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Rep. Tom Graves: Votes to Send Keystone XL Approval Bill To The President

Your Washington – GA 14 – Desk

From Congressman Tom Graves

Tom Graves 2


Rep. Tom Graves Votes to Send Keystone XL Approval Bill to the President

Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) issued the following statement after voting in favor of the Keystone XL Approval Act (S. 1), Senate-passed legislation that would approve the Keystone XL pipeline:

“This common-sense jobs bill has bipartisan support from across the political spectrum. In the Senate, it was passed with the support of nine Democrats, and today it passed the House with the support of 29 of my Democrat colleagues. It’s been subject to five safety and environmental reviews by the president’s own State Department, and is even supported by labor unions. Yet, the president still threatens to veto this jobs bill. As I’ve said before, I truly hope that, once a bill is sitting on his desk, the president will not turn his back on all of the Americans who would have the opportunity to work as a result of this pipeline.”

Although the House first passed legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline this Congress on January 9, 2015, the Senate bill contained minor differences, which prompted the House to take up the Senate bill. The House passed S. 1 today by a bipartisan vote of 270 to 152. S. 1 passed the Senate on January 29, 2015 by a bipartisan vote of 62-36.

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Sen. David Perdue: Opposes Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch

Your Washington Desk

From Senator David Perdue

David Perdue Flags

Senator David Perdue Opposes Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch

U.S. Senator David Perdue today announced that he will oppose the nomination of Loretta Lynch for Attorney General:

“While Ms. Lynch may have an impressive resume, she did not adequately answer the committee’s questions nor alleviate my concerns about the consistency with which she applies our nation’s laws. After thoroughly reviewing her record and testimony, I am not confident she will defend the Constitution, especially when the President seeks to abuse his power.

“We need an Attorney General who will maintain independence and will put the law above partisan politics. I strongly disagree with her support for the President’s executive action on amnesty, which is both unlawful and unconstitutional.

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Rep. Lynn Westmoreland: Sending Keystone XL Pipeline To The President’s Desk

Your Washington – GA 3 – Desk

From Congressman Lynn Westmoreland

Lynn west

Sending the Keystone XL Pipeline to the President’s Desk

Today, the House passed S. 1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act. The bill immediately authorizes the construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which has been stalled by the Obama administration for over six years. Congressman Westmoreland strongly supported this bill.

“I came to Washington to improve our economy and get Americans back to work; the Keystone XL Pipeline will do just that,” stated Westmoreland. “President Obama’s State Department estimates the Keystone Pipeline would create up to 42,000 jobs. That’s 42,000 more Americans being able to put food on their table and rely on a stable paycheck. The pipeline will boost the economies of the cities along the pipeline construction and bring life back to struggling communities. The Keystone Pipeline XL is an opportunity for hard-working Americans and businesses to get back to work.

“It has been six years since the Keystone Pipeline construction permit was requested, and the political stalling must end. It’s time for the President to make job creation and American energy production a priority.

“Over 60 percent of Americans want the President to approve the construction of the Keystone Pipeline XL. When the bill heads to President Obama’s desk today, he has the opportunity to listen to what the people want, or continue down his destructive path of acting alone. I encourage President Obama to put politics aside and sign this jobs bill into law.”

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Gov. Nathan Deal: Unveils Opportunity School District Legislation

Your Georgia Desk

From Governor Nathan Deal

Gov Deal Budget Speech

Deal unveils Opportunity School District legislation

Governor seeks reforms to improve schools that have consistently failed to boost student achievement

Gov. Nathan Deal’s Senate floor leader Butch Miller (R-Gainesville) today introduced legislation to create an Opportunity School District that will allow the state to temporarily step in to assist chronically failing schools, giving students and parents hope for a better future.

“While Georgia boasts many schools that achieve academic excellence every year, we still have too many schools where students have little hope of attaining the skills they need to succeed in the workforce or in higher education,” said Deal. “We have a moral duty to do everything we can to help these children. Failing schools keep the cycle of poverty spinning from one generation to the next. Education provides the only chance for breaking that cycle. When we talk about helping failing schools, we’re talking about rescuing children. I stand firm on the principle that every child can learn, and I stand equally firm in the belief that the status quo isn’t working.”

In the governor’s proposal, persistently failing schools are defined as those scoring below 60 on the Georgia Department of Education’s accountability measure, the College and Career Performance Index (CCRPI), for three consecutive years.

The Opportunity School District would take in no more than 20 schools per year, meaning it would govern no more than 100 at any given time. Schools would stay in the district for no less than five years but no more than 10 years.

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AG Sam Olens: Urges Nine Oil Companies to Eliminate Synthetic Drugs from Retail Locations

Your Georgia Desk

From Attorney General Sam Olens

Sam Olens

Attorney General Sam Olens Urges Nine Oil Companies to Eliminate Synthetic Drugs from Retail Locations

Attorney General Sam Olens has asked nine oil companies to collaborate with their franchisees to help eliminate synthetic drugs from retail locations operating under their brand names, including gas station and convenience stores.

The use of synthetic drugs has increased dramatically over the past four years. In 2010, more than 11,000 people, many of whom were younger than 17, went to the emergency room after using synthetic marijuana. Since then, thousands more have been harmed by synthetic drugs. In 2014, one health department reported a 220% increase in emergency room visits due to the ingestion of synthetic marijuana. Over this same period, enforcement agencies confirmed more than 130 instances of branded gas stations having sold synthetic drugs.

“I, along with 42 of my colleagues, strongly encourage these nine oil companies to cooperate with our request to remove synthetic drugs from franchise retail locations,” said Attorney General Olens. “Synthetic drugs are a threat to public safety and public health, and these dangerous substances should not be for sale in a legitimate place of business.”

In a letter signed by 42 other attorneys general, Attorney General Olens expressed concern over the problem of gas stations and convenience stores operating under brand names of reputable oil companies and selling illegal and extremely dangerous synthetic drugs. Many of these well-known retail locations give the appearance of safety and legitimacy to dangerous synthetic products. Enforcing stronger policies against the sale of synthetic drugs in retail locations can protect the brand reputations of these oil companies while also protecting our youth.

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A different perspective on the Georgia State Capitol

Capitol Perspective


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.