Gov. Nathan Deal: Global Shipping Company Creates 160 Jobs In Gwinnett County

Your Georgia Desk:

Deal flag

Deal: Global shipping company creates 160 jobs in Gwinnett County

Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) will relocate its North American headquarters to Gwinnett County, investing double-digit millions and creating 160 jobs.

“The strength of our ports is attracting global logistics companies such as United Arab Shipping Company to increase their presence here,” said Deal. “With our skilled workforce and solid logistics infrastructure, it is clear that this state-of-the-art company will continue to support the boom of the shipping industry.” Continue reading

Rep. Jason Spencer: HB 707 – Statement on Status

Your Georgia Desk:

A statement from Representative Jason Spencer:

“The press conference that was scheduled for today to discuss the status of 707 has been canceled due to some dramatic progress that has been made to advance House Bill 707 for the people of Georgia,” said Rep. Spencer.  “The people of Georgia should be commended for their political activism and their support of this legislation; your voice has been heard today.  Please continue to stay tuned as my colleagues and I continue the political process through late Thursday evening and just know that progress has been made, and the people can claim victory today.”

Our Decadent Elites – Peggy Noonan’s Blog – WSJ

Watching Season 2 of “House of Cards.” Not to be a scold or humorless, but do Washington politicians understand how they make themselves look when they embrace the show and become part of its promotion by spouting its famous lines? Congressmen only work three days a week. Each shot must have taken two hours or so—the setup, the crew, the rehearsal, the learning the line. How do they have time for that? Why do they think it’s good for them?

“House of Cards” very famously does nothing to enhance Washington’s reputation. It reinforces the idea that the capital has no room for clean people. The earnest, the diligent, the idealistic, they have no place there. Why would powerful members of Congress align themselves with this message? Why do they become part of it? I guess they think they’re showing they’re in on the joke and hip to the culture. I guess they think they’re impressing people with their surprising groovelocity.

Or maybe they’re just stupid.

But it’s all vaguely decadent, no? Or maybe not vaguely. America sees Washington as the capital of vacant, empty souls, chattering among the pillars. Suggesting this perception is valid is helpful in what way?

I don’t understand why members of Congress, the White House and the media become cooperators in videos that sort of show that deep down they all see themselves as . . . actors. And good ones! In a phony drama. Meant I suppose to fool the rubes.

It’s all supposed to be amusing, supposed to show you’re an insider who sees right through this town. But I’m not sure it shows that.

via Our Decadent Elites – Peggy Noonan’s Blog – WSJ.

DeKalb School Board Races Draw Crowded Field | WABE 90.1 FM

The DeKalb County school district has been through a lot since December 2012. A scathing report from the district’s accrediting agency led to a heated state hearing. Shortly afterwards, Gov. Nathan Deal replaced two-thirds of the school board.

The district improved its accreditation status after a review last December. But the upcoming school board elections could bring more leadership changes.

Twenty-two candidates have qualified to run. The district improved its status from Accredited Probation to Accredited Warned in January.

via DeKalb School Board Races Draw Crowded Field | WABE 90.1 FM.

Bill Aimed at Blocking Affordable Care Act Exchanges Hits Major Roadblock | WABE 90.1 FM

It appears House bill 707 will not pass this legislative session. But the bill’s sponsor is vowing to continue to fight and says language contained in the bill still has life.

House bill 707 would prohibit state departments or local governments from operating health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. The measure would also bar state employees from advocating for Medicaid expansion.

At first, the bill was included on the list of more than 80 bills moving forward for consideration. But then Republican Senator Cecil Staton, who is retiring this year, asked the Senate rules committee to remove the bill. Several Republican members of the committee then voted 10 to 4 with Democrats not to place the bill on the list of bills that senators could vote on.

WABE was unable to speak with Senator Staton or several other Republican Senators who sided with him regarding the vote. Despite receiving unanimous passage out of a committee last week, the bill had been rumored not to be a favorite of Senate leaders.

