Category: Georgia Politics

22
Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 22, 2017

King George III approved of the passage of the Stamp Act legislation on March 22, 1765 designed to pay for some of the costs the UK incurred in protecting the colonies, but it would lead to the movement that culminated in the American Revolution. No word on where the Myrmidons were on this.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Beer and Wine Revenue Act on March 22, 1933, allowing the sale of alcoholic beverages, and later that year, the federal Prohibition was ended.

The first Masters golf tournament began on March 22, 1934 in Augusta, Georgia.

The state prohibition on all alcoholic beverages ended on March 22, 1935 with Governor Eugene Talmadge’s signature of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act.

The United States Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment on March 22, 1972; it would fail to garner enough state ratifications.

Pixies released Surfer Rosa on March 21, 1988.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

COMMITTEE MEETINGS – LEGISLATIVE DAY 37

8:00 AM SENATE SLGO – CANCELED MEZZ 1

8:00 AM HOUSE AGRICULTURE 403 CAP

9:00 AM HOUSE RULES 341 CAP

10:00 AM HOUSE SESSION (LD 37) HOUSE CHAMBER

12:30 PM SENATE RULES – UPON ADJ’T 450 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE INSURANCE & LABOR – CANCELED 310 CLOB

1:00 PM SENATE NAT’L RESOURCES & ENV’T 450 CAP

1:00 PM HOUSE GOV’TAL AFFAIRS 406 CLOB

1:00 PM HOUSE NAT’L RESOURCES & ENV’T 403 CAP

1:30 PM HOUSE JUD’Y NON-CIVIL 132 CAP

1:30 PM HOUSE GAME, FISH AND PARKS 403 CAP

2:00 PM SENATE FINANCE 450 CAP

2:00 PM SENATE EDUCATION & YOUTH 307 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE SMALL BUSINESS DEV 606 CLOB

3:00 PM SENATE AGRICULTURE MEZZ 1 CAP

3:00 PM SENATE BANKING 310 CLOB

3:00 PM SENATE SLGO – CANCELED MEZZ 1

3:00 PM House Regulations Sub Regulated Ind 406 CLOB

3:00 PM HOUSE SPECIAL RULES 515 CLOB

4:00 PM SENATE VETS, MILITARY & HOMELAND SECURITY MEZZ 1

4:00 PM SENATE JUD’Y 307 CLOB


CLICK HERE FOR THE SENATE RULES CALENDAR

CLICK HERE FOR THE HOUSE RULES CALENDAR


Former Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski will stump for Bruce LeVell in the Sixth District Special Election. Click here for free tickets.

Here’s my 50-cent political analysis of the following election results, which show tax hikes passing overwhelmingly across Georgia. With polls showing the highest levels ever recorded of distrust of politicians by voters, you might expect tax hikes to fail. But historically, voters have tended to trust their own elected officials, while disdaining politicians generically. These SPLOST and other tax referendums were extremely local affairs, with elected officials you might run into at the park, the high school football game, or the grocery store.

Georgia voters appear to be following the example of state legislators, who last year voted to reform gasoline tax collections to fund infrastructure repairs. There is an understanding that deferred maintenance and expansion plans have come due, and Georgia residents are voting with their wallets (and their neighbors’ wallets) to fund infrastructure projects, and the more local and identifiable, the better.

I neither approve nor disapprove of this, but it’s worth noting that I haven’t yet seen any local tax measures that failed yesterday.

Nearly 74% of Cobb County voters yesterday approved the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST).

A total of 25,106 voters or 73.9 percent approved the referendum, according to unofficial numbers posted by the Cobb Board of Elections.

About 7.7 percent of eligible voters turned out for the special election.

The 1 percent special purpose local option sales tax will span from January 2019 to December 2023.

Fulton County approved a SPLOST for infrastructure by 70-30 percent margin.

Bill Edwards and Benny Crane will vie for Mayor of South Fulton in a Runoff Election and all seven City Council seats will also be decided in a runoff.

City of Marietta voters elected Kerry Minervi to the Board of Education.

Minervini received 206 votes or 52.4 percent in Tuesday’s special election, according to unofficial numbers posted by the Cobb Board of Elections.

About 8.7 percent of eligible voters turned out for the election.

Roswell voters elected to move two candidates into an April 18 runoff for City Council.

As of 11 p.m. Tuesday, unofficial results from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office show Lori Henry leading the pack at 41.43 percent, or 2,421 votes. She holds a narrow lead over Marie Willsey, who has received 41.09 percent, or 2,401 votes.

Monroe County voters will return to the polls on April 18 in a Special Runoff Election for County Commission District 2.

Chris Ham and Eddie Rowland emerged Tuesday from the six candidate battle for the seat left vacant after the death of Commissioner Jim Ham. They’ll face each other again on April 18 after no candidates received at least 50 percent of votes during Tuesday’s election.

Chris Ham received 553 votes, 36 percent, followed by Rowland with 428 votes, or 28 percent, according to unofficial election results.

Monroe County voters also approved a property tax hike to support its local hospital.

There were 2,631 votes supporting the property tax increase compared to 1,090 against the 1-mill tax increase to fund Monroe County Hospital. County officials voted in January to begin a controlled shutdown of the hospital pending the outcome of Tuesday’s election.

Like many rural hospitals, Monroe’s has faced recent financial struggles. The medical facility is now under the management of Navicent Health. Hospital leaders have said they’re developing strategies to run a more efficient hospital.

Houston County voters overwhelmingly approved a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) by a 2,837 to 656 vote margin.

The tax is projected to collect $145 million over six years. The SPLOST will be collected from Oct. 1, 2018, until Oct. 1, 2024. That’s $10 million less than the current SPLOST, which has fallen behind projections.

It would put $38 million for transportation, $31 million for public safety, $30.6 million for recreation, $15.9 million for general capital obligations, $13.6 million for public buildings, $9.2 million for water and sewer improvements and $6.5 million for economic development.

Baldwin County extended the existing SPLOST.

The vote was 1,171 in favor, to 446 ballots cast against the measure. That’s a victory margin of just over 72 percent.

The tax is expected to raise about $40 million over six years.

Voters in Pulaski County also renewed their SPLOST.

There were 327 votes in favor of the special purpose sales tax referendum, while 75 people voted against the measure. The SPLOST is expected to bring in about $6 million of revenue over six years.

Fayette County will have a SPLOST for the first time in more than a decade after voters overwhelmingly passed the ballot measure.

Wilkinson County approved an E-SPLOST.

The vote was 721 in favor of extending the current special purpose local option sales tax earmarked for education, compared to 109 votes against it. That’s nearly 87 percent in favor of the initiative.

About $7.5 million is expected to be raised over five years.

Buford municipal voters passed a bond referendum to raise $20 million for the new high school.

Buford Commission Chairman Phillip Beard said the general obligation bonds, also known as GO Bonds, were backed by 153 of the 157 people who voted in the special election.

Read that again: 157 people decided the election that will results in issuing $20 million in GO Bends backed by local taxes.

Loganville voted to allow Sunday package sales of beer, wine, and liquor.

Butts County voted favored an E-SPLOST and expanded inventory tax exemption.

The E-SPLOST was approved by a vote of 753 to 122, or 86.06 percent in favor. The freeport exemption expansion passed 630 to 225, or 73.68 percent in favor.

The E-SPLOST continues the 1-percent sales tax in place for education and will be collected for five years beginning July 1. The referendum authorized the collection of up to $25 million but school officials estimate the tax will bring in less than that — approximately $18 million.

With the freeport exemption for e-commerce, Butts County development officials are hoping to make the county a more attractive place to locate order fulfillment centers.

The tax break applies to goods stored in Butts County destined to be shipped directly to consumers. It is an expansion of an exemption that already applied to traditional inventory of goods produced in the state of Georgia and goods used in the production process.

“Expanding freeport will allow us to be more competitive and attract clean industry and quality jobs to our community,” Butts County Development Authority Executive Director Laura Sistrunk said.

Coffee County and Colquitt County in South Georgia easily passed SPLOST measures.

Coffee County residents overwhelmingly approved a SPLOST referendum 731 to 56.

Those in Colquitt County made a similar decision.

The Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax there passed 703(y) to 121(n).

Colquitt County officials said voter turnout was low.

Thomasville passed two Sunday alcohol sales measures.

Miller County voters will have a second bite at the apple in the Sheriff’s race, as two candidates advance to a runoff.

Candidates Scott Worsley and Robert Grier will face each other in that contest.

Jason Lary will take office as the first Mayor of the new City of Stonecrest.

Lary, a 25-year health care executive, led the Stonecrest YES group that pushed for Stonecrest’s cityhood. The race featured three candidates of diverse backgrounds but was shrouded in controversy in the closing days as a flyer mailed by a mysterious group claimed that one of the candidates was mentally ill.

Also in Tuesday’s vote, two people were elected to the City Council, while the other three seats will be decided next month.

Jimmy Clanton won the council race for District 1 while Jazzmin Cobble won the District 3 post, both with 66 percent.

The elections office said 4,222 or about 13 percent of the Stonecrest voters went to the polls.

The three remaining Stonecrest City Council seats will be decided in an April 18 runoff.

Full Stonecrest municipal election results are available here.

Rubinell McDonald was elected to the Lake Park City Council in a special election.

Cheryl Walters resigned as Mayor of Meigs in Thomas County.

Blueberry crop losses in South Georgia may top $200 million after a combination of an early spring and a late hard freeze.

The City of Sandy Springs will end a controversial ban on adult toys after years of litigation.

Savannah Alderman Tony Thomas apologized for partying too hard at St. Patrick’s Day.

Photographs of Savannah District 6 Alderman Tony Thomas taken during the St. Patrick’s Day parade Friday prompted Mayor Eddie DeLoach to call a news conference Tuesday afternoon to address concerns about the alderman and let constituents know that Thomas has apologized for his behavior.

