Category: Georgia Politics

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..

9
Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 9, 2017

On March 9, 1862, CSS Virginia and USS Monitor, a Union ironclad, fought to a draw in the Chesapeake Bay.

On March 9, 1866, Governor Charles Jones Jenkins signed two pieces of legislation dealing with African-Americans, one recognized their marriages, the other legitimized children born to African-American couples prior to the act and required parents to maintain their children in the same way white were required.

Bobby Fischer, the Eleventh World Champion of Chess, was born on March 9, 1943 and is considered by many the greatest player of all time.

Governor Ellis Arnall signed two important pieces of legislation on March 9, 1945. The first created the Georgia Ports Authority, with its first project being the expansion of the Port of Savannah. The second authorized the placement of a referendum to adopt a new state Constitution (in the form of a single Amendment to the Constitution of 1877) on the ballot in a Special Election to be held August 7, 1945.

On March 9, 1970, Governor Lester Maddox signed legislation setting the Georgia minimum wage at $1.25 per hour.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The latest entry in the Sixth Congressional District air war: Republican Judson Hill.


COMMITTEE MEETINGS – LEGISLATIVE DAY 30

8:00 AM HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT 606 CLOB

9:00 AM HOUSE RULES 341 CAP

10:00 AM HOUSE SESSION(LD 30) HOUSE CHAMBER

12:30 PM SENATE RULES – UPON ADJOURNMENT 450 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE REGULATED INDUSTRIES & UTILITIES – CANCELED 310 CLOB

1:00 PM SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY 307 CLOB

1:00 PM MILITARY AFFAIRS WORK GRP 415 CLOB

1:00 PM HOUSE BANKS AND BANKING 406 CLOB

2:00 PM SENATE FINANCE – Income Tax Sub 125 CAP

2:00 PM SENATE SCIENCE & TECH 310 CLOB

2:00 PM SENATE HEALTH & HS 450 CAP

2:00 PM HOUSE JUD’Y CIVIL 132 CAP

2:00 PM HOUSE TRANSPORTATION 506 CLOB

2:00 PM House Life & Health Sub of Insurance 406 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE EDUCATION – CANCELED 606 CLOB

3:00 PM SENATE TRANSPORTATION 310 CLOB

4:00 PM SENATE INSURANCE 310 CLOB

4:00 PM SENATE JUD’Y 307 CLOB


SENATE RULES CALENDAR

HB 146 – Fire departments; purchase and maintain certain insurance coverage for firefighters; require (Substitute) (SLGO(G)-56th) Gravley-67th

HB 283 – Revenue and taxation; Internal Revenue Code and Internal Revenue Code of 1986; revise definitions (FIN-27th) Knight-130th

SR 195 – US Congress; call a convention; set a limit on number of terms; US House of Representatives and US Senate; request (RULES-52nd)

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

HR 170 – State agencies; work toward increasing research, clinical care, and medical education for myalgic encephalomyelitis; urge (H&HS-Cooper-43rd)

HR 281 – Water trails in Georgia; proliferation and use; recognize and encourage (NR&E-Frye-118th)

HR 361 – United States Congress; enactment of a Regulation Freedom Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; encourage (EU&T-Parsons-44th)

SB 69 – Packaging, Labeling and Registration of Organic Products and Certifying Entities; registration requirement; eliminate (A&CA-Williams-119th) Wilkinson-50th

SB 78 – Adulteration and Misbranding of Food; Commissioner of Agriculture to issue a variance to certain rules and regulations; authorize (A&CA-LaRiccia-169th) Anderson-24th


Governor Nathan Deal earlier this week released February revenue numbers.

Georgia’s net tax collections for February totaled approximately $1.17 billion, for a decrease of $70 million, or -5.6 percent, compared to February 2016. Year-to-date, net tax revenue collections totaled $14.23 billion, for an increase of $498.4 million, or 3.6 percent, over last year, when net tax revenues totaled $13.73 billion.

The net decrease in individual income tax revenue as compared to February 2016 is largely due to the increase in refunds already released this year.

Speaker David Ralston took questions at the Atlanta Press Club yesterday, including about healthcare and rural Georgia.

“I am concerned that there is the potential in the [GOP federal healthcare] proposal to hurt those states that chose to exercise what I think is the prudent route of not expanding Medicaid,” Ralston told the Atlanta Press Club. “I’m a little concerned by that, but I don’t have enough details yet to address that specific question.”

Changes to federal health care policy could have major implications for Georgia.

