The blog.

14
Mar

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for March 14, 2016

House Bill 561, which would name “the Adoptable Dog” as the official state dog of Georgia is stuck in the Senate Government Oversight Committee. In order to get unstuck, please consider emailing State Senator Bill Heath (R-Bremen) or call his office at (404) 656-3943 and politely ask that he schedule a hearing for Senate Bill 561.

Let me say that again: if you contact Sen. Heath, please ask politely – most legislators respond better to being asked politely.

Here are the points I would make:

1. Encouraging dog adoptions will reduce the cost on county and municipal governments that currently spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on caring for and then euthanizing unwanted dogs and cats.

2. No new state agency is created, no rules or regulations are added, and no fines, fees, or taxes are levied.

3. This is conservative legislation that costs the taxpayers no money and helps local and municipal governments reduce their tax burden and do a better job.

4. Sincerely thank whomever you email or speak to for taking the time to hear your concerns and for working to make Georgia better.

Walton1037026

 

 

This adult female Black Labrador Retriever mix was found stray and will be available for adoption from the Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA.

Walton1037002

This sweet adult female Yellow Labrador Retriever mix was found stray and will be available for adoption from the Walton County Animal Shelter in Monroe, GA.

NoahWAG

Noah is a little 3-pound, 7-week old Beagle and Terrier mix puppy who is expected to get no larger than 12-15 pounds. Noah is available for adoption from Walton Animal Guild Inc. in Monroe, GA.

14
Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 14, 2016

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.

Under the Gold Dome Today

SENATE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

8:15 AM APPROPRIATIONS Conference Committee – Joint 403 CAP

12:30 PM RULES UPON ADJOURNMENT 450 CAP

1:00 PM SPECIAL JUDICIARY 122 CAP

1:00 PM REGULATED INDUSTRIES & UTILITIES 310 CLOB

1:00 PM AGRICULTURE & CONSUMER AFFAIRS 125 CAP

2:00 PM PUBLIC SAFETY 310 CLOB

2:00 PM INSURANCE & LABOR 450 CAP

2:00 PM EDUCATION & YOUTH 307 CLOB

3:00 PM SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY 310 CLOB

3:00 PM VETERANS, MILITARY & HOMELAND SECURITY 125 CAP

3:00 PM HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 450 CAP

4:00 PM JUDICIARY NON-CIVIL 3017 CLOB

4:00 PM FINANCE MEZZ

4:00 PM ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & TOURISM 310 CLOB

5:00 PM JUDICIARY 307 CLOB

HOUSE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

9:00 AM RULES 341 CAP

1:00 PM HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 606 CLOB

1:00 PM Fleming Sub Judiciary Civil 132 CAP

1:30 PM JUDICIARY NON-CIVIL 506 CLOB

1:30 PM STATE PROPERTIES 403 CAP

2:00 PM Academic Achievement & Curriculum Sub 406 CLOB

2:00 PM JUDICIARY CIVIL 132 CAP

3:00 PM WAYS & MEANS 606 CLOB

3:30 PM TRANSPORTATION 506 CLOBx

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

HB 421 – Retirement and pensions; officers employed by Department of Community Supervision shall be entitled to certain disability benefits; provide (PUB SAF – Kennedy) (Nimmer)

HB 508 – Appellate court judges; age of eligibility for certain benefits; decrease (RET – Black) (Fleming)

HB 509 – Georgia Palliative Care and Quality of Life Advisory Council; create; provisions (HHS – Harbin) (Petrea)

HB 555 – Courts; provide reporting of certain statistics regarding juveniles seeking abortions without parental notice; provisions (HHS – B. Thompson) (Chandler)

HB 635 – Judges of Probate Courts Retirement Fund; increase number of years of mandatory contribution; provisions (RET – Black) (Epps)

HB 676 – Accountability, Change Management, and Process Improvement Act of 2015; enact (S&T – Martin) (Brockway)

HB 725 – “Child Abuse Records Protection Act”; enact (HHS – Bethel) (Cantrell)

HB 747 – Motor vehicles; safe operation of motor carriers and commercial motor vehicles; update reference date to federal regulations (PUB SAF – Harper) (Rogers)

 HB 768 – Handicapped persons; ABLE program establishment to use tax exempt accounts to pay for qualified expenses of eligible individuals with disabilities; provisions (FIN – Millar) (Hawkins)

HB 871 – “Georgia Lemon Law”; consumer fees forwarded to the Department of Law for deposit in the new motor vehicle arbitration account; require (SJUDY – Dugan) (Dickey)

HB 887 – Courts; parental rights; prioritize placement of a child with an adult or fictive kin qualified to care for such child (HHS – Unterman) (Efstration)

HB 965 – “The Honorable Jimmy Carter Cancer Treatment Access Act”; enact (I&L – Bethel) (Cheokas)

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Modified Open Rule

SB 274 – Budget in Certain Counties; repeal Act approved March 2, 1953 (SP&CA-Willard-51st) Albers-56th

SB 302 – Insurance; require health carriers to maintain accurate provider directories (Substitute)(Ins-Taylor-173rd) Martin-9th

SR 876 – Joint High-Speed Broadband Communications; create (SRules-Tanner-9th) Gooch-51st

SR 955 – Property Conveyance; authorizing 8 counties (Substitute) (SProp-Dunahoo-30th) Jeffares-17th

