Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 13, 2017

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 13, 2017

On January 14, 1639, representatives of three cities in Connecticut adopted the “Fundamental Orders,” the first written Constitution in an American colony and one of the first founding document to cite the authority of “the free consent of the people.”

On January 13, 1733, the ship Ann (sometimes spelled “Anne”) sailed into Charles Town harbor and was met by South Carolina Governor Robert Johnson and the Speaker of the Commons House of Assembly. Aboard the ship were James Oglethorpe and the first 114 colonists of what would become Georgia. Later that year they would land at a high bluff on the Savannah River and found the city of Savannah.

On January 14, 1733, Oglethorpe and the other colonists departed Charles Town harbor for what would become Savannah, and the State of Georgia.

An elected Provincial Assembly first convened in Georgia on January 15, 1751. The Assembly did not have the power to tax or spend money, but was to advise the Trustees.

The state of New Connecticut declared its independence of both Britain and New York on January 15, 1777. In June of that year they would decide on the name Vermont. Vermont would be considered part of New York for a number of years, finally being admitted as the 14th state in 1791.

The Continental Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris to end the Revolutionary War on January 14, 1784. The Treaty was negotiated by John Adams, who would later serve as President, and the delegates voting to ratify it included future Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe.

On January 14, 1835, James M. Wayne took the oath of office as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. A Savannah native, Wayne had previously served in the Georgia House of Represestatives, as Mayor of Savannah, on the Supreme Court of Georgia, and in Congress. His sister was the great-grandmother of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts, and his home is now known as the Juliette Gordon Low house. When Georgia seceded from the Union, Wayne remained on the Supreme Court.

On January 14, 1860, the United States House “Committee of Thirty-Three” introduced a proposed Constitutional Amendment to allow slavery in the areas it then existed.

The donkey was first used as a symbol for the Democratic Party on January 15, 1870 by cartoonist Thomas Nash.

democrat-donkey-cartoon

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Julian Bond was born on January 14, 1940 in Nashville, Tennessee, and was one of eleven African-American Georgians elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965.

On January 14, 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Presidential Proclamation No. 2537, requiring Japanese-Americans, including American-born citizens of Japanese ancestry, as well as Italians and Germans to register with the federal Department of Justice. The next month, Roosevelt would have Japanese-Americans, including my grandfather, Joe Yamamoto, interned in concentration camps in the western United States.

On January 13, 1959, Ernest Vandiver was inaugurated as Governor of Georgia.

On January 13, 1966, President Lyndon Baines Johnson appointed Robert C. Weaver head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), making Weaver the first African-American cabinet secretary in U.S. History.

On January 13, 1982, Hank Aaron was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

This day in 1987 saw the inauguration of Governor Joe Frank Harris to his second term in office.

On January 13, 1998, Governor Zell Miller presented his $12.5 billion FY1999 budget to the Georgia General Assembly, including $105,000 to provide CDs of classical music for every baby born in the state. According to the New York Times,

“No one questions that listening to music at a very early age affects the spatial, temporal reasoning that underlies math and engineering and even chess,” the Governor said[]. “Having that infant listen to soothing music helps those trillions of brain connections to develop.”

Mr. Miller said he became intrigued by the connection between music and child development at a series of recent seminars sponsored by the Education Commission of the States. As a great-grandfather and the author of “They Hear Georgia Singing” (Mercer University Press, 1983), an encyclopedia of the state’s musical history, Mr. Miller said his fascination came naturally.

He said that he had a stack of research on the subject, but also that his experiences growing up in the mountains of north Georgia had proved convincing.

“Musicians were folks that not only could play a fiddle but they also were good mechanics,” he said. “They could fix your car.”

Legislators, as is their wont, have ideas of their own.

“I asked about the possibility of some Charlie Daniels or something like that,” said Representative Homer M. (Buddy) DeLoach, a Republican from Hinesville, “but they said they thought the classical music has a greater positive impact.”

“Having never studied those impacts too much,” Mr. DeLoach added, “I guess I’ll just have to take their word for that at the moment.”

In 2003, on January 13 at the Georgia Dome, Sonny Perdue took the oath of office as Georgia’s second Republican Governor, the first since Reconstruction.

A little over three years ago, on January 10, 2014, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution released a poll of the Georgia Governor’s race that showed Nathan Deal with 47 percent to 38 percent for Jason Carter. The nine-point Deal advantage was as close as the AJC polling firm would come all year to correctly predicting the point spread in the General Election.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

COMMITTEE MEETINGS

8:30 AM HOUSE APPROP GEN’L GOVERNMENT

9:00 AM HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS HEALTH 341 CAP

9:00 AM< HOUSE APPROP HUMAN RES 606 CLOB

Click here for live video feeds of today’s committee meetings.

