The blog.

13
Feb

Dan Moody Enters 6th District Congressional Race

Dan Moody

“The time for talking is over and the time for doing has arrived.”

JOHNS CREEK, GA – Saying that Congress needs to match their actions to their campaign promises, former State Senator Dan Moody today announced that he will be a candidate for Georgia’s Sixth congressional district. The seat was left open with Tom Price’s confirmation as President Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services.

“We talked the talk on the campaign trail, now Republicans need to walk the walk and make good on our promises,” Moody said. “This is an historic opportunity to deliver on tax cuts, job creation, repealing Obamacare and shrinking the massive size of the federal government. The time for talking is over and the time for doing has arrived.”

Moody is a retired Captain in the U.S. Army Reserves, an electrical engineer by trade and a small business owner. He lives in Johns Creek with his wife, Stephanie.

Dan was elected to the Georgia State Senate in 2002. He was known for taking on the hard jobs no-one else wanted and helped deliver on the promises made by the GOP in its historic takeover of state government. A strong believer in term limits, Dan led by example. He chose to leave office in 2010 and has since become a champion for small business leadership and growth across Georgia.

Follow Dan on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DanMoodyGA
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DanMoodyGA/

13
Feb

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for February 13, 2017

Champ

Champ is a 1.5-year old male German Shorthaired Pointer & Pit Bull Terrier mix who is available for adoption from the Lumpkin County Animal Shelter in Dahlonega, GA.

Champ is a sweet and playful 1 1/2 year old. What a love he is.

Lisa Dahlonega

Lisa is a young female Mountain Cur mix who is available for adoption from the Lumpkin County Animal Shelter in Dahlonega, GA.

This 1-1/2 year old is quite the character. She is super sweet, playful and active.

Jena

Jena is a 9-month old female Spaniel mix (or Flat-Coated Retriever mix?) who is available for adoption from the Lumpkin County Animal Shelter in Dahlonega, GA.

13
Feb

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

On February 13, 1941, Gov. Eugene Talmadge signed legislation that proposed a Constitutional Amendment changing the 2-year terms for Governor and other statewide Constitutional Officers to 4-year.

On February 13, 1956, Gov. Marvin Griffin signed legislation adopting a new state flag incorporating the Confederate battle flag.

On February 13, 2007, United States Congressman Charlie Norwood (R-Augusta) died at home.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

10:30 AM House Public Safety and Homeland Sec Sub A 606 CLOB

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

1:30 PM HOUSE JUD’Y (NON-CIVIL) 406 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE INFO & AUDITS 506 CLOB

3:00 PM SENATE GOV’T OVERSIGHT 125 CAP

Governor Nathan Deal and former Governors Roy Barnes and Sonny Perdue attended funeral services for Georgia State Patrol Sergeant Tony Henry, who served on the executive protection details for all three.

Deal also released a statement on the passage of Senate Bill 70.Continue Reading..

10
Feb

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for February 10, 2017

These three puppies and three more of their siblings are all ready to go home with their new forever families. They’re all sweet and playful, and will probably grow up to be 50-60 pounds each. Don’t go get a puppy for your significant other because you forgot to get a card and make a dinner reservation. Get one because you’ve decided you’re committed to the care of a dog for the remainder of its life, and you’ve made all your home preparations, and you found the right one.

Valentine

Valentine is a nine-week old male Hound and Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Society of Humane Friends of GA Inc. in Lawrenceville, GA.

Cupid

Cupid is a nine-week old female Hound and Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Society of Humane Friends of GA Inc. in Lawrenceville, GA.

Candy

Candy is a nine-week old female Hound and Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Society of Humane Friends of GA Inc. in Lawrenceville, GA.

10
Feb

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

Oglethorpe Landing Marker

Photo © Jason Riedy, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

On February 11, 1733, the first military formation in Georgia was held, as male colonists assembled with their muskets.

On February 12, 1733, the Colony of Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe and 114 colonists at what is now Savannah.

After years of planning and two months crossing the Atlantic, James Oglethorpe and 114 colonists climbed 40 feet up the bluff from the Savannah River on this day in 1733 and founded the colony of Georgia.