Bill sponsor Representative Jason Spencer called the vote a betrayal of Republicans against Republicans.

via Bill Aimed at Blocking Affordable Care Act Exchanges Hits Major Roadblock | WABE 90.1 FM.

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for March 18, 2014 “Short timers”

In honor of the impending end of the (first) 2014 Session of the Georgia General Assembly, we present these dogs whose time is also short, unless they find a foster or permanent home. “Urgent list” means impending euthanasia. To be on the sage side, assume these dogs need a commitment and paperwork filed by 4 PM today to save them.


Essie is a small, female German Shepherd mix, about three years old. She’s shy and friendly and knows a couple of commands. She is on the urgent list, awaiting foster or adoption at Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, Ga.


Roy is a five-year old Black Lab mix who is very friendly. This is the perfect age to adopt, in my opinion, as he’ll still be young enough to have fun, run, and play, without the edge of insanity that puppies often bring. That touch of grey on the snout tells you his best years are ahead of him. Roy is on the urgent list, in need of an adoptive or foster home, at the Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, Ga. Seriously, folks, he’s pleading for his life here.



Dahlia is a gorgeous young Lab mix, though her brindle-over-white coat and lean, long-legged build suggest Italian Greyhound or Whippet heritage to me. She looks like she’d make a fantastic running buddy or couch hound. She is on the urgent list and waits for her foster or adoptive home at Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, Ga.

Taxpayers stuck with Sen. Balfour’s legal fees |

Georgia taxpayers will have to pay the more than $156,000 in legal fees that state Sen. Don Balfour incurred in defending himself against the state’s charges that he tried to falsify his expense reports.

A Fulton County jury acquitted Balfour of all 18 counts against him after a trial in December. On Monday, a Fulton County judge found Balfour’s legal fees of $156,787.60 to be reasonable, and now the attorney general’s office will have to pay them. It was a final blow to the state’s ill-starred case, which garnered intense public attention but fell apart at trial.

Under the law, state officials acquitted of a crime may seek to recover attorney fees. Normally, the attorney general is responsible for reviewing and approving such fees.

“Attorney General Sam Olens has requested this court resolve the issue of attorney fees, due to his conflict of interest as the case prosecutor,” Superior Court Judge Henry Newkirk wrote in his six-sentence order. Newkirk said he had reviewed the fees and found them to be “reasonable and appropriate.”

via Taxpayers stuck with Sen. Balfour’s legal fees |

Rules panels take stage as finale nears |

With AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” blaring from the speakers, Senate Rules Chairman Jeff Mullis entered the Georgia statehouse committee room to handshakes and hugs, a heavyweight champion entering his very powerful legislative ring.

Monday was the last chance to get on the Senate voting calendar of bills for consideration this year, and the smiling Mullis was the star of the show with lawmakers, lobbyists and even the governor’s top staff in attendance to see who made his committee’s final cut.

“Welcome to the last and final Rules Committee meeting,” Mullis told the crowd. “We have 105 bills to consider. You know, not every one is going to make it.”

Most did. Almost two hours later, the show was over, and more than 80 bills were picked to make the Senate floor Tuesday and Thursday, the final two days of this year’s legislative session.

via Rules panels take stage as finale nears |

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 18, 2014

On March 18, 1766, the British Parliament repealed the Stamp Act, which required American colonists to purchase a stamp for every legal or printed document they obtained.  Revenue would be used to support the British army in America.

The Stamp Act led Patrick Henry to denounce King George III, the British Monarch at the time of the passage of the Stamp Act and the ensuing Revolutionary War; Henry’s later “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech to the Virginia Assembly at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia, listed by Time magazine as one of the top ten speeches of all time. Henry later opposed adoption of the Constitution, arguing it was incomplete without a Bill of Rights; after the Bill of Rights was adopted, Henry was satisfied.

On March 18, 1939, the State of Georgia ratified the Bill of Rights, which were proposed 150 years earlier in 1789. Georgia initially declined to ratify the Bill of Rights arguing that the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution were unnecessary. Governor E.D. Rivers signed the joint resolution six days later, but under federal court decisions the ratification is marked as of the date the second house of the state legislature adopts the legislation (assuming a bi-cameral state legislature).

