The blog.

23
Feb

James Clifton Announces Campaign for State House District 72

At the Fayette County Republican Party Precinct Mass Meeting Saturday, James Clifton, small business owner and local United States Supreme Court licensed attorney, announced his campaign to run for the State House of Representatives, District 72.

Two weeks ago, Matt Ramsey, current State House Majority Whip, announced his intention not to seek reelection.

State House District 72 includes Peachtree City, South Fayette County, including Brooks and Woolsey, as well as, Senoia and Haralson and the surrounding areas of East Coweta County.

Said Clifton, “I want to thank Representative Ramsey for his service to this District over the last nine years. He has led with conservative values that I intend to continue.”Continue Reading..

23
Feb

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for February 23, 2016

Liza
Liza is an adult female Lab mix who is available for adoption from Heart of Georgia Humane Society in Macon, GA.

Liza is a beautiful chocolate lab mix. She weighs 48 lbs. She is shorter than the average lab. Liza grew up from a puppy around a local football field. No one could catch her so she remained very unsocial. She eventually started staying at a near by house where she was fed and socialized over a 4 month period. She is now house broken, very loving, and gets along well with other dogs. She loves to play and is a happy, happy girl. She does not like a leash but we are working on that. She warms up to strangers very quickly and will make some family a wonderful family pet. She still needs patience, love and reassurance.

Bette

Bette is an 11-month old Sharpei/Boxer mix (maybe some mastiff?) who is available for adoption from Charles Smithgall Humane Society in Sautee Nacoochee, GA.

She looks to be mixed with some Mastiff as well. She came in with her mother Hooch. Both gals need to be spayed and will require homes with fenced yards.

Hooch

Hooch is the 2 year old mother of Bette, and is available for adoption from Charles Smithgall Humane Society in Sautee Nacoochee, GA.

If I adopted Hooch, I’d probably call her “Hoochie Mama,” and Mrs. GaPundit would cringe every time she heard that.

Wiley

Wiley is an adult male Pointer mix who is available for adoption from Hazlehurst Animal Shelter in Hazlehurst, GA.

Wiley is a very beautiful and sweet boy. He is playful and gets along well with other shelter dogs. He has medium energy and would be best in an active home.

23
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 23, 2016

President elect Abraham Lincoln arrived in Washington, DC on February 23, 1861.

WW2_Iwo_Jima_flag_raising

On February 23, 1945, United States Marines raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi, the highest point on the Pacific island Iwo Jima.

This first flag-raising was photographed by Marine photographer Sgt. Louis R. Lowery. On Lowery’s way down Mt. Suribachi, he ran into AP photographer Joe Rosenthal and two other Marine photographers, PFC Bob Campbell and PFC Bill Genaust, who was shooting movies, informing them that the flag-raising they were looking for had already occurred, but encouraging them to check out the view from the top of the hill. The three men continued up the volcano.

Once atop Mt. Suribachi, Rosenthal attempted but was unable to find the soldiers involved in the first flag-raising, deciding instead to photograph the second flag-raising, which featured a much bigger and more photogenic Stars and Stripes. Lowery’s film was sent back to military headquarters for processing via ordinary army post–and took a month to arrive. Rosenthal’s film was sent by seaplane to Guam, and sent from there via radio-photo to the United States. The photograph so impressed President Roosevelt that he ordered the men pictured in it to return home for a publicity tour. Rosenthal later won a Pulitzer Prize for the photo, but for years was forced to deny erroneous reports that he personally staged the second flag-raising and attempted to pass it off as the original.

Although the famous photograph has long led people to believe that the flag-raising was a turning point in the fight for Iwo Jima, vicious fighting to control the island actually continued for 31 more days.

Today, the first and second flags flown atop Mt. Suribachi are held at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia.

On February 23, 1954, the first children in the U.S. were inoculated against polio using a vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk.

The Sons of the American Revolution and Daughter of the American Revolution held a ceremony to honor the 284th Birthday of George Washington. The Gainesville Times has some photos from this neat event.

