Category: Georgia Politics

9
Feb

Sam Olens: U.S. Supreme Court Halts EPA’s Unlawful Power Plan

Attorney General Sam Olens offered the following statement regarding today’s Supreme Court decision blocking the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing its illegal and unprecedented Power Plan until the court challenge concludes.

“This is a victory against an out of control Environmental Protection Agency. We will continue to fight this executive overreach which will put Americans out of work and drive up the cost of electricity for consumers.”

25 States challenged the EPA’s power plan on Oct. 23, 2015, the day it was published. The states argue the EPA exceeded its authority by double regulating coal-fired power plants and forcing states to fundamentally shift their energy portfolios away from coal-fired generation among other reasons.

Those joining Georgia in seeking a stay Jan. 26 with the Supreme Court were Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, , Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, along with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Mississippi Public Service Commission, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.

9
Feb

Early Voting for the March 1 SEC Primary in Georgia

County Name
ELECTRONIC
IN PERSON
MAILED
(blank)
Grand Total
APPLING6223229
ATKINSON22
BACON412622
BAKER74148
BALDWIN264874
BANKS1127487
BARROW755136198
BARTOW844132184
BEN HILL224466
BERRIEN32583111
BIBB1683390489
BLECKLEY1232246
BRANTLEY31215
BROOKS374555
BRYAN10224072
BULLOCH4227197
BURKE1122437
BUTTS5549104
CALHOUN437
CAMDEN1519111145
CANDLER1362057
CARROLL1887146251
CATOOSA46261127
CHARLTON13922
CHATHAM481534797687
CHATTAHOOCHEE279
CHATTOOGA181230
CHEROKEE19994365559
CLARKE1758148223
CLAY437
CLAYTON1859210287
CLINCH1618
COBB10239418882384
COFFEE2161331
COLQUITT1632387
COLUMBIA63130413606
COOK1187796
COWETA12141672825
CRAWFORD111416
CRISP133952
DADE3141431
DAWSON533115153
DECATUR2133348
DEKALB14632510691540
DODGE12021
DOOLY19515
DOUGHERTY33384120
DOUGLAS7115155277
EARLY141226
ECHOLS459
EFFINGHAM31278194
ELBERT224062
EMANUEL56570
EVANS181221
FANNIN47194169
FAYETTE30651961292
FLOYD1365111189
FORSYTH313596501040
FRANKLIN1154864
FULTON10050712671782052
GILMER7421201170
GLASCOCK101121
GLYNN164281139
GORDON76494165
GRADY2172443
GREENE5254171
GWINNETT771801343171617
HABERSHAM738296341
HALL16193433642
HANCOCK1463149
HARALSON323870
HARRIS432106142
HART1174664
HEARD321109133
HENRY31133270434
HOUSTON37452474333
IRWIN14115
JACKSON24960111
JASPER122436
JEFF DAVIS352762
JEFFERSON1102334
JENKINS222042
JOHNSON88
JONES440347391
LAMAR1183251
LANIER212317
LAURENS31266297
LEE204060
LIBERTY5301348
LINCOLN171936
LONG11
LOWNDES20122307449
LUMPKIN4375293
MACON171734
MADISON23172105
MARION142034
MCDUFFIE120526232
MCINTOSH13192124
MERIWETHER131014
MILLER279
MITCHELL2314138
MONROE2283868
MONTGOMERY8311
MORGAN3233965
MURRAY8232960
MUSCOGEE22139323484
NEWTON11111134256
OCONEE6216087
OGLETHORPE431125160
PAULDING8162360530
PEACH322153
PICKENS7421059
PIERCE12427153
PIKE342152197
POLK45473131
PULASKI2828
PUTNAM7314381
QUITMAN527
RABUN36567603
RANDOLPH16420
RICHMOND2635235296
ROCKDALE58792184
SCHLEY19313
SCREVEN6713
SEMINOLE15511
SPALDING611964189
STEPHENS85118203
STEWART66
SUMTER32231359
TALBOT51621
TALIAFERRO16411
TATTNALL2193253
TAYLOR1618227
TELFAIR142732
TERRELL1010719136
THOMAS264470
TIFT3334581
TOOMBS92534
TOWNS183755
TREUTLEN12416
TROUP356393452
TURNER44
TWIGGS1121932
UNION254102158
UPSON222446
WALKER8156386
WALTON429213246
WARE315586
WARREN51419
WASHINGTON18102120
WAYNE216118136
WEBSTER00000
WHEELER729
WHITE549253307
WHITFIELD648203257
WILCOX33033
WILKES4221339
WILKINSON75663
WORTH1301748
Grand Total116767882000026928224

Continue Reading..

9
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 9, 2016

On February 9, 1825, the United States House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams as President of the United States, despite his having received fewer popular votes than Andrew Jackson. Congress voted for the President after no candidate received a majority of electoral votes in the 1824 election.

