Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 3, 2021

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 3, 2021

On March 3, 1779, the British Army met America forces in Screven County, Georgia.

On March 3, 1779, 238 years ago [] , the first major battle of the British Army’s push into the American South took place at Brier Creek at the old road between Savannah and Augusta. According to Battle and President of the Brier Creek Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution Craig Wildi, the American loss resulted in the deaths of at least 200 patriots.

Studies done by Battle in conjunction with other professional organizations have uncovered evidence that some of Georgia’s soldiers who lost their lives in the fight for independence may still lie in graves at the battle site.

“This was the 16th bloodiest of all battle sites throughout the Revolutionary War,” Battle said. “We found so many artifacts under our original permit, Georgia DNR (Department of natural Resources) shut the study down.”

The land around the battle site is public, managed by Georgia DNR as part of the Tuckahoe Wildlife Management Area. The wildlife management area is about 15,000 acres. Battle and Wildi said they want 500-600 acres set aside to fully study the site, but said DNR hasn’t been willing to dedicate more than about five acres for site preservation and management.

Last year, the Sons of the American Revolution held a commemorative event to place flags in honor of those who died at the battlefield. Because the event was hosted by a non-profit organization, Wildi said Georgia DNR waived the requirements for certain liability insurance policies and other fees for group events. This year, he said they are requiring the group to pay for those requirements; payments the small non-profit says it can’t afford.

During the surveys for and original push for the Palmetto Pipeline, bulldozers and other equipment were brought onto the site to widen roads across it inside the wildlife management area. The proposed pipeline map originally had the right of way slated to cross the battlefield. While both said they were relieved the pipeline was stopped, they say other challenges remain in saving the site.

On March 2, 1807, the Congress passed legislation outlawing the importation of slaves from Africa or anywhere outside the United States.

On March 3, 1820, Congress passed the Missouri Compromise.

In February 1819, Representative James Tallmadge of New York introduced a bill that would admit Missouri into the Union as a state where slavery was prohibited. At the time, there were 11 free states and 10 slave states. Southern congressmen feared that the entrance of Missouri as a free state would upset the balance of power between North and South, as the North far outdistanced the South in population, and thus, U.S. representatives. Opponents to the bill also questioned the congressional precedent of prohibiting the expansion of slavery into a territory where slave status was favored.

Even after Alabama was granted statehood in December 1819 with no prohibition on its practice of slavery, Congress remained deadlocked on the issue of Missouri. Finally, a compromise was reached. On March 3, 1820, Congress passed a bill granting Missouri statehood as a slave state under the condition that slavery was to be forever prohibited in the rest of the Louisiana Purchase north of the 36th parallel, which runs approximately along the southern border of Missouri. In addition, Maine, formerly part of Massachusetts, was admitted as a free state, thus preserving the balance between Northern and Southern senators.

The Missouri Compromise, although criticized by many on both sides of the slavery debate, succeeded in keeping the Union together for more than 30 years.

On March 2, 1836, Texas declared its independence from Mexico.

Texas Flag 1836-39

On March 3, 1845, Congress overrode a Presidential veto for the first time.

The United States Congress passed the first Reconstruction Act on March 2, 1867.

On March 2, 1874, Gov. Smith signed legislation allowing anyone fined for a criminal conviction to arrange for a third party to pay the fine in exchange for the convict’s labor.

On March 3, 1874, Governor Joseph Brown signed legislation permitting persons or companies to lease Georgia prisoners for terms from one to five years, with the Governor setting the rates.

The act required the humane treatment of convicts and limited them to a ten-hour work day, with Sunday off. Equally important, leases had to free the state from all costs associated with prisoner maintenance. Once all state convicts were leased, the law provided that all state penitentiary officers and employees be discharged.

Just think of how much progress Georgia has made with privatizing the justice system — now, instead of leasing convicts, we have private probation companies overseeing released prisoners.

On March 2, 1950, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the beginning of construction of Buford Dam, which would create Lake Lanier.

President Lyndon B. Johnson attended ceremonies at Lockheed in Marietta for the first C-5A aircraft to come off the assembly line on March 2, 1968. President Johnson’s remarks can be read here.

One year ago today, the big story was that two coronavirus cases had been confirmed in Georgia, according to the AJC.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The current Adjournment Resolution governing the General Assembly is House Resolution 264 and takes us through Crossover Day and beyond!

