Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 26, 2019

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 26, 2019

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.

Johnny Cash was born on February 26, 1932.

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

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Under the Gold Dome – Legislative Day

7:00 AM HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEES 341 CAP

8:00 AM HOUSE JUDICIARY (NON-CIVIL) 132 CAP

8:00 AM HOUSE Motor Vehicles Driver Safety & Service Subcommittee 515 CLOB

8:30 AM HOUSE MOTOR VEHICLES 515 CLOB

9:00 AM HOUSE RULES 341 CAP

10:00 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD 22) House Chamber

12:00 PM SENATE RULES UPON ADJOURNMENT

1:00 PM SENATE ETHICS – CANCELLED 307 CLOB

1:00 PM HOUSE JUVENILE JUSTICE 515 CLOB

1:00 PM HOUSE Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Tax 133 CAP

1:00 PM HOUSE MARTOC 406 CLOB

1:00 PM HOUSE INTERSTATE COOPERATION 341 CAP

2:00 PM SENATE STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS 307 CLOB<

2:00 PM SENATE REGULATED INDUSTRIES & UTILITES 450 CAP

2:00 PM HOUSE RETIREMENT 515 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 606 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE JUDICIARY (CIVIL) 132 CAP

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

2:00 PM HOUSE Admin/Licensing Subcommittee 406 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE REGULATED INDUSTRIES 506 CLOB

2:30 PM HOUSE Ways and Means Subcommittee on Sales Tax 133 CAP

3:00 PM SENATE FINANCE- HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SUBCOMMITTEE 450 CAP

3:00 PM SENATE NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT 310 CLOB

3:00 PM SENATE BANKING & FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS MEZZ 1

3:00 PM HOUSE Ways and Means Subcommittee on Ad Valorem 133 CAP

3:00 PM HOUSE Telecommunications Subcommittee of Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications 403 CAP

3:00 PM HOUSE Property & Casualty Subcommittee of Insurance 415 CLOB

3:30 PM SENATE DOT BOARD ELECTIONS- DISTRICT 12 SENATE CHAMBER

4:00 PM SENATE AGRICULTURE & CONSUMER AFFAIRS 450 CAP

4:00 PM SENATE TRANSPORTATION 310 CLOB

4:00 PM HOUSE ENERGY, UTILITIES AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS 403 CAP

4:00 PM HOUSE Welch Subcommittee of Judiciary (Civil) 132 CAP

5:00 PM SENATE SPECIAL JUDICIARY 307 CLOB

5:00 PM HOUSE Kelley Subcommittee of Judiciary 132 CAP

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

SB 18 – “Direct Primary Care Act” (Substitute)(RULES-32nd)

HB 62 – Margie’s Law; enact (H&HS-1st) Cooper-43rd

SB 115 – “Medical Practice Act of the State of Georgia”; telemedicine licenses for physicians in other states; engage in the practice of medicine with patients in this state through telemedicine; provide (S&T-45th)

SB 118 – Insurance; Georgia Telemedicine Act; modernize; Telemedicine Act the Telehealth Act; rename (S&T-45th)

SB 106 – “Patients First Act” (H&HS-19th)

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Modified Open Rule

HB 319 – Georgia Firefighters’ Pension Fund; member’s benefits payable after death shall be paid to his or her estate when such member failed to designate a beneficiary or his or her designated beneficiaries are deceased; provide (Ret-Williams-148th)

Modified Structured Rule

HB 185 – Financial institutions; change certain definitions (B&B-Williamson-115th)

HB 228 – Marriage; change minimum age from 16 to 17 and require any person who is 17 to have been emancipated (Substitute)(JuvJ-Welch-110th)

HB 284 – Cobb County; Magistrate Court chief judge; provide nonpartisan elections (GAff-Carson-46th)

HB 285 – Cobb County; probate judge; provide nonpartisan elections (GAff-Carson-46th)

Pursuant to House Rule 33.3, debate shall be limited to one hour on HB 316. Time to be allocated at the discretion of the Speaker.