George II granted the Georgia trustees a charter for the colony a year earlier. The trustees’ motto was Non Sibi Sed Allis—not for self but for others. Georgia would be a philanthropic and military enterprise that would provide the “worthy” poor a new start and serve as a buffer between Spanish Florida and the English colonies.

The trustees prohibited slavery and large landholdings….

On February 11, 1776, Georgia Royal Governor Sir James Wright escaped from house arrest in Savannah to a waiting British warship HMS Scarborough.

On February 10, 1787, the Georgia House of Assembly named William Few, Abraham Baldwin, William Pierce, George Walton, William Houstoun, and Nathaniel Pendleton to the Constitutional Convention called to revise the Articles of Confederation at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Congress enacted the first fugitive slave law, on February 12, 1793 requiring states to return runaway slaves to their owners, even if the state in which the slave was captured did not permit slavery.

Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in Hodgenville, Kentucky.

On February 10, 1861, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi received word that he was chosen as President of the Confederate States of America.

On February 12, 1867, the editor of the Milledgeville Federal Union expressed dismay at the rapidity with which Atlanta was growing and basically everything about Atlanta.

“Atlanta is certainly a fast place in every sense of the word, and our friends in Atlanta are a fast people. They live fast and they die fast. They make money fast and they spend it fast. They build houses fast, and they burn them down fast… . They have the largest public buildings, and the most of them, and they pass the most resolutions of any people, ancient or modern. To a stranger the whole city seems to be running on wheels, and all of the inhabitants continually blowing off steam.”

Burt Reynolds was born on February 11, 1936 in Lansing, Michigan, though some accounts say Waycross, Georgia. Beginning with Deliverance, filmed along the Chattooga River in North Georgia in 1972, Georgia rose to number three in the nation for film production while Reynolds’s star rose to prominence. Other Reynolds movies filmed in Georgia include The Longest Yard, Gator, Smokey and the Bandit, Cannonball Run, and Sharkey’s Machine.

On February 13, 1941, Gov. Eugene Talmadge signed legislation that proposed a Constitutional Amendment changing the 2-year terms for Governor and other statewide Constitutional Officers to 4-year.

On February 13, 1956, Gov. Marvin Griffin signed legislation adopting a new state flag incorporating the Confederate battle flag.

On February 10, 1972, David Bowie made his first appearance as Ziggy Stardust.

On February 12, 1999, the United States Senate voted 55-45 against convicting impeached President Bill Clinton on a charge of perjury. Senator Paul Coverdell voted guilty and Senator Max Cleland voted not guilty. On the second charge of obstructing justice, Coverdell and 49 other Republicans voted guilty and Cleland joined 49 other senators in voting not guilty. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required to convict a President, so Clinton was acquitted on both counts.

On February 13, 2007, United States Congressman Charlie Norwood (R-Augusta) died at home.

On February 12, 2014, most of Georgia state government was closed by Executive Order because of an ice storm.

On February 10, 2015, on the anniversary of the United States House of Representatives passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation proclaiming February as Black History Month.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal announced yesterday that January tax collections were up 7.5% over the same month in 2016.

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that Georgia’s net tax collections for January totaled $2.2 billion, for an increase of $154.1 million, or 7.5 percent, compared to January 2016. Year-to-date, net tax revenue collections totaled nearly $13.06 billion, for an increase of $568.4 million, or 4.6 percent, over last year, when net tax revenues totaled almost $12.49 billion.

Congratulations to Tom Price, who was confirmed as the next Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The Senate early Friday approved the nomination of Representative Tom Price to be secretary of health and human services, putting him in charge of President Trump’s efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

By a vote of 52 to 47, the Senate confirmed Mr. Price, Republican of Georgia, after a debate that focused as much on his ethics and investments as on his views on health policy. Democrats denounced his desire to rein in the growth of Medicare and Medicaid by making fundamental changes to the programs, which insure more than 100 million Americans.

Greg Bluestein of the AJC looks at the upcoming Special Election to succeed Price in Congress. Here’s the most interesting tidbit in there:Continue Reading..

9
Feb

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for February 9, 2017

Buddy

Buddy is a young male Chihuahua and Terrier mix who is available for adoption from Clayton County Humane Society in Jonesboro, GA.