Under the Gold Dome

SENATE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

8:15 AM APPROPRIATIONS – Fiscal managment subcommittee 450 CAP

12:00 PM RULES – UPON ADJOURNMENT 450 CAP

1:00 PM GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT 125 CAP

1:00 PM APPROP – Transportation Sub MEZZ 1

1:00 PM APPROP – Judicial Sub 341 CAP

1:00 PM ETHICS -CANCELED 307 CLOB

2:00 PM STATE AND LOCAL GOV’TAL OPS 125 CAP

2:00 PM RETIREMENT 310 CLOB

2:00 PM APPROP – Community health sub 341 CAP

2:00 PM APPROP – Ag & Nat’l Res Sub MEZZ 1

2:00 PM JUDICIARY 307 CLOB

3:00 PM APPROP – Human dev’mnt, behavioral hlth, and dev’tal disabil, pub hlth sube 341 CAP

3:00 PM BANKING AND FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS 310 CLOB

3:00 PM NAT’L RES & ENVT – CANCELED 450 CAP

3:30 PM APPROPRIATIONS – Public Safety Sub MEZZ 1

4:00 PM APPROPRIATIONS – Bonds sub 341 CAP

4:00 PM JUDICIARY NON-CIVIL 307 CLOB

4:00 PM TRANSPORTATION 450 CAP

HOUSE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

9:00 AM RULES 341 CAP

1:00 PM TRANSPORTATION 406 CLOB

1:00 PM JUVENILE JUSTICE 506 CLOB

2:00 PM HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 606 CLOB

2:00 PM REGULATED INDUSTRIES 506 CLOB

2:00 PM Energy Sub 403 CAP

3:00 PM Setzler Sub Judiciary Non-Civil 415 CLOB

3:00 PM PUBLIC SAFETY & HOMELAND SEC 406 CLOB

3:15 PM Special Sub Regulated Ind 506 CLOB

3:30 PM HIGHER EDUCATION 606 CLOB

4:00 PM Caldwell Sub Judiciary Civil 132 CAP

4:00 PM Ballinger Sub Juvenile Justice 515 CLOB

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

SB 323 – State Printing and Documents; public disclosure not be required for any documents pertaining to econ dev project (ED&T – 30th)

SB 356 – Animals; provide definition of the term “owner”; impoundment of animals for any violation; caring for an impounded animal (SLOGO – M. Williams)

SR 954 – Public Property; granting of nonexclusive easements for the construction, operation and maintenance of facilities, utilities, roads (SI&P – Jeffares)

SR 955 – Property Conveyance; authorizing 8 counties (SI&P – Jeffares)

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Open Rule

HB 1030 Georgia Seed Development Commission; change certain provisions (A&CA-Watson-172nd)

Modified Open Rule

HB 804 Superior courts; fifth judge of the Clayton Judicial Circuit; provide (Substitute)(Judy-Mabra-63rd)

HB 851 Local government; annual audit of financial affairs, books, and records of boards of trustees of county law libraries; require (Substitute) (B&FAO-Atwood-179th)

HB 856 Probate courts; bond required for judges; change provisions (Judy-Fleming-121st)

HB 944 Health; pronouncement of death of patients in nursing homes who are organ donors by a physician assistant or registered professional nurse; provide (Substitute)(H&HS-Gilligan-24th)

HB 970 Fire protection and safety; issuance of certificates of compliance for fire departments; revise requirements (PS&HS-Lumsden-12th)

HB 975 Commerce and trade; assets and liabilities; provide certain updates to the standard valuation law (Ins-Shaw-176th)

Modified Structured Rule

HB 93 Motor vehicles; law enforcement retaining license plate data obtained from automated license plate recognition systems for certain periods; prohibit (Substitute)(PS&HS-Pezold-133rd) (AM 41 0148)

HB 792 Firearms; carrying, possession, and use of electroshock weapons by persons who are students or who are employed at a public institution; authorize (Substitute)(PS&HS-Brockway-102nd)

HB 827 “Pursuing Justice for Rape Victims Act”; enact (Substitute) (JudyNC-Holcomb-81st)

