The blog.

20
Jan

VIDEO – Sen. Johnny Isakson: Statement on 2015 State of the Union Address

Your Washington Desk

From Senator Johnny Isakson

Isakson Statement on 2015 State of the Union Address

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20
Jan

VIDEO – Sen. Judson Hill: Week 1 Recap

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator Judson Hill

Sen. Judson Hill: Week 1 Recap

20
Jan

VIDEO – Sen. David Perdue Delivers Video Address To Georgians

Your Washington Desk

From Senator David Perdue

Senator David Perdue Delivers Video Address To Georgians

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20
Jan

Sen. Jesse Stone: News From Under the Gold Dome

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator Jesse Stone

Jesse Stone

News From Under the Gold Dome

The Gold Dome started buzzing once again on Monday as Senators and Representatives gathered in their chambers to mark the beginning of the 153rd Legislative Session.

Day one was full of tradition. The day began with the ceremonial call to order by Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the traditional devotional by the Chaplain of the Day. Following the devotional, we elected and swore in President Pro Tempore David Shafer and Secretary of Senate David Cook. All 56 senators, including ten new senators, from around the state were sworn in for two year terms.

Gov. Nathan Deal delivered his annual “State of the State” address on Wednesday, January 14. He spoke inspiring words about our states prosperous recovery after the economic collapse. He reported that our state is strong and getting even stronger as each day passes. He mentioned Georgia’s status as the number one place to do business in the country, a recognition given by one of the nation’s premier real estate and economic development publications, Site Selection Magazine. With the relocation of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche America to Georgia on the horizon, it is apparent that this recognition was earned.Continue Reading..

20
Jan

Sen. Bruce Thompson: The Beginning of Session 2015

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator Bruce Thompson

Bruce Thompson Georgia Senate GaPundit

The Beginning of Session 2015

A week ago Monday marked the beginning of the 2015 legislative session.  After the swearing in ceremonies for the legislature, Governor Deal, and the other constitutional officers, we quickly dispatched with our chamber rules and parliamentary procedures for what was a quick first day of business in the Senate.

On Wednesday, Governor Deal gave his fifth State of the State address in which he announced large funding commitments for transportation and education. In his speech, he announced more than $1 billion additional dollars going to K-12 education between this year’s budget and next year’s. It’s up to the General Assembly to ensure this proposed historic increase is able to make it to the classrooms of our schools and help our education system progress.

His transportation plan includes additional new capacity express lanes along large stretches of I-75 and I-575. Driving from my home into the Capitol for Senate business, I know this stretch of roads well, as well as anyone in Senate District 14 who commutes to and from Atlanta. In his State of the State address the Governor announced $1.1 billion dollars’ worth of new interstate lanes to the Metro Atlanta area. This expansion will be the largest interstate expansion in Georgia since the 1980s. This is welcomed news to the determined commuters in Senate District 14.  The challenge at this point is to find ways to fund transportation without raising taxes.

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20
Jan

Sen. Frank Ginn: Getting Down to Business in 2015

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator Frank Ginn

Sen. Frank Ginn

Getting Down to Business in 2015

The 2015 legislative session is off to a fast and busy start. The Georgia State Senate swore in all 56 senators last week, including 10 new freshman senators, and announced committee assignments shortly thereafter. I am looking forward to working with my colleagues on the Senate Economic Development and Tourism Committee. Yes, we officially changed the name to reflect Georgia’s second largest industry, which generates over a billion dollars per week for Georgia. I will also be serving on the Regulated Industries and Utilities, Natural Resources and Appropriations committees this year. I am excited to be chairing the Higher Education subcommittee of Appropriations. This role will allow me to help The University of Georgia, Athens Tech, Lanier Tech and all of our other excellent state-funded higher education programs. Working together as a united team is the only way we will be able to best address Georgia’s most pressing issues over the next few months.

Governor Nathan Deal set the tone for the current legislative session with his annual State of the State address. Although the Governor recognized our state’s successes—we’ve added to our “rainy day” fund, created over 319,000 new private sector jobs, and have allocated the largest percentage of the budget to K-12 education in the past 50 years—but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. We need to take a close look at our education funding formula, which hasn’t been revised since the 1980’s. We also need to continue our strong support of state child welfare programs by funding upgrades for training, recruitment and resources for the professionals in this field.

In this address, the Governor also provided a brief look into a serious transportation funding problem that must be fixed during this legislative session. Last year’s legislative session created several study committees, including the Critical Transportation Infrastructure Funding Joint Study Committee. The committee was asked to produce a report outlining potential solutions for funding new and existing transportation infrastructure, because although our network of roadways has grown, our funding for transportation has not.

