On February 27, 1922, the United States Supreme Court released an unanimous decision holding that the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, granting women the right to vote, is constitutional. The case, Leser v. Garnett, arose because of a challenge seeking to strike women’s names from the voter rolls in Maryland and asserting:
- The power to amend the Constitution did not cover this amendment, due to its character.
- Several states that had ratified the amendment had constitutions that prohibited women from voting, rendering them unable to ratify an amendment to the contrary.
- The ratifications of Tennessee and West Virginia were invalid, because they were adopted without following the rules of legislative procedure in place in those states.
It might as well have asserted that sleeping on the couch for the rest of the plantiffs’ lives would be cold and uncomfortable.
On February 27, 1962, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ralph David Abernathy were tried in Albany for charges stemming from a demonstration on the steps of City Hall.
On February 27, 1982, Wayne Williams was convicted in Fulton County Superior Court of murdering two adult males. Atlanta Police later said he was guilty of at least 23 of 29 child murders between 1979 and 1981. Williams was never indicted or tried on the allegations of child murder and maintains his innocence.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
Under the Gold Dome – Legislative Day 25
8:00 AM SENATE RETIREMENT 310 CLOB
8:00 AM SENATE HEALTH & HS 450 CAP
9:00 AM HOUSE RULES 341 CAP
9:30 AM House Transportation Sub State Hwys 515 CLOB
10:00 AM HOUSE SESSION (LD 25) CHAMBER
12:30 PM SENATE RULES – UPON ADJ’T 450 CAP
1:00 PM SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY 450 CAP
1:00 PM SENATE STATE & LOCAL GOV’TAL OPS 123 CAP
1:00 PM SENATE SPECIAL JUD’Y 125 CAP
1:00 PM SENATE REGULATED INDUSTRIES & UTIL 307 CLOB
1:00 PM SENATE HIGHER ED 310 CLOB
1:00 PM HOUSE PUBLIC SAFETY AND HOMELAND SEC’Y 606 CLOB
1:00 PM House Resource Management 403 CAP
1:30 PM HOUSE HUMAN RELATIONS AND AGING 515 CLOB
1:30 PM HOUSE JUD’Y NON CIVIL 406 CLOB
1:30 PM HOUSE BANKS AND BANKING 415 CLOB
2:00 PM SENATE INSURANCE & LABOR 125 CAP
2:00 PM SENATE EDUCATION & YOUTH 307 CLOB
2:00 PM SENATE FINANCE MEZZ 1
2:00 PM House Kelley Sub JUD’Y Civil 132 CAP
2:00 PM HOUSE FULL APPROP 341 CAP
2:30 PM HOUSE INTRAGOV’TAL COORD 403 CAP
3:00 PM SENATE GOV’T OVERSIGHT 125 CAP
3:00 PM SENATE INTERSTATE COOP 123 CAP
3:00 PM SENATE APPROP – Transportation Sub 341 CAP
3:00 PM SENATE ETHICS 450 CAP
3:00 PM HOUSE WAYS & MEANS 606 CLOB
3:00 PM HOUSE ENERGY, UTILITIES, AND TELECOM 403 CAP
4:00 PM SENATE JUD’Y 310 CLOB
4:00 PM SENATE NAT’L RES & ENV’T 450 CAP
4:00 PM SENATE REAPPORTIONMENT & REDISTRICTING 307 CLOB
5:00 PM SENATE HEALTH & HS 450 CAP
SENATE RULES CALENDAR
SB 201 – Labor and Industrial Relations; employees to use sick leave for the care of immediate family members; allow (Substitute) (I&L-49th)
SB 133 – Corporate Net Worth Tax; less than a certain amount; make such tax inapplicable to corporations (FIN-20th)
SB 121 – “Jeffrey Dallas Gay, Jr., Act” (H&HS-49th)
SB 156 – Sales and Use Taxes; equalized homestead option sales and use taxes; provide certain restrictions (Committee amend AM 28 1546) (FIN-40th)
HOUSE RULES CALENDAR
Modified Structured Rule
HB 116 – Juvenile Code; provide superior court with exclusive original jurisdiction for cases involving aggravated assault; provisions (Substitute) (JudyNC-Reeves-34th)
HB 124 – Public assistance; fraud; revisions (Substitute)(JudyNC-Clark-98th)
HB 213 – Crimes and offenses; sale, manufacture, delivery, or possession of fentanyl within the prohibition of trafficking certain drugs; include (Substitute)(JudyNC-Golick-40th)
HB 279 – Domestic relations; name change requested by victim of family violence; provide separate process (Judy-Ballinger-23rd)
HB 293 – Evidence; procedure relating to child’s testimony of sexual contact or physical abuse; provide effective date (JudyNC-Silcox-52nd)
HB 308 – Domestic relations; child support; enact provisions recommended by Georgia Child Support Commission (Substitute)(Judy-Beskin-54th)
HB 343 – Criminal procedure; certain outdated terminology; replace (Substitute)(JudyNC-Hilton-95th)
HB 360 – Prescription drugs; expedited partner therapy for patients with venereal diseases; provisions (Substitute)(H&HS-Cooper-43rd)
