Your Ga Pundit correspondent spoke to Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle about SB 2 which will allow 10th graders to take college entrance exam and earn degree and high school diploma simultaneously. LG Cagle understands that education and workforce development are critical for Georgia’s future success:
WASHINGTON — We have preliminary evidence that there is some substance behind the conservative backlash against Georgia Republicans for unanimously backing Speaker John Boehner.
U.S. Rep. Doug Collins might be getting a primary.
Al Gainey, a former Hall County Commissioner and conservative radio host, is “prayerfully considering” a run against the second-term Gainesville congressman. The Boehner vote was Gainey’s top motivation, he said in a phone interview Monday:
“I just cannot believe that we have had to put up with more of the same from everybody that goes to Washington from Georgia, from the senators in the past to the current congressmen for the most part. Paul Broun is about the only one from Georgia who held his ground up there. He was somewhat ostracized, in my opinion, but at least he held true.”
Georgians overwhelmingly support the legalization of a form of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions, a new poll for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found.
The poll, conducted Monday through Thursday by New York-based Abt SRBI, found that 84 percent of Georgians, as well as 84 percent of registered voters, agreed that the Legislature should legalize a marijuana-based medication. Such a medication — cannabis oil — has been the focus of lawmakers since last year, although they have yet to pass a bill legalizing it.
The oil is used to treat certain seizure disorders in both children and adults — afflictions that can cause hundreds of seizures a day and often lead to death. It is harvested from the marijuana plant but does not create the high that recreational users of marijuana seek.
Meanwhile, a near majority in the poll also support going further and legalizing marijuana for recreational use among adults. While 49 percent of all respondents and 46 percent of registered voters support legalizing marijuana, 48 percent of all respondents and 52 percent of registered voters disagree.
The first proposal for changing how gasoline is taxed in Georgia will be introduced Thursday in the House.
House Bill 60, by Rep. Ed Setzler, R-Acworth, would eliminate the 4 percent sales tax on gasoline, create a lower, flatter state income tax and gradually raise the excise tax on fuel over the next eight years.
Efforts to reach Setzler late Wednesday were unsuccessful.
In 2014, the only incumbent Georgia state legislators who lost their seats in the General Assembly were State Reps. Charles Gregory (R-Marietta), Sam Moore (R-Cherokee), and Willie Talton (R-Warner Robins), who all lost to GOP challengers, and Senator Steve Thompson (D-Marietta) who lost his Democratic Primary. That means that most legislators need not fear General Election voters as their only real contest is their party’s primary.
The predictable result is a highly-partisan General Assembly. This also means that any “revenue enhancements” to pass must gain the support of a large number of Republicans who will stand for re-election among GOP primary voters who have a history of punishing anything that can be construed as a tax hike.
3. Department of Community Supervision drawing from the existing Departments of Corrections, Juvenile Justice, and Pardons and Paroles to improve the administration of paroles and probation across existing programs that have redundancies and inefficies;
4. Georgia has a need for massive additional transportation funding.
“If we should choose not to maintain and improve our infrastructure, economic development would stall, companies would be unable to conduct their business efficiently, commuters would waste more time and gas sitting in traffic, and no one would be satisfied,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert said after Deal’s speech that no options have been removed from consideration, even tax increases despite being unpopular.
But his reading between the lines told him Deal isn’t laying the groundwork for a tax hike.
“I will assure you that most of my constituents are not in favor of any tax increases, and it sounded like what the governor is suggesting – and which we’ll flesh out during this legislative session – is a more efficient use of the funding that we’re doing now,” said Cowsert, R-Athens.
Despite the confusing signals, the governor is offering sufficient leadership on the issue, according to Don Grantham, the Augusta-area’s representative on the State Transportation Board.
“It’s to the point where he’s not saying, ‘This is what you should do’ and ‘This is what I think.’ He is saying, ‘The options are there for you, and I support what you do.’ His support and information is going to be very helpful for us,” Grantham said.
Re-read those quotes from Senator Cowsert in light of the fact highlighted above about most legislators facing real opposition in party primary elections and you’ll understand the challenge that faces any bill to raise more revenue from state taxpayers.
We also have more reactions, in the form of audio interviews by GaPundit.com Associate Editor Jeff Breedlove:
Sean Frantom, starting his third year as development director for Ronald McDonald House Charities, joined Augusta businessmen Louis “Hap” Harris and Sonny Pittman in qualifying to seek the 21-month commission stint.
“I’m running for mayor for a number of reasons, because the position is available and it needs to be filled,” Pomberg said.
Pomberg joins Paul Brown, an architect who serves on the city’s Board of Appeals, in the race to replace former mayor Ed Rieker who resigned in October to pursue a university teaching job.
(If elected), my first day is to kind of keep the momentum on the annexation going and to keep people informed on that, as Mr. Giager has done so well in the few months he’s been in charge of that,” Pomberg said. “I’m also very interested to see how the redevelopment of the Fenner Dunlop property is going to shake out.”
In the Special Election for House District 50 in Johns Creek, we received this last night regarding former Johns Creek City Council Member Kelly Stewart, who is in a runoff election:
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Contact: Lynn Doss, County Attorney, Fannin County, GA
Former Employer Warns Johns Creek Voters About Candidate for House Kelly Stewart
Candidate is “making false employment claims on her resume”
(Blue Ridge, GA)–“It has come to our attention that candidate for State House Kelly Stewart is currently and repetitively making false claims on her resume as to having been the County Administrator of Fannin County. Mrs. Stewart never held the role of County Administrator in our county, and her claim is patently untrue,” said Fannin County Attorney Lynn Doss Wednesday.
“Fannin County has never in its history had a County Administrator form of government. Stewart was an administrative assistant (a secretary) in the office of the Board of Commissioners, “said Doss Wednesday.
“Kelly Mull Stewart’s pattern of deceit was major contributing factor as to why she was terminated by the County in 1999,” said former Commissioner Yvonne McNelley, who served as a Fannin County Commissioner at the time. Apparently, this pattern continues.
Stewart’s use of the job title, which she apparently has used for many years both to gain employment and to embellish her political resume in political campaigns, can be seen here:
Stewart also used the title of County Administrator on her official biography found on the City of Johns Creek website.
“We ended Stewart’s employment because of this issue as well as the fact that she had a pattern of abusing taxpayer dollars, including using taxpayer funds to make purchases that were clearly personal in nature,” said Commissioner McNelley.
“We investigated Kelly Stewart’s abuse of taxpayer dollars and found that she had made multiple unauthorized expenditures for personal items included self-help videos, unauthorized expensive meals, and gift purchases,” said Commissioner McNelley.
“Voters in Johns Creek can make their own decision. However, Mrs. Stewart may not make false claims or embellish her resume about her employment here, nor the reasons for her dismissal, without our setting the record straight,” said McNelley. “The actions of Stewart ultimately contributed to an election recall and defeat of then-Chairman Cline Bowers.”