The 12th Amendment states that if no electoral majority is won, only the three candidates who receive the most popular votes will be considered in the House.

Representative Henry Clay, who was disqualified from the House vote as a fourth-place candidate, agreed to use his influence to have John Quincy Adams elected. Clay and Adams were both members of a loose coalition in Congress that by 1828 became known as the National Republicans, while Jackson’s supporters were later organized into the Democratic Party.

Alexander Stephens was elected Vice President of the Confederate States of America on February 9, 1861.

On February 9, 1926, the Atlanta Board of Education voted to prohibit teaching evolution in the Atlanta Public Schools.

On February 9, 1964, the Beatles debuted in America on The Ed Sullivan Show.

On Friday, February 12, 2016, the Georgia Archives in Morrow will display’s Georgia’s copy of the Declaration of Independence and the Royal Charter that created the colony in commemoration of Georgia’s founding on February 12, 1733.

On Jan. 18, 1777, the Continental Congress met in Baltimore, Md., and ordered that copies of the Declaration of Independence be printed and sent to each of the 13 states. The states were directed to make the Declaration a part of their official records. Georgia’s copy was officially entered into the records on March 2, 1777.

Today, the Declaration is protected with Georgia’s other “birth documents,” which are the Royal Charter that created the colony in 1733 and Georgia’s 1788 ratification of the U.S. Constitution, the document that made Georgia a state. All are kept in a high-security vault where a constant temperature and humidity are maintained to ensure their long-term survival.

The Georgia Archives has limited public viewing of its copy of the Declaration in order to mitigate the fading, deterioration and other damage caused by frequent exhibits.

The Georgia Archives is at 5800 Jonesboro Road in Morrow. For more information, visit www.georgiaarchives.org or call 678-364-3710.

Under the Gold Dome

Senate Committee Meetings

RULES UPON ADJ’MT 450 CAP

1:00 PM Ethics 307 CLOB

1:00 PM Government Oversight 125 CAP

2:00 PM Retirement 310 CLOB

2:00 PM Judiciary 307 CLOB

2:00 PM State and Local Gov’t Ops 125 CAP

3:00 PM Banking and Finance 310 CLOB

4:00 PM Judiciary Non-Civil 307 CLOB

House Committee Meetings

8:00 AM Approp Econ Dev Sub 606 CLOB

8:00 AM Approp Gen’l Gov’t Sub 403 CAP

9:00 AM RULES 341 CAP

1:00 PM HIGHER ED 403 CAP

1:00 PM SMALL BUSINESS DEV 606 CLOB

1:30 PM W&M Tax Reform Sub 133 CAP

2:00 PM JUDICIARY CIVIL 132 CAP

2:00 PM Health Human Svcs 606 CLOB

2:00 PM W&M Sales Tax Sub 133 CAP

2:00 PM REGULATED IND 506 CLOB

2:00 PM Ins Admin/Licensing Sub 515 CLOB

3:00 PM Pub Safety Homeland Sec 406 CLOB

3:00 PM Local Government Sub 515 CLOB

3:00 PM HB 872 Sub 403 CAP

3:30 PM Approp Gen’l Gov’t Sub 415 CLOB

4:00 PM Elections Sub 515 CLOB

Senate Rules Calendar

SB 255 – Garnishment Proceedings; modernize, reorganize, and provide constitutional protections (As Introduced) (Substitute) (JUDY-23rd)

SB 307 – Public Roads; provide for definitions relative to advertising (As Introduced) (Substitute) (TRANS-21st)

HB 742 – Revenue and taxation; Internal Revenue Code; define terms; incorporate certain provisions of federal law into Georgia law (As Passed House)(FIN-32nd) Knight-130th

House Rules Calendar

Modified Open Rule

HB 483 State symbols; shoal bass as official state native riverine sport fish; designate (GF&P-Buckner-137th)

HB 697 Unsolicited merchandise; solicitors to receive from consumers affirmative assent to continued receipt of certain merchandise following a free trial before charging; require (Substitute)(A&CA-Kirby-114th)

Modified Structured Rule

HB 739 Elementary and secondary education; process for state approved instructional materials and content is optional; provide (Substitute)(Ed-Tanner-9th)

HB 765 Social services; board member appointments may include certain retired individuals; provide (GAff-Powell-171st)

HB 866 Insurance; multiple employer self-insured health plans; exempt from premium taxes (Ins-Blackmon-146th)

HB 870 Quality Basic Education Act; high schools that receive state funding cannot participate in an athletic association which prohibits religious expression on clothing of student athletes; provide (Ed-Strickland-111th)

Legislation & Local Issues

Renee 34side

Yesterday, the Senate passed Senate Bill 278 by Sen. Renee Unterman, increasing penalties for people found guilty of the crimes of pimping and pandering. From the AJC’s Janel Davis,

[S]econd and subsequent convictions for the crime would be a felony and carry a punishment of between one and ten years in jail for victims 16 and older. For convictions involving victims younger than 16, the penalty would be ten to 30 years in jail and a maximum fine of $100,000.

