The blog.

26
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 26, 2016

On February 28, 1784, John Wesley executed a document titled “The Rev. John Wesley’s Declaration and Establishment of the Conference of the People called Methodists.”

On February 28, 1827, the first American railroad organized to transport people and freight commercially, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, was chartered. At the time, Baltimore was the second largest city in the nation.

On February 28, 1854, 30 anti-slavery opponents of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which would repeal the 1820 Missouri Compromise, met in Ripon, Wisconsin and called for the creation of the Republican Party.

On February 26, 1868, the Atlanta City Council offered use of the combined City Hall and Fulton County Courthouse as a temporary capitol if the Constitutional Convention meeting in the city would designate it the capital city.

On February 26, 1877, Governor Alfred Colquitt signed legislation calling a June 1877 election of delegates to a state Constitutional Convention to be held in July of that year.

On February 28, 1885, the American Telephone and Telegraph company was incorporated, though some accounts says March 3d.

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.

Johnny Cash was born on February 26, 1932.

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.

On February 28, 1991, the First Gulf War ended, as President George H.W. Bush declared a ceasefire and that Kuwait was liberated.

The World Trade Center in New York City was bombed on February 26, 1993, killing six and causing half-a-billion dollars in damage.

Under the Gold Dome Today

SENATE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

8:00 AM JUDICIARY 307 CLOB

8:30 AM NAT’L RES & ENV’T 450 CAP

1:00 PM RULES – UPON ADJOURNMENT 450 CAP

1:00 PM INSURANCE AND LABOR – CANCELED 450 CAP

2:00 PM JUDICIARY – CANCELED – see note 307 CLOB

3:00 PM JUDICIARY NON – CIVIL 307 CLOB

3:00 PM TRANSPORTATION -CANCELED 125 CAP

4:00 PM NAT;L RES & ENV’T – CANCELED – see note 450 CAP

HOUSE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

7:30 AM Resource Management Sub 606 CLOB

8:00 AM NATURAL RESOURCES 606 CLOB

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

9:00 AM RULES 341 CAP

1:00 PM Environmental Quality Sub 133 CAP

2:00 PM SMALL BUSINESS 341 CAP

2:00 PM Resolutions Sub 506 CLOB

2:15 PM TRANSPORTATION 506 CLOB

2:30 PM HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 606 CLOB

2:30 PM REGULATED INDUSTRIES 406 CLOB

2:30 PM JUDICIARY CIVIL 132 CAP

3:30 PM WAYS & MEANS 606 CLOB

4:00 PM ENERGY 403 CAP

4:00 PM Caldwell Sub Judiciary Civil 132 CAP

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

SB 269 – Counties; require local governing bodies; provide certain entities with certification of compliance with Code section; condition of funding (SLOGO – Stone)

SB 274 – Budget in Certain Counties; repeal Act approved March 2, 1953 (SLOGO – Albers)

SB 327 – State Purchasing; prohibit the state from entering into certain contracts unless such contracts contain a certification; does not presently conduct a boycott of Israel (GVT OV – Judson Hill)

SB 332 – Public Order and Safety; clarify the judges and justices who are exempt; various weapon carry laws and prohibitions (JUDY NC – Kennedy)

SB 333 – NonProfit Corporations; allow for a nonprofit corporation organized in foreign jurisdiction to change its jurisdiction of organization to this state (RI&U – Kennedy)

SB 335 – Retirement; permissible investments in commingled funds and collective investment funds; revise provisions (RET – Black)

SB 345 – Corporations, Partnership, and Associations; provide for the policy of state determining property rights of religious organizations (GVT OV – H. Hill)

SB 347 – ‘Georgia Captive Insurance Company Act’; provide extensive changes; provisions (I&L – Bethel)

SB 364 – “Quality Basic Education Act”; annual teacher, principal, and assistant principal evaluations; revise provisions (ED&Y – Tippins)

SB 366 – Department of Transportation; provide for an alternative selection process (TRANS – Gooch)

SB 369 – Fireworks; revise the standard of compliance from explosion to ignition; definitions (PUB SAF – Mullis)

SB 374 – “Quality Basic Education Act”; temporary exemption; financial reporting requirements for local school systems in federally authorized pilot program (ED&Y – Tippins)

SB 378 – DeKalb County; change the composition of the governing authority (SLOGO – Millar)