Modified Structured Rule

SB 262 – Courts; when a judge, judicial officer, grand juror; may be disqualified by being related by consanguinity/affinity to a party; provisions (Substitute)(Judy-Welch-110th) Stone-23rd

SB 278 – Criminal Offenses; increase the penalty provisions; pimping and pandering (JudyNC-Efstration-104th) Unterman-45th

SB 316 – Bingo; remove the daily permissible prize limitation while preserving the weekly permissible prize limitation (Substitute)(RegI-Powell-32nd) Gooch-51st

SB 350 – Taxation on Consumer Fireworks; dedicate moneys collected; trauma care, fire services, and local public safety purposes (Substitute) (W&M-Battles-15th) Mullis-53rd

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Three surprises emerged last week in the statewide elections for 2016. First is the number of challengers to Senator Johnny Isakson – two challengers on the GOP side, and three Democratic candidates/

Republican
Johnny Isakson (i)
Derrick “TMOT” Grayson
Mary Kay Baccallao

Democratic
Jim Barksdale ($)
Cheryl Copeland
James Knox

The second surprise was the number of incumbent Members of Congress who are facing challengers. It’s easier to say that only Buddy Carter (1st CD), Jody Hice (10th CD), and David Scott (14th CD) are not facing challengers.

Second Congressional District

Sanford Bishop (D)(i)

Greg Duke (R)

Bobby Scott (R)

Diane Vann (R)

Third Congressional District Open Seat

Samuel Anders (R)

Mike Crane (R)

Drew Ferguson (R)

Chip Flanegan (R)

Richard Mix (R)

Jim Pace (R)

Arnall “Rod” Thomas (R)

Tamarkus Cook (D)

Fourth Congressional District

Hank Johnson (D)(i)

Victor Armendariz (R)

Fifth Congressional District

John Lewis (D)(i)

Douglas Bell (R)

Sixth Congressional District

Tom Price (R)(i)

Kurt Wilson (R)

Rodney Stooksbury (D)

Seventh Congressional District

Rob Woodall (R)(i)

Rashid Malik (R)

Eighth Congressional District

Austin Scott (R)(i)

Angela Hicks (R)

James Neal Harris (D)

Ninth Congressional District

Doug Collins (R)(i)

Paul Broun (R)

Roger Fitzpatrick (R)

Bernie Fontaine (R)

Mike Scupin (R)

Eleventh Congressional District

Barry Loudermilk (R)(i)

Hayden Collins (R)

Daniel Cowan (R)

Billy Davis (R)

William Llop (R)

Don Wilson (D)

Twelfth Congressional District

Rick Allen (R)(i)

Tricia Carpenter McCracken (D)

Joyce Nolin (D)

Eugene Yu (R)

Fourteenth Congressional District

Tom Graves (R)(i)

Allan Levene (R)

Mickey Tuck (R)

The third surprise was that the Democratic Party failed to field a candidate for the only other statewide election, the Public Service Commission seat held by Republican Tim Echols.

Republican
Tim Echols (i)
Kellie Pollard Austin
Michelle Miller

While we’re discussing Tim Echols, he recently led an “Unholy Tour” of Atlanta to highlight the prevalence of sex trafficking in Georgia.

Community activists and local lawmakers got an eye opening tour of metro Atlanta’s sex trafficking hot spots Wednesday night.

Organizers hoped to motivate those on board to take steps they say will save lives.

Former strip club dancer turned minister Kasey McClure was behind the bus tour.

“So many people have turned a blind eye and just say it’s not happening in our community, but it really is happening,” McClure said.

So much so, Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols asked McClure and her team at 4sarah to take the group of lawmakers and community leaders on a so-called “unholy tour” of prostitution and sex-trade hot spots in DeKalb and Fulton counties.

“In my heart I felt like, you know, this is something I could do, and I need to let people see that this is a blight on our state and our city,” Echols told [Channel 2 reporter Aaron] Diamant.<

On Wednesday night’s tour, freshman state Rep. Doreen Carter of Lithonia was on board.

“It’s heartbreaking. I’m a mom, and this is my community. This is where I grew up, and to see,” Carter told Diamant, saying she had no idea things had gotten so bad.

The troubling scenes are now motivating Carter to search for solutions.

“This definitely has touched me,” Carter told Diamant.

Echols has planned another “Unholy Tour for March 15th. I’m checking on whether any seats are available, and if you’d like to take the tour, please check back tomorrow.

The fourth surprise was that Republican State Rep. Joe Wilkinson (Sandy Springs) faces two challengers from within his own party. Deborah Silcox and Sandy Springs City Council Member Graham McDonald both qualified to take on Wilkinson. The irony is that Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul personally accompanied one of Wilkinson’s opponents, while Wilkinson is arguably the living individual most responsible for the existence of the City of Sandy Springs.

11
Mar

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for March 11, 2016

Poppy

Poppy is a young female Rottweiler (or maybe Shepherd?) mix who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, GA.

Cocoa Macon

Cocoa is a young 6-week old female Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, GA.

Cassidy

Cassidy is a young, 6-week old female Labrador Retriever mis puppy who is available for adoption from Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, GA.

 

11
Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 11, 2016

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

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.

Happy Birthday 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.

