Category: Georgia Politics


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 31, 2023

On April 2, 1513, Spanish Explorer Juan Ponce de Leon discovered Florida, claiming it for the Spanish crown. Today he is best-known in Georgia for giving his name to be mispronounced daily on a sketchy street in Atlanta. It is not known if he was wearing jean shorts, or if those were developed later. Georgians began mispronouncing his name immediately.

On March 31, 1776, Abigail Adams wrote to her husband, John Adams, asking that he and his colleagues “remember the ladies” in the fight for Independence.

The future First Lady wrote in part, “I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”

In perhaps the most fitting historical tidbit ever, the United States House of Representatives first met on April 1, 1789 in New York City. Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania was elected the first Speaker of the House. Georgia’s first Members of Congress were James Jackson, Abraham Baldwin, and George Mathews.

On March 31, 1870, Thomas Mundy Peterson became the first African-American to vote after the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The iconic vote was cast in a local election in Perth Amboy, New Jersey for the town’s charter.  Gary Sullivan of the News Tribune stated, “Exercising his right to vote in a local election on March 31, 1870.  Peterson became the first black man in the United States to cast a ballot.  The amendment had been ratified on February 3, 1870, and within just two months the Fifteenth Amendment was put to use.

An interview with Peterson showed who encouraged him to vote, “I was working for Mr. T. L. Kearny on the morning of the day of election, and did not think of voting until he came out to the stable where I was attending to the horses and advised me to go to the polls and exercise a citizen’s privilege.”  Peterson also revealed his vote in this election, “As I advanced to the polls one man offered me a ticket bearing the words “revised charter” and another one marked, “no charter.” I thought I would not vote to give up our charter after holding it so long: so I chose a revised charter ballot.”

On April 1, 1870, Robert E. Lee, President of Washington College in Lexington, Virginia, arrived in Savannah, Georgia. Lee’s career in the United States Army began with his first assignment at Cockspur Island near Savannah. While in Savannah for the 1870 trip, Lee was photographed with former General Joseph E. Johnston, who was in the insurance business there.

On March 31, 1889, the Eiffel Tower opened in Paris.

The Eiffel Tower remained the world’s tallest man-made structure until the completion of the Chrysler Building in New York in 1930. Incredibly, the Eiffel Tower was almost demolished when the International Exposition’s 20-year lease on the land expired in 1909, but its value as an antenna for radio transmission saved it. It remains largely unchanged today and is one of the world’s premier tourist attractions.

On April 2, 1917, Jeanette Rankin took office as the first woman elected to Congress, representing Montana.

Born on a ranch near Missoula, Montana Territory, in 1880, Rankin was a social worker in the states of Montana and Washington before joining the women’s suffrage movement in 1910. Working with various suffrage groups, she campaigned for the women’s vote on a national level and in 1914 was instrumental in the passage of suffrage legislation in Montana. Two years later, she successfully ran for Congress in Montana on a progressive Republican platform calling for total women’s suffrage, legislation protecting children, and U.S. neutrality in the European war. Following her election as a representative, Rankin’s entrance into Congress was delayed for a month as congressmen discussed whether a woman should be admitted into the House of Representatives.

Finally, on April 2, 1917, she was introduced in Congress as its first female member. The same day, President Woodrow Wilson addressed a joint session of Congress and urged a declaration of war against Germany.

On March 31, 1999, The Matrix opened in theaters.

On April 2, 1985, Governor Joe Frank Harris signed legislation recognizing the Right Whale as the official state marine mammal.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

House Bill 196 by State Rep. Alan Powell (R-Hartwell) aimed at unclustering the medical cannabis program, failed final passage, leaving Georgia terminal patients with no legal access to low-THC oil. From the Capitol Beat News Service:

The state Senate balked at major 11th-hour changes the Georgia House made to House Bill 196, including inserting an entirely different bill regarding the regulation of hemp products into the underlying medical cannabis measure.

Rep. Alan Powell, R-Hartwell, House Bill 196’s chief sponsor, took to the House floor Wednesday with a new version of the legislation calling for abolishing the commission lawmakers created in 2019 to oversee the medical cannabis program and turning over its duties to the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

The commission has been criticized for taking too long to begin awarding licenses to companies to grow marijuana in Georgia and convert the leafy crop to low-THC oil for sale to patients suffering from a range of diseases.

But the version of the bill the Senate had passed earlier in the week stopped short of getting rid of the commission by authorizing the agriculture department to study how the commission was handling the program and return by Dec. 1 with recommendations.

“It seems unfair to unilaterally abolish a commission without holding any hearings on that,” Senate Regulated Industries Committee Chairman Bill Cowsert, R-Athens, said Wednesday night when the bill got to the Senate floor.

The House bill also sought to address the rash of lawsuits filed by nine companies that lost bids for licenses that are holding up the licensing process by asking Commissioner of Agriculture Tyler Harper to mediate their complaints by May 31. Mediation could lead to those companies being awarded licenses if they agreed to drop the legal challenges, Powell said.

“We’re not saying the commission will give a license,” he said. “They can go through mediation.”

The House bill did find some support in the Senate. An impatient Sen. Carden Summers, R-Cordele, urged his Senate colleagues to pass Powell’s bill.

“This has been going on for four and a half years,” he said. “This bill is a solid bill that moves the state forward. It is time for us to get off the pot and deliver.”

The final straw that irked senators as well as some House members was the 39-page medical cannabis bill had an additional 15 pages tacked onto the end concerning hemp products, which had not gone through the normal vetting in committee. The key provision in the bill would prohibit Georgians under age 21 from buying consumable hemp products with a THC content of more than 0.3%, including the popular Delta-8 gummies.

Senators first narrowly defeated a motion by Summers essentially to pass the House bill, then voted overwhelmingly to disagree with the House. That put the bill on a path to be resolved by a joint legislative conference committee, but time ran out on the 2023 session before that could happen.

