Monthly Archives: March 2011

Freedom is not free

March 22, 2011

Freedom is not free.  I occasionally have to remind myself, even as the daughter of a career solider. Our young men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan are living proof that our precious freedom is not free. Freedom means more than casting a ballot to shape government, although each election cycle, we choose to weaken or strengthen freedom.  It also means choosing your own doctor.  Having meaningful influence in your child’s education.  Deciding whether or not to drive a car, telecommute, carpool or take the bus. These are a few, inadequate examples of something as big as freedom. Freedom means the ability to make the wrong choice – and bear the consequences.  It also means the freedom to make the right choice – and reap the rewards. As our country continues to transition to an information-based world in which businesses compete globally, some seek a government that soothes with, “There, there, don’t worry.  We’ll take care of you.” It might...READ MORE
Dear Constituents: Here is information for context on the Fiscal Year 2012 budget, which the House voted on last Friday.  The budget will continue to undergo medication before it is finalized.  The state Senate will make changes and then a six-member conference committee will reconcile the differences. I will serve as one of the three House members on the conference committee. In our leadership role, the Republican majority will fulfill its budgetary obligations to the state, and we’ll do it with Georgians’ best interests at the forefront. Chairman Terry England and the Appropriations subcommittee chairs have done an outstanding job in managing the most challenging budget since the Great Depression. Jan Jones General Funds as distinct from Dedicated Funds ·    General funds are allocated among 40 agencies and the three branches of state government. Dedicated Funds can be appropriated only for designated purposes. ·    General funds account for 87 percent of the budget; the remainder is restricted. ·    Dedicated Funds are...READ MORE
Dear Constituents: I want to clarify what led to the introduction of House Bill 385, what it means and what it does not mean. In 2010, the Georgia General Assembly passed HB 1405, creating a citizen-led tax council to make recommendations to the legislature on possible changes to tax laws that would make Georgia more jobs friendly.  HB 1405 required the legislature to introduce legislation comprising all of the council’s recommendations.  The bill does not require the legislature to pass legislation that comprises all or some or any of the council’s recommendations. HB 385 is the product of the requirements spelled out in HB 1405. Legislation pertaining to taxes must originate in the House, not in the Senate, according to the state constitution. This explains why HB 385is a house bill. The bill, as written, is tax neutral and would result in a one-third to one-half reduction in the state income tax rate in exchange for levying the state sales...READ MORE
Tax Reform Council Delivers a Promising Package By E. Frank Stephenson When Georgia’s Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness released its recommendations on January 7, headline writers trumpeted the council’s proposal to eliminate the sales tax exemption for groceries. That proposal is but one part of a far-reaching reform that would enhance the state’s economic competitiveness and streamline Georgians’ taxes. The council wisely began by adopting a set of “Guiding Principles.” These principles include creating a tax system that is more stable during changing macroeconomic conditions; does not distort individual behavior; is easy for taxpayers to understand and for the state to administer; levies roughly equal tax burdens on similarly situated taxpayers and, per the council’s mandate, is growth-enhancing. All are worthy goals. Applying the guiding principles led the council to call for significant changes to Georgia’s sales, income and other taxes. The personal and corporate income taxes would be phased down to a single rate of 4 percent....READ MORE
I rise today in support of House Bill 87. We are a generous country and state.  The U.S. has welcomed more legal immigrants for each of the last 30 years than the rest of the entire world combined. Our country is comprised of immigrants, and benefits from the diversity they add. In fact, in recent years, half of all new legal immigrants have come from Mexico. We welcome them as fellow citizens. This is not merely an illegal immigration issue.  This is an education problem that goes to the heart of our ability to provide a quality education to our state’s children. How can we afford not to address the economic burden placed on core services by those that come to our nation in circumvention of federal law? There are more than 64,000 school-age illegal aliens and 90,000 U.S. born school-aged children of illegal aliens in Georgia’s public schools.  We are funding them at an average $7,433 per student in...READ MORE

Teach for America

March 1, 2011

Teach for America: Letting the cream rise By George F. Will “I knew college students would do it – I had just been a college student.” What was needed, she thought, was a high-status service organization with an aura of selectivity. Raised in comfortable circumstances in Dallas, Kopp precociously understood not just the importance of education but the educational importance of where one is born. TFA’s first recruiting was done by fliers shoved under dorm room doors. Her Yale recruiter had 170 messages on his answering machine in just three days. TFA’s first cohort totaled 500 teachers. This year TFA will select 5,300 from 48,000 applicants, making it more selective than most colleges. This school year, there are 8,000 TFA teachers. Of the 20,000 TFA alumni, two-thirds are still working full time in education. Of those, only one in six says that even without TFA he or she might have gone into K-12 teaching. TFA has become a flourishing reproach...READ MORE