Under the Gold Dome Today

SENATE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

8:00 AM APPROPRIATIONS 341 CAP

11:00 AM RULES UPON ADJOURNMENT 450 CAP

12:00 PM HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 450 CAP

1:00 PM FINANCE Subcommittee A MEZZ 1

2:00 PM EDUCATION & YOUTH 307 CLOB

2:00 PM FINANCE MEZZ 1

HOUSE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

8:00 AM Fleming Sub Judiciary Civil 132 CAP

8:30 AM EDUCATION 606 CLOB

8:30 AM W&M Ad Valorem Tax Sub 133 CAP

9:00 AM RULES 341 CAP

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

HB 34 – Georgia Right to Try Act; enact (H&HS- H. Hill) (Dudgeon-25th)

HB 52 – Child custody; require parenting plans to be incorporated into final orders; change provisions (JUDY-McKoon) (Quick-117th)

HB 767 –Motor vehicles; add utility service vehicles to the “Spencer Pass Law”; provisions (Substitute) (PUB SAF-Gooch) (Powell-32nd)

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

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 (JUDY-Stone) (Jasperse-11th)

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Modified Open Rule

SB 273 Clinical Laboratories; provide certain nondiagnostic laboratories not subject to state licensure as clinical laboratory (H&HS-Lott-122nd) Burke-11th

SB 277 “Protecting Georgia Small Business Act”; neither a franchisee/franchisee’s employee shall be deemed employee of franchisor (I&L-Shaw-176th) Albers-56th

SB 279 Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council; include Commissioners of Juvenile Justice/Natural Resources as voting members (PS&HS-Powell-32nd) Harper-7th

SB 347 ‘Georgia Captive Insurance Company Act’; provide extensive changes; provisions (Substitute)(Ins-Shaw-176th) Bethel-54th

Modified Structured Rule

SB 137 Property Insurance; expand the ownership restriction; value of the property covered against loss by fire (Ins-Shaw-176th) Harbin-16th

Structured Rule

Pursuant to House Rule 33.3, debate shall be limited to one hour on SB 308. Time to be allocated at the discretion of the Speaker.

SB 308 Positive Alternatives for Pregnancy and Parenting Grant Program; establish; definitions; administration and duties (Substitute) (H&HS-Cooper-43rd) Unterman-45th

Legislation Today

Two pieces of legislation on the floors of the respective chambers today should garner significant attention.

The Senate will take up, and I believe pass, the “Campus Carry” bill by State Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper).

Earlier this week, Senate committee members approved a measure that would allow those with concealed carry weapons licenses to bring their guns onto school property.

The guns must remain concealed and would be barred from athletic facilities and student housing.

12th District US Congressman Rick Allen shared his thoughts on the proposed legislation.

“They’re good parts on both sides,” said Rep. Allen. “What we really have to do is provide a safe environment for people to attend school and to take a threat away.”

And from the Associated Press:

If signed into law, guns must remain concealed by the owner. Guns also would be barred from athletic facilities and student housing, including sorority and fraternity houses.

Critics of the measure say that allowing more guns on campus will only put students in harm’s way.

Rep. Rick Jasperse, a Republican from Jasper who sponsored the bill, says people licensed to carry guns should also be able to defend themselves on campuses.

And The Collegian offers some student and instructor opinion,

Students have shown both support and dissent for HB 859.

Rachel Quinlan, a Biology major at the Clarkston campus, said “I think this would make schools more dangerous. I walk home at night after class, for people to have guns it’s really scary. The pro to this is that people can protect themselves, there are more cons than I feel pros.”

“I don’t disagree with the bill. I don’t think much would change. I don’t think that the people who have guns are the problem, it’s the people who don’t have the license to carry. It should have restrictions on who carries weapons. I think that if you’re going to carry gun, you should have to register with the school and make sure you’re registered to carry a weapon,” said Alissa Cunningham, a Public Health major at the Clarkston Campus.

Many Professors deem guns on campus as dangerous and reckless. Assistant political science and criminal justice professor at Clarkston campus John Siler expressed his biggest concern that most students will not exercise this right with responsibility. “The thing that is scary for us is that when the students read this, they’ll just say ‘Hey, I can have a gun on campus!’ and disregard ‘if you have a permit,’” Siler said. Siler continued to explain that instructors’ safety would be in danger, “Professors often have to fail students, but sometimes students don’t take that too well,” Siler said. There have been robberies and shootings incidents on or near Georgia State University’s Atlanta campus. Siler explained that he understood that the incidents were an issue, but he did not approve of how the media escalated the students’ fears. “The media gets orgasmic when it comes to stuff on campus happenings,” said Siler, “Yes, the incident was near the campus, but that didn’t matter; the media just used it to hype things up.”

Legislation by Senator Renee Unterman (R-Buford) is likely to come before the House for a vote today.

Senate Bill 308, which cleared the House Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday, would establish a grant program through the state Department of Public Health to promote pregnancy and parenting services as alternatives to abortion. Under the legislation, pregnancy resource centers could not use grant funds to refer clients to clinics that provide abortions or counsel women to get abortions unless their pregnancies are life-threatening.

The state Senate passed the bill last month on a party-line 38-16 vote. The bill’s sponsor, Senate Health and Human Services Chairwoman Renee Unterman, R-Buford, said the legislation is a “positive alternative” to restricting access to abortions.

“What pregnancy resource centers do is offer the resources to make good decisions,” Unterman said. “Not only can they stay in business, but hopefully they can expand and decrease the number of abortions that we have in the state of Georgia.”

Unterman said she estimates there are 27,000 abortions each year in the state.