SB 379 – Sales and Use Tax; provide for exemption for fire districts which have elected governing bodies and supported by ad valorem taxes (FIN – Ginn)

SB 383 – Public Roads; Roadside Enhancement and Beautification Council; provide for purpose (TRANS – Ginn)

SB 410 – State Symbols; designate the English Bulldog as the official Georgia state dog (GVT OV – Black)

SB 420 – Local Government; require referendum approval prior to the expenditure of public funds; establishment of a fixed guideway transit (TRANS – Tippins)

SR 388 – Constitution; prevent discrimination in the public funding of social services; allow religious/faith based organization to receive public aid –CA (GVT OV – Heath)

SR 675 – State of Georgia; English as official language –CA (RULES – McKoon)

SR 809 – County and Municipal Governments; prohibit from entering into contracts with private entities; parking enforcement services-CA (SLOGO – Fort)

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Open Rule

HB 1084 State Soil and Water Conservation Commission; measuring farm and agriculture uses of water; eliminate certain powers and duties (App-Houston-170th)

Modified Open Rule

HB 654 Tattoo studios; post notification that certain tattoos could disqualify wearer from military service; require (Substitute)(RegI-Scott-76th)

HB 749 State government; councils to meet by teleconference or similar means; authorize (SP&CA-Werkheiser-157th)

HB 962 Human Services, Department of; creation, appointment, removal, and duties of a kinship care enforcement administrator; provide (Substitute)(JuvJ-Abrams-89th)

HB 1085 Social services; aging; transfer oversight of such services to the Department of Community Health (App-Dempsey-13th)

Modified Structured Rule

HB 498 Professions and businesses; professional counseling; revise definition (Substitute)(RegI-Hawkins-27th)

HB 508 Appellate court judges; age of eligibility for certain benefits; decrease (Ret-Fleming-121st)

HB 736 Special license plates; marine habitat conservation; provide (Substitute)(MotV-Atwood-179th)(AM 39 0153)

HB 887 Courts; parental rights; prioritize placement of a child with an adult or fictive kin qualified to care for such child (Substitute) (JuvJ-Efstration-104th)

HB 926 Pharmacists and pharmacies; regulation of certain facilities and entities involved in the wholesale, manufacture, and distribution of drugs; provide (Substitute)(H&HS-Broadrick-4th)

HB 954 “Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act”; enact (Substitute)(H&HS-Efstration-104th)

HB 959 Education; K-12; update and clarify certain provisions (Substitute) (Ed-Beskin-54th)

HB 979 Crimes and offenses; assault and battery; increase the punishment committed upon hospital emergency department and medical services personnel (JudyNC-Caldwell-131st)

HB 1053 Grady County; board of education; provide that members shall be elected on a nonpartisan basis (IGC-Taylor-173rd)

Structured Rule

HB 893 Revenue and taxation; forms of payment; change certain provisions (W&M-Powell-171st)

HB 899 Commerce and trade; tobacco product manufacturers; revise and add certain definitions (Substitute)(W&M-Powell-171st)

Early Voting

Today is the last day to early vote in the March 1 Presidential Preference Primary.

Yesterday, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced that early voting has hit historic levels in the current election.

Thursday, Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced voters so far in this election are already breaking records.

Kemp says with the number of people they’ve seen so far, [t]hey hope to break Georgia’s general election voting record too, making it the most historic one in the state’s history.

Dozens lined up at the Whitfield County Courthouse to vote on Thursday.

“We truly fell this is one of the most important elections this country has ever had,” Larry McGlade said.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp says the number of voters in this election might just beat the historic election in 2008.

“In that 2008 election the total percentage of vote after election day was a little over 45% so we’re very excited and hopeful that Georgians will turn out and help us break that record,” Kemp said.

Kemp says as of Thursday, 5,000 more people had voted early statewide than in the 2008 primary, and there is still one day left.

Now they’re anticipating a major turnout on Super Tuesday, March 1st.

“It may change the winds of the election and that’s why it’s important for Georgians to be able to go out and let their voice be heard and help decide which direction that race goes,” he said.

A statistical analysis of Early Voting by Brian Keahl of Political Data Systems shows that Republicans have cast nearly 62% of early votes as of Wednesday, with Democrats making up about 38%.

Peach State Presidential Politics

Cruz Ga Capitol Invite 2events

Cruz to Victory Atlanta Rally

11:30 AM- 1:30 PM, Atlanta State Capitol – Liberty Plaza (Southeast side of Capitol), 206 Washington St SW, Atlanta, GA 30334. Click here for free tickets.

