Georgia and American History
On January 4, 1965, shortly after the assassination of President Kennedy, Lyndon Baines Johnson delivered the State of the Union and outlined his plan for a “Great Society.”
“He requested ‘doubling the war against poverty this year’ and called for new emphasis on area redevelopment, further efforts at retraining unskilled workers, an improvement in the unemployment compensation system and an extension of the minimum wage floor to two million workers now unprotected by it. … He called for new, improved or bigger programs in attacking physical and mental disease, urban blight, water and air pollution, and crime and delinquency.”
The Great Society legislation included “War on Poverty” programs, many created under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, which established jobs and youth volunteer programs as well as Head Start, which provided pre-school education for poor children. Johnson’s social welfare legislation also consisted of the formation of Medicare and Medicaid, which offered health care services for citizens over 65 and low-income citizens, respectively. In addition, the Great Society included the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Voting Rights Act of 1968.
On Jnuary 4, 1974, President Richard M. Nixon refused to turn over tapes recorded in the Oval Office to the Senate Watergate Committee.
Georgia Congressman Newt Gingrich was elected Speaker of the House on January 4, 1995, the third Georgian to wield the gavel. This marked the first time in more than forty years that Republicans controlled the House of Representatives.
On January 4, 1999, in DeKalb County, State Court Judge Al Wong became the first Asian-American judge in Georgia and the Southeast.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
Early voting continues in Senate District 54 in the upper left-hand corner of Georgia in a Special Runoff Election.
Early votes cast in December 2016
in person 52 1070
Early votes cast as of yesterday:
in person 159 941
Today, legislative committees will meet at the state capitol.
8:00 AM HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS PUBLIC SAFETY 506 CLOB
8:30 AM HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 406 CLOB
9:00 AM HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS HEALTH 341 CAP
9:00 AM HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS GENERAL GOVRNMENT 606 CLOB
9:30 AM Senate Emergency Cardiac Care Centers 450 CAP
9:45 AM Opiod Abuse Senate Study Committee 450 CAP
11:00 AM HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS HIGHER EDUCATION 341 CAP
1:00 PM HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS EDUCATION 341 CAP
Governor Nathan Deal appointed three replacement members to the Dooly County Board of Education. Deal previously suspended all five members of the Dooly BOE.
Rev. F. Thomas (Tommy) Mason Jr.
Mason is a retired United Methodist minister. He is serving the Methodist church in Leslie at the request of his district superintendent. While an active minister, Mason served a number of large congregations, was Macon District Superintendent and held positions in the South Georgia Conference that required financial management and oversight of conference assets and benefit programs. Prior to entering the ministry, he operated an insurance agency in Vienna and Cordele. Mason is a graduate of the Dooly County school system, Georgia Tech and Emory University. He resides in Vienna.
Dr. Wanda Parker-Jackson
Parker-Jackson is a retired educator with 34 years of experience. She previously served as director of elementary education and professional learning in Sumter County and managed the district preschool program. Parker-Jackson has also worked as a school principal, assistant principal and speech-language pathologist. She also has experience as a faculty member as several institutes of higher education. Parker-Jackson is a graduate of Florida A&M Developmental Research High School, Florida A&M University, Valdosta State University, Troy State University and Walden University. She lives in Vienna.
Bowens is the city manager for the City of Vienna. He previously worked with Georgia Pacific. Bowens previously served on the Dooly County Board of Education (1991-2002) and the board of the directors for the Dooly County Chamber of Commerce. He sits on the boards of directors for the Southwest Georgia United Empowerment Zone and the Certified Literate Community. Bowens is a member of the Dooly County Industrial Development Authority and the Upper Flint Regional Water Planning Council. He is a graduate of Georgia Southwestern State University and resides in Vienna.
Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle appointed former Forsyth County Commissioner Brian Tam to the reconstituted Judicial Qualifications Commission.
Under legislation passed last year that took effect Jan. 1, the lieutenant governor—for the first time in the JQC’s history—was given two appointees to the seven-member commission, which investigates the state’s judges for ethics infractions and recommends disciplinary action when warranted. His second appointment must be a member of the State Bar of Georgia and can be drawn from a list of recommendations proposed by the bar. Cagle spokesman Adam Sweat said the lieutenant governor, who is also president of the state Senate, has not yet made that appointment.
The new law also for the first time gives the House speaker two appointments and allows the governor to appoint the JQC chairman, who must be a lawyer and a member of the Georgia bar.
Cagle in a news release called Tam “one of Forsyth County’s most successful small business owners” and “a dedicated public servant committed to advancing the interests of his state” who will be “a great asset for Georgia as we work to ensure our judicial system upholds the highest ethical and moral standards.”