State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) wrote in the Macon Telegraph about religious liberty legislation,

When Speaker David Ralston proposed the Pastor Protection Act last summer, I was proud that our party had a voice of reason. He understood that reaffirming the rights of our churches and our clergy didn’t mean doing so at the expense of other Georgia citizens. When Rep. Kevin Tanner introduced HB 757, it had thorough hearings in the House and was discussed through inclusive debate. It was amended along the way based on input from members of both parties. That’s why it passed the House unanimously.

I didn’t believe then nor do I believe now that the Pastor Protection Act was the end of the conversation. However, inserting the First Amendment Defense Act as the Senate did took a once bipartisan bill and made it toxic.

Candidate Qualifying

The list of Republican Senate incumbents facing challengers has grown to nine.

District Incumbent Challenger
9 P.K. Martin Tyler Hollifield
21 Brandon Beach Aaron Barlow
23 Jesse Stone Stephen Hammond
40 Fran Millar Paul Maner
45 Renee Unterman Todd Tyson
50 John Wilkinson Roy Benifield
51 Steve Gooch John Williamson
53 Jeff Mullis Lanny Thomas
54 Charlie Bethel Conda Lowery-Goodson

A notable absence from Qualifying so far is State Rep. Nikki Randall (R-Macon), who will not seek reelection.

Also making news for not qualifying is District Attorney for the Southern Judicial District J. David Miller.

He has served as DA for that past 20 years and says choosing not to run or re-election was one of the toughest decisions.

“Writing the press release was the hardest thing that I’ve done in a very long time. I love my job! I’m certainly not dissatisfied in any way,” explains Miller.

However, he says he’s not ready to retire just yet.

“I’ll explore my options. I would like to continue public service just not necessarily as the DA again,” Miller says, “Just because I could run again doesn’t mean I should run again.”

He has endorsed current Chief Assistant District Attorney Brad Shealy to be his successor.

Of Nazis and the Klan

Mike Griffin of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board drew strong rebukes from the well of the State House yesterday.

Mike Griffin, spokesman and lobbyist for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, urged Baptists to press legislators to act on a religious freedom measure that was filed in response to last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage.

“We must not let the government do to us what Hitler did to the pastors and churches of his day,” Griffin wrote in a post on a religious news site, the Christian Index.

“He got them to accept his protection from government action if they would agree to stay out of government. He basically said, ‘You take care of the church, and leave the government to me.’

“Pastors, this is happening before our eyes today!” he wrote.

“I was extremely sickened that someone would compare this legislative body to Hitler and Hitler’s Germany,” [House Speaker] Ralston told reporters Thursday.

From the House floor, Rep. Trey Kelley, R-Cedartown, demanded an apology.

Instead, Griffin defended his comments.

“My statement in question today was simply a warning of the historical dangers of the church not standing up for religious liberty,” he tweeted.

Ralston said it might be more productive for Griffin to advise Baptists to “listen to their pastors and read their Bible more, and listen to talk radio less.”

“I think that would be some good advice, rather than to do something as harmful to his cause as he did,” he added.

More from Griffin via Lori Geary at WSB:

Griffin says while referencing Hitler on the Christian Index Website, he was urging church goers to speak out on the issue. He says he was not referring to legislators.

“It’s historically accurate that Hitler did meet with pastors and did try to get the pastors to see his side,” Griffin said. “I think it may help us even more because it creates more attention to the importance that people are concerned about their religious liberty rights being infringed upon by government in general.”

He defended his post saying his reference to Hitler involved historical context, but he did remove those references.

“It’s getting in the last few days of the session, folks get a little sensitive to things being said,” Griffin said. “We did go back and take the Hitler phrase out because we definitely didn’t want to confuse the issue in any way because we want to stay on the historical context of what we were talking about.”

A statement by the Georgia Baptist Mission Board addresses the controversy,

This is in direct reference to Martin Niemöller’s, popular poem written in 1946, “First they came…” and his description of what occurred in Germany leading up to World War II. Pastors and the church did not stand up to the government to combat the rising discrimination against Christians, Jews, and other groups. In Niemöller’s example, the church did not stand up for its faith and speak up for members and the public. It is interesting to note that Niemöller was accused of “abusing the pulpit”, crimes against the State, ordered to pay a fine, and imprisoned for speaking out. In 2006, Rev. Mark Creech wrote the article “Who Shall Care for the Nation’s Soul?” in the Christian Post, using similar reference to Niemöller’s story.

On Thursday morning March 10th, nearly a week after posting, Mike Griffin was criticized from the Well of the House regarding his letter to Pastors. The inference of those remarks made by representatives was that Mike Griffin was speaking to, or about, the representatives themselves. In context, Mike’s audience was Georgia Baptist Pastors and leaders, in order to challenge the church not to be silent about spiritual convictions and to speak out in order to avoid the repeating of history. It is impossible to understand the content of the article, unless one understands that it was not directed at the general assembly, but a call to action for Pastors based on church history. [emphasis added]

We sincerely regret any misunderstanding of the intent of this article or its historical context. We should all rightly be held accountable for what we say, but not for what we do not say.

Indeed, Baptist leaders have been talking amongst themselves for years about their church’s failure to address the rise of Nazism in Germany, and to address it afterwards.

The 80th anniversary of a courageous stand by Christians in Germany who opposed Adolf Hitler also marks a sad chapter in Baptist history that festered four decades before Baptists voiced repentance.

In contrast to Christians who resisted Nazi evils, German Baptists “were just happy to be left alone, you might say,” historian Albert Wardin told Baptist Press. “And they were just happy to have the regime allow them to preach the Gospel within their churches. And so the German Baptists were not going to take any position that would counter any of the positions of the Hitler regime.”