Buddy is a very sweet little dog (weighs only 10 pounds) that takes just a minute to get to know someone. Once he knows you, he will cover you will kisses and he will protect you from the monsters under your bed. He would be the most loyal dog you’ll ever own, just give him a minute for him to get to know you. He has a lot of personality in this tiny little body. Buddy gets along with other small dogs. He was born in November 2013.

Bonnie

Bonnie is an adult female Boxer who is available for adoption from Clayton County Humane Society in Jonesboro, GA.

Clyde

Clyde is an adult male Boxer who is available for adoption from Clayton County Humane Society in Jonesboro, GA.

Bonnie Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde were surrendered by their owner and a special adoption fee is in place for someone who will adopt this bonded pair together.

9
Feb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Friday and Saturday, February 10-11, 2017, the Georgia Archives in Morrow will display Georgia’s recorded copy of the Declaration of Independence and Royal Charter.

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

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

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

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

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Caring4Others is collecting funds for South Georgia Tornado Relief.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles, GBI, Public Safety, partner in fundraising for Georgia tornado victims.

They are joining Atlanta television station Channel 2 WSB-TV, the Georgia Motor Trucking Association, the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA) and Caring for Others, Inc., to help raise funds for South Georgia residents who survived the historic tornado outbreak last month.

The Convoy of Care will take a load of supplies to South Georgia on Sunday, February 12th. Mt Zion Baptist Church in Albany will be accepting the donations and distributing supplies on site.

Funds being collected through Caring for Others will be disbursed directly to Long Term Recovery Committees being established in the Berrien, Cook, Crisp, Dougherty, Thomas, Turner, Wilcox, and Worth counties in coordination with G.E.M.A.

Click here to visit the website and donate securely online.

Governor Nathan Deal announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved loans for some tornado damage.

Gov. Deal Nathan Deal [on Tuesday] received notice from the White House and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that 11 counties impacted by the severe weather on January 21 and 22 have been approved for individual assistance.

The 11 counties include:
Baker
Brooks
Calhoun
Clay
Cook
Crisp
Dougherty
Thomas
Turner
Wilcox
Worth

“I am thankful for the attention and assistance Georgia has received from President Trump, FEMA, the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, and our state and local partners,” said Deal. “I am also encouraged by the continued efforts of everyone involved as we work together to rebuild these communities during this difficult time.”

For more information on damage assessments, contact Catherine Howden at Catherine.howden@gema.ga.gov.

Georgia State Patrol Sergeant First Class Tony Henry was mourned yesterday at the State Capitol.

“Our hearts are heavy tonight,” the governor tweeted late Tuesday, “but we rejoice knowing he is in a better place.”

“Tony was not only respected by his peers but he was well loved,” said Ralston. “He was one of the finest individuals that I’ve been privileged to be associated with, and we are very, very saddened with his loss.”

“Sgt. Henry was a Trooper’s trooper and a wonderful individual who upheld not only his profession in high esteem but was also a friend and family man,” said state Sen. Tyler Harper. “He represented our state to the utmost for 17 years as a Georgia patrolman and he will be missed by all.”

Rep. Tom Price could be confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services this week after the Senate voted to limit debate on his nomination.

Senate rules allow Democrats to delay the final vote for up to 30 hours, a tactic that they’ve utilized for two other Cabinet nominations this week.

If Democrats hold the floor for the full 30 hours, the Senate would take a final vote on Price’s HHS nomination early Friday morning.

On Saturday, I’ll be moderating a debate among the candidate for Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party. Join us starting at 6 PM at the Lumpkin County Park & Recreation Building, 365 Riley Road, Dahlonega, GA 30533. Or you can watch on the internet, courtesy of FetchYourNews.com.