The bill, approved 53-0 by the Senate, takes the work Georgia has done combating child sex trafficking a step forward, said Unterman, R-Buford.

Today, the House will consider HB 870 by Rep. Brian Strickland (R-McDonough), which addresses the issue of high school athletes with religious expressions on their uniforms. From Neighbor Newspapers,

In the state Legislature, Henry County delegate District 111 State Rep. Brian Strickland, R-McDonough, said he wants to “prohibit discrimination” by the Georgia High School Association.

A bill … proposes to use the purse strings of the Georgia Department of Education to vacate the association’s membership.

If passed, all schools receiving funding through the Quality Basic Education Act of 1984 – basically, all public schools in Georgia – will have to resign from the association

Strickland said he wrote the piece of legislation because Community Christian School and Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy in Stockbridge, which are in his district, “use the same cross country track but are not allowed to even have practice meets together” due to association rules.

“I was approached about the inability of our local private schools to play scrimmage matches this past fall and agreed to help,” he said.

[A]nother provision bars schools that receive state funds from participating “in athletic associations that prohibit religious expression on the clothing of student athletes.”

State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) continues to try to move forward with legislation to expand the diseases for which cannabidiol oil is prescribale and to enable in-state cultivation and processing, according to Maggie Lee with the Macon Telegraph.

Peake’s House Bill 722 would allow the state to license up to six medical cannabis cultivators. Each license holder could grow the plant and manufacture liquid or pill treatments for Georgians who have any of 17 diagnoses.

Peake, R-Macon, said the point of his bill is to get the compounds into the hands of seriously ill Georgians.

But after two hours of being examined by a panel packed with lawyers, Peake said there are parts of his bill that he will need to work on in the coming days.

Members of the committee who were hearing the bill poked holes in its language. Among other things, they suggested that the diagnosis of “intractable pain” might be open to abuse and that patients might cause legal problems for employers who want to comply with the state’s drug-free workplace program.

Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk said the bill is hard to swallow. The Georgia Sheriffs’ Association opposes cultivation in the state.

“We already have a number of guidelines that are used for prescription drugs and controlling that. However we see that doctors and patients abuse that daily, and we deal with it every day on the street. … To only add something else to that issue is a grave concern,” Sisk said.

13WMAZ in Macon has more on Sheriffs’ objections to in-state cultivation.

Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese went with some members of the Georgia Sheriff’s Association to speak in opposition of the bill. He says his biggest concern is how law enforcement would regulate it.

Deese says their counterparts in Colorado call it a “nightmare.”

“When we were convinced there was some medical use for sick children, naturally, we want the medicine to be used for the people that need help,” he explains. “But last year, that bill was increased by adding other illnesses, and this year it’s migrated into more illnesses, and now into grow houses.”

Peake, however, says those concerns are unwarranted and the legislation will not lead to recreational use.

“I believe there is a little bit of overreaction as far as the security concerns given the limited number of facilities that will be growing medical marijuana in our state,” says Peake.

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners could increase their pay to as much as $45,000 per year, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The consensus was reached to increase the salaries, which could go up to as much as $45,000 per district commissioner, during a short, informal work session on Monday morning. The increase would not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2017, after this year’s elections for three commission seats has been held, and would only affect the four district commission seats.

Chairman Charlotte Nash proposed the increase, but emphatically told her colleagues that she did not want her own position’s salary increased. The chairman’s salary of about $50,000 has not been changed in decades, and Nash said she felt it was inappropriate for her to accept a raise when she is also on the county’s retirement rolls.

“Since I’m already drawing a retirement check, it did not feel right to me to accept a raise,” Nash said. “That’s just my stance on it … I don’t want the district commissioners to be held up from getting an increase because of me, though.”

The commission is set to vote on the increase at its 2 p.m. business meeting on March 1. Whether the commissioners actually adopt a $45,000 salary for themselves remains to be seen, because they left the door open to possibly adopt a lower rate.

The Augusta Commission is set to renew a controversial contract with private probation provider Sentinel Offender Services, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

The private contract costs the local government nothing up front, but it gives the for-profit company exclusive access to Augusta probationers, to whom it charges monitoring fees and leases monitoring equipment, such as a continuous alcohol monitoring bracelet that costs offenders $11 per day.

The company has been named in more than a dozen civil rights lawsuits across the state. On Monday, the Geor­gia Supreme Court heard arguments in a case involving a Glynn County man jailed on a warrant obtained by Sentinel months after his probation sentence had expired.

As they did in 2014, Au­gusta commissioners heeded the elected judges’ opinion on keeping Sentinel.

