July 30th could be celebrated as the birthday of democracy in America, as the Virginia House of Burgesses became the first legislative body in the New World on July 30, 1619.
Its first law, which, like all of its laws, would have to be approved by the London Company, required tobacco to be sold for at least three shillings per pound. Other laws passed during its first six-day session included prohibitions against gambling, drunkenness, and idleness, and a measure that made Sabbath observance mandatory.
On July 30, 1931, Georgia Governor Richard B. Russell, Jr. signed legislation merging Milton and Fulton Counties if voters in each county approved a referendum. Fulton had earlier merged with Campbell County, to the south.
Actor Laurence Fishburn was born in Augusta, Georgia on July 30, 1961.
President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed legislation creating Medicare, for seniors, and Medicaid for some low-income people on July 30, 1965.
Ammon Williams, the 17-year old son of Republican State Senator Michael Williams (R-Cumming) is hospitalized in an induced coma after a skateboarding accident. We’re praying for the Williams family.
As you’ll no doubt be reminded dozens of times over the next couple days, Georgia’s Sales Tax Holiday runs July 31 through August 1. Click here for a flyer from the Georgia Department of Revenue on which items are not subject to sales tax this weekend.
Yesterday, Gov. Deal announced the formation of the State Steering Committee for the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), including juvenile court judges and individuals from relevant state organizations, who will work to expand this juvenile reform to counties.
“Georgia leads the nation in meaningful justice reforms,” said Deal. “We rely on evidence while embracing innovations, and this latest move continues that pattern.”
A national initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, JDAI works on a county-by-county basis to encourage appropriate community support for low-risk juvenile offenders to enhance public safety, help misguided youth and conserve taxpayer dollars. According to the foundation, communities participating in JDAI have lowered the number of youth in detention by 44 percent.
Clayton County adopted the initiative in 2003, ultimately resulting in an 80 percent decrease in its average daily detention population: less than 1 percent of the county’s youth felony offenders that benefit from detention alternatives are re-arrested for a felony charge. The initial Georgia expansion will take place in multiple counties, which will be determined through a collaboration with the Casey Foundation.
“As Clayton County proves, Georgia communities can use JDAI to keep our youth out of detention and in the running for a better life,” said Deal.
Governor Deal’s press spokesman Brian Robinson will be leaving his office on the first floor of the Georgia State Capitol to seek treasure in the private sector. Greg Bluestein of the AJC has a compendium of quotes, which leads us to wonder what the auditions will be like for a successor.