Wednesday, March 3 . . . . . . . .convene for legislative day 26
Thursday, March 4 . . . . . . . . . committee work day
Friday, March 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . convene for legislative day 27

Monday, March 8 . . . . . . . . . . . convene for legislative day 28 (Crossover)
Tuesday, March 9 . . . . . . . . . . . convene for legislative day 29
Wednesday, March 10 . . . . . . . convene for legislative day 30
Thursday, March 11 . . . . . . . . . .convene for legislative day 31

Monday, March 15 . . . . . . . . . .convene for legislative day 32

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

TBD Senate Rules Upon Adjournment – 450 CAP
7:00 AM Senate Ethics – 307 CLOB
8:00 AM Senate Veterans, Military and Homeland Security – Mezz 1
8:00 AM Senate Higher Education – 450 CAP
8:00 AM HOUSE AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS – 406 CLOB
9:00 AM Senate Health and Human Services– canceled – 450 CAP
9:00 AM HOUSE RULES COMMITTEE – 341 CAP
9:00 AM HOUSE Regulated Industries Lottery Oversight Gaming Subcommittee – 132 CAP
10:00 AM Senate Judiciary – 307 CLOB
10:00 AM Senate Transportation – Mezz 1
10:00 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD26) – House Chamber
11:00 AM Senate Education and Youth – 307 CLOB
11:00 AM Senate Retirement – 450 CAP
12:00 PM HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS – 341 CAP
1:00 PM Senate FLOOR SESSION (LD 26) – Senate Chamber
1:00 PM HOUSE Public Safety and Homeland Security Subcommittee A – 506 CLOB
1:00 PM HOUSE HIGHER EDUCATION – 606 CLOB
2:00 PM HOUSE GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS – CANCELLED – 406 CLOB
3:00 PM HOUSE INDUSTRY AND LABOR – 506 CLOB
3:00 PM HOUSE JUDICIARY NON CIVIL – 132 CAP
3:30 PM HOUSE PUBLIC SAFETY AND HOMELAND SECURITY – 606 CLOB

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

SB 117 – Department of Human Services; offenses of improper sexual contact by employee or agent in the first and second degrees; revise (Substitute)(JUDY-49th)

SB 195 – Hemp Farming; definition; revise (Substitute)(AG&CA-53rd)

SB 222 – State Symbols; pecan as the official state nut; designate (AG&CA-13th)

SB 95 – State Government; conditions for meetings and public hearings to be held by teleconference in emergency conditions; provide (GvtO-47th)

SB 183 – Office of Sheriff; qualification requirements; revise (PUB SAF-29th)

SB 187 – HOPE Scholarship; procedure for students with disability as defined by the American with Disabilities Act to apply for a waiver; establish (H ED-37th)

SB 204 – Education; State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia to award high school diplomas; provide (Substitute)(H ED-37th)

SB 42 – Education; school climate rating does not include discipline data; provide (Substitute)(ED&Y-53rd)

SB 107 – Postsecondary Education Grants; waiver of tuition and all fees, for qualifying foster and adopted students by units of the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia; provide (Substitute)(H ED-17th)

SB 66 – Georgia Foundation for Public Education; a nonprofit corporation created by the foundation to receive private donations to be used for grants to public schools; authorize (Substitute)(ED&Y-31st)

SB 59 – Education; additional QBE funding for each full-time equivalent student within a local charter school; provide (Substitute)(ED&Y-56th)

SB 47 – Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Act; revise prior school year requirement (Substitute)(ED&Y-51st)

SB 113 – Life Insurance; life insurers’ requirement to review the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ life insurance policy locator service; provide (Substitute)(I&L-16th)

SB 168 – Meetings; corporation may hold annual shareholders’ meetings and special shareholders’ meetings by means of remote communication; provide (Substitute)(JUDY-20th)

SB 182 – Counties and Municipal Corporations; “fence detection system”; define the term; counties, consolidated governments, and municipalities regulate or prohibit such system; limit the ability (SLGO(G)-29th)

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Modified Open Rule

HB 44 – State government; Georgia shall observe daylight savings time year round; provide (SP&CA-Cantrell-22nd)

HB 303 – Jaida Act; enact (Ins-Glanton-75th)

Modified Structured Rule

HB 248 – Motor vehicles; local governing body to apply for a permit to operate a traffic enforcement safety device which enforces the speed limit in a school zone by recorded image; authorize (PS&HS-Powell-32nd)

HB 322 – Juvenile Code; revise definition of sexual exploitation (JuvJ-Wiedower-119th)

HB 334 – Superior courts; clerks; notaries public; provisions (Substitute)(Judy-Gullett-19th)

HB 355 – Georgia Carbon Sequestration Registry; inclusion ofbuilding products in construction; provisions (NR&E-Wiedower-119th)

HB 363 – Crimes and offenses; protection of elder persons; revise definitions (JudyNC-LaHood-175th)

HB 371 – Evidence; certain proceedings may be conducted by video conference; provide (Substitute)(JudyNC-Gunter-8th)

HB 410 – Bingo; transfer regulatory authority from Georgia Bureau of Investigation to Secretary of State (JudyNC-Lumsden-12th)

HB 435 – Local government; exempt certain contracts competitively procured by the state or cooperative purchasing organizations (GAff-Anderson-10th)

HB 470 – Property; no plans are required when units are not designated by physical structures; provide (Judy-Washburn-141st)

HB 548 – Social services; reasonable access to records concerning reports of child abuse to the Administrative Office of the Courts; provide (JuvJ-Dempsey-13th)