“Most of the judges are for it, and who are we going to turn it over to?” Mayor Pro Tem Grady Smith said. “Who ought to know better about it than anybody? Not me, that’s for sure.”

Campaigns & Elections

Holly Veal announced she is running for Henry County District Attorney. Also running is McDonough attorney Matthew McCord.

Yesterday, I went to Tucker Recreation Center, where early voting is underway. At shortly after noon, 45 ballots had been cast, and there was no wait. Here’s the Republican sample ballot: you may note that several candidates who dropped out of the race still appear on the ballot.

Sample Ballot Georgia Early Voting 2016

As of the most recent Secretary of State’s absentee voting files, here are the DeKalb County votes so far

Total: 1540
In-Person: 325
Electronic: 146
Mailed: 1069

By Political Party
Democrat:  972
Republican:  558
None:  4
Non-Partisan:  6

And Gwinnett County, which has 5% higher turnout so far than DeKalb.

Total: 1617
In-Person: 180
Electronic: 77
Mailed: 1343

By Political Party
Democrat:  434
Republican:  1142
None:  34
Non-Partisan: 7

I should note that a Mailed ballot does not mean it has been returned yet, just that it has been issued.

The Marco Rubio campaign held a press conference with Congressman Austin Scott at the Georgia State Capitol yesterday.

Austin Scott Marco Rubio Press Conference

Senator P.K. Martin also spoke to the press conference.

PK Martin Rubio Country

As did Rep. Buzz Brockway.

Buzz Rubio2

The Rubio campaign also released an updated list of Georgia endorsements.

The list is headed by Republican U.S. Reps. Lynn Westmoreland of Grantville and Austin Scott of Tifton.

The list of Rubio’s endorsements was broken down into early supporters including Georgia Sen. Judson Hill, R-Marietta, and state Rep. Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City, majority whip in the Georgia House of Representatives. Among those listed as “new” supporters were state House Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta, and veteran Georgia Reps. Tom Rice of Norcross and Chuck Martin of Alpharetta.

Scott, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said Rubio has been a strong advocate for the U.S. military. He criticized GOP presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas for voting repeatedly against military appropriations bills before the Armed Services panel.

“It was Sen. Rubio who helped get the money back … after President Obama cut the military,” Scott said.

Greg Bluestein of the AJC has more on the Rubio endorsements.

Among Rubio’s newest supporters are state Sen. Rick Jeffares and longtime state Reps. Howard Maxwell and Gerald Greene. Also on the list were a handful of prosecutors, including Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds.

“Marco Rubio has the strength to restore our military might, destroy ISIS, protect Israel, and secure our homeland,” said Reynolds in a statement. “I’m excited to join his effort to build a New American Century.”

They join a growing core of supporters that also include Rep. Austin Scott, Rubio’s Georgia chair, and state Reps. Geoff Duncan, Michael Caldwell, Chuck Efstration, Buzz Brockway, Trey Kelley and Bert Reeves.

Here’s the full list of Rubio’s latest pickups:

Marco Rubio’s Georgia Leadership Team:

State Representative Gerald Greene, Cuthbert
Cobb County DA Vic Reynolds
Cherokee County DA Shannon Wallace
Paulding County DA Dick Donovan
Douglas County Assistant DA Ryan Leonard
Senator Rick Jeffares; Chairman of Senate Regulated Industries
Representative Howard Maxwell; Chairman of House Regulated Industries
Mayor Teresa Philyaw, Hiram
Councilman Brandon Hembree, Sugar Hill

It was a well-timed event, garnering broadcast news time in Atlanta on the day that in-person early voting for the March 1 Presidential Preference Primary kicked off, though I’m not certain in a post-David Perdue world how helpful a headline like “Georgia GOP establishment rallies around Rubio” really is.

 

8
Feb

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for February 8, 2016

Boomer

Boomer is an adult male Beagle who is available for adoption from Atlanta Pet Rescue & Adoption Inc. in Smyrna, GA.

Boomer has a tender heart that he is hoping someone will take the time to treat it gently. This adorable guy has found himself homeless when his owner no longer wanted him. He found himself confused and overwhelmed his first day at the adoption center. He has started to settle in and is now waiting patiently for his special home. He does well with other dogs and would most likely do best in a home with another canine companion. He walks well on leash and is very bright and motivated.

He loves learning new things, especially if there are treats involved! His ideal home will be loving, patient and not have any young children. When he gets excited you can even hear him do a “Beagle Bay.” If you are a giving, kind and generous person who is searching for a new family member, come see if Boomer is the right fit for you.

Henry Beagle

Henry is a 5-year old, 28-pound male Beagle who is available for adoption from Forgotten Paws Pet Rescue in Acworth, GA.

