Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879.
S. Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, was born on March 14, 1921.
Elvis Presley played the Fox Theater in Atlanta on March 21, 1956.
The largest traffic accident in Georgia history occurred on March 14, 2001 on I-75 in Catoosa County, involving 125 cars, injuring 39 people and killing 5.
Happy Birthday to Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 James Groves has been honored with a memorial at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
COMMITTEE MEETINGS – LEGISLATIVE DAY 33
9:00 AM HOUSE RULES 341 CAP
10:00 AM HOUSE SESSION (LD 33) CHAMBER
12:00 PM House Reeves Sub Jud’y Non-Civil 515 CLOB
12:30 PM SENATE RULES – UPON ADJ’T 450 CAP
1:00 PM SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY 307 CLOB
1:00 PM SENATE INSURANCE & LABOR 310 CLOB
1:00 PM HOUSE BANKS AND BANKING 406 CLOB
1:00 PM House Ed Sub Early Learning & K-12 415 CLOB
1:00 PM HOUSE MOTOR VEHICLES 403 CAP
2:00 PM SENATE FINANCE – Ad Val Tax Sub 123 CAP
2:00 PM SENATE ECONOMIC DEV & TOURISM 125 CAP
2:00 PM SENATE HEALTH & HS 450 CAP
2:00 PM HOUSE HEALTH & HS 606 CLOB
2:00 PM House Setzler Sub 515 CLOB
2:00 PM House Kelley Sub Jud;y Civil 132 CAP
2:00 PM HOUSE REGULATED INDUSTRIES 506 CLOB
2:00 PM HOUSE GAME, FISH AND PARKS 403 CAP
3:00 PM SENATE FINANCE – Sales Tax Sub MEZZ 1
3:00 PM SENATE TRANSPORTATION 310 CLOB
3:00 PM HOUSE ENGERGY, UTILITIES, AND TELECOM 403 CAP
3:00 PM HOUSE STATE PROPERTIES 406 CLOB
4:00 PM SENATE JUD’Y 307 CLOB
SENATE RULES CALENDAR
HB 58 – Motor vehicles; reference date to federal regulations regarding the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles and carriers; update (PUB SAF-7th) Rogers-10th
HB 86 – Domestic relations; definition of sexual abuse; expand (JUDY-45th) Oliver-82nd
HB 157 – Medical advertising; certain certifying organizations; revise certain criteria (H&HS-45th) Kelley-16th
HB 174 – Insurance; insurer’s medium of payment of policy or contractual obligations; expand (I&L-14th) Lumsden-12th
HB 265 – Income tax; credit for establishing or relocating quality jobs; revise provisions (Substitute) (FIN-49th) Efstration-104th
HOUSE RULES CALENDAR
Modified Open Rule
SB 96 – Health; pronouncement of death by registered professional nurses; nursing homes and hospice care; authorize; county medical examiner’s duties after notice of suspicious death; make a conforming change
Modified Structured Rule
SR 95 – Sales and Use Tax; net proceeds; educational purposes; county school system; independent school systems; provide for distribution-CA (W&M-Nix-69th) Black-8th (AM 28 1573)
Erratum: yesterday, I referred to John Watson as “Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party,” when I meant to type “Candidate for Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party.” It was a mistake caused, I think, by Daylight Savings Time, also known as “the Devil’s Stupid Time,” not some clever subliminal ploy.
The Fiscal Year 2018 budget nears completion, according to the AJC.
The Georgia Senate is expected this week to back a record state budget for the upcoming fiscal year that includes pay raises for 200,000 teachers and state employees and more than $1 billion worth of new construction projects.
The plan also includes $485,000 so Senate committee meetings can be streamed over the internet. Currently, House meetings are streamed, but the Senate has in the past resisted making its meetings accessible to people who can’t attend live.
The Senate’s $25 billion spending plan for fiscal 2018, which begins July 1, follows much of what Gov. Nathan Deal proposed and the House has already approved. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the chamber’s plan Monday.
The total spending plan tops $49 billion when federal and other funds are included. Officials say, however, that when inflation and population growth are added to the equation, the state is spending about what it was at the end of the 1990s.
The Georgia State House passed Senate Bill 85 to allow beer brewers and liquor distillers to sell directly to consumers.
The Georgia House voted 147-41 on Monday to adopt an amended version of Senate Bill 85, which will provide for distillers and brewers in the state to sell a set amount of barrels of their products directly to the public each year. The state Senate passed its version of the legislation in a 49-2 vote on Feb. 2.