Cruz to Victory South Georgia Rally

3:30 to 5:30 PM Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agriculture Center, Miller-Murphy-Howard Exhibit Hall, 401 Golden Isles Pkwy, Perry, GA 31069. Click here for free tickets.

marco-rubio-family

Georgia Rally with Marco Rubio

 Mount Paran Christian School Football Stadium – 1275 Stanley Road Kennesaw, GA 30152. Click here for free tickets.

Atlanta Area Rally with Marco Rubio

Atlanta, GA, Location: TBA. Click here for free tickets.

Athens Meet & Greet with Senator Tim Scott

. Click here for free tickets.
Donald Trump Rawr

Donald J. Trump in Valdosta, GA

Monday, February 29, 2016 at 6:00 PM, Valdosta State University – 1500 North Patterson Street Valdosta, GA 31698. Click here for free tickets.

Guest Editorials: Why I’m Supporting [insert name here]

Former GAGOP Chair and current Mayor of Sandy Spring Rusty Paul wrote a guest editorial on why he supports John Kasich for President.

For those of us who follow politics closely, it’s easy to get caught up in the horserace and punditry. But I urge all Republicans to step back and remember why we have primary elections in the first place: to ensure we select the most prepared, most proven and most electable leader to represent our Party at the top of the ticket in November.

John Kasich, the conservative governor of Ohio, is that Republican candidate and he deserves the opportunity to prove himself in our political version of March Madness.

Poll after poll shows John Kasich is the Republican best positioned to defeat Hillary Clinton in November. He’s up by 11 points nationally and 17 points in the must-win swing state of Ohio. In the fight for the Republican nomination, he’s within a few points of Trump and will win his home state on March 15. Marco Rubio, on the other hand, is losing to Trump in Florida by 16 points and is tied with Hillary in the Sunshine State.

So rather than rushing to crown someone as our GOP nominee before they’ve even proven they can win a single state, we should let our democracy run its course and complete our bracket as the voters have their say.

John Kasich enters March as an underdog and that’s okay. He’s been an underdog his entire life. I’m confident the voters will ultimately put their trust in the only Republican candidate with a proven, conservative record and John Kasich will be the leader representing us at the top of the ticket in November.

State Rep. Buzz Brockway (R-Lawrenceville) writes about why he supports Marco Rubio in Tuesday’s Presidential Preference Primary.

I grew up reading National Review magazine and its founder William F. Buckley, Jr. He, along with my father, helped instill in me the conservative principles that shape my approach to politics. One of Buckley’s famous sayings was that conservatives in primary elections should “support the most conservative candidate who is electable.” In this GOP field that once numbered seventeen accomplished individuals, exactly who is this most conservative candidate who is electable?

As I examined the field, I decided Florida Senator Marco Rubio best meets the Buckley test. Pick your favorite conservative group and you will see Rubio consistently ranking as one of the Senate’s most conservative members. During his time in the U.S. Senate, Rubio introduced important conservative legislation; including legislation dealing a serious blow to Obamacare. Rubio didn’t just talk about fighting this ineffective law; he actually did something about it.

As we think about who is the “most conservative candidate who is electable,” also consider this: the Democratic candidate for President has won the state of Florida four of the last five Presidential elections. For Republicans to win the Presidency, we need a candidate who can win swing states like Florida. There is no doubt Marco Rubio can win his home state and other swing states crucial to winning the November general election. Nominating a Republican who would struggle to win the general election could mean Hillary Clinton appointing as many as three Justices to the Supreme Court. It is crucial for Republicans to win this election for many reasons, not the least of which is preventing a liberal Supreme Court majority.

Marco Rubio is a mainstream conservative who can unite the Republican Party and the people of United States. Rubio will never ask you to be angry at one group of Americans so that he can score political points. With so much anger and divisiveness in our politics today, we need a leader who not only understand why people are frustrated, but will to turn that frustration into a positive plan of action to get things done. Marco Rubio has provided this type of leadership his entire career.

 

25
Feb

Rusty Paul: John Kasich Can Win March Madness & He’ll Win In November

The following is a guest editorial by Rusty Paul, former Georgia Republican Party Chairman and current Mayor of Sandy Springs.

