The blog.


Parental rights bill sponsored by Unterman passes Senate | Gwinnett Daily Post

State Sen. Renee Unterman’s Supporting and Strengthening Families Act is heading to the House for approval after passing the Senate on Tuesday.

The Buford legislator’s bill, which passed 43-to-10, would provide an alternative to foster care for parents who must temporarily waive parental rights due to some circumstances including military service or substance abuse treatment, according to a news release.

“Difficult life situations that are relatively short-term often creates a long-term struggle for parents who trying to care for their children,” Unterman said in the news release. “Senate Bill 3 allows for the easier transfer of caregiving authority, without the involvement of a lengthy court process, in order to allow parents to adequately address any circumstances impacting the ability to adequately care for a child.”

The act would allow the parent or legal guardian to use a power of attorney to delegate the care and custody of a child to another adult who is a Georgia resident. The transfer of custodial power would not be considered abandonment or foster care, and related parties to the power of attorney would not be subject to any of the requirements that apply to child foster care or community care.

via Parental rights bill sponsored by Unterman passes Senate | Gwinnett Daily Post.


Infographic: Georgia’s Gas Tax Before and After HB 170


For the policy nerds out there, I’ll note that the numbers used are not precise, but they serve to illustrate what’s going on with the proposed changes.

For example, the chart put the local tax at 2.4%, while that’s an average, not a specific number. Secondly, the calculations assume $3.39 per gallon, the average price over the past four years. Rounding means that 13.65 cents on $3.39 is rounded down from 8.136 cents to 8.1 cents; likewise, the 4% state sales tax is rounded up from 13.56 cents to 13.6 cents.

Currently, the state sales tax per gallon is set periodically, usually fluctuating twice per year; the current state sales tax is 11.8 cents per gallon, based on a $2.95 per gallon gas price the last time it was sent.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 11, 2015

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

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

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.

Under the Gold Dome Today

The current Adjournment Resolution, which sets the legislative schedule going forward, has the last day of Session scheduled for April 2, 2015. this week, the General Assembly is in Session today and tomorrow with no floor session planned for Friday.Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for February 11, 2015


43716 is a young female Hound who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.


43542 is a male Basset Hound mix who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.


43629 is a female Lab mix who is fully vetted and is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.


43837 is a beautiful young male Pointer who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter. He’ll need some help filling out his skinny frame.


43807 is a friendly young female Chihuahua who will be available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter beginning Friday.


VIDEO – Senate in a Minute: Day 13 with Sen. Burt Jones

Your Georgia Desk

From The Senate Press Office and Senator Burt Jones 

Senate in a Minute: Day 13

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Adoptable Georgia Dogs for February 10, 2015

Jack Macon

Jack is a Hound & Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Furever After Rescue in Macon, GA.

Jack White

Jack White is a Labrador Retriever & White German Shepherd mix who loves playing, including in a kiddie pool; Jack White is available for adoption from Ginny Millner Rescue Group in Atlanta, GA.

Jack Winder

Jack is a Shepherd & Cattle Dog mix puppy who is available for adoption from Remember Me? Pet Rescue in Winder,GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 10, 2015

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.

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

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

Under the Gold Dome Today

9:00am – 10:00am House Rules – 341 CAP
12:00pm – 1:00pm Senate Rules Upon Adj – 450 Capitol
1:00pm – 2:00pm Senate Interstate Coop – 123 CAP
1:00pm – 2:00pm Senate Science & Tech – 310 CLOB
1:00pm – 3:00pm House Approp Economic Dev – 606 CLOB
2:00pm – 3:00pm House Insurance P&C Sub – 514 CLOB
2:00pm – 3:00pm House Approp Health Sub – 341 CAP
2:00pm – 3:00pm Senate Urban Affairs – 328 CLOB
2:00pm – 3:00pm House Judiciary Civil – 132 CAP
2:00pm – 3:00pm House Ways & Means Income Tax – 133 CAP
2:00pm – 3:00pm Senate Higher Education – 307 CLOB
2:00pm – 3:00pm House Approp Public Safety – 415 CLOB
2:00pm – 3:00pm House Approp Education Sub – 515 CLOB
3:00pm – 4:00pm Senate Natural Resources – 450 CAP
3:00pm – 4:00pm Senate Veterans – 125 CAP
3:00pm – 4:00pm House Game, Fish & Parks – 403 Capitol
3:00pm – 4:00pm House Ways & Means Sales Tax Sub – 133 CAP
3:00pm – 4:00pm House Science & Technology – 506 CLOB
4:00pm – 5:00pm Senate Economic Development – Senate Mezz 1
4:00pm – 5:00pm House Education Acad. Support – 415 CLOB
4:00pm – 5:00pm House Ways & Means Ad Valorem – 133 CAP
4:00pm – 5:00pm House Public Safety – 406 CLOB
4:00pm – 5:00pm Senate Judiciary – 307 CLOB