HB 900 Crimes and offenses; electronic data base of prescription information; authorize the retention of data base information for 2 years (Substitute)(H&HS-Cooper-43rd)

HB 941 Courts; review of incidents involving a peace officer’s use of deadly force that results in death or serious bodily injury; provide for procedure (Substitute)(JudyNC-Golick-40th)

HR 1312 Houston County; certain property currently dedicated as a heritage preserve; authorize the change of use (SProp-Sims-123rd)

HR 1363 House Special Study Committee on Judicial Qualifications Commission Reform; create (Rules-Willard-51st)

Structured Rule

HB 768 Handicapped persons; ABLE program establishment to use tax exempt accounts to pay for qualified expenses of eligible individuals with disabilities; provisions (Substitute)(W&M-Hawkins-27th)

HB 923 Sales and use tax; fire districts which have elected governing bodies and are supported by ad valorem taxes; provide exemption (Substitute)(W&M-Quick-117th)

Legislation & Local Issues

State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) says that in-state cultivation of medical marijuana will not pass this session, according to the Macon Telegraph.Continue Reading..

22
Feb

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for February 22, 2016

Nikon

Nikon is an adult male American Bulldog and English Bulldog mix who is available for adoption from the Dawson County Humane Society in Dawsonville, GA.

He loves to play fetch although he doesn’t always bring the toy back =). Small children tend to make him anxious, but around older ones he is good.

Jasper Douglasville

Jasper is an adult female English Bulldog and American Bulldog mix who is available for adoption from Douglas County Animal Control in Douglasville, GA.

MooseEmanuel

Moose is an adult male English Bulldog mix who is available for adoption from Emanuel County Humane Society in Swainsboro, GA.

Moose is Netuered and Heartworm Negative. He gets along great with other dogs.

This weekend, the BarkPost ran a story on the Official State Dog of Georgia legislation.

How many times in life have you thought that a dog represented you well? Perhaps even so well that they should have something a little special, like say a government-designated title?

The dogs at BarkPost’s NYC office have been barking up a storm ever since they caught wind that their adoptable furry brethren in Georgia may just have the chance to have the coolest designation ever – the official state dog of Georgia. That’s right, the pooches at BarkPost’s office are preemptively celebrating by running through the halls with bacon-scented streamers, binging on chicken jerky treats while splayed out on the couches (and even some desks) and working on their pawtographs because you know, they were adoptable once, too.

Introduced this past Tuesday, House Bill 561 (HB 561), would make “the adoptable dog” the official state dog of Georgia. The bill passed through the Georgia House without any objection.

State Representative Joe Wilkinson, R-Sandy Springs, was the perfect person to introduce the bill in March of 2015. Why? Because he was dressed for the occasion, wearing a Vineyards Vines tie called “Booze Hound.” The tie featured a Bloodhound sallied up with a martini glass. For this Tuesday’s introduction and vote, Rep. Wilkinson chose a Brooks Brothers blue tie, accented with yellow Labradors, who also sported their own ties.

He hopes that introducing HB 561 will bring “attention to the plight of these homeless animals.”

As for us, we’re keeping our paws are crossed and hoping this Bill passes and helps to find forever homes for Georgia’s adoptable pups!

HLNtv.com wrote about the financial effects of the Official State Dog bill.

Wilkinson said his reasons for pushing the bill were not only for the animals’ welfare, but also financial.

“Some shelters spend $15 a day to house each animal, but that price can go as high as $40 — it’s hard to get an accurate estimate because of this,” he said. “We do know at least $250,000 was spent in Georgia shelters in 2015, and that number could go as high as $500,000. We’re talking millions of dollars to house these animals!”

Now that the bill has been passed by the House, it goes on to the Senate “sometime in March,” Wilkinson said.

“My goal is to enrich the lives of our citizens as well as help the shelters,” he said. “An adopted pet is a lifelong gift.”

Senator Ellis Black and several of his colleagues offered competing legislation, Senate Bill 410, which would name the English Bulldog the Official State Dog.

Maybe they didn’t hear that Georgia English Bulldog Rescue came to the Capitol to support the Official State Dog act? Sounds like an opening for some lobbying by rescued English Bulldogs.