On March 18, 1942, the United States government, under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, created the War Relocation Authority to “Take all people of Japanese descent into custody, surround them with troops, prevent them from buying land, and return them to their former homes at the close of the war.” More than 120,000 Japanese Americans, many of them citizens of the United States were moved from the west coast into concentration camps in the western United States.

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, composed entirely of Japanese Americans, many of whose families were interned at the camps, became the most-decorated unit of World War II, with members being awarded 4,667 medals, awards, and citations, including 1 Medal of Honor, 52 Distinguished Service Crosses, and 560 Silver Stars; eventually 21 members of the 442nd would be awarded the Medal of Honor. The late United States Senator Daniel Inouye, a member of the 442nd from 1941 to 1947, was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Bill Clinton for actions during WWII. First elected to the United States Senate in 1962, Inouye became President Pro Tem in 2010.

On March 18, 1947, Herman Talmadge surrendered the Governor’s office, ending the “Three Governors Affair.” Earlier this year, the General Assembly honored the late Governor Melvin Thompson, who was elected the first Lieutenant Governor of Georgia and became Governor at the conclusion of the Three Governors Affair.

On March 18, 1955, the Georgia Educators Association endorsed “equal but separate” schools for the races.

On March 18, 1961, the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Gray v. Sanders, which arose from Georgia. Three politically-important results come from the case.

First, the Court held that state regulation of the Democratic Primary made the primary election a state action, not merely that of a private organization; thus, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies.

Second, the Equal Protection Clause requires that every vote be given equal weight in electing officials, often stated as the “one person, one vote” rule. In Georgia at that time, each County had between two and six “county unit votes”. As a result,

“One unit vote in Echols County represented 938 residents, whereas one unit vote in Fulton County represented 92,721 residents. Thus, one resident in Echols County had an influence in the nomination of candidates equivalent to 99 residents of Fulton County.”

Third, because the County Unit System gave the votes of some Georgians greater weight than that of others, it violated the Equal Protection Clause. The “one person, one vote” rule is one benchmark of redistricting.

On March 18, 1976, Governor George Busbee signed legislation recognizing the following official state symbols:

Staurolite – Official Mineral of Georgia
Shark’s Tooth – Official Fossil of Georgia
Clear Quartz – Official Gem of Georgia
Purple Quartz (Amethyst) – Official Gem of Georgia

I suspect samples of all of these can be found in the display cases on the Fourth Floor of the Georgia State Capitol.

Speaking of King George III, State Rep. Jason Spencer (R-Woodbine) receives the first annual GaPundit Award for Overwrought Prose. From a Press Release:

“That eleventh hour betrayal effectively killed the bill, but it could still be brought back to life by amendment of companion legislation,” said Rep. Spencer. “Tomorrow, I will identify the Republican Benedict Arnolds, the King George the Third and his myrmidons who ship wrecked my path breaking, patriotic bill (HB 707) to prevent the federal Leviathan from commandeering the machinery of state government or resources to enforce ill-conceived federal health insurance mandates. A patriot saves his country from his government. HB 707 would have been the first occasion in a century to draw a constitutional line against state complicity in endless federal encroachments.”

Spencer also wins the award for “Most Mixed Metaphor,” henceforth named the “Scattered, Smothered, Covered, Diced, and Chunked Award.” On the upside, he has proven the value of a solid Classical education that includes History and Greek Mythology.