HB 405 – Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency; establish state-wide system to facilitate the transport and distribution of essentials in commerce during a state of emergency; require (Substitute)(PS&HS-Hitchens-161st)
HB 427 – Physicians and Health Care Practitioners for Rural Areas Assistance Act; enact (Substitute)(H&HS-Newton-123rd)
HB 264 – Georgia World Congress Center Authority; revenue bond capacity; increase (W&M-Efstration-104th)
HB 265 – Income tax; credit for establishing or relocating quality jobs; revise provisions (Substitute)(W&M-Efstration-104th)
HB 301 – Income tax; certain physicians; delete deduction to create new credit; provisions (Substitute)(W&M-Lott- 122nd)
Advance voting begins today in Cobb County, where all voters can cast ballots in the March 21, 2017 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST) Election and Marietta Ward 6 voters will cast ballots for City Council.
Eight candidates qualified for the April 18, 2017 Special Election to succeed Sen Judson Hill in Senate District 32.
Five Republican candidates – Hamilton Beck, Matt Campbell, Roy Daniels, Kay Kirkpatrick, and Gus Makris – qualified for the race. Three Democratic candidates – Christine Triebsch, Exton Howard, and Bob Wiskind – also qualified for the race.
March 20, 2017 is the last day to register to vote for all persons who are not currently registered to vote and who desire to vote in the special election. Advance in-person voting will begin on Monday, March 27, 2017. On Election Day, the polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. A run-off election, if needed, will be held on May 16, 2017.
The Marietta Daily Journal notes that doctors in the race outnumber lawyers.
District 32 residents are about 20 percent more likely to be “health diagnosing and treating practitioners” than other Georgians, according to data from statisticalatlas.com and the U.S. census.
That might help explain why three of the eight candidates hoping to take the district’s state senate seat from former State Sen. Judson Hill on the April 18 special election are physicians.
Democrat Bob Wiskind is a pediatrician who practices at Peachtree Parks Pediatrics in Atlanta. Republican Kay Kirkpatrick is an orthopedic surgeon from east Cobb and former president of Resurgens Orthopedics, and Republican Royden “Roy” Daniels is a physician specializing in neuroradiology, imaging of the head, neck and spine.
The race will also include two attorneys, Democrat Christine Triebsch and Republican Gus Makris, both of east Cobb.
The bunch is rounded out by a television director, Democrat Exton Howard; a consultant, Republican Hamilton Matthew Beck and a railroad conductor, Republican Matt Campbell.
Here’s a great story about that time President Trump went to a restaurant without the press.
8:17 PM: Without any announcement or indication, President Trump enters the hotel lobby which bears his name, flanked on all sides by the Secret Service. Shock and astonishment fill the guests in the room. The woman next to me screams “Is it him? It’s really him! Oh my God! This is like a dream!” Trump is rushed by fans in the lobby as he makes his way to the steakhouse. Secret Service makes a barrier for him, and the President waves and shakes hands on his way. The young crew are the first in line. Also waiting in line as the President arrives is Nigel Farage.
The entire restaurant is now on its feet, cheering and applauding. Trump makes his way upstairs, waving and stopping for a few selfies.
One woman shouts at him “Donald, it’s my birthday!” Trump stops and says “Happy birthday,” as he hugs the elated woman. “How about a birthday present? Let’s take a photo,” he says to her, afterward telling the woman she looks very young and has great skin.
8:25 PM: The President gets up and walks across the restaurant to his Secretary of State’s table. The President kisses Tillerson’s wife Renda, and he and Tillerson make small talk. They laugh and speak jovially for a few minutes as dinner guests who had been sitting next to Tillerson look on in stunned amazement. Another woman tells Trump it’s her birthday and gets a selfie. The woman tells me emotionally afterward that she had no idea Trump would be here. She booked the birthday dinner a month ago and said meeting Trump here was, “like meeting Walt Disney in Disneyland.”