Kasich Strong America

It’s almost March and that means it’s bracket time! But I’m not talking about basketball; I’m talking about presidential politics, of course! This primary season has been unlike any other and I’ll go out on a limb by saying no one in America picked our GOP Primary Final Four: Kasich, Trump, Cruz and Rubio.

For those of us who follow politics closely, it’s easy to get caught up in the horserace and punditry. But I urge all Republicans to step back and remember why we have primary elections in the first place: to ensure we select the most prepared, most proven and most electable leader to represent our Party at the top of the ticket in November.

John Kasich, the conservative governor of Ohio, is that Republican candidate and he deserves the opportunity to prove himself in our political version of March Madness.Continue Reading..

25
Feb

Georgia English Bulldog Rescue on legislative Dog Fight

GEBR logo600px

Ruthann Phillips

Founder and Director, Georgia English Bulldog Rescue

Dear friends of English Bulldogs,

We are writing to you after news reports of a State Senate Bill that would designate the English Bulldog as the Official State Dog of Georgia. As part of our mission to educate the public about English Bulldogs and dog rescue, we want to ensure that legislators and potential adopters understand the true state of the English Bulldog breed in Georgia.

The English Bulldog suffers from its popularity in Georgia, and individual dogs become neglected and their medical conditions worsen from owners who were not fully informed of the costs and care requirements of this unique breed.

The last thing the English Bulldog needs is to be more popular.

As an organization, we are 100% committed to the rescue and care of English Bulldogs. As Georgians, we cheer our beloved University of Georgia Bulldogs every Saturday in the fall and take pride in Uga’s representation of our breed and our state. We understand the good motivations that underlie the effort to name the English Bulldog as the official state dog of Georgia, and appreciate the efforts of the Senators who brought it forth.Continue Reading..

25
Feb

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for February 25, 2016

Mowgli

Mowgli is an adult male Labrador Retriever and Hound mix who is available for adoption from Angel Dog Rescue, Inc. in Georgetown, GA.

Jim Bob

Jim Bob is an adult male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Angel Dog Rescue, Inc. in Georgetown, GA. He’s apparently an ice cream aficionado.

Bronco

Bronco is an adult male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Angel Dog Rescue, Inc. in Georgetown, GA.

GEBR logo600px

Georgia English Bulldog Rescue has responded to the legislative dog fight over whether the state will name “any adoptable dog” the Official State Dog of Georgia, or whether it will be the English Bulldog.

Click here for their full response, an excerpt of which is below.

The English Bulldog suffers from its popularity in Georgia, and individual dogs become neglected and their medical conditions worsen from owners who were not fully informed of the costs and care requirements of this unique breed.

The last thing the English Bulldog needs is to be more popular.

As an organization, we are 100% committed to the rescue and care of English Bulldogs. As Georgians, we cheer our beloved University of Georgia Bulldogs every Saturday in the fall and take pride in Uga’s representation of our breed and our state. We understand the good motivations that underlie the effort to name the English Bulldog as the official state dog of Georgia, and appreciate the efforts of the Senators who brought it forth.

We are literally the safety net for English Bulldogs in Georgia.

It is safe to say nobody in Georgia does more to care for English Bulldogs than we do.

With that said, we hope that the General Assembly will be content with the English Bulldog remaining the beloved mascot of our flagship university, and the unofficial state dog.

We invite you to visit our website at www.GeorgiaEnglishBulldogRescue.org, where you can meet our foster dogs, learn more about the unique qualities of our English Bulldogs, as well as the level of care they require. If you’re considering adopting a bulldog, fostering is a great way to learn if your lifestyle is suited to the breed. If you simply want to snuggle with a beautiful English Bulldog, we invite you to our public events, and our primary yearly fundraiser, The Bully Ball on February 27, 2016 at the St. Regis in Buckhead, or even better to volunteer with us.

We believe that the proposal by State Rep. Joe Wilkinson, contained in House Bill 561, to name “any adoptable dog” as the Official State Dog of Georgia, honors the English Bulldogs we care for every day at Georgia English Bulldog Rescue and our alumni who have gone on to new forever homes.

 

25
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 25, 2016

The first prisoners of war were moved to Andersonville on February 25, 1864.

The United States Congress pass the Legal Tender Act on February 25, 1862, allowing the government to pay its bills with paper money it printed.

On February 25, 1870, Hiram Rhoades Revels (R-Missippi) was sworn in as the first African-American Congressman in history.