German Baptists, however, since they were not part of the state church, stayed out of the discussion. Initially they viewed Hitler as a champion of religious liberty and his military conquests as a providential expansion of their field for evangelism.

Four decades later, lamenting their complacency and vowing to learn from the Confessing Church’s courage, German Baptists said they were “humbled by having been subordinated often to the ideological seduction of that time, in not having shown greater courage in acknowledging truth and justice.”

“The German Baptists, in their effort to achieve social respectability and to avoid being forced into a homogenized national church, failed to recognize that they were being used,” German theologian Erich Geldbach wrote in “Baptists Together In Christ,” a centennial history of the BWA.

Individual Baptists confessed their complicity with Hitler following the war. But not until 1984 did German Baptists formally express regret that they failed to support Bonhoeffer, Barth and others in the Confessing Church.

“Recognizing the evil at the beginning was more difficult than it appears today in retrospect,” Germany’s Baptists said at a European Baptist Federation Congress in Hamburg.

I hadn’t been aware of this chapter of Baptist history.

In my mind, the context is clear now and I understand that Griffin’s words did not compare the Georgia General Assembly to Nazis. That said, perhaps a greater sensitivity by everyone going forward to not just what they mean by their words, but how their words might be received, will help prevent a recurrence.

Of course, the civil discourse is almost never enhanced by references to Nazis or the Ku Klux Klan.

Now, the K-word is being trotted out in Bibb County, in a lawsuit accusing incumbent Sheriff David Davis of being in the Klan.

A former Bibb County sheriff’s deputy who announced his candidacy for sheriff this week has two pending lawsuits against his former employer. In one of them, he alleges that incumbent Sheriff David Davis is a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Davis, who is white, denies the allegation.

That is as far from the truth as it could absolutely be. … I think my record speaks for itself,” Davis told The Telegraph Wednesday. “I am offended by it, and it concerns me that someone would think that of me.”

At the heart of one of the suits, both filed in federal court last year, Timothy Rivers alleges that he was demoted due to his race and in retaliation for writing traffic tickets to “the wrong segment of peoples.”

Asked Wednesday what prompted his run for office, Rivers, a political newcomer, said, “To be honest with you, God gave me a vision two years ago. … I said, ‘Man, what if I was sheriff right now? There are so many things that we can change’. … Almighty God gave me that vision, ‘Hey, man, go forward’.”

 

10
Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 10, 2016

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 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.

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.

Under the Gold Dome Today

SENATE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

12:30 PM RULES UPON ADJOURNMENT 450 CAP

1:00 PM FINANCE Subcommittee B MEZZ 1

1:00 PM INSURANCE & LABOR 450 CAP

2:00 PM FINANCE Subcommittee A 125 CAP

2:00 PM ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM 310 CLOB

2:00 PM JUDICIARY 307 CLOB

3:00 PM JUDICIARY NON-CIVIL 307 CLOB

3:00 PM TRANSPORTATION 450 CAP

4:00 PM REAPPORTIONMENT AND REDISTRICTING 307 CLOB

4:00 PM STATE INSTITUTIONS AND PROPERTY MEZZ 1

HOUSE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

8:00 AM NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT 606 CLOB

9:00 AM RULES 341 CAP

12:00 PM BANKS & BANKING (Upon Adjournment) 341 CAP

1:00 PM Regulations Sub 406 CLOB

1:30 PM HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 606 CLOB

2:00 PM JUDICIARY CIVIL 132 CAP

2:00 PM Highway Regulations Sub 506 CLOB

2:00 PM REGULATED INDUSTRIES 406 CLOB

3:00 PM State Highways Sub 506 CLOB

4:00 PM Interstate Highway & Beautifucation Sub 506 CLOB

4:00 PM Caldwell Sub Judiciary Civil 132 CAP

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

HB 751 – General appropriations; state FY July 1, 2016June 30, 2017 (APPROP – Jack Hill) (Ralston)

HB 844 – Georgia Firefighters Pension Fund; insurance premiums subject to taxation; update certain provisions (RET – Sims) (Maxwell)

Legislation

Senate Bill 278 by Renee Unterman (R-Buford), which would increase penalties for pimping and pandering was given a do pass recommendation by a House Committee yesterday. The bill passed the Senate 53-0.  From 11Alive,

For many years, Georgia’s prostitution laws made criminals of the women who plied their trade on darkened streets and over cyberspace.  But as studies showed that many of those “women” were really children – the state began to change its approach.  Now lawmakers want to target customers – and the pimps who broker the trade.

Pimps “got a slap on the wrist, they made their bond, they were back on the street doing their usual business,” said Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford).

Unterman has been behind much of the reform of Georgia’s prostitution laws.  State law currently makes pimping a misdemeanor.  Unterman’s new bill would make pimping a felony.  It would also go after customers – making solicitation a felony upon a second conviction.

It would also put convicted twice-convicted customers on the state’s sex offender registry.

 

Senator William Ligon (R-Brunswick) has proposed special prosecutors to handle shootings by law enforcement officers.

Candidate Qualifying

The Second Congressional District (lower-left hand corner) is having a party, with three Republican candidates qualifying to take on Democratic incumbent Sanford Bishop.