The photographs — taken Friday morning in the lobby of the Hilton Savannah DeSoto hotel on East Liberty Street — show Thomas slumped in a chair with a drink in his hand. Another photo shows a police officer helping Thomas either in or out of his chair.

Thomas apologized on his personal Facebook page earlier this week:

“This past St. Patrick’s Day, I overindulged while celebrating on Friday afternoon. Yes, I don’t deny it and I take full responsibility for my action. This may have offended some of my supporters and to them, I truly apologize for drinking too much while celebrating with friends on St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah. Many of my detractors and a couple of obsessive hate sites have worked themselves into a frenzy over this. While I cannot change the minds of those who commit to such hate and misguided energies of perpetuating it, I do hope that my supporters and well-wishers know that I take responsibility for my slip and ask for your forgiveness.”

 

21
Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 21, 2017

Lyman Hall was elected to the Continental Congress on March 21, 1775 from St. John’s Parish; the next year he would sign the Declaration of Independence as a representative from Georgia.

On March 21, 1941, Governor Eugene Talmadge signed legislation establishing the Eastern Standard Time Zone as the only Time Zone in Georgia. Prior to that, Georgia observed two different time zones.

On March 21, 1965, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. led more than 3000 protesters in a march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery.

On March 21, 1980, President Jimmy Carter announced the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

Georgia Governor and United States Senator Herman Talmadge died on March 21, 2002.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Coweta GOP

Tonight, I’ll moderate a debate in Fayetteville among the four candidates for Georgia Republican Party Chairman. It will be from 6:30 to 8 PM at the Fayette Event Center – 174 Glynn St N, Fayetteville, GA 30214.

Jon Richards, whom many of y’all may know from his work on behalf of the Gwinnett and Georgia Republican Parties, will move into hospice care.

“He’s always good for a conversation or two regarding trends and topics, and what was going on politically, as well as everything else,” Gwinnett County Republican Party Immediate Past Chairman Rich Carithers said.

Gov. Nathan Deal honored Richards on Twitter after Harper broke the news about his condition.

“Jon is a good man and a great friend,” Deal wrote.

Deal’s chief of staff, Chris Riley, reminisced about Richards on the social media website as well while he reflected on both the news and the fact that legislative session is heading into its final hectic days.

“As we enter the last four days of session, we are still one big family under the Gold Dome and Jon helped to instill this characteristic,” Riley wrote.

Georgia Senate Democratic Caucus Executive Director Liz Flowers wrote “My heart is heavy” on Twitter after hearing the news.

Note this is probably the first time in Georgia politics that Gov. Deal and Liz Flowers were both quoted in the same article saying nice things about the same person. That’s the kind of guy Jon Richards is. Please join us in praying for his comfort.

Cobb County voters will decide today on renewal of a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST).

If approved by voters, the sales tax would bring in up to $797 million for Cobb schools and $62.5 million for Marietta schools to build new schools, replace old ones, repair buildings and increase technology and security in schools. The program would run from January 2019 to December 2023.

Cobb voters have approved four education sales tax cycles since 1998.

A section of Marietta will also vote to choose a new school board member. Real estate agent Kerry Minervini and Patricia Echols, a co-owner of a private investigation firm, are vying to fill the Ward Six seat vacated by Tom Cheater.

Ward Six covers the northeast section of Marietta stretching from a section of Cobb Parkway up to the Sandy Plains Exchange at the intersection of Sandy Plains Road and Scufflegrit Road and is the same area that is represented on the Marietta City Council by Michelle Cooper Kelly.

Stonecrest and South Fulton will elect their first Mayors and City Council members today.

Residents in two new cities, South Fulton and Stonecrest, will cast ballots Tuesday for their first mayors and council members as voters across metro Atlanta go to the polls for local elections.

Dozens of candidates are running in the inaugural elections for South Fulton and Stonecrest. Voters approved referendums creating the two southside cities last November.

In South Fulton, a city of about 100,000 people, nine candidates are vying for the mayor’s seat, while more than 60 are running for seven council seats.

With so many candidates, most, if not all of the races, are expected to go to a runoff. Runoff elections are scheduled for April 18.

In Stonecrest, which includes 50,000 residents in DeKalb County, three candidates are running for mayor and 17 others are seeking five council seats.

Roswell voters will decide today between four candidates in a special election for City Council.

There are four candidates in the race to fill the vacant Post 4 seat: Lori Henry, Shelley Sears, Marie Willsey and Shawn Wright.

[P]olls will open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 21 throughout the city. A runoff, if needed, is scheduled for April 18.

For more information about the election and required documents for voting, visit www.fultonelections.com or call 404-612-7020.

Newton County voters will decide on a SPLOST sales tax today.

As of Friday afternoon, according to the Newton County Board of Elections, fewer than 800 people had voted on the measure. At this same juncture in 2011, more than 1,000 votes had been cast. The 2011 SPLOST was approved with 54 percent of the vote.

The 2011 vote was the smallest margin of victory for the tax. The 1995 SPLOST passed with more than 78 percent of the vote, while the 2000 SPLOST passed with 62 percent of the vote. In 2005, 64 percent of Newton County voters voted to approve the tax.

Fayette County voters will also choose in a SPLOST referendum today.

Tuesday, March 21, voters who haven’t already voted early will be asked to approve a referendum for a one-cent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) aimed at helping the county and its municipalities fund a number of needed improvements in transportation, stormwater infrastructure, public safety, and facilities.

The SPLOST is touted as a way to let our neighbors help foot the bill for improvements to infrastructure that they use. While a property tax is only paid by property owners in the county, a SPLOST would see anyone who shops or dines in the county helping chipping in. All counties surrounding Fayette currently have a SPLOST, meaning Fayette residents contribute when they shop out of the county, but not the reverse. Currently, Fayette has one of the lowest sales tax rates in the state at six cents. Of those six cents, four go to the state, one goes to the school system, and one goes to the county.

If approved, the six-year SPLOST would bring in an estimated $141,014,157 in tax revenue to be divvied up between the County and municipalities based on population. Fayette County would take the largest share at $64,646,530, followed by Peachtree City at $45,472,835, Fayetteville at $21,098,538, Tyrone at $9,102,463, and Brooks at $693,791.

Without a SPLOST, a significant property tax increase and/or cuts in services would be needed in order to fund the same projects. For the county, 37 percent of its share would go towards stormwater infrastructure projects. The need to catch up years of stormwater maintenance was highlighted by the December 2015 floods that washed out portions of three roads. The County would also spend 30 percent of their allotment on transportation projects, including road replacements and multi-use path projects, and 28 percent to upgrade an outdated public safety radio system for the E911 system.

Wilkinson County goes to the polls today on their E-SPLOST for education.

The sales tax would allow the Board of Education to spend $7.5 million over five years.

Superintendent, Aaron Geter, says they need a new ESPLOST to help pay off the debt from the new school.

“We pay $1.2 to $1.3 million a year into a fund to pay back the $16.5 million we borrowed from the federal government,” says Geter.

Geter says he is asking people to vote yes on the new ESPLOST that would raise up to $7.5 million from sales tax over five years to help pay off the school and other projects, like larger buses.

If it does not go pass, Geter says they would have to increase people’s property taxes. He says the increase would be at least 3 mills.

Laurens County will also vote on a SPLOST today.

Madison County will decide on an E-SPLOST today.

The one-cent sales tax referendum extends the current one-cent sales tax and if approved, will fund continued bond payments on the recent high school construction and renovations at Comer Elementary.

Superintendent Allen McCannon told the board of education Tuesday night that by using the E-SPLOST funds for capital improvements, the millage rate on property taxes has remained stable at 16.99 since 2007.

He said based on current projections the majority of the funds will have to be used to continue paying for previous construction, not new construction. He said any additional funds collected over the bond payments could be used for items that will be listed on the ballot (such as a fine arts center).

“Based on current projections, the chance of generating substantial funds over the required payments is unlikely,” he said.

McCannon said if the E-SPLOST is not approved, the school system would have to find additional revenue, likely through an increase in property taxes.

Baldwin County voters are being asked to approve a new SPLOST.

Houston County voters will cast their ballots on renewing their local SPLOST.

Decatur County voters will weigh-in on an E-SPLOST today.

[Decatur County Schools Superintendent Tim] Cochran said ESPLOST is very important to the school system. It has funded the building of the new high school, Jones Wheat and West Bainbridge  Elementary Schools. No property taxes are used for the construction. He pointed out the constant need for upgrades to the other facilities. Five buildings are 50 plus years old, while three are 61 years old.

Cochran stressed that all SPLOST money stays here in the county. Visitors to Bainbridge and area help fund it when they make purchases here.

The term is for five years, with the current one expiring the end of June. This is not a new tax, but a renewal of the current one. The continued 1cent will provide for Decatur County by making payments on the high school debt, ongoing facility upgrades and repairs system wide, purchase technology for all schools, purchase of new school buses and for transportation equipment and maintenance equipment.

He pointed out that if the ESPLOST fails to renew, there will be no solution but to raise property taxes.

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has endorsed Republican Bruce LeVell in the 6th Congressional District special election.

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski will campaign next week for Republican Bruce LeVell, as he burnishes his pro-Trump credentials in the race to represent the suburban Atlanta district.

LeVell, a Dunwoody jeweler who headed Trump’s diversity coalition, said Monday that Lewandowski’s March 29 appearance in Alpharetta is an indication the “Trump team is rallying around my campaign.”

“Corey and I have been brothers-in-arms fighting for President Trump since June of 2015,” he said.

In the 18-candidate April 18 special election, LeVell is positioning himself as Trump’s biggest ally in the race. But he’s facing stiff competition from other pro-Trump Republicans in the race, including former Johns Creek councilman Bob Gray, whose TV ad featured him with a water pump prepared to drain a swamp.


