Viewpoint: 2009 Legislative Session reviewed - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Viewpoint: 2009 Legislative Session reviewed

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You don't need me to tell you that times are hard, but apparently state lawmakers do.  In the General Assembly session that just ended, legislators did little to help pull Georgia out of our deep recession.

In fairness, the legislature did make sure Georgia will accept all available federal stimulus money to extend unemployment benefits.  Lawmakers decided to offer tax breaks to businesses that hire unemployed people and temporarily did away with the application fees for business licenses.

Unfortunately, lawmakers spent much of their time on meaningless distractions.  They debated whether to force you to prove you're an American citizen when you register to vote and whether to outlaw stem cell research.   

They gave investors who make money in these tough times a tax break, but failed to fund the Homeowners Tax Relief Grants.  That will result in higher property taxes.  A bill to address the foreclosure crisis didn't pass, but one that allows Georgia Power to raise your rates did.

Sometimes it's easy to see that lawmakers are just pandering to the small number of people who give the most money to their campaigns.  Sometimes it's hard to figure out what they're thinking.  But it's clear, too often, they aren't thinking about what's really important to real Georgians.