Sunday is the five-year anniversary of the death of the late Mrs. GaPundit from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Luckily, she identified as a Democrat, so retains her eligibility to vote. Her career was devoted to expanding medical options for underserved Georgians, including passage of a 2014 Constitutional Amendment to dedicate an add-on fee for reckless driving to the Georgia Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund Commission.

After the passage of the Haleigh’s Hope law and Governor Deal’s signature in April 2015, Mrs. GaPundit was diagnosed with ALS, which made her eligible for the Low-THC oil registry and her docs got her signed up. Nearly eight years later, the promise of Haleigh’s Hope remains unfulfilled. It is a bitter irony that when she needed medication, the political system failed her. I’m seldom at a loss for words regarding politics, but here I sit. No more words.

Florida Man Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Magical Kingdom) spoke in Smyrna yesterday, according to the AJC.

About two dozen Republican state senators gathered in the state Capitol’s second-floor lobby on Thursday, still bleary-eyed from the previous night’s legislative chaos.

They weren’t there to rehash the clamorous finale of the legislative session. They were enthusiastic attendees of a closed-door meeting with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the presumptive presidential contender in town for a stop on his book tour.

But DeSantis’ visit to Atlanta illustrated anew how willing many Georgia Republicans are to encourage rivals to Trump’s comeback bid. His stop at Adventure Outdoors, a gun store in Smyrna, was filled with GOP activists and officials who were once as enthusiastic about Trump.

And more than a dozen state legislators piled into the second floor of the gun shop, along with Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper, to hear DeSantis’ remarks. Also spotted in the crowd was Brad Carver, an Atlanta attorney who was one of the fake Trump electors in 2020.

Before a crowd of roughly 650, DeSantis praised Georgia lawmakers for expanding gun rights and banning “sex change operations for minors,” a reference to a new law that limits what health care treatments transgender youth can receive. And the audience roared when he called his state the place where “woke goes to die.”

“As we have recently seen many red counties in Georgia flip blue, I believe Georgia voters need to hear what Gov. DeSantis has to say,” said Jason Shepherd, a former Cobb GOP chair and outspoken Trump critic. “More so, we need his kind of leadership now more than ever.”

Senate Bill 107, called “Izzy’s Law” by Sen. Max Burns (R-Sylvania) passed, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Sponsored by Sen. Max Burns (R – Sylvania), Izzy’s Law would require the Department of Public Health to develop a widely-accessible safety plan for aquatic activities based on the standards for nationally-accredited swim instructors.

Izzy’s Law is named after Israel “Izzy” Scott, a 4-year-old who died as a result of a drowning accident during a backyard swim lesson in Burke County in June 2022.

“I am grateful to the Georgia General Assembly for passing this important measure with bipartisan support,” Burns said. “This bill is a reflection of the hard work and advocacy of the Scott family, who have been there through every step of the legislative process.

“Izzy’s Law ensures our children are protected through the development of safety aquatic plans for private swim instructors. I am honored to see the passage of this legislation that will create a safer Georgia and thoughtfully honor the life of Israel Scott.”

House Bill 249 by State Rep. Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta) passed both chambers and would increase financial aid for some students, according to 13WMAZ.

It passed the general assembly and now it’s waiting for Governor Kemp’s signature.

Students who may have had that dilemma of dropping out due to money in front of them may have more options now that House Bill 249 has passed.

The bill is beefing up the amount of completion grants – those are needs based funding for students who have completed most of their studies but have stalled on money.

“It just gets a little more difficult at the very end and that’s when we start getting creative and start finding ways to help students,” Middle Georgia State University financial aid director said.

If the governor signs off on House Bill 249, those in need could get a $1000 dollar bump in funds, an increase from $2500 to $3500.

The bill will also allow students to receive aid earlier while completing their credits.

“We needed to adjust those, and we think we have adjusted those so that deserving students will be eligible for the completion grants,” Representative Chuck Martin said.

“We were aware that a lot of students get really close to the finish line and it’s just a few hundred or a thousand dollars that stops that, stops them from finishing and there is some pretty good information that says if you stop it’s hard to get going again,” he explained.

House Bill 189 by State Rep. Steven Meeks (R-Screven) to increase allowable truck weights on some Georgia roads, passed the legislature, according to 13WMAZ.

The bill went through several revisions before getting final approval late Wednesday. After lawmakers initially pumped the brakes a few weeks ago, they limited the new standards to trucks hauling timber and other agricultural items.

HB 189 allows trucks hauling timber and agricultural items to tow 88,000 pounds of product. That’s up from 80,000.
It’s a difference of four tons.

Lawmakers say it’s to help get shipping times back on track.

The 80,000 pound standard will come back in July 2025. That means lawmakers will either need to pass an extension or another bill altogether to keep them in effect.

Trucks hauling the extra 8,000 pounds will have some restrictions. They can only drive 150 miles from the farm or place where they picked up their product.

The University System of Georgia decried the $66 million dollar haircut they took in the state budget, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The state Senate Appropriations Committee last week issued a version of the budget to include a $105 million cut to USG. The total cuts in the final version of the budget, approved by a joint House and Senate committee, reduced that number to $66 million.

Though millions less than previously proposed, USG said in a statement that the cuts still will significantly impact teaching, staff and students.

“This is an incredibly disappointing outcome, given the work done over the years by our state leaders to elevate higher education and send Georgia on a path to ascension,” USG Chancellor Sonny Perdue was quoted as saying in the statement. “It will have a significant impact on institutions and the services that students and families depend on to advance their prosperity and help Georgia succeed.”

The money cut from the teaching line of the budget will be pulled replaced from carryover funds, which are attached to each institution. According to a report on carry over funds published in October, these total $504 million across the 26 institutions that make up the university system.

From the AJC:

The budget now goes to Gov. Brian Kemp for his approval. A spokesman said the measure is “undergoing a thorough review process” and declined further comment.

The cut represents just over half the $105 million approved a few weeks ago by Kemp and lawmakers for a new electronic medical records system for the Medical College of Georgia, part of Augusta University. Senate leaders have questioned that cost, approved amid talks for Wellstar Health System to partner with AU Health System.