Henry is the sweetest and strangest beagle I have ever met. Sweet because he has a happy wiggle butt, loves everyone and just wants to lay close. He spends half his life belly up snoozing and also flips over for belly rubs constantly. Strange because he refuses to take food from my hands. I truly think he was in a home with kids once and got in trouble for taking food from them. I have never seen a dog tuck his head submissive,y when you try to give him steak! He ended up at Henry county animal control as a stray so we don’t know his history.

Henry is housebroken and goes in his crate on command. He likes bones but won’t chew on them if people or other dogs are around. He is learning to walk on leash. He is so submissive it just will take some time for him to build his confidence.

Leia

Leia is a young Beagle and Hound mix female who is available for adoption from Gwinnett Humane Society in Lawrenceville, GA.

Hi! My name is Leia! I am a very sweet girl that was lost on a busy highway. Luckily a good Samaritan rescued me before I was hurt. I am now spayed and up to date on vaccines. I am good with other dogs and LOVE people. They think I’m around 2 years old and crate trained. Did I mention I am very sweet?!

Two Georgia canine officers are in a Facebook contest to win a bulletproof vest.

DeKalb k9 Tomi Conyers K9 Eddie

K-9 Eddie is a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois who joined Conyers Police Department with handler Officer Myra Scruggs just over one year ago.  Eddie’s official job description is Narcotic Detection and Tracking.  Eddie’s tracking efforts are specifically used for lost children, Alzheimer’s patients and anyone “at risk”.  Due to Eddie’s personable disposition, this type of tracking was later added to his extensive training.

K-9 Tomi is a 23 month old German Shepherd from Deutschland, Germany [who works with the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office]. K-9 Tomi is out of the Southern Coast K-9 School out of New Smyrna Beach, Florida ran by Bill Heiser. K-9 Tomi is a dual purpose dog and trained in narcotics, apprehension, and tracking.

“Sadly, three K-9s have been killed in the line of duty already this year while attempting to apprehend suspects, said Kim Lucas, Public Information Officer for the Conyers Police Department.  “We’d love to get the message out there about this non-profit that protects our K-9’s.”

VOTE for EDDIE: Eddie is the 13th post down the page.

VOTE for TOMI: Tomi is the 2nd post down the page.

 

8
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 8, 2016

On February 8, 1751, the first session of the Georgia Provincial Parliament adjourned, having convened on January 15, 1751.

On February 8, 1955, Gov. Marvin Griffin signed a resolution by the General Assembly calling on Congress to require racial segregation in the military.

On February 8, 1956, the Georgia State House adopted a resolution purporting to hold the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education null and void.

On February 8, 1981, R.E.M. held their first recording session at Bombay Studios in Smyrna, recording “Gardening At Night,” “Radio Free Europe” and “(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville,” as well as others.

Under the Gold Dome

Senate Committee Meetings

TBD Rules – Upon Adj. 450 CAP

8:15 AM Appropriations 341 CAP

1:00 PM Regulated Ind & Util 310 CLOB

1:00 PM Public Safety Sub 125 CAP

2:00 PM Education & Youth 307 CLOB

2:00 PM Public Safety 125 CAP

2:00 PM Insurance & Labor 450 CAP

3:00 PM Health & Human Svcs 450 CAP

4:00 PM Econ Dev & Tourism 310 CLOB

4:00 PM Finance – CANCELED Mezz

House Committee Meetings

8:30 AM Approp Gen’l Gov’t Sub 506 CLOB

10:00 AM RULES 341 CAP

1:00 PM Life and Health Insurance Sub 506 CLOB

1:30 PM JUDICIARY NON-CIVIL 406 CLOB

1:30 PM Judiciary Civil Fleming Sub 403 CAP

1:30 PM W&M Income Tax Sub 133 CAP

2:00 PM ECON DEV AND TOURISM 506 CLOB

2:00 PM Approp. Human Res Sub 341 CAP

2:00 PM Approp Education Sub 606 CLOB

3:00 PM Approp Public Safety Sub 506 CLOB

3:00 PM Regulations Sub 605 CLOB

3:30 PM Jud’y Non-Civil Pak Sub 406 CLOB

Senate Rules Calendar

SB 278 – Criminal Offenses; increase the penalty provisions; pimping and pandering (Substitute)(JUDYNC-45th)

SB 283 – Accounting for Public Funds; provide multibank pooling of depositories for acceptance of deposits of public funds from public bodies (Substitute) (B&FI-18th)

House Rules Calendar

Modified Open Rule

HB 649 –  Georgia Lactation Consultant Practice Act; enact (Substitute) (H&HS-Cooper-43rd)

HB 759 Courts; financial institutions; certain activities shall not constitute the unauthorized practice of law; provide (Judy-Willard-51st)

HB 775 Health; restrictions on sale and dispensing of spectacles; provide (Substitute)(RegI-Ehrhart-36th)

HB 780 Health; certain nondiagnostic laboratories not subject to state licensure as a clinical laboratory; provide (H&HS-Lott-122nd)

Modified Structured Rule

HB 737 Code Revision Commission; revise, modernize and correct errors of said Code (CR-Caldwell-131st)

HB 767 Motor vehicles; add utility service vehicles to the “Spencer Pass Law”; provisions (MotV-Powell-32nd) AM 39 0147

Legislation & Local Politics

Casino advocates are primarily working behind the scenes to create legislative enthusiasm for their proposed statewide referendum.Continue Reading..