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20
Jan

Sen. Jeff Mullis: Update from the Gold Dome – Week 1

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator Jeff Mullis

Mullis

Update from the Gold Dome: Week 1

The 153rd legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly began on Monday January 12, with a ceremonial call to order by Lt. Governor Casey Cagle. The first day of the legislative session is always filled with necessary organizational votes and procedures, and this year was no different. The full Senate body confirmed second terms for both President Pro Tempore David Shafer (R – Duluth) and Secretary of the Senate David Cook, and also approved the rules that will govern us throughout the next two-year term. All 56 state senators took the oath of office and were sworn in by State Supreme Court Justice Hugh Thompson, with family members and friends present.

The first week in general is always very light on legislative action.  We passed various housekeeping resolutions such as House Resolution 3, which informs Gov. Deal that the Senate has convened. Senate committee assignments were released early in the week, and I’m honored to continue serving as chairman of Senate Rules Committee, and also as a member of the Appropriations, Economic Development and Regulated Industries Committees. Committees are an important part of the process because they provide lawmakers with a closer look at proposed legislation and the opportunity to hear from parties who are both for and against any given bill.

Gov. Nathan Deal delivered his annual “State of the State” address to both the House of Representatives and the Senate in a joint session on Wednesday. In his address, the Governor provided an overview of Georgia’s success and upcoming legislative challenges. The Governor focused on a number of topics, but primarily honed in on our increasing economic developments, outdated education practices, and transportation funding.  Gov. Deal also offered a brief look at his budget recommendations for FY 2016, including significant increases for the ethics commission and K-12 education, as well as targeted pay raises for some state employees.Continue Reading..

20
Jan

VIDEO – Liberty Guard Chairman Bob Barr: State of the Union Preview

Your Washington Desk

From Liberty Guard

Liberty Guard Chairman Bob Barr – State of the Union Preview

20
Jan

Sen. John Albers: This Week Under the Gold Dome

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator John Albers 

 

John Albers

This Week Under the Gold Dome

Every January, the legislative session arrives just as certainly as each new day. Everyone at the Capitol works in collaboration to ensure we learn from the past in order to provide for the future. We work tirelessly for 40 days to pass legislation that ensures Georgia remains the superb state it has always been. I am proud to be a part of 153rd Legislative Session.

Day one was full of tradition. The day began with the ceremonial call to order by Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the traditional devotional by the Chaplain of the Day. Following the devotional, we elected and swore in President Pro Tempore David Shafer and Secretary of Senate David Cook. All 56 senators, including ten new senators, from across the state were sworn in for two year terms.

Lt. Governor Casey Cagle handed out committee assignments last week. I am honored to serve as Chairman of the State and Local Government Operations Committee, Vice-Chair of the Public Safety Committee, as the Secretary for the Finance Committee and as a member on the Appropriations Committee.

Last week, I began my duties as Chief Deputy Whip of the Majority Caucus. My role as Chief Deputy Whip includes ensuring attendance of majority members during important votes and counting votes. I will also assume the role of Majority Whip in the instance that the Majority Whip is absent.

Gov. Nathan Deal delivered his annual “State of the State” address on Wednesday, January 14. He spoke inspiring words about our states prosperous recovery after the economic collapse. He reported that our state is strong and getting even stronger as each day passes. He mentioned Georgia’s status as the number one place to do business in the country, a recognition given by one of the nation’s premier real estate and economic development publications, Site Selection Magazine. With the relocation of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche America to Georgia on the horizon, it is apparent that this recognition was earned.Continue Reading..

20
Jan

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland: US Must Show Strength In the Face of Terrorism

Your Washington – GA 3 – Desk

From Congressman Lynn Westmoreland

Cap Lyn

US Must Show Strength In the Face of Terrorism

On January 7th, Islamic extremists attacked a satirical newspaper office in Paris, France, resulting in the deaths of 10 newspaper staff and two police officers, and ending in a man hunt for those responsible. In the United States, we pride ourselves on allowing free speech – the exact thing the staff of Charlie Hedbo were gunned down for. It wasn’t just an attack on France, or even on Europe. It was an attack on all of us who value free speech and defend that right every day.

It was a somber moment for people across the globe to realize that terrorism is not limited to the Middle East, but that it is truly a global issue. Terrorism hits hard for Americans, as we have seen it in our homeland too many times: notably the attacks on 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombing. But just as Americans have felt the wrath of terrorism, we have also experienced the outpour of international support following. Just as our international allies helped the US, they also opened their arms to the French. As world leaders locked arms and walked together in unity in Paris on January 11, one nation was notably missing a leader: the United States of America.

There is no doubt in my mind that the United States should have sent a top official to march in support with France. The White House acknowledged this error, but in typical Obama Administration fashion: excuse after excuse was used and it was too little, too late. Having our nation’s Secretary of State or Attorney General at the rally would have helped send a strong message to ISIL terrorists that we will fight global terrorism together. Strength and unity with our international allies is one the only way to combat terrorists.

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