Debate Flyer

Under the Gold Dome – Committee Meetings

8:00 AM HOUSE Trans Sub State Highways 515 CLOB

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

8:30 AM SENATE ETHICS 307 CLOB

9:00 AM HOUSE Resource Mgmt Sub 606 CLOB

9:00 AM HOUSE RULES 341

10:00 AM FLOOR SESSION (LD 15) HOUSE CHAMBER

12:00 PM SENATE RULES – Upon Adjournment 450 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE REGULATED IND & UTIL 310 CLOB

1:00 PM SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY – CANCELED 307 CLOB

1:00 PM HOUSE APPROP HIGHER ED 341 CAP

1:00 PM HOUSE JUVENILE JUSTICE 406 CLOB

1:30 PM House Env’tal Quality Sub of Nat’l Resources 510 CLOB

2:00 PM SENATE SCIENCE & TECH 310 CLOB

2:00 PM SENATE INTERSTATE COOP – CANCELED 125 CAP

2:00 PM SENATE HEALTH & HS 450 CAP

2:00 PM HOUSE JUD’Y CIVIL 132 CAP

2:00 PM HOUSE EDUCATION 606 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE TRANSPORTATION 506 CLOB

2:30 PM HOUSE APPROP PUB SAFETY 341 CAP

3:00 PM SENATE TRANSPORTATION – CANCELED 310 CLOB

3:00 PM HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS 406 CLOB

4:00 PM SENATE JUD’Y 307 CLOB

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

HB 43 – Supplemental appropriations; State Fiscal Year July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017 (Substitute) (APPROP-4th) Ralston-7th

SB 48 – Hunting, Trapping, and Fishing License; hunting licenses that are renewed before expiration; freeze the cost (NR&E-31st)

SB 52 – Mental Health; authorizing licensed professional counselor; sunset provision; repeal (H&HS-9th)

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Modified Open Rule

HB 176 – Agriculture, Department of; enter into agreements with the federal government to enforce provisions of certain federal laws; authorize (A&CA-McCall-33rd)

Modified Structured Rule

HB 64 – Protection and Guarantee of Service for Health Insurance Consumers Act; enact (Substitute)(Ins-Blackmon-146th)

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

HB 126 – Courts; Judicial Qualifications Commission; change provisions (Substitute)(Judy-Willard-51st)

 

Georgians for Lawsuit Reform will seek changes to state law in opposition to some trial lawyers.

Georgians for Lawsuit Reform is headed by Kade Cullefer, an attorney from Columbus who once worked for Sonny Perdue’s legal team. Chaired by the top attorney for SunTrust Banks, the group aims to bring a “fair, equitable and balanced” legal environment.

It will eventually file friend-of-the-court briefs to weigh in on legal disputes and back political allies with financial support. But it is already making its mark early in the legislative session by advocating for proposals long sought by some business boosters.

First up is House Bill 192, a measure sponsored by state Rep. Beth Beskin that would make it harder for plaintiffs to win lawsuits targeting the board members of financial institutions.

The group also has designs on changes to Georgia’s discovery laws and to resurrect parts of the 2005 “tort reform” law that were overturned by the state’s top court.

Senator Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga) introduced Senate Bill 88 to regulate opioid addiction treatment programs.

The proposal, introduced last week by state Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, would make it more difficult to open new programs. It would also limit the number of clinics in different regions of the state.

As it stands, Talbott said, the bill would help state health officials weed out any unethical medical directors who care more about selling drugs like methadone than their patients’ health. At the same time, the bill does not regulate the industry too strongly, so more clinics can open in Georgia if the owners prove local addicts need the treatment.

Talbott was cautiously optimistic, however. The bill will go before the Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee on Thursday, and Talbott worries other lawmakers will create extra regulations. He fears they could make opening a new clinic too difficult.

Jonathan Connell, president of the Opioid Treatment Providers of Georgia, echoed Talbott’s sentiment: The bill works if legislators don’t add more restrictions.

The House Appropriations Committee recommended passage of Senate Bill 70 by Sen. Butch Miler (R-Gainesville), which would renew the hospital provider fee through mid-2020.

Senator David Shafer (R-Duluth) introduced Senate Bill 134 to encourage savings by Georgia residents.

Shafer, R-Duluth, is the author of Senate Bill 134, also known as the Save, Earn, Win Act. The bill gives banks and credit unions permission to offer a new savings account format where the owner of the account would be entered in a drawing for a financial prize just for having the account.

“Our country is facing a crisis and we have stopped saving,” said Sen. Shafer. “Most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and do not have enough to pay for a $400 emergency. I am proud to introduce the “Save Earn Win Act” which will serve as an incentive for people to save more and to invest in their future.”

