Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 3, 2019

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 3, 2019

Georgia began its love affair with the regulation of what can and cannot be sold on April 3, 1735, when James Oglethorpe, founder of the colony, helped gain passage of “An Act to prevent the Importation and Use of Rum and Brandies in the Province of Georgia.” The act provided that after June 24, 1735, “no Rum, Brandies, Spirits or Strong Waters” shall be imported into Georgia.” Permission was also required to sell beer, wine, and ale.

On April 3, 1776, the Continental Congress authorized “privateers” holding a letter of marque and reprisal to attack British ships. This essentially legalizes what would otherwise be considered piracy. Issuing letters of marque and reprisal is among the enumerated powers of Congress under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, though they have seldom been used.

On April 3, 1865, Richmond fell.

On April 3, 1898, President William McKinley called on Georgians to contribute 3000 volunteers for the Spanish-American War.

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., accompanied by Georgians Hosea Williams and Ralph D. Abernathy, was in Memphis, Tennessee, supporting a strike by sanitation workers on April 3, 1968. He delivered what is known as the “Mountaintop Speech.”

“[L]ike anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land. So I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Yesterday was “Sine Die,” the last day of the legislative session, at the conclusion of which each chamber votes to “adjourn sine die,” or without a date set for their next meeting. In typical Georgia fashion, it went right up to midnight. I’m exhausted and have a lot to do this morning, so I’ll be very brief today before starting in earnest to unpack what happened this Session.

WSB-TV has a story on what passed last night.

The medical marijuana bill would create a way for patients who are already allowed to use cannabis oil, a legal way to get it by having it grown and dispensed here in the state.

One of the most controversial bills, the “heartbeat” bill, which ould ban abortions in Georgia once a doctor could detect a fetal heartbeat, approximately six weeks into a pregnancy, passed the House and Senate earlier this week.

Some Hollywood stars and producers say the bill could impact future film and TV productions in the state.

The clock ran out, however, on legislation giving airlines a jet fuel tax break, creating new rural transit options and allowing the state to take over Atlanta’s airport.

A bill raising Georgia’s minimum marriage age to 17 is heading to Kemp’s desk after the House approved it by a vote of 155-14 on Tuesday.

From Georgia Public Broadcasting:

Georgia Senators have approved a bill that would give more than 8,000 patients access to medical marijuana.

It’s currently illegal to grow or sell the drug here but it is legal to use. The legislation calls for six commercial licenses for growers and one each for the University of Georgia and Fort Valley State.

The bill will allow pharmacies to serve as dispensaries. It must still be agreed on by the House.

SB 2 would allow electric membership corporations who sell power to customers to also offer internet service. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.

Gov. Brian Kemp addressed both the House and the Senate after dinner. He thanked them for their hard work and commended passage of the state’s budget. “I think all Georgians can be proud of this great state of Georgia and this body’s broad bi-partisan support on our balanced budget. So, congratulations to you all on that and I think that this is a budget that is putting Georgians first and that’s really the most important thing that we do here.”

From the AJC:

In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kemp called it a “historic” legislative session.

“We’ve done a lot this session — a lot more than people thought I’d do,” he said. “I’m just doing what I told people I would do. And that’s what I heard from people during the campaign — they were starving for people to do what they told them they would actually do.”

House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, said: “We’ve had a good session. We have accomplished things that matter a lot to a lot of Georgians.”

The compromise on House Bill 324 provides several ways for Georgia’s 8,400 registered patients to buy medical marijuana oil, including through six private growing companies, state universities and pharmacies.

It’s unclear how many dispensaries would be allowed to sell medical marijuana oil. That would be determined by a state oversight commission. Smoking or eating marijuana would remain prohibited.

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