I had to look up “myrmidon,” so here’s the definition to save you the trouble.

capitalized:  a member of a legendary Thessalian people who accompanied their king Achilles in the Trojan War
2:  a loyal follower; especially:  a subordinate who executes orders unquestioningly or unscrupulously
Somewhat more moderate was Debbie Dooley of Atlanta Tea Party and Tea Party Patriots. (Never thought you’d read that, did you?)
Please be at Georgia Capitol if possible at 2:30 pm tomorrow - March 18th to show support for Rep. Jason Spencer at his press conference. The press conference will take place in the Capitol Rotunda at 2:30. HB 707 has been tabled and if we don’t act NOW, it will be dead this session. There are only a few days left in this session.  Please try to come earlier if possible and talk to Gov. Deal’s office, Lt. Governor Cagle and Senators.  Read Rep. Spencer’s Press Release here.
Lt. Gov. Cagle is thumbing his nose at conservatives by killing HB707. 
Gov. Deal  has the power to save HB 707 if he supports this bill. If he opposes the bill, he will take no action.
One of the main lobbyists leading the charge against HB 707 is Arthur “Skin” Edge with “Georgia Link” on behalf of “The Georgia Hospital Association”.

Under the Gold Dome Today

Today will be the 39th and penultimate Legislative Day in the 2014 Session of the Georgia General Assembly. May God have mercy on their souls.

The Senate has an epic 80 bills on the calendar, which is set for Tuesday and Thursday. A number of bills will likely be tabled on Tuesday; any bills remaining on the table at the close of business Tuesday will be eligible for consideration on Thursday, Day 40.

Beginning Crossover Day, the Senate Rules Committee has entered to walk-on music – here’s a selection of the Chairman’s greatest hits.

And our suggestion in case another Rules Committee Meeting happens to break out.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Monday was the last chance to get on the Senate voting calendar of bills for consideration this year, and the smiling Mullis was the star of the show with lawmakers, lobbyists and even the governor’s top staff in attendance to see who made his committee’s final cut.

“Welcome to the last and final Rules Committee meeting,” Mullis told the crowd. “We have 105 bills to consider. You know, not every one is going to make it.”

Lengthy late-session meetings of the committees that decide what makes it to the House and Senate floors — complete with groveling lawmakers and overcaffeinated lobbyists — are as much a legislative tradition as the start of the session’s Wild Hog Supper and last-minute special-interest tax breaks.

Many of the most controversial bills — including the upcoming year’s state budget — are held for action until the end of the session. So are many routine bills. Months of planned procrastination lead to legislative horse-trading that goes down to the final hours.

Bills that make the chambers’ calendars don’t always get a vote before the session ends, and many of the final measures will be worked out in backroom negotiations before winning approval late Thursday.

Still, the House and Senate Rules committees become increasingly important in the final days, and both held meetings Monday. The difference is the Senate probably won’t have any more get-togethers, so the area around the meeting room was a mob scene.


HB 3: Evidence; professional forestry; Dept. of Public Health; AIDS; provisions (JUDY – 29th) Willard – 51st

HB 251: Tobacco; sale of alternative nicotine products or components to minors; prohibit (H&HS – 17th) Welch – 110th

HB 257: Income tax; change certain definitions (NR&E – 20th) Martin – 49th

HB 264: MARTA Act of 1965; extensively revise (TRANS – 21st) Jacobs – 80th

HB 265: Mass transportation; suspension of restrictions on the use of annual proceeds from sales and use taxes by public transit authorities; repeal provisions (TRANS – 21st) Jacobs – 80th

HB 271: Individual’s criminal history record information; revise definitions (JUDY NC – 23rd) Neal – 2nd

HB 291: State Board of Accountancy; independent state agency attached to Secretary of the State for administrative purposes only; provide (RI&U – 9th) Knight – 130th

HB 295: Ad valorem taxation; provide comprehensive revision of provisions (Substitute) (FIN-9th) Battles-15th

HB 348: Income tax credit; purchasers of alternative fuel vehicles; provide (NR&E-17th) Parsons-44th

HB 405: Elementary and secondary education; members of governing boards of nonprofit organizations which are charter petitioners and charter schools to participate in governance training; require (Substitute) (ED&Y-12th) Mayo-84th

HB 438: Court-referred alternative dispute resolution programs; legal costs; increase maximum amount of additional cost (JUDY-13th) Powell-171st

HB 449: Agency records disclosure; change certain provisions relating to 9-1-1 calls (JUDY-30th) Gravley-67th