The Senate had proposed trimming a similar amount from the upcoming University System budget. House Appropriations Chairman Matt Hatchett, R-Dublin, told his chamber Wednesday that the House was able “to soften the reduction” by $39 million.

He, along with Senate Appropriations Chairman Blake Tillery, R-Vidalia, urged the University System to limit any damage from the cut by dipping into $504 million in “carry forward” funding left over in college budgets.

“There’s a lot of comments that this will be disproportionately impactful to smaller schools. That does not have to be the case,” Tillery told lawmakers Wednesday.

From the Rome News Tribune:

State Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, fired back after University System of Georgia Chancellor Sonny Perdue bemoaned another round of cuts to the system’s budget.

“(Perdue) requested $105 million to help the Wellstar takeover of Augusta University Hospital, but he did not supply us with the details of the contract,” Hufstetler said.

“We don’t get to say where they spend that money,” Hufstetler said. “They have $504 million in carryover funds and he could easily pull the $66 million from there. If (Perdue) decides that’s how he wants to spend that cut, that’s on him — it’s his decision.”

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents has since approved the merger of AU Health into Wellstar, according to the AJC.

The Georgia Board of Regents voted Friday to approve Wellstar Health System’s potential takeover of Augusta University’s hospitals.

The move advances a deal that is a top priority of Gov. Brian Kemp’s administration and the center of a bitter feud between powerbrokers at the state Capitol.

Wellstar would become the “sole corporate member” of Augusta University Health System, according to the board’s vote. Specifics of the pact, including finances, were not immediately released. Officials previously said the attorney general must review the agreement before it’s finalized.

Officials have said the pact would bring significant investment to existing facilities and a new hospital in Columbia County, which Augusta University recently received approval for after a six-year legal battle against competing hospital systems. It’s also expected to expand physician training for the Medical College of Georgia, part of Augusta University.

“This has been a long and thorough process,” said board chair Harold Reynolds, just before the vote. “I know the partnership will benefit the Medical College of Georgia, our students and faculty, patients served by the health system and the entire state of Georgia.”

Sonny Perdue, chancellor of the University System of Georgia, previously said the deal is critical to the medical college’s future. Faculty, physicians and residents of the state’s only public medical school work and train in the AU system’s hospitals and clinics. Perdue has said many academic medical centers nationwide are moving to partnerships because medical students need to hone their skills in hospital systems with “a critical mass” and where patients “want to come and be served.”

Legislators added 500 spots to the waiver program to benefit Georgians with disabilities, according to the AJC.

Another 500 people with disabilities will be newly eligible for services in Georgia as part of a spending plan the Legislature approved late Wednesday.

Georgia now has thousands of people with disabilities who have been waiting for services amid a crumbling support system in the state. Places that care for Georgians with disabilities are closing down, and the agencies that are open are struggling to retain staff.

The new waivers will cost the state about $9.4 million dollars more annually. This is a fraction of what’s needed to clear the waiting list. Advocates say there are about 7,000 people who are waiting for services, although a chunk of those people do not yet qualify.

The state is now covering services for about 13,500 people with disabilities through this fiscal year, covering everything from day programs to at-home care. The 500 new slots will be added starting July 1st.

The core issue, though, is the state lacks enough workers to provide those services. The worker shortage has meant that even some disabled people who have been approved for new services can’t yet get them.

To that end, state officials have put in motion a plan to boost wages for professional caretakers from about $10.63 an hour to $15.18 an hour. Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities officials say that in the last week they’ve revised the proposed wage yet again — to $16.70 an hour — after receiving a flood of comments asking them to boost the wage even more. That proposal still has layers of state and federal approval to go through, and it could be a year before it’s in place.

The Troup County NAACP is asking for an investigation into the county school system’s police department and the LaGrange police department, according to WTVM.

Leaders with the Troup County NAACP say this public meeting occurred to “expose an emergency and crisis” in the area. The group held a news conference at LaFayette Square in Downtown LaGrange.

Two weeks ago, Troup County NAACP leaders say a letter was sent to the governor’s office, requesting help in investigating both the city police department and county school system.

“Based off of complaints that we received from citizens in the community, that led to this morning’s press conference,” said Troup County NAACP President Mike Meredith.

NAACP leaders point to the turnover of three major positions as a sign of disorder within the local government. Willie Edmonson was recently sworn in as mayor just months after his predecessor resigned in October to work for the Georgia Municipal Association.

In December, the city’s fire chief, John Brant, announced his resignation from the department. Additionally, in January, longtime LaGrange Police Chief Lou Dekmar announced his retirement.

Bulloch County Economic Development Authority CEO Benjy Thompson will Chair the Georgia Economic Developers Association Board of Directors, according to the Statesboro Herald.

The Board is a non-profit association of professionals and volunteers who are involved with the economic development in Georgia. The Georgia group is the largest economic development association in the state, with more than 700 member practitioners. The Economic Developers Association is a resource for professional development, public policy and networking for the state’s economic development community.

This is Thompson’s second year serving as GEDA’s Board chair.

Since 1963, the Georgia Economic Developers Association has been a leadership voice on issues affecting economic development policies and regulations such as leading an initiative to establish sales and use tax exemptions on industry machinery and support for the constitutional amendment establishing the Freeport Inventory Tax Exemption.

More recently, the organization supported legislation that expanded the potential uses of Tax Allocation Districts, created the OneGeorgia program, authorized job tax credits, and the reduction in the sales and use tax on energy used during the manufacturing process.

The City of Savannah is accepting suggestions to rename Calhoun Square, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The city is accepting public proposals for a new name for the “square formerly known as Calhoun,” as Mayor Van Johnson put it at the November meeting where council voted unanimously to remove Calhoun’s name. The city will be accepting completed applications until 11:59 p.m. on May 15.

The vote came nearly two years after an activist group called the Center for Jubilee, Reconciliation and Healing and its founders, Patt Gunn and Rosalyn Rouse, began pushing for the square to be renamed for Suzie King Taylor, a Savannah icon.