HB 316 – Elections; definitions; provide for uniform equipment and ballot marking devices (Substitute)(GAff-Fleming-121st

Governor Brian Kemp said he will not veto legislation to allow a statewide referendum on horse racing, according to the AJC.

Gov. Brian Kemp said he remains a staunch opponent of legalized gambling but signaled he won’t stand in the way of a constitutional amendment that would let voters decide whether to allow casinos in Georgia.

His aides added that Kemp, who campaigned against the expansion of gambling, will insist that the new funds be used for the popular lottery-funded HOPE scholarship if a constitutional amendment passes.

Kemp’s stance seems likely to rev up debate over an issue that its champions feared was effectively dead after his November victory. During the campaign, Kemp and other Republicans touted their opposition to casinos and other forms of gambling.

Since the measure is a constitutional amendment, it wouldn’t require his signature – instead it needs two-thirds support in the Legislature and approval by a majority of voters. But his position could pave the way for other skeptics of the measure in the Legislature to follow his lead.

Senate Bill 48 by Sen. P.K. Martin (R-Gwinnett) passed the Senate, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Senate Bill 48 is now moving through the Georgia House of Representatives. If signed into law, however, it would require the Georgia Department of Education to put dyslexia guidance and training in place for teachers and the state school superintendent would have to create a dyslexia education pilot program.

“Dyslexia is one of the most common learning challenges for school-aged children,” Martin said in a statement. “Catching the symptoms early, and developing a plan for remediation is vital to their future educational development and success. Currently, there is no statewide standard regarding the education of dyslexic students.”

“The provisions of Senate Bill 48 will help to ensure that students are properly screened and those with dyslexia are given the opportunity to prosper in a learning environment best suited for their needs,” Martin said.

Senate Bill 158, the “Anti-Human Trafficking Protective Response Act,” was recommended for passage by the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to The Brunswick News.

“This is from the Kemp administration, and this is the next step for us in taking on human trafficking in our state — something that the governor’s cared a lot about, and in particular, the first lady has taken a lead on as well,” [State Senator Brian] Strickland said. “I’ll walk through this bill with you. There is a similar bill that’s also in the House, that’s currently in House Judiciary, that’s carried by Chairman (Chuck) Efstration, as well. You may have heard of that bill over there — very similar bills.”

“This is simply giving more resources for these victims that are found when we get these busts in our state,” Strickland said. “Under Section 1-3, we’re saying where those children should be referred, and this code section confirms that a child that is suspected of being a victim of these crimes will be sent to a certified victim service organization that will provide the services that they need.

“And, Section 1-4 goes in the juvenile code and dependency proceedings and adds a child that is a victim of trafficking to the list of those orders where a child can be removed from a home without the consent of parents, if they’re the victim of that crime.”

“We’re trying, again, to get to the source of these crimes and give prosecutors a tool of going after those who are knowingly benefitting financially from these offenses taking place,” Strickland said.

House Bill 217 by State Rep. Houston Gaines (R-Athens) passed out of the House, according to AccessWDUN.

The measure aims to reduce the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C infections among drug users who share needles. The House approved the bill 166-3 Monday. It now goes to the Senate.

Republican Rep. Houston Gaines of Athens, the bill’s main supporter, says people who use needle exchange programs are far more likely to enter treatment programs.

House Bill 202 by State Rep. Jesse Petrea (R-Savannah) would require statistics from the state Department of Corrections on numbers of prisoners who are illegal aliens, according to The Brunswick News.

“The subset of inmates in this state who are illegally here are about 3 percent,” Petrea said. “So, this is a smaller subset. However, it is an impactful subset, because when you think about the fact that if indeed our federal government, our federally elected officials from both parties, if they were doing their job and dealing with the very important issue of immigration in this country, and making sure we have a legal and vigorous immigration system, if they were doing that job, then none of those crimes, perhaps, would have occurred.”

