Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 28, 2019


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 28, 2019

The British Parliament enacted The Coercive Acts on March 28, 1774.

The Coercive Acts were a series of four acts established by the British government. The aim of the legislation was to restore order in Massachusetts and punish Bostonians for their Tea Party, in which members of the revolutionary-minded Sons of Liberty boarded three British tea ships in Boston Harbor and dumped 342 crates of tea—nearly $1 million worth in today’s money—into the water to protest the Tea Act.

Passed in response to the Americans’ disobedience, the Coercive Acts included:

The Boston Port Act, which closed the port of Boston until damages from the Boston Tea Party were paid.

The Massachusetts Government Act, which restricted Massachusetts; democratic town meetings and turned the governor’s council into an appointed body.

The Administration of Justice Act, which made British officials immune to criminal prosecution in Massachusetts.

The Quartering Act, which required colonists to house and quarter British troops on demand, including in their private homes as a last resort.

Governor Ernest Vandiver signed legislation authorizing the construction of monuments to Georgians killed in battle at the Antietam and Gettysburg battlefields on March 28, 1961.

Identical 15 1/2-foot-tall monuments of Georgia blue granite were sculpted by Harry Sellers of Marietta Memorials. At the top of the shaft is the word “GEORGIA” over the state seal. Lower on the shaft is the inscription, “Georgia Confederate Soldiers, We sleep here in obedience; When duty called, we came; When Countdry called, we died.”

Georgia’s first “Sunshine Law” requiring open meetings of most state boards and commissions, was signed by Governor Jimmy Carter on March 28, 1972.

A nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania overheated on March 28, 1979 and within days radiation levels had risen in a four county area. It was the most serious accident in commercial nuclear history in the United States.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Democrat Stacey Abrams said she doesn’t want to “run for second place” again, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams has made clear that she has no plans to join Joe Biden’s presidential campaign as his running mate.

Abrams told hosts of ABC’s “The View” on Wednesday, “You don’t run for second place.” Abrams added that if she joins the 2020 White House chase it will be on her own.

Under the Gold Dome Today

10:00 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD 38) House Chamber
8:00 AM HOUSE Resolutions Subcommittee of Transportation 506 CLOB



NOTICE OF MOTION TO RECONSIDER: HB 171 – Motor vehicles; use of mounts on windshields for the support of wireless telecommunications devices and stand-alone electronic devices under certain circumstances; allow (Substitute)(PUB SAF-29th) Barr-103rd

HB 332 – Agriculture; service of the Commissioner of Agriculture and the president of the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation as ex officio members; revise provisions (AG&CA-7th) Meeks-178th

HB 551 – Controlled substances; kratom; provisions (H&HS-53rd) Hill-3rd

HB 446 – Revenue and taxation; timber producers incurring losses from Hurricane Michael; clarify that certain credits that have been transferred shall not be refundable (Substitute)(FIN-11th) Knight-130th

HB 491 – Insurance; regulation of insurance company holding systems; update (I&L-20th) Taylor-173rd

HB 310 – Insurance, Department of; must submit an autism coverage report to General Assembly; move annual due date to June 15 (I&L-25th) Morris-156th

HB 233 – Pharmacy Anti-Steering and Transparency Act; enact (Substitute)(H&HS-11th) Knight-130th

HB 228 – Marriage; change minimum age from 16 to 17 and require any person who is 17 to have been emancipated (Substitute)(JUDY-18th) Welch-110th

HB 516 – Professions and businesses; profession of professional structural engineer; provide (Substitute)(RI&U-7th) Smith-133rd

HB 91 – Hospitals and health care facilities; Federal Bureau of Investigation to retain fingerprints when an agency or entity is participating in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s program; allow (JUDY-18th) Welch-110th

HB 530 – Education; prohibit parents or guardians from withdrawing or removing a child from a public school for the purpose of avoiding compliance with laws relating to mandatory attendance, school discipline, parental involvement, or parental responsibilities (ED&Y-4th) Hitchens-161st

HB 382 – Outdoor stewardship; eligible applicants for and recipients of the grants; redefine (Substitute)(NR&E-51st) Burns-159th

HB 525 – Georgia International and Maritime Trade Center; rename to Savannah Convention Center (ED&T-1st) Stephens-164th

HB 353 – Insurance; create the crime of staging a motor vehicle collision(Substitute)(JUDY-31st) Carpenter-4th

HB 314 – Georgia Uniform Certificate of Title for Vessels Act; enact (Substitute)(FIN-56th) Stephens-164th