Structured Rule

HB 302 – Revenue and taxation; proceeds of local government regulatory fees be used to pay for regulatory activity; require (Substitute)(W&M-Momtahan-17th)

HB 477 – Income tax; applications for credit for qualified donations of real property; extend sunset date (W&M-Watson-172nd)

HB 511 – State treasury; establishment or revision of certain Trust Funds; provide (Substitute)(App-Reeves-34th)

HB 586 – Georgia Economic Recovery Act of 2021; enact (Substitute)(W&M-Watson-172nd)

HB 587 – Georgia Economic Renewal Act of 2021; enact (Substitute)(W&M-Williamson-115th)(Rules Committee Substitute LC 43 1970S)

HB 593 – Tax Relief Act of 2021; enact (W&M-Blackmon-146th)

HR 185 – House Rural Development Council; reauthorize (ED&T-Watson-172nd)

Georgia hit the 2 million vaccinations mark, according to a press release from Governor Brian Kemp:

[On February 28,] the Georgia Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 vaccine dashboard reported 2,048,591 total vaccine doses administered in the Peach State, accounting for 82.57% of the state’s shipped allocation. Georgia administered one million vaccines in just twenty five days.

“With one million doses administered in just twenty-five days, we continue to make significant progress in vaccinating more vulnerable Georgians” said Governor Kemp. “Over 830,000 seniors have received at least one shot, accounting for nearly sixty percent of Georgia’s over 65 population. With the recent approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and increased dose allocation from both Pfizer and Moderna, the state expects more vaccines will be available in the coming weeks.”

Former President Donald Trump regrets his endorsement of Brian Kemp for Governor in 2018, according to The Hill.

In an interview with the conservative news outlet Newsmax on Sunday, Trump took credit for pushing Kemp across the finish line in 2018 with his unexpected endorsement just days before Kemp was slated to face off against former Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in a primary runoff.

“In the case of Gov. Kemp, he was in last place or just about in last place. I endorsed him, he ended up winning the election and he certainly was not very effective for the Republican Party, to put it nicely,” Trump said.

“So I think that was an endorsement that hurt us, but sometimes that will happen,” he added. ”You can’t pick 100 percent of the winners.”

“What he did for the Republican Party and to the Republican Party and to the state of Georgia, which is a great state, was sad,” Trump told Newsmax on Sunday.

The Washington Examiner writes that Herschel Walker might be the vehicle for vengeance by Trump.

[I]f Trump gets his way and his friend of 38-years, football great and 1982 University of Georgia Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker, enters the 2022 gubernatorial race, Kemp will be the former president’s top target.

“President Trump would look very favorably on a Herschel Walker run for governor of Georgia,” a Trump source told us, adding, “He really likes the idea.”

Walker is one of Trump’s oldest associates. Their friendship dates to 1983, when Trump signed him to his New Jersey Generals team, part of the short-lived United States Football League.

While he now lives near Dallas, who he played for in the NFL, Walker has a business in Georgia and maintains deep roots in the state that still adores him for his college exploits.

If Walker entered the race, Georgia would become the former president’s priority — and an easy ride from his Florida home.

Republican James Hall has been appointed to the Chatham County Board of Elections, according to the Savannah Morning News.

James Hall was sworn in on Monday by Chatham County Probate Court Judge Tom Bordeaux, according to a BOE press release.

Hall works as a claims analyst for The Eichholz Law Firm. He has lived in Chatham County for 12 years, and worked as a data analyst for Savannah-Chatham police.

“I’ve always felt like public service is in my blood. And I feel like this elections board position is something that is really where my niche is, where I can serve my community the best,” Hall said.

“I feel like I really have found my niche, and I’m in the best spot to serve right now,” Hall said.

Congratulations and condolences, my friend.

Savannah City Council passed a resolution asking the General Assembly to authorize a 2-percentage point hike in the hotel/motel tax, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Savannah City Council adopted a resolution to bump the levy from 6% to 8% during their meeting last week. The measure now goes to the Georgia General Assembly for consideration and approval.

The chairman of the local legislative delegation, Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah), says he will support the issue so long as the increase does not go into effect before Jan. 1, 2022, giving Savannah’s tourism economy time to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council resolution refines how revenues generated by the hotel/motel tax will be spent, with dollars designated for infrastructure projects across the city. Funds will go toward redevelopment of the waterfront; expansion of the Tide to Town urban trail network; renovation of the Historic Waterworks building near the new city arena; trails, sidewalks and other connections between the Historic District, westside neighborhoods and the new arena; museum development; a new water-access facility on Savannah’s southside; wayfinding signage; and West Bay Street gateway enhancements.

“We are the only city of the hub cities in Georgia that is under a lower category” in terms of hotel/motel tax races, Mayor Van Johnson told the council. “As a matter of fact there are cities like Vidalia and a variety of other cities that are in this same category. I believe 91 cities are in this higher category.”

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