Governor Nathan Deal announced his Administration Floor Leaders:

SENATE
Senator Butch Miller (R-Gainesville)
Senator P. K. Martin IV (R-Lawrenceville)
Senator Larry Walker III (R-Kathleen)

HOUSE
Rep. Terry Rogers (R-Clarkesville)
Rep. Chuck Efstration (R-Dacula)
Rep. Trey Rhodes (R-Greensboro)

Senator Renee Unterman (R-Buford) introduced Senate Bill 17, the “Mimosa Mandate,” to allow local governments to move the time for alcohol sales in restaurants from 12:30 PM to 10:30 AM. From the AJC:

Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairwoman Renee Unterman, R-Buford, does not drink, but said Senate Bill 17 is meant to correct what she considers a fairness issue: While privately owned restaurants in Georgia are banned from serving alcohol before 12:30 p.m. on Sundays, government-owned buildings — such as the Georgia World Congress Center — do not face such restrictions and are free to pour.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert, R-Athens, has blocked similar efforts over the past two years, saying it would upset what he has called a “fragile compromise” between legislative leaders and the faith community over allowing any alcohol sales on Sunday mornings.

Still, the move so early in this year’s legislative session — Unterman filed the bill on Thursday, the session’s fourth day — has buoyed the hopes of supporters, which include the Georgia Restaurant Association. The association has estimated that at least 4,000 Georgia restaurants would likely take advantage if the law changed.

One in eight DeKalb County homeowners has seen water bills triple according to analysis by the AJC.

Congressman Hank Johnson (D-DeKalb) is holding a “Fourth District Day of Resistance” on Sunday.

Johnson will be joined Sunday by DeKalb CEO Mike Thurmond, state Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta), Georgia NAACP President Francys Johnson, according to a news release.

Johnson is co-hosting the event from 2 to 4 p.m. with Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry at the Clarkston Community Center.

“Joined by faith leaders, environmentalists, seniors, students and immigration reform supporters among others, Johnson and Terry will gather to support Bernie Sanders’ nationwide call to oppose the Republican budget,” Johnson’s news release said.

State Rep. Geoff Duncan (R-Cumming) introduced House Bill 54, to expand the Rural Hospital Tax Credit from 70 percent to 90 percent. From the AJC:

A highly touted tax credit program designed to save rural hospitals has thus far been a major disappointment, and now state lawmakers are scrambling for a fix.

Deemed a “lifeline” for struggling rural hospitals, the tax credit program went live Jan. 3, but thus far, donors have applied for less than 2 percent of the available credits. State Rep. Geoff Duncan, R-Cumming, who sponsored legislation last year that created the program, introduced a new bill Thursday aimed at making the credits more attractive. A similar bill was introduced in the Senate.

The key to HB 54 is increasing the value of the tax credit from 70 percent of the donation to 90 percent. Duncan said many corporate donors have balked at only getting a 70 percent return on their contributions.

“Our rural communities cannot afford for this not to be a success,” said Duncan, who is considering a bid for statewide office in 2018.

State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) introduced House Resolution 36, to authorize a statewide referendum on medical cannabis.

From the Macon Telegraph:

“Its clear we’re going to have a hard time passing a cultivation bill (in the state Legislature) for the next two years. So why not put it in front of the voters, where every poll shows there’s clear evidence that voters support this?” Peake asked, just before handing his legislation to staffers on the state House floor.

Virginia Galloway, regional director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a national conservative group, said she thinks Georgia’s cannabis laws already put it in a dangerous place.

“I want double-blind placebo testing, just like is done on every other drug. And then we can make good policy decisions,” Galloway said.

She also sees medical cannabis as the first step down a road to recreational legalization.

The problem with recreational marijuana, she said, is “all those people standing over there who have lost family members to drug addiction,” pointing down the marble stairs of the state Capitol, toward folks making speeches for an addiction recovery awareness event.

What’s not yet set are the rules for any medical cannabis cultivation in Georgia: where would it be grown, who could grow it, where and how would it be sold? Would it mean just liquid products, or would it include things to smoke, eat or vape?

Peake’s own preference is for cultivation of specially bred cannabis in secure greenhouses by a handful of licensees, following the model of states like Minnesota.

Those questions would be answered in a separate bill. But Peake wants a vote on the broad idea of medicinal cultivation first. Then if there were a successful 2018 referendum, a newly elected governor and set of lawmakers would work on the rules in 2019.

Peake also introduced House Bill 65, to add several conditions to the list of those eligible for medical cannabis and to remove the “severe or end stage” requirement on conditions already eligible.

(3)(A) Cancer, when such diagnosis is end stage or the treatment disease produces related wasting illness, recalcitrant nausea, and vomiting;
(B) Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage;
(C) Seizure disorders related to diagnosis of epilepsy or trauma related head injuries;
(D) Multiple sclerosis, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage;
(E) Crohn’s disease;
(F) Mitochondrial disease;
(G) Parkinson’s disease, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage; or
(H) Sickle cell disease, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage;
(I) Tourette’s syndrome;
(J) Autism spectrum disorder;
(K) Intractable pain;
(L) Post-traumatic stress disorder;
(M) Alzheimer’s disease;
(N) Human immunodeficiency virus; or
(O) Acquired immune deficiency syndrome

and

(5) ‘Intractable pain’ means severe, debilitating pain that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measures for more than three months.

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