A Senate spokesperson said the drawings would give account owners “the thrill of a lottery or raffle” without taking the risk of losing any money in the process. The spokesman added it would also give Georgians an incentive to save money they earn rather than spending it on “immediate thrills.”

Shafer was joined by officials from the Georgia Bankers Association, Community Bankers Association, Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, Members First Credit Union, the United Way, Operation Hope and Urban Asset Builders to announce the bill on Tuesday.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee heard testimony Tuesday on Senate Bill 8.

he Senate Health and Human Services Committee heard testimony on a proposal to halt these medical bills, which can come from ER doctors, anesthesiologists, radiologists, pathologists and others who are not in a patient’s insurance network — even though the hospital where they work is.

“It’s a very complicated issue,’’ said Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford), who chairs the panel and is a nurse by profession. She is the sponsor of Senate Bill 8.

Health insurers and medical providers can’t agree on a solution, she said.

“It’s like putting cats and dogs in a room,’’ she said. “The one that suffers the most is the consumer.”

Prior to the debate on surprise billing, the committee passed a bill that would allow police and emergency crews to transport a person in a mental health crisis to a physician or a hospital for involuntary treatment without having to arrest that person first.

Casey Snyder, the Gwinnett County fire chief, told the panel that his crews are dispatched about eight times a day for mental health episodes. “These folks don’t need to be arrested,’’ he said. “They need to be in a medical facility.”

The State House Medical Cannabis Working Group, chaired by Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) recommended expansion of Georgia’s medical cannabis law.

Georgians who have autism, intractable pain or a handful of other diagnoses would be allowed to posses medical cannabis under a bill moving through the state House.

The state House Medical Cannabis Working Group on Wednesday unanimously endorsed the idea of allowing medical cannabis possession by people with those diagnoses as well as AIDS or HIV, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, Tourette’s syndrome or people in hospice.

State Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, chairs the working group and wrote House Bill 65, which will be the vehicle for their recommendations.

A separate Senate bill would add only autism to the list of cannabis-eligible diagnoses in Georgia and it also cuts the amount of THC allowed in Georgia medical cannabis.

At a hearing on Senate Bill 16, some senators said they are uncomfortable with the lack of scientific evidence on marijuana’s effect on patients.

Peake said he understands some doctors’ hesitation to endorse medical cannabis due to the lack of studies.

“But the anecdotal real world evidence … is overwhelming,” Peake said.

The Gwinnett County Democratic Party Chair wants more minorities appointed in county government.

Okoye stood before county commissioners on Tuesday and called on them to appoint more minorities to key positions in the majority-minority county’s government, including county administrator, spokesman, clerk and department head jobs.

“The county’s government does not reflect the diversity that is out there in the county,” Okoye told the Daily Post after the meeting.

While Okoye singled out the appointed positions, he also said adding more seats on the commission might help matters by shrinking commission district sizes and providing more positions for minority candidates to run for. He pointed to the Fulton and DeKalb counties, each of which have seven commission seats.

Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said the county is trying to increase diversity at the appointed level. Although there are not many minorities in appointed department head positions, there are some.

“We are certainly interested in adding more diversity at all levels within the county organization, including the senior management level,” Nash said. “I know that this is an objective as hiring decisions are made by staff, even as they focus on hiring the most qualified candidate for each position.

 

8
Feb

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for February 8, 2017

CharlieBarrow

Charlie is a friendly 49-pound mixed breed male dog who is available for adoption from Barrow County Animal Control in Winder, GA.

Scruff

Number 2017-02-o10 is a fun-looking little 2-3 year old 11-pound female scruffy dog who is available for adoption from Barrow County Animal Control in Winder, GA.

Misty Winder

Misty is a 3-year old female mixed breed and Winder is her little 4-week old puppy who are available for adoption from Barrow County Animal Control in Winder, GA.

8
Feb

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

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

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

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

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

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal yesterday announced the appointment of Paige Reese Whitaker as Superior Court Judge for the Atlanta Judicial Circuit.

Gov. Deal also unveiled the latest video in the “Real Teachers, Real Voices” campaign.