HB 460: Georgia Firefighters’ Pension Fund; no person under a sentence of confinement shall be eligible for membership; provide (RET-29th) Weldon-3rd

HB 477: Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia; Georgia Judicial Retirement System; transfer service credit (RET-11th) Powell-171st

HB 490: Teacher health insurance plans; contract with local employers to librarians and other personnel employed by regional and county libraries; expand board authorization (H ED-46th) Barr-103rd

HB 580: Superior Court Clerk’s Retirement Fund; provide spousal survivor’s benefit (RET-29th) Weldon-3rd

HB 601: Judges of the Probate Courts Retirement Fund of Georgia; define certain terms; provisions (RET-12th) Maxwell-17th

HB 610: Insurance; licensing and regulation of public adjusters; provide (Substitute) (I&L-25th) Williamson-115th

HB 643: Georgia Civil Practice Act; general provisions governing discovery; change provisions (Substitute) (JUDY-46th) Willard-51st

HB 645: Insurance; electronic transmissions of notices and documents from an insurers to a party to an insurance transaction; provisions (I&L-14th) Dollar-45th

HB 670: Trade names; require registration with the clerk of superior court; provisions (JUDY-49th) Fleming-121st

HB 697: HOPE; revise amount of grants; equal student’s cost of tuition (Substitute) (H ED-54th) Evans-42nd

HB 704: South Fulton, City of; incorporate; provide charter (Substitute) (SLGO(G)-35th) Bruce-61st

HB 715: Jekyll Island-State Park Authority; powers and responsibilities; revise (NR&E-20th) Hamilton-24th

HB 729: Revenue and taxation; manner for determining fair market value of motor vehicles subject to tax; change (Substitute) (FIN-9th) Rice-95th

HB 737: Alcoholic beverages; malt beverages produced in private residences to be transported to other locations and consumed by the producer and other individuals; allow (Substitute) (RI&U-27th) Harrell-106th

HB 749: Crimes and offenses; crime of cargo theft; provide (JUDYNC-6th) Duncan-26th

HB 753: Motor vehicles and traffic; federal regulatory requirements; provide (Substitute) (PUB SAF-7th) Powell-32nd

HB 755: Ad valorem tax; revised definition of forest land fair market value; provisions (FIN-32nd) Powell-171st

HB 757: Ad valorem tax; use of certain property for collection and conversion of solar energy shall not constitute breach of conservation use covenants; provide (FIN-6th) Powell-171st

HB 761: Public Retirement Systems Standards Law; definition of annual required contribution; change references (RET-54th) Riley-50th

HB 772: Public assistance; drug testing for applicants for food stamps; require (Substitute) (H&HS-9th) Morris-156th

HB 773: Crimes and offenses; discharging a gun or pistol near public highway or street; change provisions (Substitute) (JUDYNC-20th) Dickey-140th

HB 776: Courts; information provided to compile state-wide master jury lists and county master jury lists; clarify (JUDY-3rd) Atwood-179th

HB 778: Food service establishments; certain nonprofit charitable entities from regulation; exempt (AG&CA-50th) Pezold-133rd

HB 783: Game and fish; provisions relating to rules and regulations used to establish criminal violations; update (NR&E-7th) Hitchens-161st

HB 788: Ad valorem tax; property owned by University System of Georgia operated by third party; provide exemption (H ED-54th) Riley-50th

HB 804: Trial proceedings; relating to testimony of a child ten years old or younger by closed circuit television and persons entitled to be present; repeal provisions (Substitute) (JUDYNC-13th) Lindsey-54th

HB 810: HOPE; home study students regarding scores on standardized college admission test; revise requirements (H ED-45th) Chandler-105th

HB 816: Sales and use tax; change a certain definition (FIN-46th) Williamson-115th

HB 819: Revenue and taxation; tax executions; modify certain provisions (Substitute) (FIN-9th) Martin-49th

HB 820: Condominium associations; standing to participate in litigation under certain circumstances; clarify provisions (JUDY-17th) Powell-171st