In 1867, the first Reconstruction Act was passed by a Republican-dominated U.S. Congress, dividing the South into five military districts and granting suffrage to all male citizens, regardless of race. A politically mobilized African American community joined with white allies in the Southern states to elect the Republican party to power, which in turn brought about radical changes across the South. By 1870, all the former Confederate states had been readmitted to the Union, and most were controlled by the Republican Party, thanks in large part to the support of African American voters.

On January 20, 1870, Hiram R. Revels was elected by the Mississippi legislature to fill the Senate seat once held by Jefferson Davis, the former president of the Confederacy. On February 25, two days after Mississippi was granted representation in Congress for the first time since it seceded in 1861, Revels was sworn in.

On February 25, 1876, the first Georgia state law against abortion was passed.

On February 25, 1999, Johnny Isakson was sworn into Congress from the Sixth District, a seat vacated by the resignation of then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

Under the Gold Dome

SENATE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

8:00 AM JUDICIARY 307 CLOB

8:30 AM NATURAL RESOURCES AND THE ENVIRONMENT 450 CAP

12:00 PM RULES – UPON ADJOURNMENT 450 CAP

1:00 PM INSURANCE AND LABOR – CANCELED 450 CAP

2:00 PM JUDICIARY – CANCELED – see note 307 CLOB

3:00 PM JUDICIARY NON – CIVIL 307 CLOB

3:00 PM TRANSPORTATION -CANCELED 125 CAP

4:00 PM NATURAL RES & ENVT – CANCELED – see note 450 CAP

HOUSE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

7:30 AM Resource Management Sub 606 CLOB

8:00 AM NATURAL RESOURCES 606 CLOB

9:00 AM RULES 341 CAP

1:00 PM HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 606 CLOB

1:00 PM Environmental Quality Sub 133 CAP

2:00 PM JUDICIARY CIVIL 132 CAP

2:00 PM REGULATED INDUSTRIES 406 CLOB

2:00 PM SMALL BUSINESS 341 CAP

2:00 PM Resolutions Sub 506 CLOB

2:15 PM TRANSPORTATION 506 CLOB

4:00 PM ENERGY 403 CAP

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

SB 258 – Ad Valorem Tax; provide the assessed value of property shall not be increased beyond the initial assessment value (FIN – Millar)

SB 302 – Insurance; require health carriers to maintain accurate provider directories (I&L – Martin)

SB 331 – Courts; causing a child to be conceived; violating certain prohibitions relating certain offenses; additional ground for terminating parental rights (JUDYNC – B. Thompson)

SB 365 – License Plates; establish special license plate for the Georgia Pet Foundation (PUB SAF – Shafer)

SB 367 – Georgia Council Justice Reform; provide for comprehensive reform (JUDYNC – Kennedy)

SB 388 – Bona Fide Coin Operated Amusement Machine; prohibit the removal of a sticker without authorization (ED&T – Lucas)

SR 604 – Revenue and Taxation; prohibit the levy of state ad valorem taxes –CA (FIN – Heath)

SR 842 – Legislative Process; create Senate Study Committee (RULES – Ligon)

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Modified Structured Rule

HB 205 Drivers’ licenses; require driver who refused blood alcohol concentration testing to install and maintain ignition interlock devices on vehicle; provisions (Substitute)(JudyNC-Rice-95th)

HB 770 Crimes and offenses; trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude; provisions (Substitute)(JudyNC-Efstration-104th)

HB 897 Health; care and protection of indigent and elderly patients; provide for the establishment and operation of a drug repository program to accept and dispense unused prescription drugs (Substitute)(H&HS-Price-48th)

HB 905 Courts; child abuse; change provisions (Substitute) (JudyNC-Ballinger-23rd)

HB 911 Sales and use tax; agricultural machinery and equipment; provide exemption (Substitute)(W&M-Duncan-26th)(AM 34 0728)

HB 919 Health; rural health care organizations which provide health care services to underserved areas; approve (Substitute)(W&M-Duncan-26th)(AM 34 0727)(AM 34 0729)

Structured Rule

HB 216 Occupational diseases; define certain terms; provisions (Substitute) (I&L-Gravley-67th)

HB 802 Revenue and taxation; deduction from income for contributions to savings trust accounts; revise (W&M-Teasley-37th)