HB 339 – Special license plates; Alabama A&M University; establish(Amendment)(Substitute)(PUB SAF-43rd) McClain-100th

HB 39 – Physical Therapy Licensure Compact Act; enter into an interstate compact (Substitute)(H&HS-14th) Belton-112th

HB 79 – Blind persons; child custody matters; provisions (Substitute)(JUDY-33rd)Gilliard-162nd

HB 257 – Council of Magistrate Court Judges; organization and provide for officers; increase authority (SJUDY-52nd) Scoggins-14th

HB 266 – Revenue and taxation; income for contributions to savings trust accounts; revise deduction (B&FI-27th) Wiedower-119th

HB 281 – Crimes and offenses; pimping and pandering; increase penalty provisions (JUDY-29th) Anulewicz-42nd

HB 321 – Health; hospital Medicaid financing program; extend sunset provision (Substitute)(FIN-17th) Lott-122nd

HB 322 – Local government; advertisement of certain bid or proposal opportunities; change provisions (SLGO(G)-13th) McCall-33rd

HB 367 – Corporate Governance Annual Disclosure Act; enact (I&L-16th) Taylor-173rd

HB 458 – Fire protection and safety; use of class B fire-fighting foam for testing purposes if such foam contains a certain class of fluorinated organic chemicals; prohibit (Substitute)(NR&E-56th) Gullett-19th

HB 527 – Quality Basic Education Formula; change program weights for funding purposes (FIN-52nd) Dickey-140th


Modified Open Rule

HR 228 – President of the United States and United States Congress; enact legislation securing the citizenship of internationally adopted adult individuals; urge (Substitute)(Judy-Glanton-75th)

Modified Structured Rule

SB 2 – Public Utilities and Public Transportation; electric membership corporations and their affiliates; authorize; broadband services; provide (Substitute)(EU&T-Powell-171st) Gooch-51st

SB 6 – Correctional Institutions of the State and Counties; use of unmanned aircraft systems to deliver or attempt to deliver contraband to a place of incarceration; prohibit (Substitute)(PS&HS-Tanner-9th) Kirkpatrick-32nd

SB 72 – Game and Fish; hunting on wildlife management areas; prohibition; remove (Substitute)(GF&P-Rhodes-120th) Harper-7th

SB 77 – State Flag, Seal, and other Symbols; additional protections for government statues; provide (Substitute)(GAff-Powell-32nd) Mullis-53rd

SB 135 – Workers’ Compensation; certain provisions; change (I&L-Werkheiser-157th) Walker III-20th

House Bill 228 would raise the age for marriage in Georgia, and will be on the floor of the Senate today, according to the Rome News Tribune.

Legislation raising the legal age for marriage to 18 from 16 is slated for a vote today in the Georgia Senate after passing the House, 158 to 13, earlier this year.

HB 228 would allow marriage at age 17 if the party has been emancipated by a court. Currently, Georgians can get married at 16 or 17 with parental consent. The measure is aimed at preventing forced or coerced child marriages.

Floyd County’s House delegates — Reps. Katie Dempsey, R-Rome; Eddie Lumsden, R-Armuchee; and Mitchell Scoggins, R-Cartersville — all voted in favor of the change. The proposed legislation was amended in the Senate so, if it passes as expected, it would have to return to the House for a vote to agree.

House Bill 324 on medical cannabis passed out of the Senate Regulated Industries Committee yesterday, according to AccessWDUN.

The Senate Regulated Industries Committee approved the Republican-sponsored measure on a vote of 7-2 with several changes. But the author of the bill, Republican Rep. Micah Gravley of Douglasville, said there were “many, many problems” with the updated measure. He didn’t immediately elaborate on what they were.

The revised bill significantly lowers the number of available grow licenses and retail dispensaries but would still allow patients who already can legally possess low-potency marijuana oil access to the product.

The updated proposal would create a state commission that allows Georgia to obtain medical marijuana from other states. “That will be the fastest way for sure to get products our citizens need,” said Sen. Bill Cowsert of Athens, Chairman of the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities committee.

The bill would still allow for private producers to be involved but on a much lower scale than what was initially proposed, Cowsert said.

It would only grant growers licenses to two private companies one relatively big and one relatively small. But it would also grant permission for two universities to start a research and manufacturing program for the drug.