Senate Rules Calendar for Today

SB 3 - ‘Supporting and Strengthening Families Act’; power of attorney from parent to another person; care of minor child; provide for (As Introduced) (Substitute) (H&HS-45th)

SB 5 - Georgia Ports Authority; provide for powers; acceptance of loans/grants from United States upon certain terms and conditions (As Introduced) (Substitute) (ED&T-46th)Continue Reading..


VIDEO – GA State Senate: Senate in a Minute: Day 12 with Sen. William Ligon

Your Georgia Desk

From The Senate Press Office and Senator William Ligon

Senate in a Minute: Day 12


Sen. Judson Hill: 2015 Session Weekly Update # 4

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator Judson Hill

Judson - Bio Photo 2013

2015 Session Weekly Update # 4 – Capitol News from Sen. Judson Hill

We have settled into the 4th week of the 2015 Session. Local delegations have begun to meet to plan strategies for local legislation and our Appropriation Committees have been working hard in order to adjust the proposed budget for the 2015-2016 year. Bills are slowly beginning to move between the House and the Senate.Below is a list of notable legislation that has been introduced in the Senate and is under deliberation in their respective committees.

On Monday, the Senate Appropriations Committee will vote on the proposed Supplemental FY 2015 State budget. We have worked on adjusting the current FY 2015 ($20.8 billion) budget, later and we will also vote on the FY 2016 ($21.1 billion) budget. This 

2015-16 GA State Budget link  takes you to documents to view a more detailed description of Governor Deal’s proposed 2015 Amended and 2016 State budgets.

2015 Legislation of Note Passed or Introduced this Week in the Senate:

SB 69: This bill would protect our GA Defense Force from being fired while they are called up for service across the state before the GA National Guard is deployed.

SB 70 : This bill would require that armed security guards must complete a background check and be fingerprinted in order to begin a public safety related job.

SB 80: This bill is would revise provisions relating to funding for state charter schools and virtual charter schools.

SB 74 - I sponsored this bill to create a Charity Health Care Organization to provide a tax state deductible contribution to raise moneys for Charity Health Clinics that offer low cost and free healthcare for the un-insured.

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Sen. Frank Ginn: Unanimous Support for Education in the Georgia State Senate

Your Georgia Desk

From Senator Frank Ginn

Sen. Frank Ginn

Unanimous Support for Education in the Georgia State Senate

Last week, the Georgia State Senate convened for Days 9, 10 and 11 of the 2015 legislative session. Senate Appropriations subcommittees met throughout the week to review HB 75, the supplemental appropriations bill for FY 2015. The bill will likely hit the chamber floor this week, where it will be voted on by the full Senate. If the Senate passes an amended version of HB 75, it will need to be sent back to the House before being sent to Governor Deal’s desk for a signature. If the House does not agree with the Senate’s version of HB 75, a conference committee from both chambers will be appointed to work out the differences. Only then will HB 75 be able to be sent to Governor Deal for his final approval.

The Senate unanimously passed legislation for the second time since session started—showing that we clearly have a bipartisan commitment to improving the education and overall welfare of Georgia’s children. Senate Bill 2 will provide Georgia’s students with another pathway to success by allowing students the opportunity to earn a high school diploma while also completing rigorous coursework at a Technical College. Not only will this help students reach education and career goals more efficiently, but it will also send a clear message to potential business investors that Georgia has a skilled workforce at the ready to fill their open positions.

The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) will work with the State Board of Education to identify gaps in the workforce where skilled professionals are needed. Local school boards will be given reports about these areas of need and encouraged to use them in order to better assist their students in making educational choices. As lawmakers, it’s our responsibility to make sure students have multiple avenues for success at all education levels—by passing SB 2, we are keeping education a top priority in our state.

The Honorable Chief Justice Hugh P. Thompson of the Supreme Court of Georgia delivered his annual “State of the Judiciary” address to a joint session of the House and Senate; highlighting the accomplishments of Georgia’s Judicial Branch as well as the challenges ahead.  Georgia’s courtrooms are committed to protecting individual rights and liberties, upholding the rules of law, and providing a forum for the peaceful resolution of disputes that is fair, impartial, and accessible to all. The courts serve as the third leg of an important tripod. They provide balance to the executive and legislative branch.

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