LEGISLATIVE CALENDAR

8:00 AM HOUSE NAT’L RES & ENV’T 606 CLOB

9:30 AM HOUSE JUD’Y NON- CIVIL 406 CLOB

10:00 AM HOUSE SMALL BUSINESS-CANCELLED 403 CAP

11:30 AM SENATE RULES 450 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY 307 CLOB

1:00 PM SENATE INSURANCE & LABOR – CANCELED 310 CLOB

1:00 PM HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS 406 CLOB

1:00 PM HOUSE JUD’Y CIVIL 132 CAP

1:00 PM MARTOC 515 CLOB

1:00 PM House Telecom Sub Energy, Util & Telecom 403 CAP

2:00 PM SENATE ECON DEV & TOURISM – CANCELED 125 CAP

2:00 PM SENATE HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 450 CAP

2:00 PM HOUSE HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 606 CLOB

2:00 PM House Energy Sub Energy, Util & Telecom 403 CAP

3:00 PM SENATE TRANSPORTATION 310 CLOB

4:00 PM SENATE JUD’Y 307 CLOB

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

Yesterday, the Senate Rules Committee met in the morning, and pulled all legislation from the previous Rules Calendar, replacing it with seven House Bills. View the updated calendar of what the Senate considered here.

Kathleen Foody and Ezra Kaplan of the Associated Press write about legislation considered yesterday.

A bill to grant the state more power to intervene in Georgia’s struggling schools is one step closer to a vote in the Senate.

The chamber’s education committee on Monday approved the bill creating a “chief turnaround officer” to work with low-performing schools.

The committee maintained a key portion of the bill, which would make the State Board of Education responsible for hiring the new official. Education groups instead want the elected state superintendent to hire the new official because board members are appointed by the governor.

People who have been involuntarily committed to a mental hospital would be able to request the right to purchase a gun before the end of the standard five-year ban under a bill approved by a House committee.

A proposal collecting sales taxes on trips through ride-hailing services including Uber and Lyft and another to force online retailers to collect sales taxes also were on the committee’s agenda, but didn’t receive a vote. The Senate Finance committee may take up the bills Wednesday.

The AJC has more on the committee passage of House Bill 338.

A key Senate committee on Monday passed House Bill 338, now named the First Priority Act instead of “plan b,” the informal moniker by which it has been known around the Capitol.

The bill has been slightly modified since it passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support, but must return there for ratification of the Senate’s changes. That’s assuming the full Senate approves the measure before the legislative session ends next week. After approval Monday by the Senate Education and Youth Committee, it goes to a committee that schedules Senate floor votes.

The House Insurance Committee voted for passage of Senate Bill 8 to reduce “surprise medical billing.”

The House Insurance Committee on Monday passed revamped legislation to reduce “surprise billing,’’ in which patients using hospitals in their insurance network may still get unexpected bills from doctors who are not in the network.

The new version of Senate Bill 8 is vastly different from the original proposal that passed the state Senate unanimously.

Both Sen. Renee Unterman, the bill’s sponsor, and Rep. Richard Smith, chairman of the House Insurance Committee, called the bill ‘’a first step’’ toward solving the billing problem. Smith said that about one in five hospital ER patients nationally receive bills from non-network doctors.

Unterman, a Buford Republican who’s also a nurse, said many teachers needing emergency care in her county, Gwinnett, find that ER doctors at Gwinnett Medical Center hospitals are out of their insurance network.

Rep. Darlene Taylor, a Thomasville Republican, said health care is not a free market. “Doing nothing [on surprise billing] helps no one,” she said.

If Senate Bill 8 passes the House, the two chambers must settle the differences between the original and revised versions in a conference committee.

House Bill 425 by Rep. Joyce Chandler (R-Grayson) passed the Senate by 44-9.

Students will have a clear right to refuse to take state tests in schools without being punished if Gov. Nathan Deal signs legislation approved by the Georgia Senate Monday.

House Bill 425 says schools cannot punish students who refuse to take standardized state tests and encourages state and local school boards to let students take the tests with paper and pencil rather than on a computer.

Deal vetoed similar legislation, Senate Bill 355, last year.

House Bill 340 by Rep. Shaw Blackmon (R-Bonaire) passed the Senate Finance Committee yesterday.

The Senate Finance Committee approved legislation Monday that could mean a $200 million a year tax hike for used-car buyers.

Supporters of House Bill 340 by Rep. Shaw Blackmon, R-Bonaire – which is backed by new-car dealers – view it as cleaning up a loophole that currently allows used-car dealers to get an unfair competitive advantage on taxes and to sometimes scam the system.

State estimates say that by fiscal 2019 — the first full year the law would be in effect — the proposed changes in how used cars are taxed could mean an extra $237 million in title fee payments. That could rise to $268 million by 2022.

Another part of the legislation would lower the bill on the same tax to those who lease cars, cutting their tab by up to $74 million in 2019, a number that could grow up to $106 million by 2022.

The new-car lobby says the bill would merely force used-car buyers to pay the tax under the same system that governs new-car buyers.

The Georgia Ports Authority reported the fourth consecutive month of record breaking growth.

Griff Lynch, the authority’s executive director, said Monday the Savannah and Brunswick seaports handled 2.94 million tons of cargo in February — up nearly 10 percent from the same month last year. It was also their second-highest monthly tonnage ever. That record was set in January.

Containerized cargo moving through Savannah is driving the growth.

Lynch said the Panama Canal, which finished a major expansion last summer, is increasing container volumes “a little faster and stronger” than expected.

City of Gainesville education administrators approved spending nearly $17.5 million to build a new school called Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy.

The Lake Lanier Association will hear from Brad Carver about efforts to reclaim parts of Georgia mistakenly ceded to Tennessee.

Carver, who couldn’t be reached for comment, “has invested considerable time and effort on issues surrounding the transfer of a small amount of water from the Tennessee River into the watershed that feeds Lake Lanier,” states a Lake Lanier Association invitation about the event at Port Royale Marina in Forsyth County.

The Lowndes County Board of Education is holding a Stakeholder Meeting on March 29th at 4 PM at the Lowndes County Board of Education, 1592 Norman Drive in Valdosta.

The Dalton-Whitfield Joint Development Authority will hold a public meeting at 9 AM today at the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce, 100 S. Hamilton St, in Dalton.

Lula City Council member Lamb Griffin has been hospitalized at Northeast Georgia Medical Center.

Warner Robins City Council passed an ordinance restricting drone flights inside the city limits.

411 revelers were arrested during the St. Patrick’s Day period in Chatham County.

20
Mar

Glynn County GOP Passes Resolution Against Casino Gambling

Here’s the text of the resolution approved at the Glynn County Republican Party on Saturday.

RESOLUTION OPPOSING CASINO GAMBLING

WHEREAS, Georgia Republican legislators have introduced legislation that would allow for casino gambling in Georgia; and

WHEREAS, the gambling bills now mask the negative connotations of casino gambling by referring to casinos euphemistically as “destination resorts”; and

WHEREAS, the usual arguments for opening the state to gambling continue to be, “this will create jobs” and “it is for the children” because it will generate revenue for Pre-K and for the HOPE scholarship, and

WHEREAS, these reasons fail to overcome the substantial societal costs of gambling, which include (1) the break-up of families because gamblers are twice as likely to divorce as non-gamblers, (2) an increase in local crime by at least ten percent within five years or less after the establishment of a casino, including an increase in prostitution; (3) local job loss because local citizens change their spending habits, (4) an increase in bankruptcies, and (5) an increase in child neglect and domestic violence; and

WHEREAS, all taxpayers, including non-gamblers, end up paying higher taxesfor these publicly borne social costs; and

WHEREAS, the proposed establishment of the gambling industry in Georgia violates free-market principles by instituting a politically protected industry that will drain customers from legitimate businesses not similarly protected; and

WHEREAS, once the gambling industry is allowed to operate legally in the state, its lobbying power will grow and increase its influence over legislators and local community officials; and

WHEREAS, once the State of Georgia allows Class III gambling, this would open the door for any Indian tribe to “venue shop” for property to open casinos on land that would be taken out of the governance of the State and off the local tax digest; and

WHEREAS, the State should not have a vested interest in predatory activities such as gambling for the sake of filling State coffers at the expense of ruined lives and broken families;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, we, the Delegates of Georgia’s Chatham County Republican Convention, urge the members of the Georgia Legislature to cease and desist with any efforts to open the State of Georgia to casino gambling;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Secretary of Georgia’s Chatham County Republican Party Convention is directed to immediately transmit an appropriate copy of this resolution to the Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party and to all elected Chatham County Republican officials in the Georgia Senate and in the Georgia House; to the Honorable Nathan Deal, Governor of the State of Georgia, the Honorable Casey Cagle, Lieutenant Governor of the State of Georgia; and to the Honorable David Ralston, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

 

 

20
Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 20, 2017

March 20, 1854 saw a meeting in Ripon, Wisconsin that is generally considered the founding of the Republican Party.

[F]ormer members of the Whig Party meet to establish a new party to oppose the spread of slavery into the western territories. The Whig Party, which was formed in 1834 to oppose the “tyranny” of President Andrew Jackson, had shown itself incapable of coping with the national crisis over slavery.

The Civil War firmly identified the Republican Party as the party of the victorious North, and after the war the Republican-dominated Congress forced a “Radical Reconstruction” policy on the South, which saw the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution and the granting of equal rights to all Southern citizens. By 1876, the Republican Party had lost control of the South, but it continued to dominate the presidency until the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933.