6
Feb

Georgia supporters of Marco Rubio deploy to New Hampshire

Marco GA NH 3
Continue Reading..

5
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 5, 2016

Georgia and American History

On February 7, 1733, the first Georgia colonists had been here a week and they finished building a hand-operated crane to move heavy supplies and livestock from their boats to the top of the forty-foot high bluff where they were building a settlement.

John and Charles Wesley arrived at Tybee Roads, at the mouth of the Savannah River on February 5, 1736, along with James Oglethorpe and 254 other colonists.

On February 5, 1777, Georgia’s first Constitution was adopted in Savannah, creating the first eight counties. Happy birthday to Wilkes, Richmond, Burke, Effingham, Chatham, Liberty, Glynn, and Camden counties.

The 1777 Constitution was progressive for the time, outlawing primogeniture and entail, English common law doctrines that controlled inheritance of land.

Primogeniture ensured that the eldest son in a family inherited the largest portion of his father’s property upon the father’s death. The practice of entail, guaranteeing that a landed estate remain in the hands of only one male heir, was frequently practiced in conjunction with primogeniture. (Virginia abolished entail in 1776, but permitted primogeniture to persist until 1785.)

Georgians restructured inheritance laws in Article LI of the state’s constitution by abolishing entail in all forms and proclaiming that any person who died without a will would have his or her estate divided equally among their children; the widow shall have a child’s share, or her dower at her option.

The House of Assembly, Georgia’s legislative body, held its second meeting after statehood on February 6, 1788 in Savannah.

The Southern Pacific Railroad completed its “Sunset Route” from New Orleans to California on February 5, 1883, giving the SP a dominant position in transcontinental railroading.

Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois. In 1980, Reagan would be elected President of the United States, beating incumbent Jimmy Carter. When he was born, his father said, “he looks like a fat little Dutchman.  But who knows, he might grow up to be president some day.”

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt announced his “court packing” plan on February 5, 1937. After the United States Supreme Court found some of his “New Deal” legislation unconstitutional, Roosevelt’s proposal would have encouraged the retirement of justices older than 70 and for those who did not retire, appoint an assistant Justice with full voting rights on decisions by the Court.

On February 5, 1945, Governor Ellis Arnall signed legislation abolishing the poll tax, making Georgia the first Southern state to do so.

Georgia’s 1877 constitution authorized the tax, which limited voter participation among both poor blacks and whites. But most whites got around the provision through exemptions for those whose ancestors fought in the Civil War or who could vote before the war.

In 1937, the U.S. Supreme court upheld Georgia’s poll tax as constitutional. But in 1942, Georgia voters chose Ellis Arnall for governor and the progressive Arnall ushered in a wave of reforms, including abolishing Georgia’s poll tax.

Nigel Tufnel, of the band Spinal Tap, was born on February 5, 1948.

On February 6, 1952, Governor Herman Talmadge signed resolutions of the General Assembly that included:

A resolution calling on Congress to call a convention to propose a constitutional amendment to repeal the Sixteenth Amendment and instead allow a maximum rate of 25 percent on any federal income, transfer, gift, or inheritance tax.

A resolution urging U.S. Senator Richard B. Russell to run for the presidency.

On February 6, 1956, Governor Marvin Griffin addressed a joint session of  the Georgia General Assembly, asking their support for House Resolution 1185, which introduced the idea of “interposition,” in which the State of Georgia would declare the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 and 1955 Brown v. Board of Education decisions “null and void” in Georgia. That day Griffin also signed a raft of legislation for his “massive resistance” agenda against integration of state schools.

On February 5, 1974, “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe,” by Barry White reached #1 on the charts.

Def Leppard’s “Pyromania” began a 92-week run on the best-seller charts on February 5, 1983. Rock on.

On February 6, 1985, Reagan gave the State of the Union. During the speech he announced what would be known as the “Reagan Doctrine.”

Reagan began his foreign policy comments with the dramatic pronouncement that, “Freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few; it is the universal right of all God’s children.” America’s “mission” was to “nourish and defend freedom and democracy.” More specifically, Reagan declared that, “We must stand by our democratic allies. And we must not break faith with those who are risking their lives—on every continent, from Afghanistan to Nicaragua—to defy Soviet-supported aggression and secure rights which have been ours from birth.” He concluded, “Support for freedom fighters is self-defense.”