HB 826: Crimes and offenses; carrying weapons within certain school safety zones and at school functions; change provisions (ED&Y-37th) Setzler-35th

HB 828: Insurance; solicitation, release, or sale of automobile accident information; prohibit (Substitute) (I&L-6th) Mabra-63rd

HB 829: Certified process servers; change sunset and legislative review provisions (JUDY-23rd) Willard-51st

HB 833: Urban Redevelopment Law; include blighted areas (Substitute) (SLGO(G)-46th) Jones-62nd

HB 834: Bonded debt; population Act provision relating to dates of bond elections; repeal (SLGO(G)-45th) Clark-101st

HB 835: Controlled substances; Schedules I, III, and IV; change certain provisions (H&HS-1st) Broadrick-4th

HB 837: Probation services; provide for legislative findings and intent; provisions (Substitute) (JUDYNC-6th) Hamilton-24th

HB 840: Insurance; persons under authority of Commissioner and subject to penalties under Title 33; clarify (Substitute) (I&L-29th) Golick-40th

HB 842: Appeal and error; payment of costs and indigency affidavits; clarify provisions (Substitute) (JUDY-13th) Willard-51st

HB 845: Public disclosure; disclosure of arrest booking photographs except under certain circumstances; prohibit (Substitute) (JUDYNC-46th) Strickland-111th

HB 870: Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund; imposition of additional fine for reckless driving; provide (JUDYNC-46th) Tanner-9th

HB 872: Evidence; privileged communication between law enforcement and peer counselors under certain circumstances; create (PUB SAF-53rd) Rogers-10th

HB 877: Motor vehicles; local authorities ability to regulate use of personal transportation vehicles on roadways and designated paths and lanes; provide (Substitute) (PUB SAF-51st) Roberts-155th

HB 885: Medical cannabis; continuing research into benefits to treat certain conditions; provisions (Substitute) (H&HS-45th) Peake-141st

HB 891: Elections; period for advance voting prior to municipal primary or election; change (Substitute) (ETHICS-29th) Fleming-121st

HB 897: Elementary and secondary education; update and clarify provisions; repeal obsolete provisions (Substitute) (ED&Y-37th) Dudgeon-25th

HB 899: Unlicensed personal care homes; criminal penalties for owning or operating; provide (H&HS-45th) Cooper-43rd

HB 900: State sales and use tax; consumable supplies used in manufacturing; include (FIN-32nd) Harrell-106th

HB 913: Community Health, Board of; persons having certain conflicts of interest from serving on board; prohibit (Substitute) (H&HS-45th) Kelley-16th

HB 914: Social services; school personnel required to report child abuse shall be notified by child protective agency upon receipt of report and completion of investigation; provide (Substitute) (H&HS-45th) Wilkerson-38th

HB 915: Identity theft; security freezes for minors; provisions (AG&CA-51st) Clark-98th

HB 918: Revenue and taxation; define terms “Internal Revenue Code” and Internal Revenue Code of 1986″; provisions (FIN-32nd) Peake-141st

HB 920: Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act; enact (I&L-29th) Teasley-37th

HB 940: Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit and Oconee Judicial Circuit; election of additional judges; change date (JUDYNC-29th) Willard-51st

HB 954: Ad valorem tax; property; change definition of fair market value (Substitute) (FIN-9th) Harrell-106th

HB 957: Georgia Brownfield Act; enact (NR&E-17th) Williams-119th

HB 960: Local government; provide for use of surface transportation projects in urban redevelopment areas; provisions (Substitute) (TRANS-51st) Roberts-155th

HB 966: Pharmacies; licensed health practitioners prescribe opioid antagonists to certain individuals and entities pursuant to a protocol; provisions (Substitute) (H&HS-45th) Cooper-43rd

HB 973: Medicaid; changes to civil penalties for false or fraudulent claims; provisions (JUDY-21st) Lindsey-54th

HB 983: State sales and use tax; clarify eligible exemptions; provisions (Substitute) (FIN-6th) McCall-33rd