The Georgia State Capitol was completed on March 20, 1889. Ron Daniels, the Poet Laureate of GaPundit, has written an ode to the Gold Dome:

Well I guess it was back in eighteen eighty nine,
When a couple of boys in Dahlonega went down in a mine,
And found it was slap full of gold.
Then these folks in Atlanta wanted to keep growing,
So they told the legislature the Capitol had to be going,
And so those politicos said “Good Bye Milledgeville! Our attorneys will be in touch.”
Now the Capitol had been moved before,
Savannah, Louisville, and more,
They’d even moved it down to Macon on an overloaded poultry wagon.
Atlanta sure wanted to lend the State a hand,
Giving the legislature plenty of land,
Hammers started swingin’ and, boy howdy, they sure were buildin’.
The architect of this here building was feeling bold,
Covering the building’s dome all in beautiful gold,
Leaving the gold mine empty, and leaving someone with the shaft.
Well, Governor Gordon was slap full of delight,
When his eyes did recognize that impressive sight,
On March 20, 1889, a completed Capitol building.
He grabbed the keys and a few words he spoke,
The words he uttered were no joke,
“Boys when you’re hot, you’re hot! Now thanks a lot.”

On March 20, 1943, Governor Ellis Arnall signed legislation authorizing a referendum to amend the Georgia Constitution and make the Public Service Commission a Constitutional agency.

On March 20, 1965, President Lyndon Baines Johnson notified Alabama Governor George Wallace that Alabama National Guard troops would be called up to maintain order during a third march from Selma to Montgomery. Within five months, the Voting Rights Act would be passed by Congress.

On March 20, 1970, Governor Lester Maddox signed legislation designating the Brown Thrasher the official state bird, and the Bobwhite Quail the official state game bird.

On March 20, 1982, this song was #1 on the Billboard charts:

Happy birthday to Georgia-born actress Holly Hunter (1958) and film director/actor Spike Lee (1957).

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park set a new record for annual visitors in 2016.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

UNDER THE GOLD DOME – LEGISLATIVE DAY 36

8:00 AM SENATE RULES 450 CAP

8:00 AM HOUSE INSURANCE 606 CLOB

8:30 AM JOINT APPROPRIATIONS – Conf Comm 403 CAP

9:00 AM HOUSE RULES 341 CAP

10:00 AM HOUSE SESSION (LD 36) HOUSE CHAMBER

12:30 PM SENATE RULES – UPON ADJ’T 450 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE HIGHER ED 307 CLOB

1:00 PM SENATE REGULATED IND. 310 CLOB

1:00 PM HOUSE JUD’Y NON-CIVIL 406 CLOB

1:00 PM HOUSE PUBLIC SAFETY 606 CLOB

1:30 PM HOUSE REGULATED IND 506 CLOB

2:00 PM SENATE EDUCATION & YOUTH 307 CLOB

2:00 PM FINANCE MEZZ 1

2:30 PM House Energy Sub of Energy, Util & Telecom 403 CAP

3:00 PM SENATE RETIREMENT-CANCELED 310 CLOB

3:00 PM SENATE GOV’T OVERSIGHT 125 CAP

3:00 PM SENATE ETHICS – CANCELED 450 CLOB

3:00 PM HOUSE DEFENSE AND VETERANS AFFAIRS 415 CLOB

3:30 PM House Telecom Sub of Energy, Util & Telecom 403 CAP

4:00 PM SENATE JUD’Y 307 CLOB

4:00 PM SENATE INS. & LABOR 310 CLOB

4:00 PM SENATE VETERANS, MILITARY, & HOMELAND SECURITY MEZZ 1

4:00 PM HOUSE EDUCATION 506 CLOB

5:00 PM SENATE HEALTH AND HUMAN SVCS 450 CAP


SENATE RULES CALENDAR

HB 139 – Education; provide transparency of financial information of local school systems and schools; provisions (ED&Y-28th) Belton-112th

HB 148 – Educating Children of Military Families Act; enact (ED&Y-43rd) Glanton-75th

HB 198 – Elementary and secondary education; influenza vaccine; provide information (ED&Y-50th) Dempsey-13th

HB 205 – Mining and drilling; regulate exploration and extraction of gas and oil; provisions (Substitute) (RI&U-52nd) Meadows-5th

HB 210 – Health; certain specimen collection stations and blood banks are not considered clinical laboratories; provide (H&HS-17th) Lott-122nd

HB 234 – Motor vehicles; drivers stop at crosswalks with user activated rectangular rapid-flash beacons; require (PUB SAF-50th) Frye-118th

HB 290 – Ad valorem tax; definitions related to exemption of certain agricultural equipment; revise (FIN-7th) Watson-172nd

HB 382 – Georgia Commission on Women; place under Department of Public Health administration (Substitute) (H&HS-45th) Pruett-149th

HB 437 – Agricultural Education Advisory Commission; recreate (ED&Y-50th) Dickey-140th

HB 470 – Economic Development, Department of; grants to certain organizations supporting military communities; create program (ED&T-30th) Blackmon-146th

HB 243 – Minimum wage; require additional pay to employees based on schedule changes; preempt local government mandates (I&L-16th) Werkheiser-157th

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Modified Open Rule

SB 147 – Cemetery and Funeral Services; unitrust distribution method provisions; permit a cemetery to request a trustee (Substitute)(RegI-Carson-46th) Williams-27th

SB 200 – Insurance; synchronizing patients’ chronic medications; provide (Substitute)(Ins-Taylor-173rd) Hufstetler-52nd

SB 206 – “Hearing Aid Coverage for Children Act” (Substitute) (Ins-Houston-170th) Martin-9th

Modified Structured Rule

SB 18 – Georgia Public Safety Training Center; any member of security police force; retain his/her weapon and badge under certain conditions (PS&HS-Lumsden-12th) Harper-7th

SB 88 – “Narcotic Treatment Programs Enforcement Act” (Substitute) (H&HS-Knight-130th) Mullis-53rd

SB 128 – Drivers’ Licenses; Department of Natural Resources; limited purposes; allow for the sharing of personal data (PS&HS-Powell-32nd) Wilkinson-50th

SB 242 – Advanced Practice Registered Nurses; delegating physician can enter into a protocol agreement at any one time for nurses; provide (Substitute) (H&HS-Cooper-43rd) Unterman-45th


Today is the Voter Registration Deadline for the April 18th Special Elections in the Sixth Congressional District and the 32d State Senate District.

You can check your voter registration online here.

Less than 1% of registered voters cast early ballots in Cobb County elections being held tomorrow.

Less than 1 percent of Cobb’s 444,677 registered voters cast their ballots ahead of Tuesday’s election for the special 1 percent sales tax for schools as of Friday morning, according to Cobb elections.

A total of 3,787 Cobb residents have cast early ballots since early voting opened on Feb. 27, according to Janine Eveler, director of Cobb elections.

Early voting ended Friday.

About 89 percent, or 3,357 votes, of the early votes so far were cast in-person while the other 430 votes were returned to Cobb elections by mail.

Voters across Georgia will go to the polls tomorrow to decide sales tax referenda.

The turnout in Tuesday’s sales tax referendum in Houston County will not draw nearly that of the presidential election four months ago, but Jimmy Autry says the stakes are equally important.

He chairs the committee that’s promoting the special purpose local option sales tax, or SPLOST. A yes vote in the referendum would extend the 1-percent tax on retail sales for another six years.

“It’s just as important as the presidential election, but you can’t convince some people,” Autry said. “This is all local. These are things that affect you. I drive home on a Moody Road upgraded because of SPLOST.”

Jones, Baldwin, Wilkinson and Pulaski counties are also among the places deciding sales tax proposals. Additionally, voters in Monroe County are deciding whether to approve a 1 mill property tax increase to go toward keeping the Monroe County Hospital open. Peach County voters are deciding whether to approve an expansion of the tax exemption on business inventory, with the aim of spurring economic growth.

Senator Johnny Isakson is recovering from his second recent back surgery and we hope you’ll join us in praying for him and his family and staff as he recuperates.

Senator David Perdue is co-sponsoring the DOD Cyber Scholarship Program Act of 2017 to expand scholarships through the Department of Defense for students in cyber security-related programs.

The campaign of Republican Amy Kremer went off the rails this weekend, with her entire staff quitting and sending out a press release:

The entire campaign staff of GA 6th District Congressional candidate and former Tea Party Express CEO Amy Kremer has resigned over Kremer’s inability to raise funds and failure to pay her staff and operating bills, including campaign vendors.

Ms. Kremer had only raised $2500 through the first month despite placing 4th among Republican candidates in a recent poll.

This is yet another setback for Ms. Kremer whose previous venture, Women Vote Trump Pac, raised only $28,000 of its $30 million goal.

Then, one of her former campaign workers called the police on Kremer.

Cooper Mohr, 30, was on the campaign’s field team and was staying in Kremer’s east Cobb house with two other staffers. After he resigned from the campaign, he said Kremer changed the locks and wouldn’t let them get their belongings. Reached outside her house on Friday, he said he contacted the Cobb police for help.

“I’m not going to let them do this to us,” he said.

Former Johns Creek City Council member and current Congressional candidate Bob Gray picked up the former Kremer staffers for his campaign.

Republican Bob Gray hired the staffers who quit a rival campaign’s staff en masse after complaining she couldn’t pay their campaign bills, the latest move in an increasingly bitter race to represent a suburban Atlanta district.

Jack Melton, the former campaign manager for tea party activist Amy Kremer, said the Republican side of the April 18 special election appears to be between Gray and former Secretary of State Karen Handel – and that Gray was his pick “as the only conservative outsider in this race.”

Gray also opened his campaign headquarters on Saturday. Pretty good crowd, it looks like.

Gray HQ opening

Former State Senator Judson Hill held a Meet and Greet event this weekend with “100 Women Who Support Judson Hill. Pictured below with Shelly Hill, Rear Admiral Wendi Carpenter (USN Ret.), and DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester.

Judson Hill Event628

Kyle Wingfield writes about potential candidates for Governor in 2018.

Next year’s state elections have dominated the current year’s legislative session, never more so than this past week. The contest got off to a semi-official start when the AJC reported Secretary of State Brian Kemp will jump into the race to succeed term-limited Gov. Nathan Deal. Next to enter the fray, most likely, is Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.

After that, it’s anyone’s guess how big the field grows, and how quickly. But you can expect April to be busy.