Tam’s appointment must be approved by the state Senate under the new constitutional amendment.
The Georgia Ports Authority is investing in a $128 million project to enhance rail connectivity with the Norfolk Southern and CSX railroad.
The arc project will double rail capacity in Savannah and improve its link to Atlanta and cities in the Midwest.
The Mid-American Arc project will improve connections at the Port of Savannah and allow for the construction of 10,000-foot long trains, about 50 percent longer than your average freight train.
The project is funded in part by a $44 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Georgia Ports Authority executive director Griff Lynch says this will mean it can move goods from ships that arrive in Savannah to places like Atlanta even faster.
Fulton Superior Court Chief Judge Gail Tusan ruled that the Georgia Board of Regents must use federal standards in determining a student’s eligibility for in-state tuition.
Georgia residents who have received a special reprieve from deportation from the Obama administration may begin paying in-state tuition here under a state court ruling released Tuesday. At issue is the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which grants work permits and temporary deportation deferrals to immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children without authorization.
University System of Georgia officials, [Judge Tusan] wrote, are “hereby compelled to perform their duty in applying the federal definition of lawful presence as it relates to students who are DACA recipients and to grant them in-state tuition status.”
“Defendants have refused to accept the federally established lawful presence of plaintiffs and many other similarly situated students — students who are Georgia taxpayers, workers, and graduates of
Georgia public high schools pursuing an affordable option for higher education,” Tusan wrote in her decision, which was issued Friday. “Such refusal of a faithful performance of their duties is unreasonable and creates a defect of legal justice that has already negatively impacted thousands of Georgia students.”
State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) intends to move forward and introduce a Constitutional Amendment to allow some form of cannabis production in Georgia, subject to a statewide vote.
State Rep. Allen Peake said he is going to ask fellow lawmakers for a 2018 referendum that would allow growing cannabis for medicinal purposes. He said he plans to file legislation at the state Capitol on the proposed referendum as early as next week.
“We would let the citizens of the state decide whether to go down this path or not,” Peake said.
Peake has championed the in-state growth of cannabis plants and the manufacture of some products for sale to Georgia patients. He said the liquid has worked for people who need it.
But opposition to in-state growth has been strong, notably from Gov. Nathan Deal, a fellow Republican, and from law enforcement agencies.
Peake said he’s optimistic that he can get the votes of the two-thirds of legislators that the idea needs before the question can appear on Georgia’s ballots.
Peake said he is working on another piece of legislation, one that would expand the list of diagnoses for which a patient could possess medical cannabis. He’s looking at opening the medical cannabis registry to people who have autism, AIDS, intractable pain, post-traumatic stress disorder or Tourette’s syndrome.
Gwinnett County Commissioners approved a $1.56 billion dollar FY 2017 budget for county government.
Houston County voters will go to the polls on March 21, 2017 to vote on a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).
The tax referendum, which is up for a vote March 21, includes $10 million for a new State Court building. That would also give some much-needed new space to the sheriff’s department, the tax commissioner’s office and other departments, officials say.
The new State Court would be built on the north end of the main Houston County courthouse in Perry. It would give the court about twice the size of its current 10,216 square feet, including room for the clerk of court, solicitors office and probation office. It would also mean that prisoners would no longer have to be transported from the county jail, which is in the rear of the Perry courthouse.
Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis voted to break a 5-5 tie between City Commissioners.
Augusta ambulance provider Gold Cross lost another round Tuesday when Mayor Hardie Davis broke a tie against restoring $520,000 cut from the firm’s city subsidy in the 2017 budget.
His motion to restore the funds tied 5-5 with Mayor Pro Tem Mary Davis and commissioners Sean Frantom, Grady Smith and Marion Williams joining him in voting yes.
The mayor didn’t comment before or after his vote but earlier distributed notebooks to each commissioner detailing the city’s history with Gold Cross, dating to its bid award and $1.3 million subsidy in 2005 and steps Gold Cross took to win the zone. It also noted the overlap of certain personnel between the city, Gold Cross and the Region 6 EMS Council, which made the zone decision.
Warner Robins City Council voted to extend the wait period before new employees can be promoted.
Chatham County Probate Judge Harris Lewis and Superior Court Clerk Dan Masseystepped aside as attorney Tom Bordeaux Jr. and Tammie Mosley took their oaths of office before being quickly followed by Sheriff John Wilcher, District Attorney Meg Heap and Tax Commissioner Danny Powers.
Incumbent Superior Court judges James F. Bass Jr., Penny Haas Freesemann and John E. Morse Jr. also took new oaths of office.