“Every morning, when my daughter wakes up, I wait to see when I go into her room: is she going to be breathing or am I going to find her face down in her pillow?” [Shannon] Cloud said through tears, while testifying for the bill. “If that one seizure can be prevented and that’s the one that can take her life, then that’s why we need access to this medicine.”

From the AJC:

Senators said they wanted to limit the legislation to ensure it didn’t create a large marijuana industry that they worry could eventually lead to legalization of recreational marijuana consumption.

“It’s for a very narrow subset of patients who are suffering from illnesses and diseases,” said the committee’s chairman, state Sen. Bill Cowsert, a Republican from Athens. “The original distribution system seemed overly broad for such a small number of patients. It seemed like overkill as far as supply.”

Under the revised bill, medical marijuana oil could initially be obtained from other states by a new Georgia commission and then sold to patients through dispensaries and pharmacies. The legislation would allow two private companies to grow medical marijuana, and two universities could start a research and manufacturing program.

The limitations in the bill appeared to appease sheriffs who have tried to stop expansion of medical marijuana in Georgia. Terry Norris, the executive director of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association, said he’ll recommend that sheriffs not oppose the bill.

Both chambers agreed to fund $3000 raises for Georgia teachers, according to the AJC.

Georgia teachers can expect a $3,000 pay raise, starting July 1, under a new state spending plan House and Senate leaders agreed to Wednesday.

The measure, approved by budget conferees for the two chambers, also calls for a 2 percent pay raise in the coming year for tens of thousands of state and University System of Georgia employees.

Gov. Brian Kemp has called the $3,000 raise a down payment on his campaign promise — made in the fall — to give teachers a $5,000 raise.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Hill, R-Reidsville, said of the new budget plan, “It does a good bit to advance the objectives Governor Kemp outlined in his campaign and has outlined since he became governor.”

The airport takover bill has been Frankensteined, according to the AJC.

Georgia House leaders on Wednesday showed the state Senate exactly what they thought of its plan to take over Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

They turned the takeover into a proposal to create a state oversight committee with limited power. They threw in a jet-fuel tax break for air carriers such as Delta Air Lines that Senate leaders haven’t backed. And they tossed in a rural transit bill for good measure.

Whether the newly created mega-bill has a chance of passing, or is meant more as a bargaining position in the final few days of the session, is unclear. The General Assembly session is scheduled to end Tuesday.

The proposal was put together and passed by the House Rules Committee, which is the gatekeeper for what legislation the chamber votes on.

The Gainesville Times looks at why the agriculture industry considers House Bill 545 important.

A bill that passed the state House earlier this month, with all representatives from Hall County voting in support, has its roots in a series of North Carolina lawsuits in recent years that have won hundreds of millions of dollars in judgments for plaintiffs against a large hog farming operator.

“As a result, such facilities are sometimes forced to cease operations,” the bill states, or it discourages new investments, expansion or improvements. “It is the purpose of this (bill) to reduce losses of the state’s agricultural and forest land resources by limiting the circumstances under which agricultural facilities and operations or agricultural support facilities may be deemed to be a nuisance.”

Jeffrey Harvey, director of public policy for the Georgia Farm Bureau, said rulings that occurred in North Carolina “undermined the protections we thought we’ve always had.”

Proponents say the bill is simply clarifying language to protect farms and agricultural operators doing business before neighboring commercial and residential developments were established. They say a one-year statute to file nuisance claims remains the standard.

Some Hollywood types want film production moved out of Georgia if the fetal heartbeat bill passes and is signed into law, according to the AJC.

Fort Gordon began work to build a new Cyber Center of Excellence, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Warner Robins Economic Development Director Gary Lee has been indicted, according to the Macon Telegraph.

The charges stem from a Houston County Sheriff’s Office investigation in June into Lee’s allegations of criminal misconduct against another city employee, Sheriff’s Capt. Jon Holland confirmed. He declined to name the other employee or comment on the case.

Lee alleged another employee committed fraud or forgery. The employee works in the city’s economic development department, Warner Robins Mayor Randy Toms said. He declined to elaborate.

Lee is accused of making a false statement during a criminal investigation when he told Sheriff’s Cpl. Eric Salter on June 20 that he did not sign his name to a Warner Robins Alcohol and Control Substance Policy form that he did, in fact, sign the indictment alleged.

Gwinnett County Commissioners revised the development ordinance to allow microbreweries, brewpubs and farm wineries in some areas, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Gwinnett County will apply for a federal grant to study bus rapid transit, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Glenn Martin announced he will run for an open seat on the Lawrenceville City Council, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

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