Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 6, 2018

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 6, 2018

The House of Assembly, Georgia’s legislative body, held its second meeting after statehood on February 6, 1788 in Savannah.

Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois. In 1980, Reagan would be elected President of the United States, beating incumbent Jimmy Carter. When he was born, his father said, “he looks like a fat little Dutchman.  But who knows, he might grow up to be president some day.”

On February 6, 1952, Governor Herman Talmadge signed resolutions of the General Assembly that included:

A resolution calling on Congress to call a convention to propose a constitutional amendment to repeal the Sixteenth Amendment and instead allow a maximum rate of 25 percent on any federal income, transfer, gift, or inheritance tax.

A resolution urging U.S. Senator Richard B. Russell to run for the presidency.

On February 6, 1956, Governor Marvin Griffin addressed a joint session of  the Georgia General Assembly, asking their support for House Resolution 1185, which introduced the idea of “interposition,” in which the State of Georgia would declare the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 and 1955 Brown v. Board of Education decisions “null and void” in Georgia. That day Griffin also signed a raft of legislation for his “massive resistance” agenda against integration of state schools.

On February 6, 1985, Reagan gave the State of the Union. During the speech he announced what would be known as the “Reagan Doctrine.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Under the Gold Dome

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

UPON ADJOURNMENT SENATE RULES 450 CAP

8:00 AM SEN APPROP – Human Dev and Public Health subc 341 CAP

8:00 AM STATE & LOCAL GOVT – CANCELED 310 CLOB

8:30 AM SEN APPROP – Higher Ed sub 307 CLOB

9:00 AM HOUSE RULES 341 CAP

1:00 PM SEN APPROP – Education sub 341 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE ECON DEV & TOURISM – CANCELED 125 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE HEALTH & HUMAN SVCS 450 CAP

1:00 PM HOUSE CIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 606 CLOB

1:30 PM HOUSE Resource Mgmt Sub of Natl Res & Envt 406 CLOB

1:45 PM HOUSE Ways & Means Ad Valorem Sub 133 CAP

2:00 PM SENATE RETIREMENT – CANCELED MEZZ 1

2:00 PM SENATE NATL RES & THE ENVT 310 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE Ways & Means Sales Tax Sub 133 CAP

2:00 PM HOUSE BANKS AND BANKING 515 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE HEALTH AND HUMAN SVCS 606 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE REG IND 506 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE JUDY (CIVIL) 132 CAP

2:00 PM HOUSE GAME, FISH, AND PARKS 403 CAP

3:00 PM SEN APPROPS – Ag and Natl Res sub 341 CAP

3:00 PM SENATE HIGHER ED 307 CLOB

3:00 PM SENATE REG IND & UTILITIES 450 CAP

3:00 PM HOUSE REAPPORTIONMENT 415 CLOB

4:00 PM URBAN AFFAIRS – CANCELED 125 CAP

4:00 PM SENATE APPROP – Community Health sub 341 CAP

Girl Scouts from across Georgia will be at the Capitol today, lobbying to rename the Savannah bridge. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Hundreds of Girl Scouts from across Georgia are expected to gather inside the state Capitol on Tuesday with milk and cookies seeking to convince lawmakers to get their founder’s name affixed to a Savannah bridge that is currently named after a white segregationist.

Coinciding with the scouts’ visit Tuesday, Rep. Ron Stephens, a Republican from Savannah, plans to introduce a bill to remove former Gov. Eugene Talmadge’s name from the bridge and rename it after Juliette Gordon Low. Low founded the Girl Scouts in the coastal city more than a century ago.

The organization’s campaign comes after Savannah’s city council in September unanimously asked state lawmakers to strip Talmadge’s name from the bridge. Their formal declaration came about a month after deadly violence erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white supremacists rallying in support of Confederate statues clashed with counter-protesters.

Governor Nathan Deal lauded the passage of House Bill 159.

“I applaud the House and Senate for working together to overwhelmingly pass these comprehensive revisions to the adoption code,” said Deal. “This compromise modernizes and streamlines Georgia’s adoption system to meet the needs and challenges of the 21st century. These reforms will bring us in line with other states nationally while uniting children and parents in loving, permanent homes. I commend the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Bert Reeves, for his tireless work on behalf of Georgia’s children, and I applaud the efforts of legislators and other stakeholders in ensuring passage of HB 159. I look forward to signing this legislation into law, thereby updating our decades-old adoption code.”

From Jill Nolin for the Valdosta Daily Times:

Lawmakers crafted a compromise last week, which includes the power-of-attorney provision but adds more safeguards.

They remain at odds, however, over whether adoptive parents should be able to pay some living expenses for birth mothers when going through a private attorney.

Rather than continue to hold up the measure, state Sen. Jesse Stone, R-Waynesboro, said he will propose a legislative study committee delve into the issue and the possible impact that allowing payment for living expenses would have on the cost of adoptions.