“From a budget standpoint, we’ll be keeping a very close eye” on Congress, Ralston said.

“This fact is inescapable,” he said. “Rural Georgia has not seen the positive results of growth and faces challenges, very real challenges, to its future. We have talked about this for too long. It is time now to make a priority of rural economic development in Georgia.”

The House Rural Development Council will travel across the state to “give this the attention it deserves and needs.”

Ralston would not answer whether he’s considering a run for Governor in 2018.

The speaker on Wednesday, however, said he does not believe it appropriate to discuss such  matters while the 40-day legislative session is ongoing.

“Over the coming months, Georgians are going to start thinking about, talking about, what they’re looking for in the next governor,” he said. “I think they’ll be looking for someone who has a vision, such as a Zell Miller with the HOPE scholarship or Nathan Deal with economic development and criminal justice reform.”

As speaker, Ralston said, “sometimes though you bruise a few egos. and i get that. I get that the last speaker that went to the governor office was 85 years ago. And I think there’s some reason for that, probably.”

Andy Miller of Georgia Health News looks at potential Georgia effects of the GOP healthcare plan.

A spokeswoman Tuesday said Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, is reviewing the GOP congressional plan “and engaging with federal and state officials to assess its impact on Georgia.”

Tom Price, a Georgia physician and former congressman who is the new secretary of Health and Human Services, told reporters that the intent of the Republican plan is to contain the cost of premiums, spark insurance competition and offer “patient-centered” solutions.

The legislation would preserve two of the most popular features of the 2010 health care law, letting young adults stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26 and forbidding insurers to deny coverage or charge more to people with pre-existing health conditions.

People who let their insurance coverage lapse, though, would face a significant penalty. Insurers could increase their premiums by 30 percent.

Under the GOP plan, states would receive a set amount from the federal government for each person eligible for the program, under a “block grant.”

“With less federal money, costs would shift to the state,” Harker said. “As a result, Georgia would have to raise new revenue or have to make cuts to eligibility, benefits or reimbursement rates.

The new plan includes money for the states, such as Georgia, that have not expanded their Medicaid programs. It would provide $10 billion over 5 years to these “non-expansion” states for safety-net funding.

It’s unclear whether Georgia would be better off financially by accepting the safety-net money or by going through with expansion, which would remain an option for the time being.

Miller separately looked at health legislation that passed the General Assembly ahead of Crossover Day.

The surest bet on health-related legislation this year has already happened. The Legislature overwhelmingly approved the renewal of the hospital “provider fee,’’ a mechanism that draws an extra $600 million in federal funding for the state’s Medicaid program. And Gov. Nathan Deal has already signed the measure, a priority of his, into law.

Among the surprises early on was a quick compromise on the proposal to allow dental hygienists to practice in safety-net settings, school clinics and nursing homes without a dentist being present. The deal on House Bill 154, sponsored by Rep. Sharon Cooper, a Marietta Republican, avoided the conflict that erupted in last year’s General Assembly.

When it came to surprises, the problem of “surprise” medical billing got intense interest under the Gold Dome this year.

A Senate bill, sponsored by Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, passed that chamber, while a House version, which takes a different approach to the problem, failed to make it through.

A major bill to fight Georgia’s opioid epidemic passed the Senate. It would codify Gov. Deal’s executive order allowing the sale of naloxone, an antidote for drug overdoses, without a prescription, and would more closely track the prescribing of opioid medications.

And a second proposal, also approved by the Senate, would put more state oversight on the opioid treatment centers that have proliferated, especially in North Georgia. The centers offer medical-assisted treatment and counseling to help treat patients with addictions to heroin and other opioids.

Hancock County agreed to restore voters stricken from the rolls as part of settling a lawsuit.

Election officials in Georgia’s sparsely populated, overwhelmingly black Hancock County agreed Wednesday to restore voting rights to dozens of African-American registered voters they disenfranchised ahead of a racially divided local election.

About three-quarters of the people they removed from the voting rolls – nearly all of them black – still live in the voting district and will be restored to the county’s registered voter list under the settlement.

“We want to make sure that a purge program like the one that played out in the fall of 2015 never happens again,” said Kristen Clarke, executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, which sued the county in federal court.

The lawsuit said board members and people close to them challenged the status of 187 people as a slate of white candidates sought to unseat black incumbents in Sparta, the county seat. It said the board deemed ineligible more than 5 percent of the city’s 988 registered voters, and “nearly all of those voters” are black.

