Archive for December, 2010

Exclusive: Deal warns of cuts to K-12, need to ’salvage’ HOPE

Gov.-elect Nathan Deal said Tuesday that he has spent the past month since the November election realizing the full extent of the state’s budget woes and warned in an exclusive interview that extremely difficult choices remain.

In a 30-minute interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Deal warned that local governments, teachers and school administrators must ready themselves for further cuts to K-12 spending and that drastic measures may be necessary to save the HOPE scholarship program.

The Republican, who will be sworn in Jan. 10, also said that his proposal for cutting the corporate income tax by a third should be part of any recommendations that a special committee studying the state’s tax system makes in the next month.

Here are some highlights from the interview. More to come.

On the HOPE scholarship:

“That’s not a very good picturing looming out there,” Deal said. “The Legislature, of course, already put statutory changes in place to deal with the so-called …

Continue reading Exclusive: Deal warns of cuts to K-12, need to ’salvage’ HOPE »

Farmers get good news from tax council chairman

The head of the state’s special tax study committee told nearly 1,000 Georgia farmers Monday that his panel will recommend eliminating the tax on energy used in agriculture.

The message from A.D. Frazier was greeted by resounding applause from those attending the 72nd annual Georgia Farm Bureau convention on Jekyll Island.

Frazier’s committee, created by the General Assembly earlier this year, was charged with reviewing the state’ s entire tax code and recommend changes to make it simpler and more fair. The committee’s report is due by the time the Legislature returns to session Jan. 10.

In brief remarks to convention, Frazier said  that he and Gov.-elect Nathan Deal, who also spoke Monday, discussed eliminating the tax on their flight to Jekyll.

“Because that was the one thing it seemed like we heard everywhere, that was still missing and needing correcting,” Frazier said. “We’re not going to give out all our recommendations here today. But those two I wanted to let you know …

Continue reading Farmers get good news from tax council chairman »

Deal names Senate floor leaders, makes appointments

Gov.-elect Nathan Deal on Friday named his floor leaders for the state Senate and announced a series of executive appointments to agencies.

Sens. Jim Butterworth, R-Clarksville, Ronnie Chance, R-Tyrone, and Bill Jackson, R-Appling, will shepherd Deal’s legislative agenda through that chamber when lawmakers return Jan. 10.

“It is an honor to have these three men join my administration as the Senate floor leaders,” Deal said in a statement. “The respect they have earned from their peers and their proven leadership assures me they are the right men to promote my agenda in the Senate. They will be critical elements of my administration’s success in the Legislature

Also Friday, Deal nominated Clyde Reese as commissioner of the Department of Human Services, pending approval by the department’s board. Reese now serves as head of the Department of Community Health.

  • Deal also asked the following individuals to remain in their current positions:
  • Col. Bill Hitchens, commissioner of the …

Continue reading Deal names Senate floor leaders, makes appointments »

State Rep. Sellier passes away at 65

Rep. Tony Sellier, R-Fort Valley, died Tuesday night of congestive heart failure at a Peach County hospital.

seillerSellier, 65, represented parts of Bibb, Crawford, Houston, Lamar, Monroe, Peach  and Upson counties in District 136.

First elected in 2006, Sellier was recently elected to a third term. He served on the Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, Defense and Veterans Affairs, Education and Health and Human Services committees.

A former auditor with Burlington Industries, Sellier moved to Fort Valley in 1975 with Blue Bird Corp., where he served as manager of audit and special projects. Before retiring in 2006, he was corporate director of financial services.

Sellier was a volunteer interpreter, educator and cultural liaison through his church’s migrant ministry.

Born in Point-a-Pierre, Trinidad in the West Indies, he was raised in the oil camps of Venezuela, where his father worked for Mobil Oil Co.

A naturalized U.S. citizen, Sellier earned a bachelor’s degree from the …

Continue reading State Rep. Sellier passes away at 65 »