Republicans Qualified for Second Congressional District
Bobby Scott from Columbus
Diane Vann from Macon
Greg Duke from Leesburg

Bobby Scott’s campaign sent along a blurb:

“Bobby Scott, an attorney in Columbus, qualified on Monday and will be challenging incumbent Congressman Sanford Bishop in the 2nd Congressional District.”

and from his website:

I’m not going to be an establishment kind of candidate. Nor am I one of those career politicians. I’m a guy that has worked hard my entire life and had to earn everything I got to get where I am today. I will go to Washington and let them know we have had enough. Southwest Georgia deserves better. It is our time now!

He’s apparently one of those mythical “outsider” candidates that Greg Bluestein wrote about the other day.

Also attempting to don the “outsider” mantle is David Crocker, running in House District 105 against incumbent Republican Joyce Chandler. From Crocker’s Press Release:

Air Force Veteran turned businessman, Republican David Crocker qualified to run against the incumbent in State House district 105. Crocker is a “real Conservative” – not someone who simply campaigns as one. He believes we need to clean house of most politicians.

This will be Crocker’s first run for public office. Some may say he is an “outsider” to politics. He believes this is positive considering the state of insider politicians currently running (ruining) our nation. It’s time to clean house.

Crocker stated, “Politicians have no idea what those of us at home are concerned about. I’m going to roll up my sleeves and get to work cleaning up this mess.” He continued, “I first became interested in politics in 1984 when I voted for Ronald Reagan. He was willing to challenge the status quo. He wasn’t afraid to say and do what needed to be done. We need to bring back that kind of leadership.”

Senate Republicans and their Challengers

District Incumbent Challenger
21 Brandon Beach Aaron Barlow
23 Jesse Stone Stephen Hammond
40 Fran Millar Paul Maner
50 John Wilkinson Roy Benifield
51 Steve Gooch John Williamson
53 Jeff Mullis Lanny Thomas
54 Charlie Bethel Conda Lowery-Goodson

So far, it looks like incumbent Senators across a swath of North Georgia are being challenged at a higher rate than is usual. If I had to guess, I’d opine that it may be to greater Tea Party influence, and a harder-edged style of conservatism in North Georgia. As far as the two Metro Atlanta incumbents who have challengers, one of them, Fran Millar, probably has more MARTA stations in his district than any other GOP Senators, while Brandon Beach wants more MARTA stations in his area.

DeKalb County

The General Assembly may very well see the return of Vernon Jones, former State House member and former CEO of DeKalb County, who qualified for the House District 91 seat being vacated by Dee Dawkins-Haigler, who is running for Senate against Republican JaNice VanNess. From Mark Niesse at the AJC,

Former DeKalb County CEO Vernon Jones is running for a Georgia House of Representatives seat covering parts of DeKalb and Rockdale counties.

Jones, a Democrat, filed papers to campaign for House District 91 on Wednesday. No other candidates have entered the race, and qualifying for office lasts until Friday.

I’m just going to throw this out there: I’ve heard a rumor that DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson (D) is eyeing a run for Tax Commissioner, which just happens to pay in the $300k/year range.

And then, there’s this:

Dax Lopez Obama ad

I don’t have any idea whether that was run in Democratic areas to help re-elect Judge Lopez, or in Republican areas to hurt him.

10
Mar

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for March 10, 2016

Lucky Charm

All month long, DeKalb County Animal Services is offering discounted adoption fees. Dogs weighing over 25 pounds are just $40 and all cats are $25. View their adoptables here: dekalbanimalservices.com or better yet, go meet them at 845 Camp Rd. in Decatur!

Bobby

Bobbie is a dapper dude who is incredibly charming and super sweet! This one year old boy is always eager to please his humans, especially if treats are involved! Bobbie has already mastered his sit command and would love to learn more. He gets along great with other dogs and may make a great play mate for your current dog! Feel free to bring your pup to meet him.

Bobbie is available for adoption at DeKalb County Animal Services.

Vara

Vara is a super sweet one year old girl who is a little shy in new situations, but finds comfort in huddling close to the humans around her. She gets along great with other dogs and loves treats.

Vara is available for adoption at DeKalb County Animal Services.

SpikeDeKalb

Spike is a big goofy lovebug with the cutest snaggle teeth and a heart of gold. This five year old Boxer mix has mastered his sit command and would love to learn more. He is a big boy, weighing at at just under 70 pounds. Spike would love to join your family.

Spike is available for adoption at DeKalb County Animal Services.

9
Mar

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for March 9, 2016

Rocket

Rocket is an adult male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Pet Friends in Chickamauga, GA.

Rocket is a great Labrador mix! He has the most wonderful personality. He is a bit chubby since he loves food. Please contact [email protected] if you are interested in Rocket.

Freddie

Freddie is an adult male Chocolate Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Pet Friends in Chickamauga, GA.

Abby

Abby is a young adult female Yellow Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Pet Friends in Chickamauga, GA.

She is house trained and loves to play with her foster brother. They play non stop. She will climb a fence so she will need an electric or wooden privacy fence to keep her in until she learns she is at home. She is approx 1 – 2 years old and was found as a stray.

Hannable

Hanable is an adult male Yellow Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Pet Friends in Chickamauga, GA.

9
Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 9, 2016

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.