The settlement lays out a process for handling voter registration challenges. Hancock County officials admit no wrongdoing, but do acknowledge “the supremacy of federal law where it conflicts with state law.” It broadly prohibits local election officials from denying “equal opportunity” to vote based on race, and requires “clear and convincing evidence” before ruling a voter ineligible.

The Savannah International Trade and Convention Center Board voted to support legislation converting it into a state authority.

House Bill 125 by Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) would offer a sales tax break on repairs to high-end boats in order to attempt to create a yacht-retrofit industry in the state.

“Georgia is poised to become a significant force in the yacht repair and refit industry currently dominated by Florida,” said Rob Demere, president and CEO of the Colonial Group Inc., a multigenerational Savannah business that has grown to be one of the largest privately held companies in the United States.

“We have a facility — Savannah Yacht Center — that’s second to none on the East Coast,” he said. “Coupled with Savannah’s charm as a destination, it should be a slam-dunk.

“But we can’t attract any of this lucrative business unless we level the regulatory playing field with Florida, which limits sales tax to the first $1 million of a refit or repair, effectively capping it at $60,000.”

House Bill 125 specifies that a boat owner would get a sales tax break on parts, engines and other equipment for a refit or repair, but only after the first $500,000 is spent.

Sponsored by Rep. Ron Stephens, it passed the House with no problem and now goes to the full Senate, where it is sponsored by Sen. Ben Watson.

8
Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 8, 2017

March 8, 1862 saw the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia at Hampton Roads, VA, take ninety-eight hits from Union warships without sinking. Virginia sank USS Cumberland after ramming it, blew up USS Congress, and ran USS Minnesota aground. It was the worst day in US Naval history at that time.

On March 8, 1946, a conference convened on Wilmington Island, near Savannah, that would lead to the creation of the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, commonly called the World Bank.

On March 8, 1946, a special train arrived at Savannah’s Union Station from Washington, holding nearly 300 delegates, government officials, technical experts and reporters from 35 nations. Thousands of Savannahians watched as a 100-car motorcade rolled along flag-bedecked streets to the General Oglethorpe Hotel on Wilmington Island.

Treasury Secretary Fred M. Vinson headed the American delegation; the British were led by John Maynard Keynes, “the father of modern macroeconomics.”

The stakes were enormous.

Two years earlier, as World War II neared its murderous end, the winning Allies pondered the nature of the postwar global economy. The United States was emerging as the leader of the free world, largely supplanting the British Empire, gravely weakened by the war.

The IMF and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (better known as the World Bank) were born at a July 1944 conference in Bretton Woods, N.H., where 44 countries established rules for the global monetary system.

The IMF was intended to promote international economic cooperation and secure global financial stability, providing countries with short-term loans. The World Bank would offer long-term loans to assist developing countries in building dams, roads and other physical capital.

The Bretton Woods agreements were ratified internationally by December 1945. Vinson, seeking a site for the new organizations’ inaugural meetings, sent Treasury agents around the country. “They made some fine reports on Savannah,” he later told the Morning News. He had never visited the city.

On March 8, 1982, President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union “an evil empire” for the second time, in an address to the National Association of Evangelicals.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The newest ad in the Sixth Congressional District comes from Republican Bob Gray.

End Citizens United, a liberal national organization, said it raised $250k to support Democrat John Ossoff in the 6th District.

End Citizens United (ECU) announced that 25,000 donors have given an average contribution of $10 to Ossoff’s campaign.

Ossoff is one of 18 candidates seeking to replace Tom Price, now the secretary of the U.S. Department of health and Human Services, running in a special election to represent Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.

“The corporate special interests and Washington insiders who believe this seat belongs to them are having a rude awakening,” said ECU Executive Director Tiffany Muller. “They’re panicked because Georgia families want to end the rigged system in Washington and the grassroots are mobilizing to elect a reformer.”

“ECU’s members will continue to stand with Ossoff to help him fend off the corporate spending that’s already flooding into the race to attack him.”

Last week, the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Washington superPAC, launched a $1.1 million ad buy attacking Ossoff.

The election is quickly becoming a proxy battle among moneyed Washington, DC interests, in which the interests of 6th District voters are subsumed.