But every Savannah resident will have the same opportunity as Gunn and Rouse. The public space naming process outlined in the city codebook will be the guidepost for the open process, and it includes a long list of requirements, including a letter of support for the name from either Mayor Van Johnson, At-Large Post 1 Alderwoman Kesha Gibson-Carter, At-Large Post 2 Alderwoman Alicia Miller Blakely or District 2 Alderman Detric Leggett.

Judge Kelley Martin Robertson takes her seat on the Hall County State Court bench, according to AccessWDUN.

Several court judges and county officials spoke to the character of Judge Robertson during the robing ceremony, as they detailed her long and storied history serving the county. Chief Judge Kathlene Gosselin specifically commented on the long path Robertson has navigated to land her new position.

“I’ve been a judge since January of 1987, so for a very long time,” Gosselin said. “One of the fun things about being a judge for so long is to see the people that came to you early in their career, and where they’ve gone … and Kelley was my law clerk 20-something years ago.”

“Always remember that it is a great responsibility to be a judge,” Gosselin said. “And you have people that are in the courtroom that work with you and for you and are participants, either voluntarily or not voluntarily. And they deserve respect as well.”

Judge Robertson previously served as the Chief Assistant District Attorney in the Northeastern Judicial Circuit since 2005. Before that, she held a staff position within the same circuit.

“It’s overwhelming,” Robertson said. “I’m very humbled and honored to have this opportunity to serve the people of Hall County. I meant what I said when I said I grew up in this courthouse watching great judges administer justice and do the right thing every day. And I hope to emulate them and follow in their footsteps and take all the things I learned from practicing in front of them and then serve the people by being fair, getting cases to court quickly and ensuring that justice gets done in State Court.”

The Georgia Ports Authority is adding 55 hybrid cranes to reduce emissions, according to WTOC.

“We’re adding these rubber-tired gantry cranes that service containers in the yard, that service both the ships and our front-end customers the truck drivers. And we’ve gone with these hybrid, rubber-tired gantry cranes. It’s the first time for us,” said Griff Lynch, the Executive Director of the Georgia Ports Authority.

The Georgia Ports Authority has placed an order for 55 Hybrid Yard Cranes or RTG’s to move shipping containers.

Executive Director Griff Lynch says the new machines, along with other port expansion, will help fix supply chain issues.

“We’re going all in. We’re doubling down and we’re going to create more capacity. We’re talking about a 50% increase in our ship and container capacity over the next 2 years.”

The port says the new cranes will use electric battery power causing 50% fewer emissions than similar diesel machines…leading to $1.6 million in savings per year.

“These new RTGs being battery powered will save – eliminate the use of 500,000 gallons a year of diesel.”


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 30, 2023

On March 30, 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was formally adopted after sufficient number of the states ratified it.

With the adoption of the 15th Amendment in 1870, a politically mobilized African-American community joined with white allies in the Southern states to elect the Republican Party to power, which brought about radical changes across the South. By late 1870, all the former Confederate states had been readmitted to the Union, and most were controlled by the Republican Party, thanks to the support of African-American voters.

In the same year, Hiram Rhoades Revels, a Republican from Natchez, Mississippi, became the first African American ever to sit in Congress. Although African-American Republicans never obtained political office in proportion to their overwhelming electoral majority, Revels and a dozen other African-American men served in Congress during Reconstruction, more than 600 served in state legislatures, and many more held local offices. However, in the late 1870s, the Southern Republican Party vanished with the end of Reconstruction, and Southern state governments effectively nullified the 14th and 15th Amendments, stripping Southern African Americans of the right to vote. It would be nearly a century before the nation would again attempt to establish equal rights for African Americans in the South.

Robert E. Lee arrived in Augusta on March 30, 1870.

On March 30, 1937, Georgia Governor E.D. Rivers signed legislation authorizing non-profit Electric Membership Corporations to electrify rural Georgia.

On March 30, 1945, President F.D. Roosevelt arrived for his final visit to Warm Spring, Georgia.

On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot.

The president had just finished addressing a labor meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel and was walking with his entourage to his limousine when Hinckley, standing among a group of reporters, fired six shots at the president, hitting Reagan and three of his attendants. White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head and critically wounded, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy was shot in the side, and District of Columbia policeman Thomas Delahanty was shot in the neck. After firing the shots, Hinckley was overpowered and pinned against a wall, and President Reagan, apparently unaware that he’d been shot, was shoved into his limousine by a Secret Service agent and rushed to the hospital.

The president was shot in the left lung, and the .22 caliber bullet just missed his heart. In an impressive feat for a 70-year-old man with a collapsed lung, he walked into George Washington University Hospital under his own power. As he was treated and prepared for surgery, he was in good spirits and quipped to his wife, Nancy, “Honey, I forgot to duck,” and to his surgeons, “Please tell me you’re Republicans.” Reagan’s surgery lasted two hours, and he was listed in stable and good condition afterward.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

House and Senate budget negotiators came to agreement on the FY2024 state budget, according to Atlanta News First via WRDW.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for March 29, 2023

Bridget is a young female American Bulldog mix who is available for adoption from the Lanier County Animal Control and Shelter in Lakeland, GA. The shelter says she is friendly, gentle, playful, smart, loves kisses, and is quiet.

Piper is an adult female Border Collie mix who is available for adoption from the Lanier County Animal Control and Shelter in Lakeland, GA. The shelter says Piper is friendly, smart, qQuiet, shy, and loves treats.

Stella is a young female American Bulldog mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Lanier County Animal Control and Shelter in Lakeland, GA. The shelter says Stella is friendly, affectionate, gentle, playful, smart, funny, and loves kisses.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 29, 2023

Charles Wesley, hymnist, and brother of Methodist founder John Wesley, died on March 29, 1788 in London, England. Charles Wesley served as Secretary to James Oglethorpe and as a Chaplain at Fort Frederica on St Simons Island. This past Sunday, his hymns were played in churches across the globe, including Christ the Lord Is Risen Today and Rejoice, the Lord Is King.