Zeus Grassroots Support

22
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 22, 2016

The British Parliament repealed the Stamp Act on February 22, 1766.

On February 20, 1792, President George Washington signed the Postal Service Act, creating the United States Postal Service.

The act allowed for newspapers to be included in mail deliveries and made it illegal for postal officials to open anyone’s mail.

The first Georgia state law allowing divorce was signed on February 22, 1850 by Governor George Towns.

The Cyclorama painting of the Battle of Atlanta went on display on Edgewood Avenue on February 22, 1892.

On February 21, 1958, Governor Marvin Griffin signed legislation creating the Stone Mountain Memorial Association to oversee construction and operation of a Confederate memorial and public park at the site.

On February 20, 1970, Georgia ratified the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote.The Amendment states:

Section 1. The right of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Seriously. 1970. Luckily ratification occurred when Tennessee approved adoption of the Amendment on April 18, 1920.

Interestingly, the only case in which the United States Supreme Court has addressed the Nineteenth Amendment arose in Georgia. Breedlove v. Suttles was a suit brought in Fulton County Superior Court concerning the poll tax. Here’s an excerpt:

The tax being upon persons, women may be exempted on the basis of special considerations to which they are naturally entitled. In view of burdens necessarily borne by them for the preservation of the race, the state reasonably may exempt them from poll taxes.

The laws of Georgia declare the husband to be the head of the family and the wife to be subject to him. To subject her to the levy would be to add to his burden. Moreover, Georgia poll taxes are laid to raise money for educational purposes, and it is the father’s duty to provide for education of the children. Discrimination in favor of all women being permissible, appellant may not complain because the tax is laid only upon some or object to registration of women without payment of taxes for previous years.

Privilege of voting is not derived from the United States, but is conferred by the state and, save as restrained by the Fifteenth and Nineteenth Amendments and other provisions of the Federal Constitution, the state may condition suffrage as it deems appropriate.

It is fanciful to suggest that the Georgia law is a mere disguise under which to deny or abridge the right of men to vote on account of their sex. The challenged enactment is not repugnant to the Nineteenth Amendment.

Bless their hearts.

On February 22, 1976, a series of U.S. Postage stamps commemorating the Bicentennial was issued, featuring the state flags.

GeorgiaFlagStamp1976white

Under the Gold Dome Today

SENATE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

8:00 AM APPROP – Transportation sub 341 CAP

12:00 PM RULES – UPON ADJOURNMENT 450 CAP

1:00 PM APPROP – Education sub 341 CAP

1:00 PM REGULATED IND & UTIL 310 CLOB

1:00 PM AG & CONSUMER AFFAIRS 125 CAP

1:15 PM APPROP – Insurance Sub MEZZ 1

2:00 PM PUBLIC SAFETY 125 CAP

2:00 PM INSURANCE AND LABOR 450 CAP

2:00 PM APPROPRIATIONS – Higher ed sub 341 CAP

2:00 PM EDUCATION AND YOUTH 307 CLOB

3:00 PM SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 310 CLOB

3:00 PM VETS, MILITARY, & HOMELAND SEC 125 CAP

3:00 PM APPROPRIATIONS – Econ Dev Sub 341 CAP

3:00 PM HEALTH AND HUMAN SVCS 450 CAP

4:00 PM ECON DEV & TOURISM 310 CLOB

4:00 PM FINANCE MEZZ

HOUSE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

8:00 AM INSURANCE 606 CLOB

9:00 AM RULES 341 CAP

1:00 PM TRANSPORTATION 506 CLOB

1:00 PM Resource Management Sub 514 CLOB

1:30 PM JUDICIARY NON-CIVIL 132 CAP

1:30 PM HUMAN RELATIONS & AGING 515 CLOB

2:00 PM Fleming Sub 403 CAP

2:00 PM Academic Support Sub 515 CLOB

2:00 PM STATE PLANNING & COMM AFF 406 CLOB

3:00 PM JUVENILE JUSTICE 406 CLOB

3:00 PM Elections Sub 506 CLOB

4:00 PM Professions-Boards-Comms Sub 403 CAP

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

SB 271 – Mental Health; provide reasonable standards for providing patients notice; admission to an emergency receiving facility (HHS – Burke)