COMMITTEE MEETINGS

8:00 AM HOUSE INSURANCE 606 CLOB

9:30 AM HOUSE ECON DEV & TOURISM Madision County, GA

9:30 AM House Setzler Sub Jud’y Non Civil 132 CAP

10:00 AM SENATE FINANCE – Sales Tax Sub 122 CAP

10:00 AM House Sub 2A of Public Safety 406 CLOB

10:00 AM HOUSE JUVENILE JUSTICE 506 CLOB

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

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

1:00 PM HOUSE BUDGET AND FISCAL OVERSIGHT 506 CLOB

1:55 PM SENATE FINANCE – Public Policy & Finance Sub 125 CAP

2:00 PM SENATE FINANCE 125 CAP

2:00 PM House Regulations Sub Regulated Ind 415 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE SMALL BUSINESS 606 CLOB

3:00 PM SENATE BANKING – CANCELED 310 CLOB

3:00 PM SENATE SLGO – CANCELED MEZZ 1

3:00 PM HOUSE SPECIAL RULES 515 CLOB

3:00 PM HOUSE HIGHER ED – CANCELLED 403 CAP

4:00 PM SENATE JUD’Y – Sub B 307 CLOB

The Most Interesting Committee Meeting today will be the House Economic Development & Tourism Committee, which will be taking a guided tour of Madison County, Georgia, departing the State Capitol at 9:30 AM.

The Most Interesting Committee Meeting title for yesterday goes to the House Health and Human Services Committee, which heard testimony on House Resolution 447 by Rep. Paulette Rakestraw (R-Hiram).

Governor Nathan Deal is in talks with Campus Carry proponents over legislation that passed the State House.

The Republican said this week that he is meeting with supporters on the legislation, House Bill 280, though he did not elaborate on what he said were his ongoing “concerns” with the measure.

“We’re receptive to continuing to talk with them, and hopefully they’re receptive to making some additional changes,” he said. “Perhaps. But whether they do or don’t, that’s their decision.”

“I do anticipate the Senate will take up the measure,” [Lt. Governor Casey] Cagle said, adding that he was mindful of Deal’s veto last year. “I look forward to working with the governor’s office to see if there’s a compromise there.”

“It’s the God-given right that people have to not be a victim in the state of Georgia,” said Ballinger, a Canton Republican who described herself as a victims’ advocate. “States that have enacted campus carry measures have become safer. And we just want to afford that protection to all Georgians.”

Speaker David Ralston is looking for creative solutions to issues for rural Georgia.

“I want this council to look at the big picture and recommend legislative actions that can empower our rural areas,” said House Speaker David Ralston, explaining House Resolution 389 to a House committee on Tuesday.

The legislation would create the House Rural Development Council, a group of 15 lawmakers to be appointed by Ralston.

“We lost a hospital in Ellijay just last spring, one of several rural hospitals to close in Georgia in recent years,” Ralston said. “However, this Friday afternoon I’m going back home to reopen a new emergency room facility as part of a new ‘micro hospital’ with fewer than 10 patent beds in that town. This is the kind of creative approach to addressing issues in rural Georgia that I want this council to explore.”

Problems in rural communities can include population loss, lack of doctors or hospitals, poor infrastructure, slow or nonexistent internet connections, less educational opportunity, job scarcity and overall lack of growth. Ralston brought to the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee a study from Georgia State University that shows most rural counties had fewer jobs in 2014 than in 2007.

“I am not interested in government creating jobs,” said Ralston. “Rather, I want to create an environment in which private enterprise can create jobs in rural Georgia.”

State School Superintendent Richard Woods says that school turnarounds proposed under House Bill 338 should be under his guidance.

Georgia’s elected school superintendent argues that he should be in the middle of any major school turnaround effort as lawmakers consider a bill that focuses on struggling schools.

House Bill 338 by Rep. Kevin Tanner, R-Dawsonville …. creates the position of “Chief Turnaround Officer,” overseeing state intervention in the lowest-performing schools.

Tanner chose to have the officer report to the state Board of Education, which is appointed by the governor, rather than to the state superintendent, who is elected. Asked why at a hearing of the Senate Education and Youth Committee Monday, Tanner said it’s because the board sets policy for the state Department of Education.

“So the real power base is with that state board,” he said.

But the superintendent is in charge of the education department and its staff of roughly 600. They have deep experience and direct access to funding. Richard Woods, the superintendent, said the turnaround chief would be better off reporting to him.

“Having this individual fully incorporated with the structure of DOE is very imperative,” Woods said.

The AJC also looks at groups supporting and opposing the legislation.

Neither the Gwinnett County Commission nor the Ethics Board it created has the power to remove a member of the Commission, according to an attorney for the County.

“It’s important to note that the ordinance restricts the board’s ability to remove one of its members from office because it says ‘as provided for by Georgia law,’” County Attorney Bill Linkous told the commission. “In this instance, the Board of Commissioners does not have the power under Georgia law to remove one of its sitting members from the Board of Commissioners.”