On March 29, 1865, Federal troops under General Ulysses S. Grant began the Appomattox campaign.

On March 29, 1937, Georgia Governor E.D. Rivers signed legislation imposing the first state tax on distilled spirits in Georgia.

If made in another state and imported into Georgia, distilled spirits were taxed at 80 cents per gallon and alcohol at $1.60 per gallon – or at fractional amounts for smaller containers. If made in Georgia, distilled spirits were taxed at 40 cents per gallon and alcohol at 80 cents per gallon.

Note: GeorgiaInfo says Governor Talmadge signed the legislation, but Talmadge left office in January 1937. It was Gov. Rivers who signed the bill.

On March 29, 1971, U.S. Army Lieutenant William L. Calley was found guilty by Court Martial at Fort Benning, Georgia, of massacring Vietnamese civilians at My Lai.

The unit had been conducting a search-and-destroy mission to locate the 48th Viet Cong (VC) Local Force Battalion. The unit entered Son My village but found only women, children, and old men. Frustrated by unanswered losses due to snipers and mines, the soldiers took out their anger on the villagers, indiscriminately shooting people as they ran from their huts. The soldiers rounded up the survivors and led them to a nearby ditch where they were shot.

Calley was charged with six specifications of premeditated murder. During the trial, Chief Army prosecutor Capt. Aubrey Daniel charged that Calley ordered Sgt. Daniel Mitchell to “finish off the rest” of the villagers. The prosecution stressed that all the killings were committed despite the fact that Calley’s platoon had met no resistance and that he and his men had not been fired on.

Calley was found guilty of personally murdering 22 civilians and sentenced to life imprisonment, but his sentence was reduced to 20 years by the Court of Military Appeals and further reduced later to 10 years by the Secretary of the Army. Proclaimed by much of the public as a “scapegoat,” Calley was paroled in 1974 after having served about a third of his 10-year sentence.

On March 29, 1973, the last American troops left Vietnam, ending United States engagement in the war.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Yesterday, the Georgia Supreme Court heard arguments on whether Georgia’s “Heartbeat Bill,” anti-abortion legislation is constitutional, according to the Associated Press via the Statesboro Herald.

A lower court judge last year ruled that the law enacted in 2019 was not valid because it was it was “unequivocally unconstitutional” at the time for governments to ban abortions before viability based on U.S. Supreme Court precedent in Roe v. Wade and another ruling.

Therefore, he wrote, the measure did not become law when it was enacted and could not be law even after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned that precedent last year.

During oral arguments Tuesday before the Georgia Supreme Court on the state of Georgia’s appeal challenging the lower court ruling, state solicitor-general Stephen Petrany noted that the U.S. Supreme Court last year ruled that Roe v. Wade was an incorrect interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

Because the Georgia abortion law “would be valid if enacted today under the exact same federal Constitution, it was valid when it was enacted,” he argued.

Even if the state high court doesn’t agree with that, Petrany argued, the U.S. Supreme Court has made very clear “that its decisions must apply retroactively, that lower courts and state courts cannot simply decline to apply its decisions.”

Georgia’s abortion measure was signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp in 2019 and took effect in July after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. It prohibits most abortions once there is a “detectable human heartbeat.”

[Judge McBurney’s] ruling immediately halted enforcement of the law statewide and allowed abortions to resume past the cutoff point established in the law. But the Georgia Supreme Court granted a request from the state to put McBurney’s ruling on hold while its appeal moved forward, again halting most abortions after about six weeks into a pregnancy.

From the Capitol Beat News Service:

[L]awyers for the groups challenging the law countered that the law was void when the state legislature passed it and therefore should be deemed invalid, despite the subsequent U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

“When the legislature passes a law that is in violation of the Constitution, it is an overstep of their authority to do so,” Julia Stone argued.

“This is not a case where there was gray area … in 2019,” Stone added. “For 50 years, the rule was states could not ban abortions before the point of viability, and when the General Assembly passed HB 481 and sought to ban abortions … [that] had been perfectly clear for 50 years. [The state legislature] directly conflicted with that precedent.”

At a post-hearing press conference in front of the Supreme Court, Stone noted that if the law is struck down, Georgia lawmakers could enact another abortion ban but would have to do so in the new legal and political environment created by the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

The Supreme Court is likely to issue a decision in the case by this summer. The South Carolina Supreme Court in January found that state’s similar abortion law unconstitutional under state law.

From the Georgia Recorder:

The panel will issue a decision “as soon as possible,” said Chief Justice Michael P. Boggs.

“The entire theory of the case from the plaintiff’s perspective is that the LIFE Act was void in 2019 because of federal judicial decisions,” said Stephen Petrany, solicitor general with the Georgia Attorney General’s Office. “And so the notion that somehow Dobbs does not undo that – it would be incoherent.”

The state is arguing that the 2023 ruling did not change the U.S. Constitution but rather offered a different interpretation of the text that should be applied retroactively. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling now famously called the 1973 decision “egregiously wrong from the start.”

“Dobbs expressly says the prior precedent was wrong and – whether anybody agrees with that – it says that, and it’s the last word on it,” Justice Charlie Bethel said during Tuesday’s proceeding.

Justice Sarah Warren more pointedly poked at the plaintiffs’ position.

“When you have judicial precedent that is applied retroactively, I do not think you can artificially separate them as you have tried to do here,” Warren said.

While arguments were being heard inside, a small group of protesters sounded off their disdain for the six-week abortion ban outside the Nathan Deal Judicial Center in downtown Atlanta. They held signs bearing messages like “right to abortion is not negotiable” and chanted phrases like “my body, my choice” and “repeal the ban.”

“There are 125 years of Georgia Supreme Court precedent that says you look at the constitutionality of the statute at the moment of its enactment. So when you do that here, it’s a pretty straightforward application,” [Stone] told reporters after the hearing.

