. Don Balfour Thanks Constituents and Georgians
Sen. Don Balfour has released the following statement regarding his time in the Georgia State Senate:
“For the past 22 years, it has been a great honor to represent the people of Gwinnett. I have lived and worked in our community and state due to my strong belief that Georgia is, and will continue to be, the best state in the country to live, learn, work and raise a family,” said Sen. Balfour. “My time in the Senate provided me with many fond memories, whether passing legislation on the Senate floor, interacting with my constituents or watching Georgia Gwinnett College blossom into the great institution it is today.
Throughout my tenure at the Capitol, you have become friends, colleagues, advisors, teachers and confidants; this is a blessing that I do not take lightly. I fully realize the great opportunity I have been awarded in serving you, and am truly appreciative to have the chance to get to know each and every one of you. Being entrusted as your state senator to represent the values that we believe make this country the best country in the world is one of my proudest accomplishments. (more…)
Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Georgia’s net tax collections for the month of September totaled $1.81 billion for an increase of $86.25 million, or 5 percent, compared to the month-ended September 2013. Year-to-date, net tax revenue collections totaled $4.69 billion, an increase of $211.25 million,or 4.7 percent, compared to the previous fiscal year when net tax revenues totaled $4.48 billion through September. Lastly, year-to-date gross tax revenues totaled $6.09 billion, an increase of $317 million, or 5.5 percent, compared to month-ended September 2013.
Changes within the following major tax categories explain the net tax revenue increase in September:
Individual Income Tax: Individual Income Tax collections for September totaled nearly $950 million, up from $885.5 million in September 2013, for an increase of nearly $64.5 million, or 7.3 percent. (more…)
Attorney General Olens Lauds Savannah Harbor Expansion Project
Today, Attorney General Sam Olens was on hand for the signing of the project partnership agreement between the Army Corps of Engineers, the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Georgia Ports Authority for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, which clears the way for construction phase to begin. The dredging of the Savannah Harbor is a crucial economic development project for the entire State of Georgia that will bolster the competitiveness of the Port of Savannah by allowing it to accommodate larger ships from the Panama Canal. Attorney General Olens played a critical role in moving the project forward by resolving litigation that could have put the deepening on hold for years.
Attorney General Olens released the following statement on the signing.
“Today is a momentous day for the State of Georgia and is the result of many years of hard work and collaboration. I am pleased that my office was able to remove the legal barriers that were blocking this critical project, while ensuring that it is carried out in an environmentally responsible and transparent manner. (more…)
In 1992, Democratic incumbent Sen. Wyche Fowler beat Republican challenger Paul Coverdell by over 30,000 votes on Election Day. But, Georgia law required a candidate to win over 50 percent–a simple majority–of the votes cast in order to win the election. Georgia law required a runoff between the top two vote-getters.
In 1992, Libertarian candidate Jim Hudson won just 3 percent of the vote. But it was
enough to keep Sen. Fowler from reaching the 50 percent threshold. Paul Coverdell won the runoff election by 20,000 votes to become only the second Republican U.S. senator from Georgia since Reconstruction. In response, Georgia Democrats promptly changed the law to provide for a runoff only if the leading vote getter failed to garner 45 percent of the votes cast.
Once Republicans gained control of Georgia state government, they promptly changed the law back to require a majority vote to win an election. Georgia’s current election law says: “… no candidate shall be nominated for public office in any primary or special primary or elected to public office in any election or special election unless such candidate shall have received a majority of the votes cast to fill such nomination or public office. In instances where no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, a run-off primary, special primary runoff, runoff election, or special election runoff between the candidates receiving the two highest numbers of votes shall be held.”
Fast forward to the 2014 gubernatorial and senatorial elections. Although most voters only hear about the Republican and Democratic nominees, there are in fact four candidates for governor in Georgia in 2014: (more…)
Attorney General Olens Announces Settlement with Shire Pharmaceuticals Over False Marketing Allegations
Attorney General Sam Olens has announced that Georgia has joined with other states and the federal government to settle allegations that Shire Pharmaceuticals, LLC engaged in off-label marketing campaigns that improperly promoted five of its drugs: Adderall XR, Vyvanse, Daytrona, Lialda and Pentasa.
Shire Pharmaceuticals, a Pennsylvania based company, will pay the states and the federal government $56.5 million, of which $48.1 million will go to the Medicaid programs to resolve civil allegations that the company unlawfully marketed these drugs and thereby caused false claims to be submitted to the government health care programs. Georgia Medicaid’s share of the settlement is over $1.78 million.
“Misleading health care information is a danger to the public and will not be tolerated in Georgia,” said Olens. “My office continues to hold pharmaceutical companies responsible for how they market their products.” (more…)
On Thursday, President Obama gave yet another speech on the economy. While we can all agree that it is encouraging to see jobs being created, for millions of Americans, today’s economy is underperforming. And, unfortunately, the president’s rhetoric never seems to match the reality –not when paychecks can’t keep up with everyday living expenses or when Americans are simply dropping out of the labor force altogether.
If President Obama wants to talk, we’d encourage him to call Majority Leader Reid in the Senate and ask him to take up one of the more than forty jobs bills the House of Representatives has sent over. Our solutions rein in regulatory red tape, expand American-made energy, break down barriers to hiring more veterans and empower students and parents. Many of these proposals have bipartisan support. They represent real solutions, not empty rhetoric.
The president’s speech came one day after the one-year anniversary of the beginning of Obamacare enrollment. For years, the Obama Administration and its allies in Washington defended and celebrated Obamacare by making one promise after another to the American people. One year after enrollment began, those promises have been predictably broken. Premiums and out-of-pocket expenses have gone up. Access and choices have gone down due to narrower provider networks. Many Americans have been kicked off the plan they had, losing access to the doctors and hospitals they knew and trusted. (more…)
Deal: Project agreement signed for harbor deepening
Critical victory will allow construction for Port of Savannah project to begin, governor says
Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) have signed a Project Partnership Agreement (PPA), allowing construction on the long-awaited Savannah Harbor Expansion Project to begin.
“Georgia and its congressional delegation have fought long and hard to see this project through to fruition – a project that is vitally important for economic development and job creation not only in the Southeast, but nationally as well,” said Deal. “After years of regulatory purgatory, we finally cleared the last hurdle and hope to begin dredging in the Savannah River before the end of the year. This pivotal link in our logistics network will aid in the prompt delivery of valuable cargo to and from every corner of Georgia and, in turn, preserve and create jobs and encourage economic growth.
“Every budget I have submitted and signed into law has included money for the state share of the deepening. (more…)
Governor Mike Huckabee Endorses Jody Hice for Congress
Candidate for U.S. Congress, Jody Hice, today announced Former Governor of Arkansas and conservative leader, Mike Huckabee, has endorsed him in the bid for Georgia’s 10th Congressional District.
Governor Huckabee released the following statement:
“Jody Hice has always worked tirelessly for the people of Georgia. He has spent most of his adult life in ministry, which has allowed him to understand what it truly means to be a servant of the people. (more…)