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Kids ask Santa to fix state's problems
Legislative update
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By Sen. Buddy Carter

Dear Santa,
My sister Mary goes to college in Georgia and gets the HOPE scholarship. She is really smart and studies a lot but she is worried that the money might run out soon.
She says that since it was started more than 1.3 million students have gotten HOPE and that it helped them pay for their college education. Lots of those students couldn’t have gone to college without it.
Just last week the HOPE people cut the amount of money they give students for books. My parents are trying to figure out how they are going to pay these extra expenses.
But mostly they worry about me, Santa. They worry that when I get ready to go to college the HOPE money won’t be there and they won’t be able to afford to send me to college.
My dad keeps telling me to study hard because he’s sure that the people in Atlanta are going to fix this next year. That sure would be a good Christmas present because I really want to go to college some day.
Thanks for reading this Santa. I gotta go do my homework now.
 I love you Santa, Frances
Dear Santa,
My name is Johnny and I live in southwest Georgia. I am writing to ask you and Rudolph to be very careful this year when you come to my house.
You see Santa, we don’t have a good trauma system here in Georgia, and if y’all get in a bad wreck we might not be able to get y’all to the hospital in time.
My mom is a nurse at the local hospital and she says that almost 700 people die every year in our state because we don’t have a good trauma system in place. She says we only have 16 trauma centers in our state but we really need 25 to 30.
This worries my mom a lot because my dad is a salesman for the local farm supply company and he drives all over. Mom says that if he were in a wreck, the closest Level 1 trauma hospital would be in Macon or Savannah, and that’s too far away.
Mom says that we tried to get people to pay $10 a year on their tags but they said no. I bet you would pay $10 a year on your sleigh to make sure Rudolph and the other reindeer are protected.
Dad says not to worry, Santa, because the people in Atlanta will do something next year. I hope so because my mom worries a lot about it. She says it would be a great Christmas present if the people in Atlanta do something. I hope they do.
Please be careful Santa.
Your friend, Johnny
Dear Santa,
We live in North Georgia and my dad is a chicken farmer. He raises lots of chickens, and after they are processed he sends them all over the world for people to eat.
Santa, my dad is worried because he sends most of his chicken through the ports in Savannah and they are not deep enough for the big ships to call on.
We studied about the Panama Canal in school and my teacher says that they are digging the canal deeper so bigger ships can get through. Now the Savannah port needs to be deeper so those bigger ships can get in. Otherwise my dad may have to send his chickens somewhere else.
My dad and his friends are trying to get the President and Congress to help pay for this. It sure would be a nice Christmas present if they would do that.
You and Rudolph be careful when y’all are down there at the ports. Those cranes they use to load the ships are really tall.
Dear Santa,
My dad works in town and it takes him way too long to get home at night. He says the traffic is horrible and if he could get home sooner we could play catch more.
My dad says that the local people will have a chance to fix the roads with their own money next year.
Santa, will you help the local people fix the roads so that my dad can get home quicker? That would be the best Christmas present ever.

Carter can be reached at Coverdell Legislative Office Building Room 302-B, Atlanta, Ga., 30334. His Capitol office number is (404) 656-5109.

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