The field won’t get as large as last year’s GOP presidential primary, or this year’s special election in the Sixth Congressional District, but it looks to be a full one. (That’s before we get to the Democratic side, a topic for another day.)

Given the foregoing array of possible candidates, not to mention the emerging scramble to replace them in the seats they now occupy, we could see dramatic turnover in the highest levels of state government. Imagine, for instance, that Cagle and Ralston not only both run for governor, but both lose. In that case, we would see a totally new group in charge of the House, the Senate and the executive branch. At a minimum, having two new faces in those three offices is very plausible.

In the near term, that probably means gridlock. Already, there’s a sense under the Gold Dome that personal ambitions, and efforts to thwart the same, are shaping the legislative process behind closed doors.

The Glynn County Republican Party passed a resolution opposing casino gambling in Georgia. Similar resolution were passed by County parties in Union, Coweta, Bartow, Paulding, and Clarke Counties, and last week in Chatham County.

Legislation & Local Issues

Today is Legislative Day 36 in the Georgia General Assembly, marking the beginning of the spring to the end of session next Thursday. Some bills will break the tape and win passage, others will be deferred until next year. Some will hit the wall, and some will stumble. Keep running through the finish line, my friends.

Kathleen Foody and Ezra Kaplan of the Associated Press looks at bills still pending before the legislature.

GUNS ON CAMPUS

The Senate could vote this week to allow licensed gun owners to carry concealed handguns on public college campuses.

Senate approval would send the bill back to the House, which approved a version earlier this month on party lines. The Senate added an exemption for buildings where high school-age students attend classes at technical colleges under a state program.

2018 BUDGET

The budget-writing process has remained uncontroversial this year, with few major differences in the $49 billion proposals advanced by the House and Senate. Both chambers have agreed on 2 percent salary increases for teachers and some other state employees and a 20 percent increase for law enforcement officers with state agencies, including Georgia State Patrol.

STRUGGLING SCHOOLS

The Senate’s Education Committee plans to vote Monday afternoon on a bill giving the state more power to intervene in struggling schools.

The House has already passed a version of the bill creating a “chief turnaround officer” to work with struggling schools. The new position would be appointed by the State Board of Education, whose members are appointed by the governor, with input from the elected state superintendent and education groups.

A reader mentioned seeing figures of $49 billion and $25 billion for the 2018 Fiscal Year state budget. The larger number includes federal funds that pass through the state government, while the smaller number reflect only state dollars.

The Georgia Senate passed Senate Bill 201 by Sen. Butch Miller (R-Gainesville) and the bill passed out of House Industry and Labor by substitute.

The Georgia Senate passed SB 201 that would require employers to let workers use their sick days to take care of a child, parent, or any dependent listed on tax returns.

State Rep. Brian Strickland (R-McDonough) is sponsoring the bill in the House.

“I think what we’re doing is stating the policy of the state is to welcome companies that will give flexibility to their workers,” Strickland said.

If the company you work for doesn’t offer sick leave, this bill doesn’t do much for you. There is no mandate in Georgia requiring companies to offer sick days to their employees.

Healthcare

“Surprise medical billing,” one of the bigger healthcare issues in the legislature, will be heard in the House Insurance Committee at 8 AM today, as they take up Senate Bill 8 by Sen. Renee Unterman. House Insurance Chairman Richard Smith (R-Columbus) proposed his own measure, HB 71, which has not passed the House.

Tom Frieden, former Director of the Centers for Disease Control, writes in the AJC about legislation to combat the opioid epidemic in Georgia.

The United States – and Georgia – is in the midst of a horrific epidemic of opiate overdose. Every day, a Georgian dies of an opiate overdose. Most of those who die are young adults. Their deaths are tragic for their families and communities, and all of us are poorer because they can no longer contribute to our society. And it could get much worse. Other states have twice Georgia’s rate of opiate overdose.

Overprescribing of opiates – which are no less addictive than heroin – has driven this devastation. Sales of prescription opioids in the U.S. nearly quadrupled from 1999 to 2014, but there has been no change in the amount of pain Americans report. Prescription opiates are a gateway drug – the great majority of those addicted to heroin got started with opioid medications. This is one reason CDC released opioid prescribing guidelines for chronic pain a year ago.

Reversing this epidemic won’t be simple, and won’t be quick – but the sooner we take effective action, the more lives will be saved. To their credit, Georgia’s political leaders are working to do so by improving Georgia’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP).

In states with laws regulating pain clinics and requiring PDMP checks, deaths from opioids have decreased.

This past Thursday, the Senate Health Committee approved House Bill 249 that would require doctors to check our state PDMP before prescribing all opioids and all benzodiazepines. It also sensibly allows for delegates to do so, saving our doctors time.

Unfortunately, this version of the bill has too many loopholes. The Senate version of the bill had sensible exemptions, including opiates prescribed for palliation, end-of-life care, and addiction treatment. The current draft includes exemptions that would endanger public safety and result in avoidable overdoses and deaths of Georgians.

Too many Georgians have already been killed in this epidemic. A final bill in the coming days that includes only the specific and well-worded exemptions included in Senate Bill 81 is safer for patients and will save lives. Families throughout Georgia are counting on our elected officials to do the right thing and make our PDMP work for doctors and protect patients.

Recent research shows that the amount of opioids in a patient’s first prescription has a large effect on whether they are still on opioids one year later.

When patients get an initial opioid prescription that’s just a one-day supply, they have about a six-percent chance of being on opioids for a year or longer. But if that first prescription is for a three-day supply, the probability of long-term use starts inching up. With an initial five-day supply, the chance jumps to about 10 percent. With a six-day supply, the chance hits 12 percent. With 10-day’s worth, the odds of still being on opioids a year later hits roughly 20 percent.

So, with an initial 10-day opioid prescription, about one-in-five patients become long-term users. That’s according to the new study’s lead author Bradley Martin, a professor of pharmaceutical evaluation and policy at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science. It’s a fast rise, Martin said to Ars. “We really didn’t expect that.”

People who got 30 days of opioid total—meaning they may have gotten multiple prescriptions or refills over time—had about a 30-percent probability of using opioids for a year. And they had a nearly 20-percent chance of being on them for three years.

The CDC estimates that 91 people die of an opioid overdose every day in the US.

11Alive looks at how the GOP’s plan for federal healthcare reform could affect rural Georgia.

In Gilmer County, Ga., where 82 percent of residents voted for Trump, 28 percent have no health insurance.

“Gilmer County suffered the loss of our hospital last spring,” said County Commissioner Travis Crouch.

The hospital was losing money from “a large increase in indigent care.”

“Folks who can’t pay or don’t have insurance — that’s, in a nutshell, what that refers to,” Crouch said. “They show up in the emergency, they’re treated. There’s no payment.”

A hospital with an emergency room, by law, cannot turn anyone away.

“Indigent care had basically buried the hospital and made it difficult to stay afloat financially,” Crouch said.

 

17
Mar

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for March 17, 2017

Samson

Samson is an adult male Hound mix who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Harris County in Hamilton, GA.

My name is Samson, and I used to be a gypsy… Roaming country roads and sleeping on the highway. But I gave up my traveling life to settle down with a family and a big couch. All my friends tell me I’m a really chill dude. You know… calm, gentle, affectionate. Serious. Kind of nerdy. Really, my top priority is finding someone who I can keep company and chill with.

Whopper

Whopper is a small male Terrier mix who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Harris County in Hamilton, GA.

JackHarris

Jack is a male 1-year old, 65-pound Great Pyrenees and German Shepherd mix who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Harris County in Hamilton, GA.

Hayes

Hayes is an adult male Treeing Walker Coonhound mix who is available for adoption from the Meriwether County Animal Shelter in Greenville, GA.

Canton City Council passed an ordinance banning retail sales of pets.

16
Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 16, 2017

James Madison, drafter of the Constitution and fourth President of the United States, was born on March 16, 1751.

The United States Military Academy was established at West Point, New York on March 16, 1802.

On March 16, 1861, delegates in Savannah unanimously ratified the Confederate Constitution and voted to have a new state constitution drafted.

On March 16, 1976, former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter won the Illinois Democratic Primary. His spiritual successor President Barack Obama, from Illinois, would visit Carter’s home state of Georgia on March 16, 2012.

Former professional football player Warrick Dunn personally delivered the keys to a Habitat for Humanity house in Gwinnett County to the new homeowner.

Gwinnett Habitat Executive Director Brent Bohanan said 239 volunteers worked on the house for more than 1,300 hours. It’s the 132nd home built by Gwinnett Habitat, but it was originally built in 1992 as Habitat’s fifth home in Gwinnett. Bohanan said the first homeowner paid it off and moved on, but sold it back to Habitat.

“We’re just so excited to be able to recycle one of our homes and pass it on to Lula and her famly,” said Bohanan, who prayed during the ceremony and cited Psalm 127:1. “We hope that this home will be a great place that you can make a lot of memories together.”