Indiana and Idaho have joined Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp in complaining about unauthorized scans of their database systems by the Department of Homeland Security.
Over 10,000 individual hits on Indiana’s systems originated from a handful of DHS IP addresses, according to the Indiana Information Sharing and Analysis Center. According to a January IN-ISAC report, those same IP addresses were associated with of the scan of Georgia’s election systems in the fall of 2016 and early 2017. The report was provided to FCW, GCN’s sister site, on Feb. 23 by the Indiana Secretary of State’s office.
The IN-ISAC report said its assessment of traffic to and from its systems between Nov. 15, 2016, and Jan. 24, 2017, found “with a high degree of certainty” that the unauthorized scans originated at DHS IP addresses. It said it confirmed the IP addresses were owned by DHS through a “WhoIS” search.
Georgia House Speaker David Ralston says a panel will look at issues related to rural Georgia.
This past week Ralston unveiled a new initiative to address the geographic gap. It’ll be chaired by Reps. Jay Powell and Terry England — the House’s point men on taxes and spending, respectively — and tasked with making recommendations this year and next.
“I want them to go to these communities … to ask people, what can we do?” Ralston said. Some possibilities: new or tweaked tax incentives, maybe to attract doctors and other professionals to rural towns, and better access to technical colleges, a big part of Georgia’s job-creation efforts.
As for rural health care, Ralston, who hails from north Georgia, cited an example from his district. “In Ellijay, we had the hospital closure there late last spring,” he said. “But it’s coming back now, as what I have called a micro-hospital. Because you know, every small town doesn’t need a 30-, 40-, 50-bed hospital if you can have eight or 10 beds, and an emergency room. But I think health care, and having access to that, is vital to jobs.”
Here, he offered a clarification: “I’m not looking for government to create one job here. This is not about government creating jobs … but it can create an environment for the private sector to grow jobs, and let’s let that mean something for the entire state.”
Sand dunes could lose some protections under legislation in the Georgia legislature.
House Bill 271, cosponsored by State Rep. Jesse Petrea, R-Savannah, seeks to better define the area at the beach where the state can regulate development under the Shore Protection Act. Petrea introduced the amendment that redefines a sand dune before the bill was passed out of the House Natural Resources & Environment Committee Thursday.
“Sand dunes means mounds of sand deposited along a coastline by wind, tidal or wave action or by a beach nourishment or dune construction project permitted under this part, which mounds are often covered with sparse, pioneer vegetation such as sea oats and beach morning glory. Mounds of sand covered with a planted and maintained lawn or landscaping shall not be considered sand dunes. Mounds of sand that are stabilized by indigenous vegetative cover shall also not be considered sand dunes,” the definition states.
Environmental groups are pushing back against the new definition, saying it creates a loophole any property owner could garden themselves right through.
“With this language, almost any type of vegetation would remove a dune from the sand sharing system and make it developable,” said Megan Desrosiers, executive director of One Hundred Miles.
“Noncitizen” driver’s licenses proposed in the General Assembly are causing concerns.
Georgia driver’s licenses for immigrants with permission to be in the U.S. would be stamped with the word “noncitizen” under legislation introduced this year that’s being watched closely by immigration advocates.
Rep. Alan Powell, a Republican from Hartwell, is sponsoring a bill that is facing opposition from critics who say it is unnecessary. Enactment would make Georgia one of the first – if not the first – state to use a “noncitizen” label on licenses.
Powell recently told members of a subcommittee considering the bill that the state’s existing “limited-term” label on certain licenses is vague.
“If you are authorized to have a driver’s license, then it needs to state that this is for driving purposes only and it doesn’t signify that you’re a citizen,” Powell said. “I’m going to stick to my beliefs here because I think it’s a public safety matter.”
Spaceport legislation has drawn kudos from a company in the industry.
The chief executive officer at Vector Space Systems has sent a letter to Gov. Nathan Deal congratulating him on the General Assembly’s recent votes in support of the Georgia Space Flight Act.
“We recognize that this is a major milestone in Camden County’s efforts to establish a commercial spaceport in Georgia,” James Cantrell wrote in his letter to the governor.
“Vector fully appreciates the opportunities and benefits that such a non-federal range can offer to launch providers like us whose long term goal is to provide dedicated delivery services tailored to the needs of the emerging small satellite market,” he said.