SB 275 – Local Government; governing body shall not adopt policy that has effect of preventing free exercise of freedom of speech of members (ETHICS – M. Williams)

SB 316 – Bingo; remove the daily permissible prize limitation while preserving the weekly permissible prize limitation (PUB SAF – Gooch)

SB 337 – Medical Assistance; require Department of Human Services to provide certain dependents of military service member; eligibility (HHS – Walker)

SB 348 – Education; provide for colleges and career academies as charter school or schools within a strategic waivers school system (ED & YOUTH – Tippins)

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Modified Open Rule

HB 784 Insurance; advertising and promotional items not exceeding $100 will not be considered an unfair trade practice; provide (Substitute) (Ins-Carson-46th)

HB 831 “Protecting Guardmen’s Employment Act”; enact (Substitute) (D&VA-Smyre-135th)

HB 910 Health records; provisions relating to costs of copying and mailing patient records apply to psychiatric, psychological, and other mental health records; provide (H&HS-Frye-118th)

HB 965 “The Honorable Jimmy Carter Cancer Treatment Access Act”; enact (Ins-Cheokas-138th)

Modified Structured Rule

HB 808 Courts; Judicial Qualifications Commission; create (Substitute) (Judy-Willard-51st)

Pursuant to House Rule 33.3, debate shall be limited to one hour on HB 859. Time to be allocated at the discretion of the Speaker.

HB 859 Firearms; weapons carry license holders; carrying and possession of certain weapons in certain buildings or real property owned or leased to public institutions of postsecondary education; authorize (Substitute) (PS&HS-Jasperse-11th)

HB 903 Labor and industrial relations; employment security; prevent fraud and abuse of the Unemployment Trust Fund (I&L-Strickland-111th)

HB 904 Labor and industrial relations; employment security; change certain contribution rates and credits (I&L-Strickland-111th)

HR 1113 Judicial Qualifications Commission; create – CA (Substitute) (Judy-Willard-51st)

Structured Rule

HB 763 Sales and use tax; exemption regarding certain food and food ingredients; remove sunset (Substitute)(W&M-Houston-170th)

About that Company Moving out of Georgia

The reaction was swift to news that the Georgia Senate passed a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act with Sen. Greg Kirk’s First Amendment Defense Act transplated into the bill.

“Telecom startup to bolt Georgia after ‘religious liberty’ vote,” read the AJC Political Insider headline,

The executives of 373k, a telecom startup based in Decatur, decided to move to Nevada immediately after the Georgia Senate approved a measure Friday allowing opponents of same-sex marriage to cite religious beliefs in denying services to gay couples.

Founder Kelvin Williams said in an interview Saturday that he knew the legislation is not yet law – and may be substantially changed or halted – but that he was so disgusted by the legislation that he decided to call the moving vans.

It makes no sense. It’s absolutely unnecessary. We are a startup and we are trying to get the best talent we can,” said Williams, who is gay. “And I don’t want to be in a state where it is hard to attract the best talent.”

Williams’ company, which started in April, has about 20 employees, including five in Georgia. He’s giving them the option to stay here – but he’s headed out.

And who is this “Telecom startup”? It turns out they’re a vendor to the Democratic Party.

373kDemocratFirm2

 

Peach State Presidential Politics

Early Voting stats as of Friday’s file release by the Secretary of State’s Office:

Presidential Early Ballots Issued

Democratic    32,609     25.8%

Republican    93,782     74.2%

Presidential Early Ballots Completed

Democratic    26,850    25.3%

Republican    79,275    74.7%

Absentee statistics provided by Brian Keahl at PoliticalDataSystems.com, where you can order your lists for voter absentee ballot and absentee chase programs.

Donald J. Trump made his third campaign appearance in Atlanta yesterday at the World Congress Center. From 11Alive,

The businessman front-runner has now won two of the first three primaries, so he’s looking to capture yet another win in the Peach State.

