Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 23, 2016

23
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 23, 2016

President elect Abraham Lincoln arrived in Washington, DC on February 23, 1861.

WW2_Iwo_Jima_flag_raising

On February 23, 1945, United States Marines raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi, the highest point on the Pacific island Iwo Jima.

This first flag-raising was photographed by Marine photographer Sgt. Louis R. Lowery. On Lowery’s way down Mt. Suribachi, he ran into AP photographer Joe Rosenthal and two other Marine photographers, PFC Bob Campbell and PFC Bill Genaust, who was shooting movies, informing them that the flag-raising they were looking for had already occurred, but encouraging them to check out the view from the top of the hill. The three men continued up the volcano.

Once atop Mt. Suribachi, Rosenthal attempted but was unable to find the soldiers involved in the first flag-raising, deciding instead to photograph the second flag-raising, which featured a much bigger and more photogenic Stars and Stripes. Lowery’s film was sent back to military headquarters for processing via ordinary army post–and took a month to arrive. Rosenthal’s film was sent by seaplane to Guam, and sent from there via radio-photo to the United States. The photograph so impressed President Roosevelt that he ordered the men pictured in it to return home for a publicity tour. Rosenthal later won a Pulitzer Prize for the photo, but for years was forced to deny erroneous reports that he personally staged the second flag-raising and attempted to pass it off as the original.

Although the famous photograph has long led people to believe that the flag-raising was a turning point in the fight for Iwo Jima, vicious fighting to control the island actually continued for 31 more days.

Today, the first and second flags flown atop Mt. Suribachi are held at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia.

On February 23, 1954, the first children in the U.S. were inoculated against polio using a vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk.

The Sons of the American Revolution and Daughter of the American Revolution held a ceremony to honor the 284th Birthday of George Washington. The Gainesville Times has some photos from this neat event.

Under the Gold Dome

SENATE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

8:15 AM APPROPRIATIONS – Fiscal managment subcommittee 450 CAP

12:00 PM RULES – UPON ADJOURNMENT 450 CAP

1:00 PM GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT 125 CAP

1:00 PM APPROP – Transportation Sub MEZZ 1

1:00 PM APPROP – Judicial Sub 341 CAP

1:00 PM ETHICS -CANCELED 307 CLOB

2:00 PM STATE AND LOCAL GOV’TAL OPS 125 CAP

2:00 PM RETIREMENT 310 CLOB

2:00 PM APPROP – Community health sub 341 CAP

2:00 PM APPROP – Ag & Nat’l Res Sub MEZZ 1

2:00 PM JUDICIARY 307 CLOB

3:00 PM APPROP – Human dev’mnt, behavioral hlth, and dev’tal disabil, pub hlth sube 341 CAP

3:00 PM BANKING AND FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS 310 CLOB

3:00 PM NAT’L RES & ENVT – CANCELED 450 CAP

3:30 PM APPROPRIATIONS – Public Safety Sub MEZZ 1

4:00 PM APPROPRIATIONS – Bonds sub 341 CAP

4:00 PM JUDICIARY NON-CIVIL 307 CLOB

4:00 PM TRANSPORTATION 450 CAP

HOUSE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

9:00 AM RULES 341 CAP

1:00 PM TRANSPORTATION 406 CLOB

1:00 PM JUVENILE JUSTICE 506 CLOB

2:00 PM HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 606 CLOB

2:00 PM REGULATED INDUSTRIES 506 CLOB

2:00 PM Energy Sub 403 CAP

3:00 PM Setzler Sub Judiciary Non-Civil 415 CLOB

3:00 PM PUBLIC SAFETY & HOMELAND SEC 406 CLOB

3:15 PM Special Sub Regulated Ind 506 CLOB

3:30 PM HIGHER EDUCATION 606 CLOB

4:00 PM Caldwell Sub Judiciary Civil 132 CAP

4:00 PM Ballinger Sub Juvenile Justice 515 CLOB

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

SB 323 – State Printing and Documents; public disclosure not be required for any documents pertaining to econ dev project (ED&T – 30th)

SB 356 – Animals; provide definition of the term “owner”; impoundment of animals for any violation; caring for an impounded animal (SLOGO – M. Williams)

SR 954 – Public Property; granting of nonexclusive easements for the construction, operation and maintenance of facilities, utilities, roads (SI&P – Jeffares)

SR 955 – Property Conveyance; authorizing 8 counties (SI&P – Jeffares)