Under the Gold Dome Today

SENATE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

9:00 AM HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 450 CAP

9:30 AM FINANCE Subcommittee A 125 CAP

10:30 AM FINANCE Subcommittee B MEZZ 1

11:00 AM SPECIAL JUDICIARY 125 CAP

11:00 AM INSURANCE & LABOR 450 CAP

1:00 PM PUBLIC SAFETY 310 CLOB

1:00 PM HIGHER EDUCATION 307 CLOB

3:00 PM FINANCE MEZZ 1

3:00 PM JUDICIARY NON-CIVIL307 CLOB

HOUSE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

8:00 AM INSURANCE 606 CLOB

9:30 AM JUDICIARY NON-CIVIL 406 CLOB

10:00 AM STATE PROPERTIES 506 CLOB

10:00 AM Professions-Boards-Commissions Sub 515 CLOB

1:00 PM Fleming Sub Judiciary Civil 132 CAP

1:00 PM GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS 406 CLOB

2:00 PM SMALL BUSINESS 406 CLOB

2:00 PM RETIREMENT 515 CLOB

2:00 PM EDUCATION 606 CLOB

3:00 PM Regulations Sub – Canceled 506 CLOB

3:00 PM SPECIAL RULES 515 CLOB

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Last night, Frank Auman was sworn in as Mayor of Tucker, along with City Council members Honey Van De Kreke, Michelle Penkava, Bill Rosenfeld, and Anne Lerner. Runoff Elections for the remaining City Council members will be held March 29th.

For the signings, the Chewning desk was used, which served as the desk of the Tucker postmaster beginning in 1892.

This morning at 9 AM, former Congressman Paul Broun will announce on WDUN that he is running for Congress in the Ninth District, currently represented by Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville). The AJC Political Insider has more on the story:

The election for United States Senator has become even more crowded, with three Democrats and a Republican challenger, along with incumbent Republican Johnny Isakson

Republican
Johnny Isakson (i)
Derrick “TMOT” Grayson

Democratic
Cheryl Copeland from Hiram
John F. Coyne
James Knox

And it should get even more interesting once the handpicked Democratic challenger gets in the race.

Last week, Henry County voters approved an E-SPLOST by nearly 60%.

In Cobb County recently, Superior Court Judge Reuben Green was seen in a courthouse surveillance video allegedly discussing a pending case with prosecutors. Yesterday, he picked up a challenger for his reelection. From the Fulton Daily Report.

An unexpected challenge of a Cobb County Superior Court judge highlighted the first day and a half of candidate qualifying for upcoming judicial and district attorney races.

Nathan Wade, a trial attorney and Marietta municipal court judge, qualified to run against Cobb Superior Court Judge Reuben Green on Monday.

Green, who was elected to the bench in 2012, drew criticism last week when a lawyer sought his recusal from a criminal case because a courtroom video showed him discussing with prosecutors—without the defense lawyer present—how many witnesses they planned to call in the upcoming trial.

Wade began campaigning for a judicial position on the Cobb County Superior Court months ago, but he was expected to qualify for the seat left open by the retirement of Judge Adele Grubbs. She is among four judges in Cobb who plan to step down this year.

Wade said on Monday, however, that he switched opponents because “there was an outcry from the legal community, and then the general public at large” over Green’s conduct in the courtroom footage. “You don’t have to be an attorney to watch that video and listen to that audio to be offended by the behavior,” he said. “I believe it’s the role of a judge to be fair and impartial to all litigants in all cases. A part of that fairness is abiding by the ethical standards and the rules of professional conduct.”

I guess that illustrates the importance of timing in politics. The Daily Report also noted several challenges to incumbent prosecutors.

Clayton: Attorney Jason Green is challenging incumbent District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson.

Habersham: Attorney Bruce Russell Jr. is seeking to unseat incumbent District Attorney George Christian

Toombs: Bill Double and Durwood “Woody” Davis have both qualified to stand election for the seat currently held by District Attorney Hayward Altman.

Cobb County Commission Chair Tim Lee appears to be in good position to fend off challenges in his reelection campaign this year.

Cobb Commission Chairman Tim Lee has a big cash advantage over his challengers for the Republican nomination in the May 24 primary….

Lee, elected to a full term in 2012, qualified for this year’s election Monday. He had $138,000 on hand as of the last reporting period that ended Jan. 31, after spending $60,000 during the reporting period. He declined to comment on the spending for this story.

Challenger Mike Boyce, who has been campaigning for months, raised $50,000 during this election cycle but had only $6,800 in the bank as of the same reporting period. Larry Savage has announced his intention to run for the chairman’s seat, but reported no fund raising activity in this period.

State Rep. Emory Dunahoo (R-Gainesville) has a Democratic challenger, Michelle Jones.

In Hall County, Richard Higgins and Steve Gailey both qualified for the Commission Chairmanship, being vacated by current chair Richard Mecum and in District 2, Eugene Moon will challenge incumbent Billy Powell.

Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway is challenged in the Republican Primary by Walter Keith Van Nus.

State Rep. Joyce Chandler (R-Grayson) meets challengers within the Republican Primary and in the General Election.

Gwinnett County Schools Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks was named to a national committee to address improving high-need schools under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert will face off against at least one challenger, Lonzy Edwards.

Maggie Lee with the Macon Telegraph has a great piece that takes a look at the question of whether daily fantasy sports website are illegal gambling and what might happen after Attorney General Sam Olens opined that they are illegal under Georgia law.

“Given that a number of other states had determined that fantasy sports were illegal gambling, we were looking for clarification to see if the same were true in Georgia,” Georgia Lottery Corp. spokeswoman Kimberly Starks said in a written statement.

The letter that Georgia lottery officials received from lawyers in Attorney General Sam Olens’ office suggests that Georgia might follow suit with other states.