Under the Gold Dome Today – Legislative Day 40

10:00 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD 40 SINE DIE) – House Chamber
10:00 AM Senate Floor Session (LD 40) – Senate Chamber

It’s “Sink or Swim” time for Georgia legislation to pass in this Session of the General Assembly. From 13WMAZ:Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 28, 2023

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

Outdoor Adventures in Smyrna was inspected by ATF days before hosting Florida Man Governor Ron DeSantis. From the Gwinnett Daily Post:Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 27, 2023

Thomas Jefferson was elected as a Virginia delegate to the Second Continental Congress on March 27, 1775.

Colonel James Fannin, a Georgia native and Colonel in the Texas Regular Army and more than 300 other members of the Georgia battalion were executed on March 27, 1836 after surrendering to Santa Anna’s Mexican Army. Fannin County, Georgia is named after Col Fannin.

On March 27, 1912, the first Japanese cherry trees were planted on the northern bank of the Potomac River near the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC.

On March 27, 1941, Governor Eugene Talmadge signed legislation outlawing the handling of venomous snakes in such a way as to endanger another person or to encourage another person to handle a snake in such a way as to endanger them. The legislation resulted from a six-year old handling a venomous snake during a church service in Adel, Georgia, during which she was bitten and died. Under that act you could still handle snakes yourself as long as you didn’t endanger someone else.

On March 27, 1947, Governor Melvin Thompson signed legislation that made Georgia a “Right to Work State,” meaning that employees cannot generally be forced to join a union or pay dues in order to take a job. On the same day, gambling on sporting events was outlawed by another bill signed by Gov. Thompson.

Lazaretto Day in Tybee Island celebrated the area’s African history and heritage, according to the Savannah Morning News.

For the second year in a row, Tybeeans and locals celebrated Lazaretto Day on Saturday, a day of remembrance of the history of enslaved Africans brought to this part of Georgia’s coast.

The celebrations, organized by Tybee MLK Human Rights Organization, also commemorated African heritage and this region’s Gullah Geechee, descendants of the enslaved who created their own unique culture that “evolved from the conditions of slavery that characterized their lives.” Through colorful song, dance and poetry, people observed both the dark history of American slavery and the beauty of the culture that endured throughout the centuries.

Between the 16th and 19th centuries, more than 12 million Africans were captured from their homes and forced into slavery as part of the transatlantic slave trade.

After slavery was legalized in the colony of Georgia in 1750, Savannah became one of the most active slave trading ports in the U.S. Tybee Island played a part in the largest forced migration in human history as well.

“In the late 1760s, the lucrative slave trade had grown to the point that a physical building was required on Tybee Island to facilitate the quarantine process that was required before slave ships could proceed to the Port of Savannah,” said James Hilleary, founder of the grassroots Lazaretto Coalition.

Between 1795 and 1803, about 667 enslaved Africans survived the Middle Passage voyage and landed on Tybee Island’s shores. Those who were healthy were taken to Savannah to be sold. Those who died were buried in unmarked graves along the Lazaretto Creek.

Lazaretto Day is a tribute to those people who were taken from their homeland. This year, the festivities took place at Tybee’s Memorial Park. About 100 people attended including city officials, the mayor and community leaders.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Yesterday, Governor Brian Kemp signed Executive Order #, declaring a state of emergency for tornadoes and thunderstorms through April 3, 2023 at 11:59 PM. From WSAV:

“I have issued a State of Emergency order following the severe storms and tornadoes that struck this morning. As we continue to monitor the weather and work with local partners to address damage throughout the day, I ask all Georgians to join us in praying for those impacted.”

“As severe weather continues in these and other parts of our state, we urge Georgians to be mindful of how they can best keep themselves and their families safe. Stay tuned to local news outlets and take necessary precautions throughout the day.”

From 13 WMAZ:

Two tornadoes blew through Troup County and Baldwin County early Sunday morning with several reports of damage. Kemp said he would be touring both areas on Monday.

The Troup County Emergency Management Agency said they have “multiple crews out on search and rescue missions, reports of multiple buildings damaged or destroyed, power lines down, trees down blocking roads.”

Some Middle Georgia schools are changing their schedules after tornadoes hit the area, according to 13WMAZ.

In Bibb County, school will continue on as normal according to Chief Commutations Officer Stephanie Hartley.
She says the district will continue to monitor the forecast and make changes as needed.

In Monroe County, schools will have a delayed start schedule, according to a tweet from Mary Persons High School’s twitter.  Staff will report to school at 9 a.m. and school will begin at 9:30 a.m.

In Baldwin County, the school district says none of their facilities were damaged during the weekend storms and will move forward with a normal school schedule.

Schools in Lamar County will be closed on Monday for all students and staff, according to a Facebook post. In Upson County, school will be delayed by two hours according to their Facebook.

Troup County Schools are closed today, according to WTVM.

Baldwin County’s Emergency Management Agency opened a shelter for storm victims, according to 13WMAZ.

Governor Kemp will tour some areas hit by weather, according to 13WMAZ.

Gov. Brian Kemp will make a trip Monday to tour parts of western Georgia where severe storms and tornadoes ripped through several homes and businesses Sunday morning.

The Troup County Sheriff’s Office said there were 80-100 homes with damage after Sunday’s storm and that 20-30 homes had “major damage” or were “destroyed” and are now considered a complete loss in the West Point area.

A second tornado was reported in Baldwin County near Milledgeville.

On Monday, Kemp will tour those areas hardest hit. He will be joined by Georgia Emergency Management Agency Director Chris Stallings and other local elected and emergency officials.

Two tigers also briefly escaped from their enclosures at Wild Animal Safari in Pine Mountain, Georgia, near LaGrange, after the park sustained extensive damage. They were later captured.

From the LaGrange Daily News:

The governor, First Lady Marty Kemp, and GEMA Director Chris Stallings will tour communities in Milledgeville and West Point damaged by severe storms and tornadoes.

They will then join local elected and emergency management officials to provide an update on the state’s ongoing recovery efforts. A press conference will be held Monday afternoon.