Trump gloated about his recent victories in South Carolina and New Hampshire.

He spoke about the economy, foreign policy and the military.

But the surprise of the night came from Jeb Bush, who announce he’s leaving the race altogether. This comes after dismal poll numbers and zero wins in any of the primaries.

Trump will also reportedly hold a rally at Valdosta State University – 1500 North Patterson Street Valdosta, GA 31698 on Monday, February 29, 2016 at 6 PM. Click here for free tickets to the Trump rally in Valdosta.

A number of straw polls were held at GAGOP Precinct Mass Meetings on Saturday:

County Bush Bush% Carson Carson % Cruz Cruz % Kasich Kasich % Rubio Rubio % Trump Trump % Other Other % Total
Lowndes 2.50% 63.40% 7.30% 7.30% 19.50%
Forsyth 3 2.13% 4 2.84% 86 60.99% 2 1.42% 25 17.73% 20 14.18% 1 0.71% 141
Paulding 1 1.82% 0.00% 43 78.18% 0.00% 8 14.55% 3 5.45% 0.00% 55
Carroll 1 2.17% 40 86.96% 1 2.17% 4 8.70% 46
Bibb 5 12.50% 17 42.50% 3 7.50% 5 12.50% 9 22.50% 1 2.50% 40
Cherokee 0 1 0.81% 77 62.60% 4 19 15.45% 22 17.89% 123
Muscogee 0.12% 60.00% 3.30% 6.60% 15.00% 1.60%
Coweta 0.01 3.00% 80.00% 3.00% 7.00% 6.00%
19
Feb

Jack Kingston “Ted Cruz is the Uber of politics”

19
Feb

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for February 19, 2016

Frankie

Frankie is an adult male German Shepherd mix who is available for adoption from CSRA Humane Society, Inc. in Augusta, GA.

Frankie is a sweet boy. He gets along well with other dogs, and when presented to a cat, he wagged his tail and seemed interested in what that creature was. That doesn’t mean he loves cats, but a cat home might be a possibility if the introduction goes well. Frankie LOVES going for rides in the car and travels really well. He’s a big love and really hopes his forever family shows up soon.

Toby

Toby is an adult male Dachshund and Basset Hound mix who is available for adoption from CSRA Humane Society, Inc. in Augusta, GA.

Toby is a special dog. He is prone to nipping people. He is not be good around small children. He has a great smile.

Sunshine

Sunshine is a senior male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from CSRA Humane Society, Inc. in Augusta, GA.

Sunshine is a longtime resident of the CSRA Humane Society. Found many years ago as a stray puppy (alongside his brother and his mom), our sunny boy is a bit on the shy side. He’ll greet most strangers with a bark and a retreat, but if you take the time to get to know him first, you will gain his trust and have a friend forever. Once he feels safe, he’s more than happy to sit next to you so you can stroke his head and pull on his ears. Sunshine is a bit selective with regards to doggy companions (he prefers submissive female dogs best).

Ossie

Ossie is an adult male Boxer and Terrier mix who is available for adoption from CSRA Humane Society, Inc. in Augusta, GA.

Ossie is a blue-gray boxer mix. He is a little unsure of new people but gets over that. He’s an active dog and does OK with other dogs.

19
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 19, 2016

On February 19, 1953, Governor Herman Talmadge signed legislation creating the Georgia State Literature Commission to investigate and refer for prosecution anyone selling obscene materials. In 2014, the Washington Post wrote about the State Literature Commission.

Georgia created the nation’s first censorship board.

The vote was unanimous. The Georgia State Assembly approved House Bill 247 on Feb. 19, 1953, with no dissent, establishing the Georgia Literature Commission. Despite being born into controversy, it lived on for 20 years surviving legal and legislative challenges until the administration of then-Gov. Jimmy Carter defanged it, setting off its slow death.

After years of support, then-Gov. Jimmy Carter cut the commission’s annual appropriation by about 20 percent in 1971, while simultaneously fighting a public battle against pornography. His administration then implemented zero-based budgeting, in which each governmental organization had to justify itself, which had become increasingly hard to do for the commission.