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Open Rule

HB 1030 Georgia Seed Development Commission; change certain provisions (A&CA-Watson-172nd)

Modified Open Rule

HB 804 Superior courts; fifth judge of the Clayton Judicial Circuit; provide (Substitute)(Judy-Mabra-63rd)

HB 851 Local government; annual audit of financial affairs, books, and records of boards of trustees of county law libraries; require (Substitute) (B&FAO-Atwood-179th)

HB 856 Probate courts; bond required for judges; change provisions (Judy-Fleming-121st)

HB 944 Health; pronouncement of death of patients in nursing homes who are organ donors by a physician assistant or registered professional nurse; provide (Substitute)(H&HS-Gilligan-24th)

HB 970 Fire protection and safety; issuance of certificates of compliance for fire departments; revise requirements (PS&HS-Lumsden-12th)

HB 975 Commerce and trade; assets and liabilities; provide certain updates to the standard valuation law (Ins-Shaw-176th)

Modified Structured Rule

HB 93 Motor vehicles; law enforcement retaining license plate data obtained from automated license plate recognition systems for certain periods; prohibit (Substitute)(PS&HS-Pezold-133rd) (AM 41 0148)

HB 792 Firearms; carrying, possession, and use of electroshock weapons by persons who are students or who are employed at a public institution; authorize (Substitute)(PS&HS-Brockway-102nd)

HB 827 “Pursuing Justice for Rape Victims Act”; enact (Substitute) (JudyNC-Holcomb-81st)

HB 900 Crimes and offenses; electronic data base of prescription information; authorize the retention of data base information for 2 years (Substitute)(H&HS-Cooper-43rd)

HB 941 Courts; review of incidents involving a peace officer’s use of deadly force that results in death or serious bodily injury; provide for procedure (Substitute)(JudyNC-Golick-40th)

HR 1312 Houston County; certain property currently dedicated as a heritage preserve; authorize the change of use (SProp-Sims-123rd)

HR 1363 House Special Study Committee on Judicial Qualifications Commission Reform; create (Rules-Willard-51st)

Structured Rule

HB 768 Handicapped persons; ABLE program establishment to use tax exempt accounts to pay for qualified expenses of eligible individuals with disabilities; provisions (Substitute)(W&M-Hawkins-27th)

HB 923 Sales and use tax; fire districts which have elected governing bodies and are supported by ad valorem taxes; provide exemption (Substitute)(W&M-Quick-117th)

Legislation & Local Issues

State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) says that in-state cultivation of medical marijuana will not pass this session, according to the Macon Telegraph.

“I’m very disappointed that cultivation of medical cannabis will not be included in the substitute for House Bill 722,” said state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon.

His original House Bill 722 would have licensed up to six companies to grow cannabis and sell liquid products to people on the Georgia’s medical cannabis registry.

A new version tailored to get the approval of his colleagues opens the registry to more Georgians but doesn’t allow for growing it in the state.

“That was the heart of the bill,” Peake told the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee during the hearing for the new version of his bill Monday afternoon.

“I feel like cast of ‘The Walking Dead,’” Peake told the committee. “I must look like I’ve been disemboweled here.”

But state Rep. Rich Golick, R-Smyrna, chairman of the committee, also has been working on the new draft and said the bill is something that he thinks can get the approval of the state Senate and the governor.

“In this building, politics is the art of the possible,” said Golick, speaking to his committee meeting in the basement of the state Capitol.

Reports from Utah state that the National Governors Association is expected to ask the Federal government to reschedule marijuana and decriminalize its possession. I can’t attest to the story’s accuracy.

In what could be a game-changing scenario for the Utah legislature’s efforts to create a medical marijuana industry in the Beehive State, the National Governors Association (NGA) will make a request that the federal government reschedule and decriminalize marijuana when they convene later this month.

Utah’s Governor Gary Herbert now leads the association of what he has described as “a pretty exclusive club,” and has recently lent his own enthusiasm to the marijuana lawmaking process from a citizen level. If lawmakers in Utah adjust and vote for SB73- the Medical Cannabis Act, that might not be necessary.

Guns on college campuses cleared the holster State House, according to Kathleen Foody with the Associated Press.

Anyone licensed to carry a gun in Georgia could carry concealed handguns on public college campuses under a bill passed Monday by the Georgia House.

Athletic facilities and student housing, including sorority and fraternity houses, would be exempt.