Stone said the measure was “too important a bill to delay.”

The measure, which passed in the Senate with 53-to-2-vote, is the first update of the state’s adoption laws in nearly 30 years. It’s also the first major bill to clear the General Assembly so far this year.

From the Gainesville Times:

State Rep. Emory Dunahoo, R-Gillsville, said he would like to see the religious exemption added back at some point, but was willing to compromise for now.

“These children have nothing to say when they’re born … there is also an opportunity to bring something back later,” he added.

State Rep. Lee Hawkins, R-Gainesville, told The Times last week that the bill needed to pass this year.

“I voted for the original bill, which provided the children of Georgia a better life through an opportunity for adoption,” he added.

“Remove the politics, this is about children and welfare and giving working-class families access to adoption processes that aren’t cost-prohibitive,” state Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, told The Times about why he supports the legislation.

“No, it’s not perfect,” he added, “but a big step forward.”

A pair of Health care bills, Senate Bill 357 by Sen. Dean Burke (R-Bainbridge) and Senate Bill 352 by Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) are headed for floor votes on Wednesday. From the Rome News-Tribune:

Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, said he expects them to clear the chamber this week.

Senate Bill 357, sponsored by Sen. Dean Burke, R-Bainbridge, would create a Health Coordination and Innovation Council. The 18-member panel of agency heads, medical academics and private health care representatives would be tasked with coming up with new ways to stabilize costs while improving access to care.

SB 352, sponsored by Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, would set up a director and a commission to address substance abuse, addiction and related disorders.

Unterman’s bill would allow the state to seek Medicaid waivers, for the first time, to set up programs specifically targeting the opiod crisis.

“We’re also trying to get more resources and money in the budget to address it, and mental health, because the two are connected,” Hufstetler said. “A lot of people in our state don’t even have access to treatment.”

 The General Assembly will again take up the issue of our border with Tennessee, according to 11Alive.

Some Georgia lawmakers want to change the state’s border with Tennessee. A new House resolution calls for a conference committee with Tennessee to discuss what Georgians say is a misplaced northern border.

Georgia officials contend the border placement was the sloppy work of a surveyor some 200 years ago – who mistakenly put it a mile south of where it should be.

“The constitutions are very clear on what the line is in each state. And it says the 35th parallel,” said state Rep. Marc Morris (R-Cumming). “And it’s time for us all to get honest about what the line really is.”

The current border, just south of the 35th parallel, is achingly close to the Tennessee River. Georgia officials would like to move that border north – putting it in the middle of the Tennessee River’s Nickajack Lake.

 

Lawrenceville Mayor Judy Johnson Jordan delivered her State of the City address.

Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap won the Victimology Impact Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. From the Savannah Morning News:

Tammy Garland, professor of criminal justice at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, said Heap is being recognized “due to her efforts with fighting for the rights of victims with the DA’s office.”

“It’s so important to fight for the rights of victims,” said Garland, who is chair of the academy and its Victimology Section.

Chad Posick, assistant professor of criminal justice and criminology at Georgia Southern University, said in his letter nominating Heap that, “began her career as a victim advocate and her passion for serving victims is never lost.

“Her approach to prosecution and crime intervention always has the victim on her mind.”

The Georgia Secretary of State’s office has opened an investigation into whether Tybee Island Councilman Jackson Butler met the qualification to be elected. From the Savannah Morning News:

At issue is Butler’s participation in the 2016 general election, according to information provided to Savannah Morning News in response to a request under the Georgia Open Records Act. Documents provided to the state as part of its investigation show that Butler voted by absentee ballot in Savannah in 2016.

However, it is the position of Tybee Island City Clerk Jan LeViner that despite this absentee vote, Butler met all of the requirements for a candidate seeking public office in the city when he qualified to run for council last August.

“Based on information provided to this office, Jackson Butler was qualified to run for City Council by being a resident of the city for 12 months prior to the date of the election and registered and qualified to vote in municipal elections of the city per Sec 2.11, Council Terms and Qualifications, Tybee Island Charter,” LeViner wrote in an emailed statement last month. “He also continues to reside in the city.”

The Dougherty County Republican Party named Russell Gray to the county Elections Board.

The Georgia Ports Authority intends to more-than-double throughput by 2028.

GPA executive director Griff Lynch made the announcement on the opening day the 50th annual Georgia Foreign Trade Conference on Sea Island.

“Georgia is home to both the single largest container and roll-on/roll-off facilities in North America,” Lynch told an international audience of trade professionals.

“Our goal in the next 10 years is to maximize capacity, create jobs and reduce impact on our local communities.”

With an average 6-percent growth over the past 10 years, including 8.5-percent growth last year, it’s a goal Lynch feels is attainable.

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