Senate Bill 206 by Sen. P.K. Martin (R-Lawrenceville) will be heard in the Senate Insurance & Labor Committee today.
A bill backed by state Sen. P.K. Martin to help children have access to hearing aids will get a hearing on Monday and Martin’s office said residents who want to testify are welcome to attend.
Martin, R-Lawrenceville, worked with the organization, Let Georgia Hear, to craft Senate Bill 206. If passed by both chambers of the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal, the bill would make mandate health care plans cover hearing aids for deaf and hearing impaired children.
“I am proud to partner with ‘Let Georgia Hear’ and sponsor this legislation that will directly benefit children across Georgia with hearing impairments to ensure they have the coverage needed to obtain hearing aids,” Martin said in a statement. “I want to ensure every child in this state has every opportunity to grow and thrive. This legislation will go along way in that goal for many children.”
There are 20 states that have passed similar legislation, according to a joint statement by Martin and Let Georgia Hear co-founder Kelly Jenkins. The pair said getting hearing aids is expensive — it can cost $6,000 for a pair that will only last up to five years — but they also said the devices are important in a child’s early years to ensure they develop properly.
Senate Bill 221 revising Optometrists’ scope of practice passed out of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee.
The latest furor about medical practice has erupted over legislation to allow optometrists — who examine the eye, test vision and prescribe corrective treatment but are not physicians — to administer drug injections into patients’ eyelids. Ophthalmologists, who are physicians specializing in the eye, are furiously opposed to this, as is the Medical Association of Georgia, a leading physician organization.
Senate Bill 221, though, was approved by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Thursday.
John Whitlow, a LaGrange optometrist, told the Senate panel that 15 other states allow optometrists to do these injections.
“We would like to be able to treat patients to the best of our ability,’’ Whitlow said. The injection, he said, “is not going into the globe of the eye.’’
But Dr. Brian Kim, a Dalton ophthalmologist, said complications from an injection can lead to problems that require surgery.
Under the Senate bill that was approved, optometrists must train for 30 hours on the technique under the supervision of an ophthalmologist.
“SB 68 serves the purpose of opening up the opportunity for students, regardless of income level, to earn a robust, quality education,” said Sen. Hill. “For too long, parents have been left with no choice as to what school their child could attend simply because of financial limitations. SB 68 opens up the door for real choice and would be a much needed change to our state’s education system.”
Senate Bill 68, also known as the “Individual Student Education Account Act” would establish an individual student education savings account meant to improve access to quality education by providing parents a financial mechanism to choose the school that is right for their child.
Congressman Rick Allen (R-Augusta) toured the Army Cyber Command at Fort Gordon.
“Every time I am out here I just say, ‘Wow!’ I don’t mind telling you, it’s like drinking from a fire hose. We have a lot going on out here,” said the Republican from Augusta.
He called cyber battlefields the new frontier in warfare and said the mission at Fort Gordon and in Augusta is very important. Allen spent about three hours with cyber warfare experts learning detailed information about their missions. He said briefings about the current operations, future operations, and connections to the Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center were intensive and largely classified.
“We can be the Silicon Valley of the East Coast. We have that opportunity and we have that on an education level. We can set the stage for this part of the country as far as education,” Allen said.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed sent a nastygram to the consulting firm that employs Gwinnett County Commissioner Tommy Hunter.
Reed sent a letter to Hunter’s bosses at United Consulting that contained a veiled threat to stop doing business with the company if it didn’t do something about Hunter. In addition to his remark about Lewis, Hunter called Democrats “Demonrats” and “Libtards” and ridiculed U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, among other things, on social media.
“As you may also know, the City of Atlanta is a client of United consulting,” Reed wrote in the letter. “As mayor, I am writing personally to let you know that the City of Atlanta finds Mr. Hunter’s toxic remark to be insulting, reprehensible and unacceptable to this administration.
“Please let me know by close of business Monday, February 27 how you plan to resolve this matter.”
Hall County Commission will address some side effects of increased activity in the film industry.
[W]hile most residents have been accommodating, a handful of complaints have come in, according to assistant county manager Marty Nix. In response, he is writing an ordinance that would curb liberties film crews have in Hall.
“This ordinance will be a reflection … that (complaints) haven’t fallen on deaf ears,” said Katie Crumley, county public information officer.
The ordinance would restrict production companies from “unreasonably disturbing the peace,” Nix said.
It would allow residents and the county to oversee what impact film crews have and ensure safety.