On February 19, 2014, Elana Meyers (now Elana Meyers Taylor) won the Silver Medal in bobsled in the Sochi Olympics. Last week, Meyers Taylor won the overall World Cup for women’s bobsledding. This tremendous athlete is from Douglasville, Georgia and her father Eddie Meyers was a standout running back at the Naval Academy who served six years in the Navy and signed with the Atlanta Falcons after his service.

Under the Gold Dome Today

SENATE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

2:00 PM RULES – UPON ADJOURNMENT 450 CAP

1:00 PM AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS 125 CAP

1:00 PM Public Safety General Welfare Subcommittee 122 CAP

1:00 PM REGULATED INDUSTRIES AND UTILITIES 310 CLOB

2:00 PM PUBLIC SAFETY 125 CAP

2:00 PM EDUCATION AND YOUTH 307 CLOB

2:00 PM INSURANCE AND LABOR – CANCELED 450 CAP

3:00 PM HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 450 CAP

3:00 PM VETERANS, MILITARY, AND HOMELAND SECURITY – CANCELED 125 CAP

3:00 PM SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY – CANCELED 310 CLOB

4:00 PM FINANCE -CANCELED MEZZ

HOUSE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

8:00 AM JUVENILE JUSTICE 406 CLOB

8:00 AM W&M Ad Valorem Tax 133 CAP

8:30 AM W&M Sales Tax Sub 133 CAP

9:00 AM RULES 341 CAP

12:30 PM REGULATED INDUSTRIES 506 CLOB

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

SB 370 – Superior Courts; sponsor of training requirements; change provisions (RET – Martin)

HB 757 – Domestic Relations; religious officials shall not be required to perform marriage ceremonies in violation of their legal right; provide (RULES – Kirk)

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Modified Open Rule

HB 751 General appropriations; State Fiscal Year July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017 (Substitute)(App-Ralston-7th)

Modified Structured Rule

HB 579 Motor vehicles; operation of certain vehicles upon highways when used in connection with agricultural pursuits; provide (Substitute) (A&CA-McCall-33rd)

HB 886 Pharmacy licenses; employing mails or common carriers to sell, distribute, and deliver prescription drugs; revise a provision (Substitute) (H&HS-Cooper-43rd)

HB 902 Hospitals and related institutions; educational information on influenza disease to residents of assisted living communities; provide (H&HS-Dempsey-13th)

Georgia Legislation

The Georgia State Senate will today take up House Bill 757, the Pastor Protection Act originally by State Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville), into which have been transplanted the core of Sen. Greg Kirk’s First Amendment Defense Act. Call it a shotgun marriage, perhaps, or at least an arranged marriage.

From the Times-Free Press,

The powerful Senate Rules committee on Tuesday added that language to a bill unanimously approved by the House last week allowing religious officials to decline performing same-sex marriage ceremonies. The move combines two of the eight bills introduced this year seeking legal exemptions for opponents of same-sex marriage after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling effectively legalized the unions.

The bill protecting pastors, however, received little opposition on its way to a House vote. Gay rights advocates though harshly criticized the broader Senate bill, known as the “First Amendment Defense Act,” shielding adoption agencies, schools and other organizations from penalty for opposing same-sex marriage.

Georgia’s business community also remains leery of any bill that could prompt boycott threats Indiana received in 2015 following passage of a different religious measure. In a joint statement Tuesday, officials with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce said they worked with senators to “help improve the bill.”

Senate Republicans said during Tuesday’s hearing that the measure would protect any view of legal marriage, including same-sex marriage. The bill goes on to specifically state those views may include “the belief that marriage should only be between a man and a woman or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a union.” No other opinion of marriage is included in the bill’s language.

Greg Bluestein of the AJC writes that this could help put the Religious Liberty issues to bed – whether the two parts of the bill will sleep in the same bed or separate beds remains to be seen. Or the House could strip the FADA language out and send it to sleep on the couch.

If there’s Senate sign-off, there’s talk there may be a rush to send it back to the House today for final approval – perhaps allowing the Legislature to dispose of a highly controversial issue before the weekend.

