To the Editor:

This past week the Special Session of the General Assembly turned out to be quite an experience for me.

I was given a wonderful resolution commemorating my 20 years as a legislator and was surprised by Mary, our daughters and five of our grandchildren joining me on the rostrum.

In the Special Session we passed the Supplemental Appropriations bill which increased the current revenue estimate by almost $271 million. Only a 2.3 percent growth in the general fund would be required to meet this number and we are currently up 8.8 percent for this year.

Key provisions include $69 million to pay the state match for federal disaster assistance funding for expenses related to damages and operating cost associated with Hurricane Michael. $9 million will cover increased insurance premiums for damages to state properties from this hurricane.

$55 million will go to Georgia farmers in counties impacted by the hurricane. $20 million goes for cleanup efforts for timberland owners impacted by the hurricane.

Estimated loses are $1.6 billion in commodities for farmers; $763 million for forest products; and $63 million for equipment. 2.3 million acres of forestland were damaged by the hurricane.

We ratified the executive order suspending the tax on jet fuel. Hopefully in 2019 the legislature will increase appropriation for our numerous airports around the state. We also created a tax credit program for timberland owners.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving may we all count our blessings and remember our fellow Georgians who have been devastated by this storm.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Sen. Fran Millar

To the Editor:

Last Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, was a historic date. It was the date our nation was observing remembrance to our veterans and it happened to be my 90th birthday too!

At approximately 5 p.m., my front door bell rang. When I opened the door the front lawn was full of grandparents, parents and children that had come by to wish me a happy birthday and to thank me for my service to our country!

Please remember that our children are the future of our country!

Dallas R. Walker

Colonel of Marines

To the Editor:

This month was an exceptional time in the history of the world.  It was 100 years ago on Nov. 11 the Treaty of Versailles was signed ending the most violent of all wars. 

To the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10822 we commemorate the time by distributing our “Buddy Poppy” to the public.  Poppies became a symbol of WWI because it is a hardy flower that would be the first to take seed on the graves of the fallen in Flanders, Belgium.  The poppy is immortalized by the famous poem written by John McCrae, “In Flanders Field.”

If you were one of the many people who stopped by our table and received a poppy and then contributed are you thinking, “Just what do they do with my money?”  One hundred percent of your contribution will go to help a veteran, their families, or a public servant responsible for you safety and health, or a student.  We recognize the police, fire fighters, and EMTs with cash awards for excellence in service.  

The veteran we help might be homeless, or a student at the local university, or a member of a family in need of assistance.  We have established a scholarship for veterans at Georgia State with an increased amount this past semester.  We loaned money to a veteran who was about to be evicted from his apartment.  We have sent care packages to troops deployed overseas.  We have worked with the family readiness programs helping to take care of families while their soldier is deployed. 

We also advance patriotism in young people by encouraging participation in the Voice of Democracy Program and the Patriot’s Pen.  For the winner there is the chance for a scholarship.  We also work with Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops and recognize achievement with scholarships.

The members of Dunwoody-Sandy Springs Post 10822 believe in the mission of the VFW to serve our veterans, the military, and our communities.  We advocate on behalf of all veterans.  We want to ensure all veterans are respected for their service, always receive their earned entitlements, and are recognized for the sacrifices they and their families made on behalf of this great country.  The VFW is our voice in Washington, our advocate for veteran’s rights.

Finally, we want to thank the community for their continuing financial support of our programs.  Without your support, we would not have the means to continue.

Robert L. Hopkins

Commander, Dunwoody-Sandy Springs VFW Post 10822

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