This initiative, which highlights exceptional educators around the state, stems from feedback from Deal’s Teacher Advisory Committee. “Why I Teach” features Eric Crouch, an educator at Double Churches Elementary in Columbus and the 2016 Georgia Milken Educator.

“School is such an amazing place. It is a place where children from all different walks of life come together to try and find common solutions to the challenges we will face tomorrow … teaching is very rewarding and fulfilling.

“It wasn’t until later in my life that I found my purpose. When I got to college I had a professor who showed me the true art and beauty of teaching, and it was then that I knew what teaching could be for me. It was there that I found my hope and my inspiration, and I wanted to give that same hope and inspiration to my students. That is why I became a teacher.”

The Ledger-Enquirer has more on the teacher featured in the video.

In November, Crouch was honored as the only Georgian among the 35 U.S. educators to receive a 2016 Milken Educator Award. The awards are nicknamed the “Oscars of Teaching.”

Crouch, who serves on Gov. Nathan Deal’s Teacher Advisory Committee, was among the 10 semifinalists for the Muscogee County School District’s 2016 Teacher of the Year Award.

In January 2015, Crouch was among the five teachers featured on North America’s largest billboard, displayed in New York City’s Times Square, in the advertisement for DonorsChoose.org, a website that helps teachers raise money for educational projects. Crouch’s fundraising enabled his classroom to receive items totaling at least $20,000, such as 20 iPads, 20 iPods, a 3D printer and hundreds of books.

Committee Meetings for Legislative Day 14

8:00 AM House Energy Sub of Energy, Util, and Telecom 515 CLOB

8:30 AM URBAN AFFAIRS 125 CAP

9:00 AM House RULES 341 CAP

10:00 AM House FLOOR SESSION (LD 14) CHAMBER

12:00 PM SENATE RULES – Upon Adj’t 450 CAP

1:00 PM INSURANCE & LABOR – CANCELED MEZZ 1

1:00 PM NATURAL RES & ENV’T – CANCELED 450 CAP

1:00 PM House Fleming Sub House Jud’y (Civil) 403 CAP

1:00 PM House GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS 406 CLOB

1:00 PM House Ways & Means Sub Public Finance & Prop 133 CAP

1:30 PM House APPROPRIATIONS PUBLIC SAFETY 415 CLOB

2:00 PM SENATE FINANCE – CANCELED 125 CAP

2:00 PM SENATE EDUCATION & YOUTH 307 CLOB

2:00 PM House SMALL BUSINESS 606 CLOB

2:00 PM House STATE PLANNING 515 CLOB

2:00 PM House STATE PROPERTIES 403 CAP

2:00 PM House BANKS AND BANKING 341 CAP

2:30 PM House Ways & Means Income Tax Sub 133 CAP

2:30 PM House APPROPRIATIONS FULL 341 CAP

3:00 PM SENATE AGRICULTURE & CONSUMER AFF 450 CAP

3:00 PM SENATE BANKING & FINANCIAL INST 310 CLOB

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

3:00 PM House MEDICAL CANNABIS WORK GRP 406 CLOB

3:00 PM House INDUSTRY & LABOR 506 CLOB

3:30 PM House HIGHER EDUCATION 403 CAP

4:00 PM SENATE JUD’Y Group B Sub 307 CLOB

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

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

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

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Modified Open Rule
HB 39 –Real estate professionals; disciplinary actions and sanctions; change certain provisions (RegI-Powell-32nd)
HB 74 – Insurance; life risk-based capital trend test to comply with accreditation standards; change (Ins-Taylor-173rd)
HB 92 – Insurance; automobile or motorcycle policies; expand definition of policy (Ins-Carson-46th)
HB 127 – Insurance; nonprofit medical and hospital service corporations; revise provisions (Ins-Smith-134th)

Modified Structured Rule
HB 76 – Superior courts; change certain requirements and certifications for certain maps, plats, and plans for filing with clerk; provisions (Judy-Jasperse-11th)

Autism would be included among conditions eligible for medical cannabis under legislation passed out of the Senate HHS Committee yesterday.

Senate Bill 16 is the first of several bills dealing with the law’s expansion to move this year, although medical marijuana advocates oppose the bill because it would also roll back the maximum THC level in the cannabis oil now allowed here.