HB 939 Revenue and taxation; setoff debt collections by the Administrative Office of the Courts; revise terms and procedures (W&M-Price-48th)

HB 981 Taxation; certain for profit corporations to participate in the indirect ownership of a home for the mentally disabled for primarily financing purpose; allow (Substitute)(W&M-Harrell-106th)

HB 987 Ad valorem tax; property; change certain definitions (Substitute)(W&M-McCall-33rd)

Legislation & Local Issues

The agenda for today’s House Regulated Industries Committee meeting at 2 PM includes a hearing for House Resolution 807, which would place on November’s ballot a Constitutional Amendment to allow a limited number of licensed casino resorts in Georgia. Hat tip to the AJC.

As it happens, the Faith & Freedom Coalition, headed by Ralph Reed, will hold its annual legislative luncheon at the Capitol today.

We’ll be hearing from FFC Chairman Ralph Reed and several of our Georgia elected officials. Secretary of State Kemp will update us on the SEC Presidential Primary, Attorney Gen Sam Olens and Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens will speak, Professor John Kindt will discuss the casino trap, and Dave McCleary will tell about the latest efforts to stop human trafficking. And Tony Lowden will let pastors know about a huge mission field opening up.

The Georgia Senate passed legislation for the City of Stockbridge to hold a special election if the Mayor’s seat becomes vacant with more than six months remaining in the term.

Stockbridge has been without a mayor since Tim Thompson’s resignation in December, however council member Anthony Ford was appointed in January to serve as acting mayor, or mayor pro tem.

In its current state, the Stockbridge charter states that council members must appoint someone to fill a vacant mayor or city council seat.

Senate Bill 362 passed with 56 votes Tuesday — with three senators not voting — and provides changes to the city charter, stating that a special election could be held for the mayor seat if more than six months was left in the term. It also adds the stipulation that the candidate who received majority of the votes would be elected and a selection would not be based on a mere plurality. The bill does not apply to council member vacancies.

SB 362 still needs approval from the House, then Gov. Nathan Deal.

Upon final approval, the special election would be held in May, and if necessary, a runoff would be held in July.

The Senate Finance Committee voted a “Do Pass” recommendation for Senate Resolution 756 by Finance Chair Sen. Judson Hill (R-Cobb), which would place on the November ballot a Constitutional Amendment that would ratchet down the state individual income tax to eventually reach 5 percent if state revenues and reserve funds hit certain benchmarks.

Also passed out of Senate Finance was a new version of House Bill 238 which incorporates Hill’s Senate Bill 280. The Senate added provisions to reduce the top marginal state income tax rate from 6 percen to 5.4 percent.

Presidential early voting appears to be picking up in South Georgia, according to the Florida Times-Union.

In Glynn County, about 200 people cast primary ballots at each of the two early voting precincts on St. Simons Island and in Brunswick, county elections supervisor Tina Edwards said.

“That’s a pretty good pickup,’’ Edwards said, considering the county had averaged only about 30 voters per day in the first two weeks of early voting.

“After that, we saw a surge,’’ she said. “We’re also getting requests for more absentee ballots.”

The same is true in Camden County where the total number of voters was approaching 500 after early voting polls opened Monday in St. Marys and Kingsland, county voter registrar Brigid White said.

Previously, when the only poll was in Woodbine, only 127 total early votes had been cast, she said.

In Ware County, election supervisor Betty Gillis said there had been an increase after a very slow start.

“It’s a little faster than a week ago. We had 94 Monday and 86 Tuesday,” she said.

 

24
Feb

Sen. David Perdue signs GOP Senate “No Vote” letter

David Perdue FlagsWASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicating that he will exercise his constitutional authority to withhold consent of any nominee submitted by President Barack Obama and the Senate Judiciary Committee will not hold hearings on a Supreme Court nominee until the next President is sworn in.

The letter, signed by all Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, says, “The American people are presented with an exceedingly rare opportunity to decide, in a very real and concrete way, the direction the Court will take over the next generation. We believe The People should have this opportunity.”Continue Reading..

24
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 24, 2016

Georgia and American History

On February 24, 1803, the United States Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Marshall decided the case of Marbury v. Madison, enunciating the principle of judicial review under which the Court has authority to review Congressional action and hold them unconstitutional.

In writing the decision, John Marshall argued that acts of Congress in conflict with the Constitution are not law and therefore are non-binding to the courts, and that the judiciary’s first responsibility is always to uphold the Constitution. If two laws conflict, Marshall wrote, the court bears responsibility for deciding which law applies in any given case.