Under the Gold Dome Today – Legislative Day 39




10:00 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD 39) – House Chamber

10:00 AM Senate Floor Session (LD 39) – Senate Chamber

“Zombie” alert for all at the Georgia State Capitol as dead bills may be brought back to life, according to Atlanta News First via WRDW.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 24, 2023

On March 26, 1734, the British House of Commons voted for spending £10,000 to subsidize the Georgia colony, down from £26,000 the previous year.

The British Parliament closed the Port of Boston on March 25, 1774, passing the Boston Port Act in retaliation for the destruction of $1 million worth of tea in the Boston Tea Party.

On March 24, 1824, the Marquis de LaFayette visited Augusta, Georgia.

On this date in 1825, LaFayette, a beloved French hero of the American Revolution, stopped in Augusta on his nationwide tour, and thousands turned out to greet him.

Storekeepers displayed all sorts of LaFayette gear – hats, portraits, souvenirs. An arch was constructed over Broad Street. A platform big enough to hold 600 diners was put up in front of the courthouse on Greene Street.

On March 26, 1920, This Side of Paradise, the debut novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald was published. The author was 23 years old.

Flannery O’Connor was born on March 25, 1925 in Savannah, Georgia. She would come to be recognized as one of the greatest American fiction writers. O’Connor graduated from the Georgia State College for Women, now called Georgia College and State University. She returned to Milledgeville in 1951, living at the family farm, called Andalusia, until her death at age 39 in 1964.

At GCSU, the Flannery O’Connor Room is located in the GC Museum, the Flannery O’Connor Collection includes manuscripts, and the College includes a program in Flannery O’Connor Studies.

O’Connor died of Lupus, which also killed her father.

Horton Smith won the first Masters tournament on March 25, 1934.

On March 25, 1937, Governor E.D. Rivers signed legislation creating the Georgia Department of Labor; in 1945, the Commissioner of Labor was upgraded from statutory office to Constitutional.

Governor E.D. Rivers signed a resolution on March 24, 1939, calling for the return of “General” locomotive made famous in the Great Train Chase from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Georgia. It currently resides in The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, Georgia. The other locomotive involved in the chase, The Texas, is displayed at the Atlanta Center.

Elvis Presley was inducted into the United States Army on March 24, 1958.

On March 24, 1970, Gov. Lester Maddox signed legislation naming the Largemouth Bass the Official State Fish.

On March 26, 1982, a groundbreaking ceremony was held in Washington, DC for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; the design approved a couple weeks earlier was by 21-year old Yale architecture student Maya Lin.

On Saturday, March 24, 1984, five juvenile delinquents disaffected youth reported to detention at Shermer High School.

On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Florida Man Ron DeSantis will visit Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna on Thursday, according to the AJC.

The Republican’s scheduled visit Thursday to a suburban gun store is part of a media blitz that’s widely seen as a prelude to an official 2024 announcement expected within months.

DeSantis picked an area freighted with political symbolism for his visit. Cobb County was once an important Republican stronghold that transformed during the Donald Trump presidency into a Democratic bastion. Joe Biden carried the county by 14 points in 2020.

DeSantis has been ramping up his national appearances in recent weeks as he prepares a likely White House bid. He’s seen as the top threat to former President Donald Trump, who launched his comeback tour months ago but has yet to return to Georgia.

With the nominating contests a year away, DeSantis was the top alternative state GOP leaders mentioned in texts, emails and phone interviews over a two-week span. Others floated former Vice President Mike Pence and Haley.

Under the Gold Dome Today

10:00 AM Canceled – Senate Rules Committee – 450 CAPContinue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 23, 2023

Patrick Henry addressed the Virginia Convention in Richmond on March 23, 1775, stating, “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

On March 23, 1861, the Georgia Secession Convention adopted a new state Constitution to be submitted to a referendum of the voters on the first Tuesday in July and then adjourned.

On March 23, 1972, in the case of Gooding v. Wilson, the United States Supreme Court held that a Georgia statute, OCGA § 26-6303, which provided: “Any person who shall, without provocation, use to or of another, and in his presence . . . opprobrious words or abusive language, tending to cause a breach of the peace . . . shall be guilty of a misdemeanor,” was unconstitutionally vague and violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

On March 23, 1983, President Ronald Reagan called for the development of an anti-missile system that would come to be known as the Strategic Defense Initiative.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp issued Executive Order #, ordering flags on state buildings and properties to fly at half-staff on Saturday, March 25, 2023 in honor of the late State Rep. Letitia “Tish” Naghise.

Under the Gold Dome Today – Legislative Day 38

TBD Senate Rules Committee: Upon Adjournment – 450 CAP
8:00 AM Natural Resources & Envt Resource Mgmt Sub – 606 CLOB
8:00 AM Senate Children & Families – 307 CLOB
9:00 AM Senate Transportation – 450 CAP
10:00 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD 38) – House Chamber
10:00 AM Senate Regulated Industries – 450 CAP
11:00 AM Cancelled – Senate Public Safety – 450 CAP
11:00 AM Senate Urban Affairs – 125 CAP
1:00 PM Senate Floor Session (LD 38) – Senate Chamber

More from the AJC on the apparent rift between House and Senate:Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 22, 2023

King George III approved of the passage of the Stamp Act legislation on March 22, 1765 designed to pay for some of the costs the UK incurred in protecting the colonies, but it would lead to the movement that culminated in the American Revolution.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Beer and Wine Revenue Act on March 22, 1933, allowing the sale of alcoholic beverages, and later that year, the federal Prohibition was ended.

The first Masters golf tournament began on March 22, 1934 in Augusta, Georgia.

The state prohibition on all alcoholic beverages ended on March 22, 1935 with Governor Eugene Talmadge’s signature of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act.

The United States Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment on March 22, 1972; it would fail to garner enough state ratifications.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Lowndes County voters renewed their Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST) in a referendum yesterday, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

The referendum was approved with 71%, with 1,237 votes cast in favor, and 501 votes cast against.

The E-SPLOST initiative will go into effect when the current education special purpose local option sales tax ends.

Mableton voters will return to the polls in a Runoff Election for Mayor, according to 11Alive.