The “informal advice” in the letter is “that daily fantasy sports games are not authorized under Georgia law.”

Asked for the lottery’s reaction to the letter and what its board might do, Starks referred questions to Olens. Asked if the letter meant that even using such websites is breaking the law in Georgia, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office said they had no comment either.

Former Georgia State Ethics Commission Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission Executive Director Stacey Kalberman will take the reins as the first Chief Ethics Officer for DeKalb County.

Stacey Kalberman’s appointment as the county’s first chief ethics officer was approved 6-0 by the DeKalb Commission. The position was created as part of a government overhaul approved by 92 percent of voters in November.

Kalberman said she will stand up for DeKalb residents and resist political pressure.

Kalberman will be responsible training the county’s 6,000 employees about ethical rules and investigating misbehavior.

DeKalb commissioners, who often have found themselves accused of county ethics violations, confirmed Kalberman’s appointment. But not before county residents pressured them to fill the job. About 15 residents urged commissioners at their meeting Tuesday to complete the ethics reforms that voters overwhelmingly supported.

With Kalberman in place, the DeKalb Board of Ethics can restart its investigations of ethics complaints against government officials. The board, whose members were replaced in January as part of the voter-approved ethics reforms, hasn’t taken action on complaints against Commissioner Sharon Barnes Sutton, Commissioner Stan Watson and others.

Senate Bill 308 by Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) advanced out of the House Health and Human Service Committee and may be headed for a floor vote.

Senate Bill 308, which cleared the House Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday, would establish a grant program through the state Department of Public Health to promote pregnancy and parenting services as alternatives to abortion. Under the legislation, pregnancy resource centers could not use grant funds to refer clients to clinics that provide abortions or counsel women to get abortions unless their pregnancies are life-threatening.

The state Senate passed the bill last month on a party-line 38-16 vote. The bill’s sponsor, Senate Health and Human Services Chairwoman Renee Unterman, R-Buford, said the legislation is a “positive alternative” to restricting access to abortions.

“What pregnancy resource centers do is offer the resources to make good decisions,” Unterman said. “Not only can they stay in business, but hopefully they can expand and decrease the number of abortions that we have in the state of Georgia.”

House Health and Human Services Chairwoman Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta, expressed strong support for the legislation.

“We only talked about no abortions, and then there was no help for any prospective mother who decided not to have an abortion, but then there was no referral to medical care,” Cooper said. “We need to push for care of that pregnant woman, not just through the delivery process but on to the first year and on to life.”

8
Mar

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for March 8, 2016

Bumble Bee

Bumble Bee is a male Black Labrador Retriever puppy who is available for adoption from Madison Oglethorpe Animal Shelter in Danielsville, GA.

EB

E.B. is a male Shar Pei and Shepherd mix puppy who is available for adoption from Madison Oglethorpe Animal Shelter in Danielsville, GA.

Bayou

Bayou is a young male Catahoula Leopard Dog who is available for adoption from Madison Oglethorpe Animal Shelter in Danielsville, GA. He is deaf, so he’ll need a home that’s prepared to care for his special needs.

Starla

Starla is a beautiful young adult female Foxhound or Treeing Walker Coonhound who is available for adoption from Madison Oglethorpe Animal Shelter in Danielsville, GA.

Currently, Starla is in a foster home, as the shelter environment is too much for her. She needs room to run and play. She gets along with other dogs, but cats get her way too excited. If you are interested in meeting with Starla, the shelter can arrange a meet and greet with her and her foster mom.

8
Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 8, 2016

Sponsored video:

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.

Under the Gold Dome Today

SENATE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

12:30 PM RULES UPON ADJOURNMENT450 CAP

1:00 PM GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT125 CAP

1:00 PM ETHICS307 CLOB

2:00 PM RETIREMENT310 CLOB

2:00 PM STATE & LOCAL GOV’TAL OPS125 CAP

2:00 PM JUDICIARY307 CLOB

3:00 PM BANKING & FINANCIAL INST 310 CLOB

3:00 PM NATURAL RES & THE ENV’T450 CAP

4:00 PM TRANSPORTATION450 CAP

4:00 PM JUDICIARY NON-CIVIL 307 CLOB

HOUSE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

9:30 AM RULES 341 CAP

11:30 AM Fleming Sub Judiciary Civil 406 CLOB

2:00 PM HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 606 CLOB

2:00 PM JUDICIARY CIVIL 132 CAP

2:00 PM ENERGY 403 CAP

2:00 PM Academic Support Sub 415 CLOB

3:00 PM PUBLIC SAFETY & HOMELAND SEC 406 CLOB

3:00 PM INDUSTRY & LABOR 506 CLOB

4:00 PM Caldwell Sub Judiciary Civil 132 CAP

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

HB 697 – Unsolicited merchandise; solicitors to receive from consumers affirmative assent to continued receipt of certain merchandise following a free trial before charging; require (AG&CA – VanNess) (Kirby – 114th)

HB 840 – Conservation and natural resources; rules and regulations to establish criminal violations; change provisions (NR&E – Ginn) (Stephens – 164th)

The House Rules Committee has not published a calendar for today.

Elections

On March 29, a Special Election will be held to fill the State House seat vacated upon the death in office of Rep. Bob Bryant. Three Democrats have filed for the election: Alicia Blakely, Carl Gilliard, and Josey M. Shepherd. The winner will take office after the 2016 Session is complete, but if they choose to run for reelection, will be designated as the incumbent on the May 24th ballot.Continue Reading..