Balfour congratulates Georgia Gwinnett College

Don Balfour tipped his glass in honor of Georgia Gwinnett College last week.

The Snellville senator, who played a hand in the creation of Georgia's newest four-year college, congratulated the institution on achieving accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

"This institution achieved their accreditation in only a year after their candidacy, when most schools need four to six years to get similar results," Balfour said in a statement. "I am extremely proud of the achievements by GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman and faculty members to provide excellent education for students in Gwinnett County and the state of Georgia."

With Balfour's help, the school was established by the legislature in 2005, and began teaching students in 2006. Its first graduating ceremony was held in 2008, just days after being granted candidacy for accreditation from SACS.

Also last week, Balfour spent time with city leaders, discussing legislation as well as the economy at the Georgia Municipal Association's convention in Savannah.

"We appreciate Sen. Balfour taking time out of his busy schedule to be with us at our convention and share his insight on state government with our members," said GMA Executive Director Jim Higdon. "He brings a wealth of knowledge and perspective to the discussion."

The Republican, who chairs the Senate Rules Committee, was joined by House Speaker Glenn Richardson and Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond in one of the convention sessions.

Linder participates in water caucus

U.S. Rep. John Linder tried to refocus his colleagues last week on water.

"In my mind, and I believe that many of my colleagues will agree with me on this point, we can hardly have a discussion about repairing and restoring our country's infrastructure without discussing and understanding the root causes of our nation's dwindling water resources," Linder said during a bipartisan water caucus. "We lose trillions of gallons of waterfall each year due to poor water management strategies. America is facing serious problems in maintaining its aging and outdated water systems, and as a result we are fast losing the ability to sustain our limited water resources."

A new four-part series of Congressional Water Caucus events have been scheduled, and Linder said he is hoping the forum will enable serious discussion about water supply and management to go on.

"I paint a grim but accurate picture of the state of our nation's current water resources, but with the right strategy and leadership we can paint a new picture for the future," he said. "I agree with my colleagues and the members on the panel today that fixing our nation's water infrastructure presents a unique set of challenges, but I believe that with the proper due diligence now, we can prepare the toolkit necessary to take a good first step toward meeting those challenges head-on."

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.