Now, the race for the city’s first-ever mayor appears to be headed to a runoff. Unofficial results show that the candidates weren’t able to get over the 50% plus 1 vote threshold, which triggers a runoff election.

The numbers show Aaron Carman [36%] and Michael Owens [31%] as the two candidates out of the four that had the most votes.

As for the Mableton council seats, some of those races are also projected to head to a runoff. However, in District 6, Debora Herndon ran unopposed after her opponent withdrew from the race in February. Unofficial results also show Ron Davis as the projected winner in the District 1 council race.

From Fox5Atlanta.

Who won Georgia House District 75’s special election?

Eric W. Bell, III, a Navy veteran, is the clear winner to fill the remainder of state Rep. Mike Glanton’s term. He garnered more than 60% of the vote.

Who will likely be in the runoff for Clayton County Sheriff?

Levon Allen was the leader on Tuesday, pulling about 47% of the vote. He will likely face Clarence Cox, who pulled in about 29% of the vote, in a runoff on April 18.

Did the Clayton County Schools one-cent tax pass?

Clayton County residents overwhelmingly agrees to pass a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). It is the “General Obligation Bonds and Sales and Use Tax for Educational Purposes of the Clayton County School District.”

Which Mableton City races are likely headed to a runoff?

The Mableton Mayor and three other districts still need to be decided.

The three candidates in District 2 were all within 10 points of each other. It appears Monica Delancy and Dami Oladapo are likely headed for the runoff with Kisha Scott trailing by less than four points behind Oladapo.

In District 3, it was even tighter. It appears Keisha Jeffcoat and Yashica Marshall will also meet in a runoff. Marshall, who pulled 24% of the vote, beat out Barry Krebs by less than a percentage point. It is unclear if this race will be recounted.

TJ Ferguson and Cheryl Davis appear to be in a runoff for District 5.

From the AJC:

The highly-watched race to replace convicted felon Victor Hill as sheriff of Clayton County appears to be headed to an April runoff.

Turnout was light in Tuesday’s special election, in which Hill’s protégé Levon Allen appeared to fall short of winning the office outright, despite the former sheriff turning over his Facebook page to his preferred candidate and stumping all over the county on Allen’s behalf.

Allen received about 47% of the vote in unofficial totals in the five-man race while his closest competitor, Clarence Cox, chief investigator for the Fulton County Solicitor General’s Office, received about 29%.

In the Jonesboro mayor’s race, Donya Sartor appeared Tuesday to defeat challenger Pat Sebo-Hand while Alfred Dixon bested Arlene Charles for one of the two council seats. Don Dixon was unopposed in his quest for the other council seat.

Under the Gold Dome – Committee Work Day

8:00 AM Cancelled – Senate Natural Res & Envt – 450 CAP
8:30 AM HOUSE Judiciary Non-Civil Hong Sub – 132 CAP
9:00 AM Senate Public Safety – 450 CAP
9:00 AM Cancelled- Senate Judiciary – 307 CLOB
10:00 AM Senate Retirement – 307 CLOB
10:00 AM Senate Regulated Industries – 450 CAP
12:00 PM Senate State & Local Govtal Ops – 125 CAP
12:00 PM Senate Insurance & Labor – Mezz 1 CAP
1:00 PM HOUSE Education Policy Sub – 406 CLOB
1:00 PM Senate Higher Education – 307 CLOB
2:00 PM HOUSE Education Curriculum Sub – 406 CLOB
2:00 PM Senate Rules – 450 CAP
3:00 PM HOUSE Natl Res & Envt Envtal Quality Sub – 415 CLOB
3:00 PM Senate Appropriations: Compensation Sub – Mezz 1 CAP
3:00 PM Senate Health & Human Svcs – 450 CAP
4:00 PM Senate Finance – Mezz 1 CAP
5:00 PM Senate Agriculture & Consumer Aff – 450 CAP

The AJC’s Greg Bluestein wrote yesterday that legislation to create a new exemption to the state’s Certificate of Need program for healthcare facilities may derail House and Senate comity.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 21, 2023

Lyman Hall was elected to the Continental Congress on March 21, 1775 from St. John’s Parish; the next year he would sign the Declaration of Independence as a representative from Georgia.

On March 21, 1941, Governor Eugene Talmadge signed legislation establishing the Eastern Standard Time Zone as the only Time Zone in Georgia. Prior to that, Georgia observed two different time zones.

On March 21, 1965, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. led more than 3000 protesters in a march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery.

On March 21, 1980, President Jimmy Carter announced the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

Former Georgia Governor and United States Senator Herman Talmadge died on March 21, 2002.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Under the Gold Dome Today – Legislative Day 32

TBD     Senate Rules Committee: Upon Adjournment – 450 CAP


8:00 AM          HOUSE EDUCATION – 406 CLOB

8:00 AM          HOUSE MOTOR VEHICLES – 606 CLOB


8:00 AM          Senate Education & Youth – 450 CAP

9:00 AM          HOUSE RULES – 341 CAP

10:00 AM        HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD 37) – House Chamber

10:00 AM        Senate Floor Session (LD 37) – Senate Chamber

1:00 PM          HOUSE PUBLIC HEALTH – 606 CLOB

1:00 PM          HOUSE Judiciary Non-Civil Hong Sub – 506 CLOB


1:00 PM          Senate Banking & Financial Institutions – 450 CAP

1:30 PM          HOUSE JUDICIARY – 132 CAP

2:00 PM          HOUSE HEALTH – 403 CAP

2:00 PM          HOUSE RETIREMENT – 406 CLOB


2:00 PM          Senate Ethics – 310 CLOB

2:00 PM          Senate Education & Youth – 307 CLOB


3:00 PM          Public Safety and Homeland Security Dean Greene Sub – 506 CLOB

4:00 PM          HOUSE WAYS & MEANS – 406 CLOB

4:00 PM          Senate Regulated Industries – 450 CAP

The AJC writes about Senate Bill 99, which is supported by Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones and would allegedly benefit his father’s business.Continue Reading..