HB 990: Social services; expansion of Medicaid eligibility through increase in income threshold without prior legislative approval; prohibit (Substitute) (H&HS-45th) Jones-47th

HB 1000: Revenue and taxation; setoff debt collection against state income tax refunds for debts owed to political subdivisions and courts; provisions (Substitute) (FIN-6th) Fleming-121st

HB 1009: State sales and use tax; applicability of exemption to local sales and use tax cap for a county that levied a tax for purposes of a metropolitan area system of public transportation; extend date (TRANS-51st) Glanton-75th

HB 1027: State government; certain processes and procedures affecting unemployment insurance; change (I&L-14th) Strickland-111th

HB 1042: Auctioneers; relative to auctioneers and auction business; change certain provisions (Substitute) (RI&U-52nd) Dempsey-13th

HB 1051: Lawful presence verification; professional licensing board; change certain provisions (Substitute) (RI&U-47th) Dickson-6th

HB 1078: Courts; juries and grand juries; provisions (Substitute) (JUDYNC-3rd) Kelley-16th

HR 1158: Congress; establish national energy policy to strengthen access to and removal of impediment to domestic sources of energy; encourage (RI&U-18th) Martin-49th

HR 1183: General Assembly; additional penalties or fees for reckless driving and provide allocation of fees to Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund; impose – CA (Substitute) (JUDYNC-49th) Tanner-9th

SR 973: Senate Child Protection Study Committee; create (H&HS – 38th)

HB 1108: Douglas County; Board of Education; provide for compensation of members (SLGO(G)-30th) Gravley-67th


Modified Open Rule

HR 1265 House Study Committee on Autonomous Vehicle Technology; create (Substitute)(S&T-Kelley-16th)

HR 1655 Congress; protect and defend the Constitution of the United States; request (Judy-Kirby-114th)

SB 60 General Assembly; all official communications; officers, members, or employees; electronic format (GAff-Williamson-115th) Heath-31st

SB 276 State Government; provide that Georgia shall be a”Purple Heart State” (Substitute)(D&VA-Smith-134th) Harbison-15th

SB 322 Game and Fish; provide protection for certain wildlife habitats (GF&PRoberts-155th) Harper-7th

SB 326 Private Colleges and Universities Authority; authorize the authority to meet by teleconference and other methods permitted by law (HEd-Rutledge-109th) Jeffares-17th

SB 358 Missing Children Information Center; provide missing child reports for foster children (H&HS-Geisinger-48th) Albers-56th

SB 374 “Urban Redevelopment Law”; revise terminology from “slums” to “pockets of blight” (Substitute)(GAff-Brockway-102nd) Cowsert-46th

SB 391 Health; provide that each medical facility make a good faith application; TRICARE network (H&HS-Hatchett-150th) Balfour-9th

HR 1724 Sustainable Forestry Initiative; state-wide support for sustainable forest certification; encourage (NR&E-Williams-119th)

SB 187 State Government; provide exemption for the board of commissioners of Georgia Student Finance Commission; board of directors (Substitute)(JudyNC-Willard-51st) Hill-32nd

SB 274 Capitol Arts Standards Commission; designation of areas within capitol museum; Georgia Capitol Agricultural History Museum areas (SProp-Greene-151st) Seay-34th

SB 294 Electrical Contractor Class II; provide that a person licensed may perform low-voltage contracting without obtaining a state-wide Low-voltage Contractor Class (Substitute)(RegI-Dickson-6th) Murphy-27th

SB 352 Georgia Council on Lupus Education and Awareness; create (H&HSCooper- 43rd) Unterman-45th

SB 364 Juvenile Code; revise and correct errors or omissions (Substitute)(JuvJWeldon- 3rd) Stone-23rd

SB 365 Fair Business Practices Act; enact offender reentry reforms as recommended by the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform (Substitute)(JuvJ-Golick-40th) Stone-23rd

SB 386 Civil Practice; prohibit public disclosure; social security numbers, taxpayers identification numbers; court documents (Substitute)(Judy-Jacobs-80th) Albers-56th