“That tells you when people have a will to not just sit on their butts, but to go out and sometimes you’ve got to make things happen, even when you don’t succeed, you try again,” said Dunn, who played 12 seasons in the NFL, six with the Atlanta Falcons and six with Tampa Bay. “I think she’s an example that no matter what background, no matter the situation, you may not succeed, but try again.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

COMMITTEE MEETINGS – LEGISLATIVE DAY 35

8:00 AM House Reeves Sub Jud’y Non-Civil 515 CLOB

8:00 AM House Nat’l Res Special Ad Hoc 606 CLOB

9:00 AM HOUSE RULES 341 CAP

10:00 AM HOUSE SESSION (LD 35) CHAMBER

12:30 PM SENATE RULES – UPON ADJ’T 450 CAP

12:30 PM Setzler Subcommittee of Judiciary Non-Civil 606 CLOB

1:00 PM SENATE REGULATED INDUSTRIES 310 CLOB

1:00 PM SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY 307 CLOB

1:00 PM HOUSE JUVENILE JUSTICE 406 CLOB

2:00 PM SENATE SCIENCE & TECH 310 CLOB

2:00 PM SENATE HEALTH & HS 450 CAP

2:00 PM HOUSE EDUCATION 606 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE JUD’Y CIVIL 132 CAP

2:00 PM HOUSE TRANSPORTATION 506 CLOB

3:00 PM FINANCE – Income Tax Subcommittee MEZZ 1

3:00 PM SENATE TRANSPORTATION 310 CLOB

4:00 PM SENATE JUD’Y 307 CLOB


SENATE RULES CALENDAR

HB 1 – Georgia Space Flight Act; enact (Substitute) (S&T-14th) Spencer-180th

HB 276 – The Pharmacy Patient Fair Practices Act; enact (I&L-53rd) Knight-130th

HB 49 – Livestock dealers and auctions; license and surety requirements; update (AG&CA-7th) Pirkle-155th

HB 75 – Social services; certain records from disclosure; exclude (JUDY-23rd) Willard-51st

HB 143 – Financial institutions; provide for definitions; provisions (B&FI-18th) Williamson-115th

HB 268 – Elections; time period for certification of election officials; provide (Substitute) (ETHICS-11th) Fleming-121st

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Modified Open Rule

SB 109 – “Recognition of Emergency Medical Services Personnel Licensure Interstate Compact” (“REPLICA”); provide for the enactment (H&HS-Cooper-43rd) Williams-27th

SB 173 – Captive Insurance Companies; provisions; extensively revise (Ins-Shaw-176th) Jones-25th

SR 152 – Joint Study Committee on Stream Buffers in Georgia; create (NR&E-Smith-70th) Ginn-47th

SR 224 – Joint Study Committee on Storm-Water Management Fees; create (NR&E-Williams-119th) Ginn-47th

Modified Structured Rule

SB 103 – “The Pharmacy Patient Fair Practices Act”; pharmacy benefits managers; Commissioner of Insurance to promulgate certain rules and regulations; authorize (Ins-Knight-130th) Mullis-53rd

SB 169 – Specialty License Plate; honoring law enforcement; establish (MotV-Pirkle-155th) Kirk-13th

SB 201 – Labor and Industrial Relations; employees to use sick leave for the care of immediate family members; allow (Substitute)(I&L-Strickland-111th) Miller-49th


Legislation & Local Issues

Governor Nathan Deal continues to press the case that Georgia should not be treated worse under GOP healthcare plans than states that took Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.Continue Reading..

15
Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 15, 2017

On March 15, 44 BC, Julius Caesar was assassinated at a meeting of the Senate.

On March 15, 40 BC, Octavian executed 300 Senators and knights in vengeance for Caesar’s death.

On March 15, 1758, Georgia’s Royal Governor Henry Ellis signed legislation dividing the colony into eight parishes, primarily for religious administration, but with some parishes having secondary government functions.

On March 15, 1933, Governor Eugene Talmadge negotiated bank loans totalling $2 million dollars to keep the state’s public schools open.

On March 15, 1943, Sea Island was officially named as Governor Ellis Arnall signed legislation designating the island that had informally been given several different names.

On March 15, 1980, USS Carl Vinson, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was launched at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. Vinson was the first Navy ship named after a living American.

Howard “Bo’ Callaway, the father of the modern Georgia Republican Party, died on March 15, 2014.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

8:00 AM HOUSE INSURANCE 606 CLOB

8:00 AM House Small Bus Dev Clark Sub 515 CLOB

9:00 AM HOUSE RULES 341 CAP

10:00 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD 34) CHAMBER

12:00 PM House Setzler Sub Jud’y Non-Civ-CANCELLED 415 CLOB

12:30 PM SENATE RULES – UPON ADJOURNMENT 450 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE INSURANCE – CANCELED 307 CLOB

1:00 PM SENATE NAT’L RES & ENV’T 450 CAP

1:00 PM House Reeves Sub Jud’y Non- Civ 132 CAP

1:00 PM HOUSE GOV’TAL AFFAIRS 406 CLOB

2:00 PM SENATE FINANCE 125 CAP

2:00 PM SENATE EDUCATION & YOUTH 307 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE STATE PROPERTIES 403 CAP

2:00 PM HOUSE SMALL BUSINESS 606 CLOB

3:00 PM SENATE AGRICULTURE 450 CAP

3:00 PM SENATE BANKING & FIN INST 310 CLOB

3:00 PM SENATE STATE & LOCAL GOV’T OPS MEZZ 1

3:00 PM HOUSE SPECIAL RULES 515 CLOB

4:00 PM SENATE JUDICIARY 307 CLOB

4:00 PM HOUSE HIGHER EDUCATION 403 CAP


SENATE RULES CALENDAR

HB 39 – Real estate professionals; disciplinary actions and sanctions; change certain provisions (RI&U-49th) Powell-32nd

HB 44 – General appropriations; State Fiscal Year July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018 (Substitute) (APPROP-4th) Ralston-7th

HB 83 – Firefighters’ Pension Fund; invest up to 10 percent in real estate; provide (Substitute) (RET-6th) Maxwell-17th

HB 213 – Crimes and offenses; sale, manufacture, delivery, or possession of fentanyl within the prohibition of trafficking certain drugs; include (JUDY-6th) Golick-40th

HB 359 – Supporting and Strengthening Families Act; enact (H&HS-45th) Fleming-121st

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Modified Open Rule
SB 47 – Physicians; visiting sports teams’ physicians; provide for licensure exemption; requirements; limitations; agreements with other states (Substitute)(H&HS-Cooper-43rd) Hufstetler-52nd


Governor Nathan Deal told Andy Milller of GeorgiaHealthNews.com that he supports Congressional healthcare legislation, but that Georgia must be treated fairly.

“We’re still looking at the implications’’ of the American Health Care Act, the proposal that’s moving through the U.S. House, Deal told GHN in an interview.

Deal, a Republican, summed up Georgia’s perspective on the proposed new health plan in a few words. “Our message to Congress is: We want to be treated fairly.”

“We just don’t want to be punished’’ as a state under the proposed Medicaid changes, Deal told GHN.

The replacement part is “very difficult to do,” Deal said. He added, “There are going to be parts of it that some people don’t like.”

Senate Bill 211 by Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R-Marietta) could reduce the number of standardized tests for Georgia students.

Senate Bill 211 would look at ways for students to take fewer tests while still providing the school districts, teachers and state education department the information they need to determine student growth and achievement, said Tippins, who chairs the Senate Education Committee.

Tippins’ bill would allow local school districts to decide if they wanted to use the state Milestones tests or other nationally-recognized tests students are already taking such as the ACT and SAT to determine student growth and achievement, said Dr. Mary Elizabeth Davis, the Cobb School District’s chief academic officer.

Marietta Superintendent Grant Rivera said a reduction in state requirements would increase the time students spend in the classroom with their teacher. He said he appreciates lawmakers recognizing that local school districts and educators know what’s best for students.

House Bill 273 by Rep. Demetrius Douglas (D-Stockbridge) was heard in the Senate Education Committee.

Legislation that mandates recess in Georgia elementary schools could instead become just a recommendation.

At a hearing in the Senate Education and Youth Committee on Monday, though, Sen. Lindsey Tippins, R-Marietta, the committee chairman, asked that the mandate be replaced with a recommendation: instead of saying schools “shall” give recess, he asked that the bill say schools should “strive” to do it.

Tippins said most schools already provide recess, but one mother and former teacher who testified said she preferred a mandate.

Rep. Vernon Jones (D-Lithonia)  has inquired about filing an ethics complaint against DeKalb County Ethics Officer Stacey Kalberman.

Kalberman in the meantime, criticized Jones’ opposition to legislation addressing DeKalb County’s ethics code and board appointments.

DeKalb Ethics Officer Stacey Kalberman said Jones was leading the charge in preventing the legislation from making it through committee, keeping the board from getting back to doing its job.

She said Jones’ personal relationship with Barnes-Sutton, who has an ethics complaint filed against her, may be motivating his actions.

“I cannot imagine why else he would,” she said.

Everyone else in DeKalb County is criticizing five County Commissioners who are seeking a pay raise from the General Assembly.

Five county commissioners signed a letter to state senators asking for their pay to jump to at least half of what Superior Court judges make. That would put their pay between $66,000 and $95,000, depending on whether judges’ local supplemental pay is included in the calculation.

Commissioners say they deserve a pay boost because they’re working long hours to manage a large county trying to fix frequent water billing mistakes, stabilize services and advocate for residents. Some of the commissioners work other jobs; some don’t.

“It is fairly obvious and clear that this is not a part-time job,” said Commissioner Jeff Rader, who wrote the letter. “I don’t think it’s in the public interest to have elected officials that are key to this process to be grasping for income.”

“There was no support whatsoever in our delegation,” said [Senator Emanuel] Jones, D-Decatur. “It certainly doesn’t sell up at the Legislature.”

Commissioner Nancy Jester said she didn’t sign the letter to the Senate because DeKalb is struggling with strained budgets and underpaid public safety employees. The county’s other six commissioners support the pay increase, according to Rader’s letter. Commissioner Larry Johnson didn’t sign the letter because he was unavailable after his mother died.

“As long as we have a deficit in the budget, and we’re spending more than we’re taking in, while public safety employees haven’t had enough raises, I just think it’s bad policy,” Jester said. “The optics are certainly terrible.”

A natural gas pipeline in Northwest Georgia faces growing local resistance.

Gwinnett County officials and municipal leaders visited with the Gwinnett County legislative delegation at the State Capitol yesterday.

The Houston County Board of Education voted to issue $30 million in bonds.

A teenager who allegedly stole cars owned by two different judges has been indicted in Bibb County Superior Court.

Bibb County grand jurors voted to indict 18-year-old Maury Makel Frye on allegations he received and retained a stolen Springfield handgun Oct. 22 and that he’s associated with the Crips gang.