“And so I had received this information at the request of the (state Department of Corrections) a couple of years ago, and discovered that I could get it, but it wasn’t available to the public.”

The aggregate data would include numbers on those under detainers from U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, offenses committed and the home countries of the inmates “who are not United States citizens and who are confined under the authority of the department and, with regard to the total population in confinement, the percentage that comprises persons who are not citizens of the United States.”

The first report would go out Oct. 1, and then every 90 days thereafter.

I am awarding five points for draftsmanship for proper use of “comprise”.

Buford City Schools has a new superintendent and assistant superintendent on duty, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Catoosa County voters are beginning to vote early on a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Transportation (T-SPLOST), according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Early voting on the T-SPLOST began Monday. Polls are open in two locations: the Freedom Center at 5238 Evitt St. in Ringgold, and the Westside precinct at 3319 Lakeview Drive in Rossville.

The county projects the T-SPLOST will generate about $60 million over five years, with the county holding on to $42 million. Fort Oglethorpe gets $12 million, and Ringgold gets $6 million, the difference agreed upon by the governments’ officials based on the physical size of the cities and their populations.

The Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce board voted Jan. 22 to endorse the T-SPLOST.

“When new businesses are looking to relocate here, [good roads are] important,” Chamber President Amy Jackson said. “We believe the T-SPLOST will allow the roads to be in the best shape and be repaired faster.”

Cave Springs voters are heading to the polls to decide whether to allow liquor sales, according to the Rome News Tribune.

Elections Supervisor Judy Dickinson said early voting started Monday and will run through March 15, on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in City Hall. Voting will run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day, March 19.

Dickinson said one ballot had been cast Monday — hers.

The city already allows beer and wine sales. Adding distilled spirits would clear the way for a craft distillery touted as a potential tourism draw.

Two out-of-town businessmen want to capitalize on Cave Spring’s famed water to open a micro-distillery in a downtown historical building next to The Peddler antiques store on Alabama Street. In addition to making flavored spirits, they’d have a sipping room and store on site.

Question 1 would allow distilled package sales from Monday through Saturday. Question 2 would allow distilled spirits to be served by the drink from Monday through Saturday. Questions 3 and 4 are repetitions that would extend the sales to Sundays, from 12:30 p.m. in the afternoon to 11:30 p.m. at night.

Savannah City Council will hear a developer’s plan to tear down an old freight station to make room for new apartments, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The Macon-Bibb County Transit Authority has asked the County for more than $476,000 dollars it claims to be owed, according to the Macon Telegraph.

Rage Against the (Voting) Machine

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said new voting machines would give greater certainty to elections, in an interview with the Ledger-Enquirer.

In an interview with the Ledger-Enquirer on Friday, Raffensperger said he sees the bill as a way to gain back voter trust after a contentious 2018 election process.

“When there’s an election … we want the winner to know they truly did win but also the loser knows ‘yeah I really did lose, I thought I had it’ — no but nice try,” he said. “You won’t have that consternation or concern or belly-aching you could have after an election.”

The bill cleared the House Governmental Affairs Committee Feb. 21 and will head to the full state House for a vote Tuesday morning.

Fair Fight Action the Stacey Abrams-sponsored leftist group is opposing the legislation to buy new voting machines, according to the AJC.

“With so much at stake, our supporters across Georgia are fighting back against this horrible bill,” said Fair Fight chief executive Lauren Groh-Wargo, who was Abrams’ campaign manager.

That will kick off with a TV ad in the Atlanta market that contends the bill’s plan to switch Georgia’s voting system to computer-printed paper ballots – rather than hand-marked ballots Abrams and other allies support – will make Georgia’s elections less secure.

“Those faulty machines – the ones that could get hacked to steal our vote – Governor Kemp wants to spend $150 million of our taxpayer dollars to spend more,” said the ad, which invokes Kemp’s hire of an election company’s former lobbyist to a prominent role on his staff.

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