SR 981 Violence Against Health Care Workers; create joint study committee (H&HS-Dempsey-13th) Unterman-45th

Modified Structured Rule

SB 383 Coroners; items of value of the deceased shall not be converted to the coroner/medical examiner’s personal use (Substitute)(JudyNC-Pak-108th) Davis-22nd

SB 98 “Federal Abortion Mandate Opt-out Act” (Substitute)(Ins-Taylor-173rd) Hill-32nd (Rules Committee Substitute) (AM# 25 1335)

SB 283 Education; authorize school systems; provide instruction on history of traditional winter celebrations (Ed-Gravley-67th) Dugan-30th (AM# 33 1437)

SB 340 Official Code of Georgia Annotated; revise, modernize, correct errors; reenact statutory portion of said Code (Substitute)(CR-Jacobs-80th) Stone-23rd (AM# 25 1333)

SB 343 Education; provide no high school which receives funding under the “Quality Basic Education Act”; shall participate in sponsor interscholastic sport events conducted by any athletic association (Substitute)(B&FAORoberts-155th) Mullis-53rd (AM# 33 1432)

SB 350 Human Services, Dept.of; bidding out of child welfare services state wide through contracts with community based providers (Substitute)(Judy-Rogers-29th) Unterman-45th

SB 381 “Georgia First Informer Broadcasters Act”; provide planning for first informer broadcasters; definitions (PS&HS-Atwood-179th) Beach-21st

SB 392 Motor Vehicles; provide additional definition; acceptance of applications for registration; not in compliance with federal emission standards (MotVEpps-144th) Gooch-51st (AM# 39 0070)

Structured Rule

SR 415 Taxes; increase in state income tax rate prohibited -CA (Substitute)(W&MRamsey-72nd) Shafer-48th

SR 875 Property Tax Digest Impact on Education Funding; create Joint Study Committee (Substitute)(W&M-Knight-130th) Hill-4th

Yesterday Under the Dome

No city for youno more cities will be created in DeKalb County this year after the competing Lakeside and Briarcliff continued border skirmishes.

The latest bid to subdivide the state’s third-largest county died in a packed committee room, with one of the General Assembly’s staunchest advocates of new cities saying this fight was so tough he won’t revisit trying again next year and may not even support other lawmakers’ efforts.

“What you’re basically telling 70,000 people is they don’t get the opportunity to vote this year,” said state Sen. Fran Millar, R-Dunwoody, who sponsored Senate Bill 270 to create Lakeside.

Monday, legislators decided they were not willing to change long-standing rules needed to make the two cities happen at the same time. The decision by the House Governmental Affairs Committee to hold off for a year on the new cities may have killed Lakeside for good, while reviving the fortunes of Tucker and existing DeKalb cities.

Border fights between the two had delayed clear boundaries, so the only solution for both to move required changes to long-standing House rules on local legislation.

Last week, [DeKalb County Commission Interim Chair Lee] May created a 15-member task force charged, among other things, with carving up all of DeKalb County into cities either via annexations or new municipalities and, possibly, by creating townships. DeKalb has 11 cities in its borders, including parts of Atlanta.

“This delay is an opportunity for DeKalb County, to learn from others’ mistakes, to shrink our government as we begin to be responsible for fewer services,” May said. “We will likely have a fully incorporated county in the next few years, so let’s do it all at one time.”


Events Tonight

While the General Assembly is likely to be in session well into tonight, here are a couple of events you may wish to attend.

 GA GOP 10th District: Congressional Debate in Monroe

March 18, 2014, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Monroe Community Center, 602 East Church Street, Monroe, GA 30655

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Buckhead YRs Candidate Showcase

March 18, 2014, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Taco Mac Lindbergh Marta Station, 573 Main Street, Atlanta, GA 30324

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We are having several candidates stop by, with Fulton County Commissioner Candidate Cory Ruth, Fulton County Commissioner Candidate Bernie Tokarz, HD 54 candidates Loretta Lepore and John McCloskey, and others TBA… Its a busy election season and we are trying to get as many candidates in front of our group as possible…

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