THC is the component in the drug that makes people high. The law allows the possession of cannabis oil with up to 5 percent THC. The legislation would reduce that maximum to 3 percent. Parents of children who take oil with the higher percentage have testified that it has helped alleviate debilitating conditions and should not be lowered.

House Bill 65, is expected to be moved forward Wednesday by the newly formed House Medical Cannabis Working Group, which is led by the law’s architect, state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon.

HB 65 would expand the list of illnesses and conditions eligible for treatment with medical marijuana in Georgia to include Alzheimer’s disease, autism, HIV/AIDS, intractable pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and Tourette’s syndrome.

The State House Appropriations Health subcommittee recommended passage of Senate Bill 70, which would extend the hospital provider fee that brings more than $600 million in federal funding annually through 2020.

Gov. Nathan Deal and other top Republicans have called the extension a priority for the session.

Changes to federal healthcare laws may cause further problems for rural hospitals.

Rural areas could be deeply affected by changes that President Donald Trump and the Republican Congress are considering to the Affordable Care Act, said speakers at the National Rural Health Association’s annual conference on Tuesday.

For instance, more people in rural areas got coverage by the Obama administration’s expansion of Medicaid than in cities, said Bruce Bowden, a National Association of Counties health care lobbyist.

Also raising concern among rural health care providers is House Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan to cut costs by expanding Medicare Advantage.

That program, which funnels Medicare funds to private insurers, does not pay hospitals as much as traditional Medicare, said Jason Barb, partner of BKD, an accounting and consulting firm that works with rural hospitals.

Eighty rural hospitals have closed since 2010, and another 673 are considered vulnerable, according to the Rural Health Association.

Republicans in Congress said at the conference that repealing the Affordable Care Act is a chance to fix the problems.

“Increasing choice and competition is the key to lowering cost and increasing access to care,” said Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.

Firefighters with cancer may be getting a boost under legislation that passed the State House.

A renewed effort to change that is gaining traction under the Gold Dome. A measure that would require local governments to provide insurance benefits to firefighters with certain cancers easily cleared the House on Tuesday.

It must still, however, be approved by the Senate and Gov. Nathan Deal, who vetoed a different version of the proposal last year.

The new proposal offers aid through insurance, although the sponsor, Rep. Micah Gravley, R-Douglasville, has also revamped last year’s failed proposal.

Attorney General Chris Carr is filling his campaign coffers with the help of Georgia power brokers in advance of a 2018 election after his appointment to the position.

Attorney General Chris Carr raised nearly $250,000 in the two months since he was appointed the state’s top attorney with the help of corporate powers, establishment Republicans and at least one potential adversary.

One of the first donations he received was a $1,000 check from Sen. Johnny Isakson, his mentor and former boss.

Georgia Power and its executives pumped nearly $10,000 into his campaign, and the Alston & Bird law firm, the Altria tobacco and food giant and several leaders of the Georgia Wholesale Co. beer distributor each maxed out with $6,600 campaign contributions.

So did former state Rep. BJ Pak, an ex-federal prosecutor who was considering a campaign for Attorney General before Carr’s appointment. He shifted $6,600 from a legislative campaign account to Carr, and several attorneys in his law firm ponied up as well.

Atlanta Mayoral candidates not named Vincent Fort posted stout fundraising totals for the election later this year.

Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell’s campaign said he raised $1.26 million in his quest to replace Reed while former Atlanta COO Peter Aman said early Wednesday that he has raised $1.039 million since announcing his candidacy in early 2016.

Cathy Woolard, a former Atlanta City Council President, reported raising nearly $600,000 during the filing period that ended Jan. 31. while City Councilwoman Mary Norwood reported raising $400,000 in the first 100 days of her campaign from more than 1,000 donors.

State Sen. Vincent Fort released his fund-raising numbers on Tuesday, raising a reported $250,000, aided greatly by the backing of his candidacy by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Josh McKoon’s Senate seat is drawing some interest from potential 2018 candidates.

Qualifying, set for March 5-9, 2018, is still more than a year away. The primary is scheduled for May 22, 2018, and the General Election is in November 2018.

Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley, LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton, state Rep. John Pezold, Columbus attorney Mark Post, Columbus attorney Ted Morgan and former congressional aide Theresa Garcia Robertson were the names most mentioned. All of them are Republicans.