He also was charged in a separate indictment that alleged he took a 2002 Ford Expedition belonging to the wife of Houston County State Court Judge Jason Ashford Nov. 28. The vehicle was stolen while the judge’s wife was teaching at Middle Georgia State University.

Frye additionally is accused of taking a 2013 Ford F150 truck, a 2015 Toyota Sequoia, a rented 2016 Dodge Journey and a gun from former Macon Judicial Circuit Superior Court Chief Judge Tripp Self’s property Nov. 28. Self was sworn in Dec. 19 as a judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals.

Columbus City Council voted for an ordinance that prohibits tethering dogs outside for more than 12 hours per day.

Winter weather could damage southeast Georgia blueberry crops.

Bacon County, Georgia’s self-proclaimed blueberry capital, is forecast to have a low of 28 degrees Wednesday night and that would be enough to damage existing fruit and blooms, said Renee Allen, the area blueberry agent for the Georgia Extension Service.

If the damage is widespread, it could be a blow to a crop that was worth $335 million in 2015. That’s more than peaches and pecans, Allen said.

Peach crops may also be endangered.

Henry County announced the top two candidates for County Manager.

Campaigns & Elections

Katie Foody of the Associated Press writes about technology experts who say Georgia should use paper ballots instead of voting machines.

A group of technology experts said Tuesday that Georgia’s top elections officials should stop using electronic voting machines as the FBI reviews a suspected data breach.

In a letter to Kemp on Tuesday, 20 technology experts and computer science professors affiliated with the national Verified Voting organization said paper ballots will preserve voters’ confidence in the results of an upcoming special election to fill Georgia’s 6th District congressional seat. The letter said using equipment maintained by the center while it is the focus of a criminal investigation “can raise deep concerns.”

The Club for Growth PAC has endorsed Republican Bob Gray in the 6th Congressional District Special Election.

“Bob Gray is the proven economic conservative in this race,” said Club for Growth PAC President David McIntosh. “He’s been a consistent fighter for lower taxes and less spending, and he’s campaigned on pro-growth policies, and has called for a full and immediate repeal of Obamacare. The Club for Growth PAC is proud to endorse a candidate who has successfully put free-market principles into practice and will fight hard for them in the U.S. House.”

State Rep. Buzz Brockway (R-Lawrenceville) spoke to the Gwinnett Daily Post about his potential 2018 campaign for Secretary of State.

“It’s something that I’ve been thinking about for a long time,” Brockway said. “It’s the things that it’s involved in, especially professional licensing and the elections law, (which are) things that I’ve always been interested in. I’m kind of a policy geek in that stuff appeals to me.”

Brockway said he will only go through with his plans to run for secretary of state if Kemp does indeed opt to run for governor instead of seeking re-election to his current post. If Kemp decides instead to run for his current office again, however, Brockway said he will abandon his own pursuit of the seat.

“I would not run against him, so if he changes his mind, I’m out,” Brockway said.

“Cyber security is a huge issue for a number of fields and it certainly is in elections,” he said. “I think there are some things we can do to make the data less appealing to hackers and I’ll be talking about that as the race moves on.”

14
Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 14, 2017

Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879.

S. Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, was born on March 14, 1921.

Elvis Presley played the Fox Theater in Atlanta on March 21, 1956.

The largest traffic accident in Georgia history occurred on March 14, 2001 on I-75 in Catoosa County, involving 125 cars, injuring 39 people and killing 5.

Happy Birthday to Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 James Groves has been honored with a memorial at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

COMMITTEE MEETINGS – LEGISLATIVE DAY 33

9:00 AM HOUSE RULES 341 CAP

10:00 AM HOUSE SESSION (LD 33) CHAMBER

12:00 PM House Reeves Sub Jud’y Non-Civil 515 CLOB

12:30 PM SENATE RULES – UPON ADJ’T 450 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY 307 CLOB

1:00 PM SENATE INSURANCE & LABOR 310 CLOB

1:00 PM HOUSE BANKS AND BANKING 406 CLOB

1:00 PM House Ed Sub Early Learning & K-12 415 CLOB

1:00 PM HOUSE MOTOR VEHICLES 403 CAP

2:00 PM SENATE FINANCE – Ad Val Tax Sub 123 CAP

2:00 PM SENATE ECONOMIC DEV & TOURISM 125 CAP

2:00 PM SENATE HEALTH & HS 450 CAP

2:00 PM HOUSE HEALTH & HS 606 CLOB

2:00 PM House Setzler Sub 515 CLOB

2:00 PM House Kelley Sub Jud;y Civil 132 CAP

2:00 PM HOUSE REGULATED INDUSTRIES 506 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE GAME, FISH AND PARKS 403 CAP

3:00 PM SENATE FINANCE – Sales Tax Sub MEZZ 1

3:00 PM SENATE TRANSPORTATION 310 CLOB

3:00 PM HOUSE ENGERGY, UTILITIES, AND TELECOM 403 CAP

3:00 PM HOUSE STATE PROPERTIES 406 CLOB

4:00 PM SENATE JUD’Y 307 CLOB


SENATE RULES CALENDAR

HB 58 – Motor vehicles; reference date to federal regulations regarding the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles and carriers; update (PUB SAF-7th) Rogers-10th

HB 86 – Domestic relations; definition of sexual abuse; expand (JUDY-45th) Oliver-82nd

HB 157 – Medical advertising; certain certifying organizations; revise certain criteria (H&HS-45th) Kelley-16th

HB 174 – Insurance; insurer’s medium of payment of policy or contractual obligations; expand (I&L-14th) Lumsden-12th

HB 265 – Income tax; credit for establishing or relocating quality jobs; revise provisions (Substitute) (FIN-49th) Efstration-104th

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Modified Open Rule
SB 96 – Health; pronouncement of death by registered professional nurses; nursing homes and hospice care; authorize; county medical examiner’s duties after notice of suspicious death; make a conforming change
(H&HS-Cooper-43rd) Watson-1st

Modified Structured Rule
SR 95 – Sales and Use Tax; net proceeds; educational purposes; county school system; independent school systems; provide for distribution-CA (W&M-Nix-69th) Black-8th (AM 28 1573)


Erratum: yesterday, I referred to John Watson as “Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party,” when I meant to type “Candidate for Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party.” It was a mistake caused, I think, by Daylight Savings Time, also known as “the Devil’s Stupid Time,” not some clever subliminal ploy.

The Fiscal Year 2018 budget nears completion, according to the AJC.

The Georgia Senate is expected this week to back a record state budget for the upcoming fiscal year that includes pay raises for 200,000 teachers and state employees and more than $1 billion worth of new construction projects.

The plan also includes $485,000 so Senate committee meetings can be streamed over the internet. Currently, House meetings are streamed, but the Senate has in the past resisted making its meetings accessible to people who can’t attend live.

The Senate’s $25 billion spending plan for fiscal 2018, which begins July 1, follows much of what Gov. Nathan Deal proposed and the House has already approved. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the chamber’s plan Monday.

The total spending plan tops $49 billion when federal and other funds are included. Officials say, however, that when inflation and population growth are added to the equation, the state is spending about what it was at the end of the 1990s.

The Georgia State House passed Senate Bill 85 to allow beer brewers and liquor distillers to sell directly to consumers.

The Georgia House voted 147-41 on Monday to adopt an amended version of Senate Bill 85, which will provide for distillers and brewers in the state to sell a set amount of barrels of their products directly to the public each year. The state Senate passed its version of the legislation in a 49-2 vote on Feb. 2.

Because the legislation was amended to add in the language for distilleries, the bill needs to be agreed upon by the state Senate before it heads to Gov. Nathan Deal for his signature. If the governor signs the legislation, it would go into effect Sept. 1.

“This will finally put us on a level playing field with our surrounding states,” said Carly Wiggins, marketing and sales director for Savannah’s Southbound Brewing Co. and sitting president and membership chair of the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild. “The ability to sell beer directly to the consumer will allow for breweries to bring in the additional cash flow needed for expanding and, frankly, just surviving.”

Once the law takes effect, Chris Haborak, co-owner of Savannah’s Coastal Empire Beer Co., said he expects to be able to quickly expand his operation.

“It’s fantastic news for us, and we’re very excited about it,” Haborak said Monday. “It’s going to allow us to hire more people immediately when this goes into effect. It will allow us to hire more sales people and just on down the supply chain. You’ll see tremendous growth, and you’re going to see a lot of new breweries open up in Georgia now.”

Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R-Marietta) discussed Senate Resolution 192, which would allow local school districts to elect their superintendents.

The Georgia Senate has already passed the resolution, which allows local school districts to choose if they want to elect a superintendent and have a school board appointed by a grand jury.

Local school superintendents are currently hired by elected school board members.

The House has to approve the resolution with two-thirds support, and Georgia voters would have to approve the constitutional amendment on the November 2018 election, said state Sen. John Wilkinson, R-Toccoa, who wrote the resolution.

Then, local legislative delegations would decide whether to put the resolution before voters on a local ballot, which would then require at least 50 percent voter approval, said Tippins.

If a district does choose to elect a superintendent, Tippins said the superintendent candidates would have to meet election residency requirements in order to qualify for the race. That means candidates for superintendent would be limited to those who live in a particular school system.

State Rep. Pedro Marin (D-Duluth) introduced House Resolution 565 urging the Gwinnett County Commission to hold a 2018 referendum on transit.

“The other day, I went to the Capitol and it took me an hour and 20 minutes to get from Indian Trail to the Capitol,” Marin said. “That’s nonsense and that’s on a good day … There are a couple of things that people are talking about. One is more diversity and more representation on the county commission, and the other is rapid transit.”

The filing of the resolution comes on the heels of county commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash announcing during her State of the County Address last month that a Comprehensive Transit Plan study would begin soon. She also said a referendum would happen, although she didn’t specify when.

Gwinnett County Transit is working with Google to develop a trip planning tool for transit options in the county.

New Augusta Judicial Circuit district attorney Natalie Paine was sworn in yesterday.