Rep. Rick Jasperse, the bill’s sponsor, said the change would prevent Georgians from becoming victims of crime on college or university campuses.

“We can put our heads in the sand and say nothing is happening but the numbers don’t lie,” Jasperse said.

House Bill 1055 by State Rep. Wendell Willard (R-Sandy Spring) would eliminate the current Certificate of Need system regulating health facilities. From the Gwinnett Daily Post,

House Bill 1055 has sent tremors through Georgia’s hospital industry, which has been a strong defender of the CON process. Still, because of the procedural rules of the General Assembly, the bill will need to advance fast to have a chance of passage this year.

Parts of the legislation are written in complex language. But basically, after eliminating CON, the legislation would set up a system under which health care facilities could apply for a permit, if they pledge to provide some care for Georgia’s poor.

Passage would appear to give hospitals broad latitude to build new facilities wherever they wish, as long as they obtain a state permit.

The proposal would apparently allow Cancer Treatment Centers of America, which has its hospital for the Southeastern United States in Newnan, to escape current state regulatory restrictions. The bill also would allow Georgia physicians to run multi-specialty surgery centers, which they are current barred from doing.

It’s fairly late in the General Assembly session for a high-profile bill to start through the legislative process. And opponents in the Georgia hospital industry appear to have mobilized quickly against the proposal.

Earl Rogers, president of the Georgia Hospital Association, said in an email to Georgia Health News on Friday that his organization “remains committed to protecting the Certificate of Need (CON) program, which is vital to controlling health care costs and ensuring access to care for all Georgia patients. GHA is strongly opposed to HB 1055 and any other effort to weaken CON.”

It’s hard to imagine a major bill like this passing when it’s introduced on the 26th Legislative Day and would need to pass the House by the 30th day.

Governor Deal suggested that the combined Pastor Protection Act/First Amendment Defense Act is not yet a done deal finished bill.

The state’s business community continued to marshal opposition to the proposal, wary of the type of economic backlash Indiana experienced following 2015 passage of a broader “religious freedom” law. At an event touting the state’s booming film and television industry, Gov. Nathan Deal said his office is working with legislative leaders and declined to say whether he supports the Senate-approved version.

“It is not finalized yet,” the Republican said, prompting applause from representatives of the film and television industry gathered in the Capitol.

The measure as approved by the Senate allows individuals and faith-based organizations to decline service to couples based on religious beliefs about marriage. Senate leaders added that language, originally from a separate Senate bill, to a House bill allowing religious officials to decline performing gay marriages.

Opponents warn that the changes to the bill also could extend the legal protection to businesses with faith-based mission statements.

House Speaker David Ralston, the chamber’s top Republican, confirmed Deal’s office is working with General Assembly leaders and said lawmakers shouldn’t ignore concerns from top Georgia companies or “the consequences other states have experienced.”

Former Georgia State Ethics Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission Executive Director Stacey Kalberman, who successfully sued the state, is in line to become the first full-time ethics officer with the DeKalb County Board of Ethics.

The DeKalb Board of Ethics on Thursday unanimously chose Kalberman, whose nomination is subject to confirmation by the DeKalb Commission and Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May, according to House Bill 597, which passed last year.

“Because of the urgent need for the board to begin its important work, we are seeking their immediate approval of this appointment,” said Board of Ethics Chairman Larry Schall. “Ms. Kalberman brings to the Board of Ethics an extraordinary record of experience and service.”

The ethics officer is a new position included as part of DeKalb’s ethics overhaul that 92 percent of voters approved in November.

Georgia Campaigns & Elections

Results are in from two additional straw polls held Saturday at Precinct Mass Meetings:

Houston County – Bush 7%, Carson 9%, Cruz 53%, Kasich 5%, Rubio 15%, Trump 11%
Dougherty County – Cruz 42%, Kasich 14%, Rubio 35%, Trump 7%

We are now 91 days (7 weeks) from the Primary Election on May 24, 2016.

We now have a competitive race for State House in District 72, currently held by State Rep. Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City), who is retiring.

James Clifton, a local attorney, declared his candidacy at Saturday’s Precinct Mass Meetings, joining former Peachtree City Mayor Harold Logsdon in the race.

Former State Rep. Clay Cox announced he will run for State House District 108, from which Rep. B.J. Pak is stepping down.

Joe Duvall from Paulding County will run for House District 109, currently held by State Rep. Dale Rutledge.

 

 

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