Thornton, a first-term LaGrange mayor and local attorney, is up for re-election in November.

“This wasn’t on my radar,” Thornton said Monday of the Senate race. “But now I am thinking about it. I would call this an unexpected wrinkle.”

In the May 2016 Republican primary, the vote totals showed that Troup County holds a lot of influence in the four-county district that includes southern Troup, northern Muscogee, Harris and Meriwether counties.

McKoon was unopposed in the primary, but 10,429 votes were still cast for the incumbent state senator. Of that total, 3,624 came from Troup County, 3,241 from Muscogee, 2,371 from Harris and 1,193 from Meriwether.

“I have no plans to run for Senate District 29,” said Pezold, a north Columbus McDonald’s franchise owner who currently represents a House District that sits in the heart of the soon-to-be vacant Senate district.

The AJC looks at the large number of candidates to be elected Mayor and City Council in the new City of Stonecrest.

Gainesville City Council renamed Touchdown Drive to Deshaun Watson Way.

Tybee Island City Council continues to debate a partial alcohol ban.

The City Council on Thursday is set to hold the second and final reading of an ordinance that would prohibit residents and visitors from drinking beer, wine and liquor on the island’s beaches and beach side parking lots from March until the first Saturday in May. The council narrowly approved the ordinance at its first reading last month, with the six members split down the middle and Mayor Jason Buelterman casting the tie-breaking vote in favor of the alcohol restrictions.

If it comes down to it again this week, the mayor indicated Tuesday he’s still willing to break the tie in favor of the ordinance. After discussing the impact similar measures have had with officials in the resort communities of Panama City Beach, Fla., and Gulf Shores, Ala., Buelterman said he thinks it would improve safety on the island during spring break and the unsanctioned beach party known as Orange Crush.

Macon-Bibb County will not change garbage billing to annual billing on property tax bills.

Former Clayton County Commissioner Wole Ralph plead guilty to filing false campaign reports.

Ralph, who served on the Board of Commissioners from 2004-12, received 24 months of probation and 100 hours of community service under the First Offender Act.

“As elected officials, we have a duty to be stewards of the Rule of Law and ensure our offices operate with the utmost transparency,” [Attorney General Chris] Carr said. “Mr. Ralph knowingly violated the Ethics in Government Act, and for that, he must face the consequences.”

Ralph is accused of filing numerous false reports between 2011 and 2012. Over that time, Ralph received approximately $142,000 in campaign contributions; however, he is charged with only reported contributions of approximately $37,000.

South Georgia Conservatives will rally to  Make America Great Again on February 25th from 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM at the Fairgrounds in Waycross ,GA.

Dalton City Board of Education members say that closed-door sessions were protected by an exemption from the state’s Open Meetings law.

Dalton City Council members need more information before deciding whether to support passage of the March 21 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST).

“A lot of my constituents tell me they are sort of on the fence,” said council member Denise Wood. “They don’t want to see their property taxes go up, and they think the sales tax is a fairer way to fund these things. But it’s still going to be coming out of someone’s pocket.”

7
Feb

Adoptable “Official” Georgia Dogs for February 7, 2017

Archie and the gang are ready to find their forever families! These beautiful babies lost their mommy when they were only three weeks old. They had to be bottle fed, and required a ton of TLC to blossom in to the hefty, healthy pups they are now.

Supposedly the mom was a Hound/Heeler mix, which means the pups will likely be on the large end of medium size (50ish lbs?) when they are full grown. These little characters have been well socialized with humans and other dogs, so they are off to a great start. Get more info and/or apply to adopt at www.sohfga.com.

ArchieSOHF

Archie is a young male Hound and Heeler mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Society of Humane Friends of GA Inc. in Lawrenceville, GA.

BettySOHF

Betty is a young female Hound and Heeler mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Society of Humane Friends of GA Inc. in Lawrenceville, GA.

Moose

Moose is a young male Hound and Heeler mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Society of Humane Friends of GA Inc. in Lawrenceville, GA.

Veronica
Veronica is a young female Hound and Heeler mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Society of Humane Friends of GA Inc. in Lawrenceville, GA.