With these words, the Reagan administration laid the foundation for its program of military assistance to “freedom fighters.”

On February 7, 1990, the Communist Party Central Committee of the Soviet Union agreed to a proposal by Prime Minister Mikhail Gorbachev that is should give up its political monopoly.

The response from the United States was surprise and cautious optimism. One State Department official commented that, “The whole Soviet world is going down the drainpipe with astonishing speed. It’s mind-boggling.” Former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger indicated that he was “personally gratified and astonished that anyone would have the chance to say such things in Moscow without being shot.” President George Bush was more circumspect, merely congratulating President Gorbachev for his “restraint and finesse.”

Ironically, the fact that the Communist Party was willing to accept political challenges to its authority indicated how desperately it was trying to maintain its weakening power over the country. The measures were little help, however–President Gorbachev resigned on December 25, 1991 and the Soviet Union officially ceased to exist on December 31, 1991.

Georgia Politics

State Rep. Tom Rice (R-Norcross) announced yesterday that he will not run for reelection, and will endorse Scott Hilton to succeed him.

Tom Rice Retiring

Continue Reading..

4
Feb

Marsy’s Law aims to put victims’ rights in constitution

Rep. Don Parsons (R-Marietta) and Rep. Virgil Fludd (D-Tyrone) on Thursday introduced Marsy’s Law for Georgia to elevate crime victims’ rights to the state constitution.

“In Georgia, people convicted or accused of crimes have constitutional rights, but their victims do not,” said Parsons. “In 2010, I sponsored and passed a bill that put comprehensive victims’ rights into state law. In these six years, we’ve shown we can prioritize the needs of victims and their families without putting an undue burden on the criminal justice system. We know it works; now it’s time to join the majority of states by putting victims’ rights in the state constitution.”Continue Reading..

4
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 4, 2016

On February 4, 1789, George Washington was unanimously elected by the Electoral College as the first President of the United States; Washington’s runner-up John Adams served as Vice President. Washington would repeat the feat four years later on February 4, 1793.

On February 4, 1801, John Marshall took office as Chief Justice of the United States. Marshall continued to hold the post of Secretary of State until March 4th. In one of American history’s rich ironies, Marshall, who served at the same time in the judicial and legislative branches of the federal government, would write the Court’s opinion in Marbury v. Madison, establishing the supremacy of the Supreme Court in matters of applying the Constitution through judicial review and establishing the doctrine of separation of powers. Marshall would serve during the terms of six Presidents.

On February 4, 1861, the Provisional Confederate Congress convened in Montgomery, Alabama, where it would draft a Constitution for the Confederate States of America, beginning with a near-verbatim copy of the United States Constitution.

On January 4, 1976, the Georgia Senate approved a resolution previously passed by the State House proposing a Constitutional Amendment to allow Governors of Georgia to serve two consecutive terms and voters approved in November 1976. Then-Governor George Busbee won reelection in November 1978, and since then Democrat Roy Barnes is the only Georgia Governor to not win reelection.

Under the Gold Dome

Senate Committee Meetings

12:00 PM RULES — UPON ADJ’MNT 450 CAP

1:00 PM INSURANCE & LABOR 450 CAP

2:00 PM URBAN AFFAIRS 125 CAP

2:00 PM JUDICIARY 310 CLOB

2:30 PM Health Care Delivery Sub – HHS 122 CAP

3:00 PM TRANSPORTATION- CANCELED

3:00 PM JUDICIARY NON-CIVIL- CANCELED

4:00 PM BANKING & FIN. INST. – CANCELED

4:00 PM NAT’L RES. & ENV’MNT 450 CAP

House Committee Meetings

8:00 AM NAT’L RES. AND ENV’T 606 CLOB

8:00 AM Approp. Econ. Dev. Sub 506 CLOB

8:30 AM Judiciary Non-Civil Setzler Sub 132 CAP

9:00 AM RULES 341 CAP

12:00 PM Tags & Title Sub 606 CLOB

1:00 PM Approp. Human Res. Sub 403 CAP

1:00 PM Approp. Education Sub 606 CLOB

1:30 PM Jud’y Non-Civil Pak Sub415 CLOB

1:30 PM Resolutions Sub on Transport. 506 CLOB

1:30 PM JOINT SMALL BUS DEV, BANKS & BANKING 341 CAP

2:00 PM WAYS & MEANS 406 CLOB

2:15 PM TRANSPORTATION 506 CLOB

3:00 PM Judiciary Civil Caldwell Sub 132 CAP

Senate Rules Calendar

SB 230 – ‘Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act’; enactment (Substitute) (H&HS-52nd)

House Rules Calendar

Modified Open Rule

HB 593 Low-voltage Contractors, Division of; require continuing education; authorize (Substitute)(RegI-Hawkins-27th)

HB 730 Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council; commissioner of juvenile justice as a voting member; add (Substitute)(JuvJ-Powell-32nd)

HB 747 Motor vehicles; safe operation of motor carriers and commercial motor vehicles; update reference date to federal regulations (MotV-Rogers-10th)

HB 800 Veterinarians; veterinarian-client-patient relationship; clarify scope (A&CA-Jasperse-11th)

Modified Structured Rule

HB 228 Sheriffs; collect and deposit certain fees; provide (Substitute) (Judy-Jones-167th)

Legislation

At least eight pieces of legislation seeking to expand the state’s protection of religious liberty have been dropped in the offering plate legislative hopper.Continue Reading..