Union troops under General George Thomas attacked Confederates led by General Joseph Johnston near Dalton, Georgia on February 24, 1864.

Casualties were light. Thomas suffered fewer than 300 men killed, wounded, or captured, while Johnston lost around 140 troops. The Union generals did learn a valuable lesson, however; a direct attack against Rocky Face Ridge was foolish. Three months later, Sherman, in command after Grant was promoted to commander of all forces, sent part of his army further south to another gap that was undefended by the Confederates. The intelligence garnered from the Battle of Dalton helped pave the way for a Union victory that summer.

The Atlanta Journal was first published on February 24, 1883.

On February 24, 1988, the United States Supreme Court held in the case of Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, that the First Amendment protects publishers against claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress where the plaintiff is a public figure being parodied by the publication.

Under the Gold Dome Today

SENATE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

8:15 AM APPROPRIATIONS – Criminal justice subcommittee 307 CLOB

8:30 AM AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS 123 CAP

12:00 PM RULES – UPON ADJOURNMENT 450 CAP

1:00 PM REGULATED INDUSTRIES AND UTILITIES 310 CLOB

1:00 PM PUBLIC SAFETY 125 CAP

1:00 PM EDUCATION AND YOUTH 307 CLOB

2:00 PM INTERSTATE COOPERATION 123 CAP

2:00 PM HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 450 CAP

2:30 PM APPROPRIATIONS – Vehicle Subcommittee 341 CAP

3:00 PM REAPPORTIONMENT AND REDISTRICTING 310 CLOB

3:00 PM HIGHER EDUCATION 307 CLOB

3:00 PM SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 310 CLOB

3:00 PM STATE INSTITUTIONS AND PROPERTY MEZZ

3:30 PM APPROPRIATIONS – General government subcommittee 341 CAP

3:30 PM Rules subcommittee 125 CAP

4:00 PM SPECIAL JUDICIARY 125 CAP

4:00 PM ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM 310 CLOB

4:00 PM FINANCE MEZZ

HOUSE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

7:30 AM APPROPRIATIONS – FULL COMMITTEE 341 CAP

8:30 AM Pak Sub Judiciary Non-Civil 606 CLOB

9:00 AM RULES 341 CAP

9:00 AM INTRAGOVERNMENTAL COORDINATION 403 CAP

1:00 PM Resource Management Sub 415 CLOB

1:30 PM JUDICIARY NON-CIVIL 132 CAP

2:00 PM GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS 406 CLOB

2:00 PM Efstration Sub Juvenile Justice 415 CLOB

3:00 PM SPECIAL RULES 506 CLOB

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

3:00 PM EDUCATION 606 CLOB

3:00 PM MOTOR VEHICLES4 06 CLOB

3:00 PM Energy Sub 515 CLOB

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

SB 312 – HOPE; revise a definition; establish minimum HOPE award amounts (H ED – Bethel)

SB 350 – Taxation on Consumer Fireworks; dedicate moneys collected; trauma care, fire services, and local public safety purposes (PUB SAF – Mullis)Continue Reading..

24
Feb

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for February 24, 2016

Callie

Callie is a young adult female Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler) who is available for adoption from the Albany Humane Society in Albany, GA.

Albany Jack

Jack is an adult male Flat-Coated Retriever mix who is available for adoption from the Albany Humane Society in Albany, GA.

His adoption page says, “I am an awesome guy, but I do need room to run.”

Karma

Karma is a female German Shepherd mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Albany Humane Society in Albany, GA.

WALB-TV in Albany writes that the Senate Bil to name the English Bulldog the Official State Dog of Georgia could hurt the effort to name “the adoptable dog” as the official state dog.

A new bill introduced by a south Georgia state Senator could derail legislation designed to increase pet adoptions.

Last week, the House overwhelmingly approved a bill to designate “the adoptable dog” as Georgia’s official state dog.

Now, Valdosta Senator Ellis Black has introduced a competing bill to name the English bulldog the official state dog.

Luckily, we have an ace up our sleeve.

Zeus Grassroots Support

23
Feb

James Clifton Announces Campaign for State House District 72

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

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

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

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

23
Feb

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for February 23, 2016

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

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

Bette

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

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

Hooch

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

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

Wiley

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

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