“The Georgia Constitution does not give the power to remove an elected official to the BOC,” county spokesman Joe Sorenson said, citing Article IX, Section 2, Subsection C, Sub-subsection No. 1 of the state Constitution. “Further, the legislature did not give the BOC the power to remove an elected official in the enabling legislation.”

Initially, Linkous only told the commission it could not remove Hunter from office, but he elaborated more on what he felt state law prevented them from doing after he was questioned by Commissioner John Heard about it.

“In the event the ethics panel comes back and makes a recommendation to the board for a temporary suspension, would that be within — would state law dictate on that?” Heard said.

Linkous responded: “Yes, it would. State law does not grant to the Board of Commissioners the ability to suspend one of its members from office.”

Oakwood Mayor Lamar Scroggs says the Hall County municipality has a role to play in area transit plans.

Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert cast the deciding vote on a controversial local ordinance.

The 5-4 vote came after Commissioner Mallory Jones questioned the gender identity portion of the measure, which he said opposed traditional values.

The resolution was a call of support for the March on Macon that will be held Saturday. The rally is to support state Senate bill 119 that would ban employment, housing and public accommodation discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

The rally is also to show favor for expanding anti-discrimination language in the county code, according to the resolution.

Jones said his concerns were about the impact of someone using a public bathroom that was different from the gender on their birth certificates.

“This impacts our children, our teenagers, our mothers, our grandmothers in a negative, compromising way,” Jones said.

The Cobb County school system will unveil the latest demographic predictions, including nearly 2000 additional students expected in south Cobb schools in coming years.

Cobb County transportation officials said toll lanes will increase in the future.

First Lady Sandra Deal read to first grade students at St. Anne School in Columbus.

Floyd County schools will recoup $112k of $4 million stolen in a spending scandal.

Read more here: http://www.macon.com/news/local/article137061298.html#storylink=cpy
7
Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 7, 2017

On March 7, 1861, delegates to the Georgia Secession Convention reconvened in Savannah to adopt a new state Constitution. A resolution offering to host the Confederate Capitol did not pass.

On March 7, 1965, a group of marchers led by Martin Luther King, Jr., met Alabama State Troopers on the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

“I was hit in the head by a state trooper with a nightstick… I thought I saw death.”

—John Lewis, SNCC leader

As a student of Southern politics at Emory, we were immersed in reading about the Civil Rights Movement and its effect on Southern politics, and American politics. But it was not until years later that I saw the PBS series called “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement 1956-1985.” It’s chilling to see American citizens turned away by armed police from attempts to register to vote.

John Lewis, now the United States Congressman from the Fifth District was in the front row wearing a light-colored overcoat and backpack.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

COMMITTEE SCHEDULE

8:00 AM SENATE FINANCE – Finance & Public Policy 328 CLOB

10:00 AM House Fleming Sub Jud’y Civil 132 CAP

10:00 AM House Resource Mgmt Sub Nat’l Res 606 CLOB

11:00 AM HOUSE ECONOMIC DEV & TOURISM 341 CAP

12:00 PM House Env’tal Quality Sub Nat’l Res – CANCELED 606 CLOB

1:00 PM SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY 307 CLOB

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

2:00 PM SENATE ECON DEVE & TOURISM 125 CAP

2:00 PM SENATE HEALTH & HS – CANCELED 450 CAP

2:00 PM HOUSE HEALTH AND HS 606 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE Ind & Labor Sub 506 CLOB

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

3:00 PM SENATE TRANSPORTATION 310 CLOB

3:00 PM House Special Sub on Transportation 515 CLOB

4:00 PM SENATE JUD’Y – Sub A 307 CLOB

Several pieces of ethics legislation in the Georgia General Assembly failed to pass one chamber in time to be considered by the other chamber in this year.

“I would refer to the bills as mostly dead. So they could revived at a later time,” said Sen. Josh McKoon, sponsor of several mostly-dead ethics bills.

They include:

- SB 22, a bill to disclose campaign contributions from government contractors

- SB 23, a bill to restrict lawmakers on powerful conference committees from getting state jobs afterward

- SR 24, a bill to curb unrecorded voice votes in the state senate

- SR 36, a bill to give the state ethics commission a fixed percentage of the state budget.

“They’re worried all kinds of amendments will come in to make government better,” said William Perry, founder of Georgia Ethics Watchdogs.  “So when their fear is openness and transparency, they’re trying to make it the least transparent they can.”

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