Paine, 34, replaced former District Attorney Ashley Wright, who was selected by Gov. Nathan Deal to serve as a Richmond County Superior Court judge. Paine will have to run for election in Richmond, Columbia and Burke counties in 2018.

The City of Lula is considering installing electric locks on public restroom doors.

Residents of Lula are crowing about chickens in residential areas.

With handfuls of calls coming in the last week, Lula City Manager Dennis Bergin spoke to one homeowner who said he was fed up with chickens in his neighborhood.

“He’s had it,” Bergin said. “He said the rooster wakes him up every dadgum morning.”

The City of Powder Springs will hold a Town Hall for citizen input on the municipal budget. The meeting will be at the Ford Center Reception Hall, 4181 Atlanta Street, Powder Springs, GA30127 from 7-9 PM.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Nongame Conservation Section surveyed Bald Eagle nests in Chatham County with strong results.

Former National Republican Congressional Committee Executive Director (and former Georgian) Rob Simms assessed Democrat Jon Ossoff’s chances in the 6th Congressional District Special Election next month.

“It’s a possibility,” said Rob Simms, former executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee, who’s now working for Handel. “How likely? I don’t know,” he added.

2018 Elections

Secretary of State Brian Kemp is gearing up for a run for Governor in 2018, according to the AJC Political Insider.

It’s unclear when Kemp will formally announce. He declined comment on Monday, though he’s been dropping hints for months that he’ll run and has been lining up staffers and donors.

“I am uniquely positioned to understand the challenges you face when it comes to running your business and, most importantly, having to deal with government red tape,” he said in recent remarks to the National Federation of Independent Businesses. “There are too few business-minded people in office, and you can see how that impacts our government.”

State Rep. Buzz Brockway (R-Gwinnett) followed up saying he’ll run for Secretary of State if the seat is open in 2018.

“I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and I’ve had great feedback. Assuming these reports are true and Kemp runs for governor, I’m going to run for Secretary of State,” said Brockway.

“I’ve worked on election law since I took office, and we need to make sure our elections run smoothly and everyone who wants to vote can vote.”

13
Mar

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

On March 3, 1736, the Spanish Governor of Florida complained to Georgia’s James Oglethorpe about English settlements and forts in areas claimed by Spain.

On March 13, 1868, the first impeachment trial of a United States President began in the Senate. President Andrew Johnson was impeached by the House for allegations based on his Reconstruction policies that allegedly violated federal law.

Sworn in as president after Lincoln’s assassination in April 1865, President Johnson enacted a lenient Reconstruction policy for the defeated South, including almost total amnesty to ex-Confederates, a program of rapid restoration of U.S.-state status for the seceded states, and the approval of new, local Southern governments, which were able to legislate “black codes” that preserved the system of slavery in all but name. The Republican-dominated Congress greatly opposed Johnson’s Reconstruction program and passed the “Radical Reconstruction” by repeatedly overriding the president’s vetoes. Under the Radical Reconstruction, local Southern governments gave way to federal military rule, and African-American men in the South were granted the constitutional right to vote.

In March 1867, in order further to weaken Johnson’s authority, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act over his veto. The act prohibited the president from removing federal office holders, including Cabinet members, who had been confirmed by the Senate, without the consent of the Senate.

On March 13, 1957, Governor Marvin Griffin signed a joint resolution by the Georgia General Assembly purporting to impeach United State Chief Justice Earl Warren and associate justices Hugo Black, William O. Douglas, Thomas Clark, Felix Frankfurter, and Stanley Reed, and calling on Congress to impeach the Justices.

On this date in 1992, 25 years ago, “My Cousin Vinny” was released.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

COMMITTEE MEETING SCHEDULE

8:00 AM SENATE APPROPS 341 CAP

9:00 AM HOUSE RULES 341 CAP

10:00 AM HOUSE SESSION (LD 32) CHAMBER

12:30 PM SENATE RULES – UPON ADJ’T 450 CAP

12:30 PM House Fleming Sub Jud’y Civil 132 CAP

1:00 PM STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS MEZZ 1

1:00 PM SENATE HIGHER ED 307 CLOB

1:00 PM SENATE REGULATED INDUSTRIES 310 CLOB

1:00 PM HOUSE PUBLIC SAFETY & HOMELAND SECURITY 606 CLOB

1:00 PM House Education Sub Administration & Planning 403 CAP

1:30 PM House Kelley Sub Jud’y Civil 132 CAP

2:00 PM EDUCATION & YOUTH 307 CLOB

2:00 PM SENATE FINANCE MEZZ 1

2:00 PM House Education Sub Education Innov & Workforce Dev 403 CAP

3:00 PM HOUSE DEFENSE AND VETERANS AFFAIRS 415 CLOB

3:00 PM HOUSE INDUSTRY AND LABOR 506 CLOB

3:00 PM SENATE RETIREMENT 310 CLOB

3:00 PM GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT 125 CAP

3:00 PM SENATE ETHICS 450 CAP

4:00 PM SENATE VETERANS, MIL & HOMELAND SEC MEZZ 1

4:00 PM SENATE SPECIAL JUD’Y 125 CAP


SENATE RULES CALENDAR

HB 41 – Architects; allow certain students to take examination; change qualifications (RI&U-27th) Harrell-106th

HB 260 – Special license plates; Georgia Electric Membership Corporation; establish (RI&U-51st) Powell-32nd

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Modified Structured Rule

SB 85 – Malt Beverages; provide for limited sale at retail by manufacturers (Substitute)(RegI-Maxwell-17th) Jeffares-17th


 

House Bill 238 by Rep. Matt Hatchett (R-Dublin) would allow landowners to install solar panels on land dedicated via conservation easement without paying a penalty for developing the land.Continue Reading..

10
Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 10, 2017

On March 10, 1734, a group of German immigrants reached the mouth of the Savannah River, from where they would proceed on to Savannah. Today, the Georgia Salzburgers Society works to preserve the Salzburger heritage and traditions in Georgia.

On March 12, 1739, James Oglethorpe, recognized as the Founder of Georgia, wrote the Georgia Trustees, urging them to continue the ban on slavery in the new colony.

On March 11, 1779, Congress created the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

On March 11, 1861, the Confederate Congress, assembled in Montgomery, Alabama, adopted the Constitution of the Confederate States of America. Today the original signed manuscript of the Confederate Constitution is in the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries.

On March 10, 1866, Governor Charles Jones Jenkins signed legislation allowing women to have bank accounts separate from their husbands as long as the balance was less than $2000; an earlier act set the limit at $1000.

On March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell transmitted the first speech over his new invention, the telephone.

Juliette Gordon Low held the first meeting of the Girl Guides, which would later be renamed the Girl Scouts, in her home in Savannah, Georgia on March 12, 1912.

Thomas B. Murphy was born on March 10, 1924 in Bremen, Georgia and would first be elected to office in the 1950s, winning a seat on the Bremen Board of Education. In 1960, Murphy ran for the State House facing no opposition and was sworn in in 1961. In 1973, he became Speaker Murphy and would hold the post until Bill Heath, a Republican, beat him in the November 2002 General Election.

Murphy held the top House seat for longer than anyone in any American state legislature. He died on December 17, 2007.

On March 11, 1942, General Douglas MacArthur obeyed the President’s order dated February 20, 1942, and left the Philippines.

Clarence Thomas, originally from Pin Point, Georgia, was sworn in to the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on March 12, 1990.

On March 11, 2005, Brian Nichols shot and killed Fulton County Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes and court reporter Julie Brandau in the Fulton County Courthouse, leading to a lockdown of the state capitol and a number of nearby buildings. Nichols killed two more before taking a young woman hostage in Duluth; that woman, Ashley Smith, would talk Nichols into surrendering the next day. Nichols was eventually convicted for four murders and is serving consecutive life sentences.

R.E.M. was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 12, 2007.

Happy Birthday on Saturday to former Governor Roy Barnes, who served from 1999-2003, and lost to Republican Sonny Perdue in 2002, and to current Governor Nathan Deal in 2010.

The last existing copy of the Constitution of the Confederate States of America will be displayed today in Athens, Georgia.

On Friday, the University of Georgia will offer the once-a-year opportunity to see the only remaining copy of the Constitution of the Confederate States of America, in the Richard B. Russell Special Collections Library at 300 Hull Street.

Because the document, which is more than 150 years old, is so fragile, it’s only on display from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. The Confederate Constitution, which will be under a glass case, is a little more than 12 feet long when the animal skin it’s printed on is fully unfurled.

The handwritten document was one of two recovered by a journalist in 1865, according the library’s records. UGA purchased its copy from the DeRenne family in 1939.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

COMMITTEE MEETINGS – LEGISLATIVE DAY 31

8:00 AM SENATE FINANCE – Tax Reform Sub 123 CAP

9:00 AM HOUSE RULES 341 CAP

9:30 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD 31) HOUSE CHAMBER

12:30 PM SENATE RULES – UPON ADJ’T 450 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE GA HEALTH CARE REFORM TASK FORCE 450 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE EDUCATION & YOUTH 307 CLOB

2:30 PM House Small Business Dev Clark’s Sub 403 CAP


SENATE RULES COMMITTEE

HB 183 – Community Affairs, Department of; Georgia Geospatial Advisory Council; recreate (NR&E-28th) Dickey-140th

HB 264 – Georgia World Congress Center Authority; revenue bond capacity; increase (FIN-9th) Efstration-104th

HOUSE RULES COMMITTEE

Modified Open Rule
HR 389 – House Rural Development Council; create (ED&T-Watson-172nd)

Modified Structured Rule
SB 102 – Emergency Medical Services; emergency cardiac care centers; designation; Office of Cardiac Care within Department of Public Health; establishment (H&HS-Hawkins-27th) Miller-49th


Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler released the latest jobs numbers yesterday.

https://youtu.be/9Y7OPIo5bjAContinue Reading..