The blog.


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

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator Jeff 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..


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


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..


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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Sen. Johnny Isakson: Co-sponsors Bill to Repeal Health Insurance Tax

Your Washington Desk

From Senator Johnny Isakson

Isakson 2016

Isakson Co-sponsors Bill to Repeal Health Insurance Tax

 U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., co-sponsored legislation that would eliminate the hidden, unfair and punitive tax within the Obamacare law that is placed on every individual, family and small business purchasing health insurance.

The Jobs and Premium Protection Act amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by eliminating the health insurance tax, an annual fee on health insurance plans enacted by the health care law. The National Federation of Independent Business estimates that repealing this tax will help save an estimated 152,000 to 286,000 private sector jobs that will be eliminated if this tax remains in place. In addition to its impact on job creators and private health insurance, the Obamacare health insurance tax is also resulting in higher costs and reduced benefits for seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage, and it is projected to cost the state of Georgia hundreds of millions of dollars in levies on Medicaid plan administrators, according to Medicaid Health Plans of America.

“The negative effects of Obamacare are wide-ranging and the costs far outweigh the benefits of this terrible law,” said Isakson. “With the Jobs and Premium Protection Act, we are seeking to eliminate another burdensome tax on American small businesses, families and seniors that is raising costs for every American with health insurance. Under Obamacare, you’re taxed if you don’t have health insurance and you’re also taxed if you do have health insurance. As we work toward the goal of repealing and replacing this entire law, we must immediately address the damage that individual provisions such as the health insurance tax are already inflicting on our economy.”Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for January 20, 2015


Baloo, a Black-and-Tan Coonhound mix, was so-named after the bear on Jungle book, is just as sweet and goofy as his name sake. He came back to us and was very lost and confused about how his world had changed. It took him about a week to realize he was still loved and safe. Now he is a happy, goofy, fun-loving boy. It so fun to watch this gangly boy run and play.

He came to us as a puppy, born to a black and tan bloodhound mother. He is now about 4 years old. Baloo does very well with other dogs. He is mild mannered and a big sweet heart. He currently weighs about 85lbs, but we think he needs a few pounds added on. Baloo is available for adoption from Lake Lanier Humane League in Gainesville, GA.


Chachi is a young male Labrador Retriever and Boxer mix who is available for adoption from Humane Society of Northeast Georgia in Gainesville, GA


Woody is a young male Black Lab mix who is available for adoption from Humane Society of Northeast Georgia in Gainesville, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 20, 2015

On January 20, 1788, the First African Baptist Church was established in Savannah, Georgia, one of the first black churches in the United States.

John Marshall was nominated as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States by President John Adams on January 20, 1801.

On January 20, 1920, DeForest Kelley was born in Atlanta and he grew up in Conyers. Kelley sang in the choir of his father’s church and appeared on WSB radio; he graduated from Decatur Boys High School and served in the United States Navy. Kelley became famous as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy in the original Star Trek series.

On January 20, 1928, Franklin Delano Roosevelt visited Warm Springs, Georgia for the tenth time, staying through February 11th. During the visit, he spoke to the Chamber of Commerce of Americus and Sumter County, telling them

“In Georgia the movement towards the cities is growing by leaps and bounds and this means the abandonment of the farms or those farms that are not suited to the uses of agriculture. It means that we will have vacant lands but these can and should be used in growing timber.”

Rooesevelt was sworn-in to a fourth term as President on Jauary 20, 1945 and died in Warm Springs on April 12, 1945.

On January 20, 1939, Paul D. Coverdell was born in Des Moines, Iowa. Coverdell was one of the key figures in the development of the Georgia Republican Party.

On January 20, 1977, former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter was inaugurated as the 39th President of the United States.

On January 20, 1981, Ronald Wilson Reagan was inaugurated 40th President of the United States.

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Georgia DOT commissioner plans to retire in January – Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

ATLANTA (AP) – The leader of Georgia’s transportation agency plans to retire at the end of the month.

Department of Transportation spokesman David Spear says Commissioner Keith Golden will apply for retirement on Jan. 31.

via Georgia DOT commissioner plans to retire in January – Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5.


UberX drivers protest rate cut by company – Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

ATLANTA – Uber drivers in Atlanta are upset and it might just cost you on your night out Friday.

Drivers rallied at Piedmont Park on Friday afternoon after what they say is the third driver cut in a year and the elimination of the flat-rate fees for airport runs. They also express concerns that the Atlanta market is saturated with drivers and that Uber keeps adding more.

They say they will be turning off their apps from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. on one of the busiest nights in Atlanta for the app-based transportation network.

via UberX drivers protest rate cut by company – Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5.