Because the legislation was amended to add in the language for distilleries, the bill needs to be agreed upon by the state Senate before it heads to Gov. Nathan Deal for his signature. If the governor signs the legislation, it would go into effect Sept. 1.
“This will finally put us on a level playing field with our surrounding states,” said Carly Wiggins, marketing and sales director for Savannah’s Southbound Brewing Co. and sitting president and membership chair of the Georgia Craft Brewers Guild. “The ability to sell beer directly to the consumer will allow for breweries to bring in the additional cash flow needed for expanding and, frankly, just surviving.”
Once the law takes effect, Chris Haborak, co-owner of Savannah’s Coastal Empire Beer Co., said he expects to be able to quickly expand his operation.
“It’s fantastic news for us, and we’re very excited about it,” Haborak said Monday. “It’s going to allow us to hire more people immediately when this goes into effect. It will allow us to hire more sales people and just on down the supply chain. You’ll see tremendous growth, and you’re going to see a lot of new breweries open up in Georgia now.”
Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R-Marietta) discussed Senate Resolution 192, which would allow local school districts to elect their superintendents.
The Georgia Senate has already passed the resolution, which allows local school districts to choose if they want to elect a superintendent and have a school board appointed by a grand jury.
Local school superintendents are currently hired by elected school board members.
The House has to approve the resolution with two-thirds support, and Georgia voters would have to approve the constitutional amendment on the November 2018 election, said state Sen. John Wilkinson, R-Toccoa, who wrote the resolution.
Then, local legislative delegations would decide whether to put the resolution before voters on a local ballot, which would then require at least 50 percent voter approval, said Tippins.
If a district does choose to elect a superintendent, Tippins said the superintendent candidates would have to meet election residency requirements in order to qualify for the race. That means candidates for superintendent would be limited to those who live in a particular school system.
“The other day, I went to the Capitol and it took me an hour and 20 minutes to get from Indian Trail to the Capitol,” Marin said. “That’s nonsense and that’s on a good day … There are a couple of things that people are talking about. One is more diversity and more representation on the county commission, and the other is rapid transit.”
The filing of the resolution comes on the heels of county commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash announcing during her State of the County Address last month that a Comprehensive Transit Plan study would begin soon. She also said a referendum would happen, although she didn’t specify when.
Gwinnett County Transit is working with Google to develop a trip planning tool for transit options in the county.
New Augusta Judicial Circuit district attorney Natalie Paine was sworn in yesterday.
Paine, 34, replaced former District Attorney Ashley Wright, who was selected by Gov. Nathan Deal to serve as a Richmond County Superior Court judge. Paine will have to run for election in Richmond, Columbia and Burke counties in 2018.
The City of Lula is considering installing electric locks on public restroom doors.
Residents of Lula are crowing about chickens in residential areas.
With handfuls of calls coming in the last week, Lula City Manager Dennis Bergin spoke to one homeowner who said he was fed up with chickens in his neighborhood.
“He’s had it,” Bergin said. “He said the rooster wakes him up every dadgum morning.”
The City of Powder Springs will hold a Town Hall for citizen input on the municipal budget. The meeting will be at the Ford Center Reception Hall, 4181 Atlanta Street, Powder Springs, GA30127 from 7-9 PM.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Nongame Conservation Section surveyed Bald Eagle nests in Chatham County with strong results.
Former National Republican Congressional Committee Executive Director (and former Georgian) Rob Simms assessed Democrat Jon Ossoff’s chances in the 6th Congressional District Special Election next month.
“It’s a possibility,” said Rob Simms, former executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee, who’s now working for Handel. “How likely? I don’t know,” he added.
Secretary of State Brian Kemp is gearing up for a run for Governor in 2018, according to the AJC Political Insider.
It’s unclear when Kemp will formally announce. He declined comment on Monday, though he’s been dropping hints for months that he’ll run and has been lining up staffers and donors.
“I am uniquely positioned to understand the challenges you face when it comes to running your business and, most importantly, having to deal with government red tape,” he said in recent remarks to the National Federation of Independent Businesses. “There are too few business-minded people in office, and you can see how that impacts our government.”
State Rep. Buzz Brockway (R-Gwinnett) followed up saying he’ll run for Secretary of State if the seat is open in 2018.
“I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and I’ve had great feedback. Assuming these reports are true and Kemp runs for governor, I’m going to run for Secretary of State,” said Brockway.
“I’ve worked on election law since I took office, and we need to make sure our elections run smoothly and everyone who wants to vote can vote.”