3
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 3, 2016

In Today’s Politics, Campaigns, and Elections Update:

1. Under the Gold Dome

2. Public Servants Gone Wild

3. Georgia Elections

4. Peach State Presidential Politics – What’s next for Trump, Cruz, and Rubio

5. Nuke News

On February 3, 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, prohibiting racial discrimination in voting.

On February 3, 1887, Congress adopted the Electoral Count Act to clarify how Congress was to count electoral votes.

Electoral vote counting is the oldest activity of the national government and among the oldest questions of constitutional law. It was Congress’s first task when a quorum appeared in the nation’s new legislature on April 6, 1789. It has happened every four years since then. Yet, electoral vote counting remains one of the least understood aspects of our constitutional order.

The Electoral Count Act of 1887 (ECA) lies at the heart of this confusion. In enacting the ECA, Congress drew on lessons learned from its twenty-five previous electoral counts; it sorted through innumerable proposals floated before and after the disastrous presidential election of 1876; and it thrashed out the ECA’s specific provisions over fourteen years of sustained debate. Still, the law invites misinterpretation. The ECA is turgid and repetitious. Its central provisions seem contradictory. Many of its substantive rules are set out in a single sentence that is 275 words long. Proponents of the law admitted it was “not perfect.” Contemporary commentators were less charitable. John Burgess, a leading political scientist in the late nineteenth century, pronounced the law unwise, incomplete, premised on contradictory principles, and expressed in language that was “very confused, almost unintelligible.” At least he thought the law was constitutional; others did not.

Over the nearly 120 years since the ECA’s adoption, the criticisms faded, only to be renewed whenever there was a close presidential election. Our ability to misunderstand the ECA has grown over time. During the 2000 presidential election dispute, politicians, lawyers, commentators, and Supreme Court justices seemed prone to misstate or misinterpret the provisions of the law, even those provisions which were clear to the generation that wrote them. The Supreme Court, for example, mistakenly believed that the Supreme Court of Florida’s erroneous construction of its election code would deny Florida’s electors the ECA’s “safe harbor” protection; Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s hasty submission of his state’s Certificate of Ascertainment was untimely under the Act; and Democratic members of Congress framed their objections to accepting Florida’s electoral vote on the wrong grounds. Even Al Gore, the presidential candidate contesting the election’s outcome, misread the federal deadline for seating Florida’s electors.

Only the United States Congress could so obfuscate a matter as seemingly simple as counting that its Act remained undecipherable for more than one hundred years.

The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified by Delaware on February 3, 1913, giving the Amendment the requisite Constitutional supermajority of three-fourths of the states. The text of the Amendment reads, in its entirety,

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

President Woodrow Wilson died on February 3, 1924 in Washington, DC. Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia (pronounced Stan-ton) and spent most of his youth to age 14 in Augusta, Georgia. Wilson started practicing law in Atlanta, Georgia in 1882, leaving the next year to pursue a Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University. His wife, Ellen Louise Axson, was from Savannah, and they married in Rome, Ga in 1885.

On February 3, 1959, a chartered Beechcraft Bonanza carrying Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson crashed near Mason City, Iowa, killing all aboard.

Jimi Hendrix recorded Purple Haze on this date in 1967.

Under the Gold Dome

Senate Committees

12:00 PM RULES — UPON ADJMENT 450 CAP

1:00 PM REGULATED IND & UTIL. – CANCELED

1:00 PM PUBLIC SAFETY 125 CAP

1:00 PM EDUCATION & YOUTH 307 CLOB

2:00 PM Joint HEALTH & HMN SVCS and HIGHER ED. 307 CAP

2:00 PM SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 310 CLOB

2:00 PM DOT Delegations- CD 4 Senate Chamber

2:00 PM APPROPRIATIONS – Public Safety Sub 341 CAP

3:00 PM STATE INST & PROP – CANCELED

3:00 PM DOT Delegations-CD 11 Senate Chamber

3:30 PM Approp Gen’l Gov’t Sub 341 CAP

4:00 PM HEALTH AND HUMAN SVCS SUB 318 CLOB

4:00 PM FINANCE – CANCELED

House CommitteesContinue Reading..