One possible reason for the push: A crush of local GOP precincts hold meetings across the state on Saturday, and this could give Republican lawmakers some red meat to take home to the conservative activists who make up the party’s base.

That’s a quaint idea.

The main item on the House calendar today is the State Budget that will take effect on July 1, 2016.

Erratum Department

In two cases, the information we shared via one of the Presidential campaigns was incorrect. Here is corrected information for those two counties:

Henry County Precinct Mass Meeting, Saturday, February 20, 2016.
Registration Starts at 9 am. Registration ends at 10 am.
Locust Grove Recreation Center, 10 Cleveland Street, Locust Grove, GA 30248

The mass precinct meeting is where we organize our County GOP from the grassroots up. If you want to be involved and are interested in learning about how to build the Republican Party in your community, please be sure you join us on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at the Locust Grove Recreation Center.

Registration starts at 9:00AM and will end promptly at 10:00AM. Any registered voter who lives in Henry County and believes in the principles of the Republican Party is free to attend!

Fayette County Precinct Caucus (Mass Meeting) on Feb 20m 2016 at 10:00AM at Heritage Christian Church, 2130 Redwine Road, Fayetteville to elect delegates to the county convention.

Doors open at 9:00AM for registration; anyone NOT in the registration line by 10:00AM may only be seated as a guest. On-hand staff can confirm which precinct you are in, or you can do it yourself here!

If you have any questions about your Precinct Mass Meetings tomorrow, please contact your local county party for correct information.

Peach State Presidential Politics

Ted Cruz

Marco Rubio

marco-rubio-family

The Marco Rubio campaign has announced additional events in Georgia:

Click here for free tickets to a Columbus Meet & Greet with Rep. Austin Scott & Rep. Lynn Westmoreland at 12:30 PM Monday.

Click here for free tickets to a Macon Meet & Greet with Rep. Austin Scott and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland at 9 AM Monday.

John Kasich

John Kasich at Fulton GOP

In addition to the office openings we noted yesterday, Kasich is holding a pair of events on Tuesday.

Click here for free tickets to a Kennesaw Town Hall with Gov. John Kasich at noon on Tuesday.

Click here for free tickets to a Sandy Spring Town Hall with Gov. John Kasich at 5:30 PM on Tuesday.

Donald J. Trump

The Trump Atlanta Towers may never have taken off, but this photo was sent to us of the Corey smokestack by the Georgia State Capitol. It’s huge.

Trump Atlanta Billboard

In case you don’t already have your free tickets to Sunday’s Trumpapalooza at the World Congress Center, click here.

 

18
Feb

Kemp: ‘SEC primary’ should bring more attention to state | Effingham Herald

The upcoming so-called SEC primary could help bring more attention to Georgia, state Secretary of State Brian Kemp said.

Speaking at the recent Effingham Day at the Capitol event, Kemp said he has been working on the idea for two years. As a result, Georgia, along with Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, will hold presidential preference primaries March 1. Other states holding their primaries that day include Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Vermont.

Kemp came up with the strategy to have several Southeastern states to hold their primaries simultaneously to bring more attention to their states and in particular Georgia.

“In years past, as a legislator and as secretary of state, I was really frustrated that it seemed like Georgia was overlooked,” he said. “So when we went to vote, it didn’t matter, or if we did go early, it would be the same day as a big state like New York or California.”

via Effingham Herald.

18
Feb

Gwinnett County Commissioner Jace Brooks running for reelection with strong balance sheet

Gwinnett County District 1 Commissioner, Republican Jace Brooks, announced today that he would seek a second term on the Board of Commissioners.

jace brooks logoBrooks reported $65,000 cash on hand for his campaign as of the January 31st campaign disclosure deadline.

“It has been a privilege to serve the people of District 1 and Gwinnett County for the last three years.  I am proud of my record of doing what I promised I would do—champion conservative solutions to Gwinnett’s serious challenges. Thanks to these efforts, Gwinnett is on the rise again with a growing economy, low taxes, increased funding for public safety, reforms to restore the public’s trust, and meaningful investments to improve mobility.”Continue Reading..