Category: Georgia Politics

1
Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 1, 2021

On March 1, 1778, the Georgia legislature confiscated property owned by 117 people after labeling them traitors.

The Articles of Confederation were ratified on March 1, 1781.

The nation was guided by the Articles of Confederation until the implementation of the current U.S. Constitution in 1789.

The critical distinction between the Articles of Confederation and the U.S. Constitution —the primacy of the states under the Articles—is best understood by comparing the following lines.

The Articles of Confederation begin:

“To all to whom these Present shall come, we the undersigned Delegates of the States”

By contrast, the Constitution begins:

“We the People of the United States do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

On March 1, 1875, Governor James Smith signed legislation making cruelty to animals a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $50.

Paul Broun, Sr. was born on March 1, 1916, in Shellman, Georgia, and served 38 years in the Georgia legislature.

Broun was first elected to the state senate in 1962 in a historic election that took place after the federal courts struck down Georgia’s long-established county unit election system. Broun was one of several new senators elected in a class that included Jimmy Carter, the future president of the United States; Leroy Johnson, the first black legislator elected in Georgia since Reconstruction; and politicians like Hugh Gillis, Culver Kidd, and Bobby Rowan, who would have a lasting impact on legislative politics.

Broun was elected to nineteen consecutive terms in the senate, where he served as the chairman of the Appropriations Committee and the University System Committee.

Dorothy Felton was born on March 1, 1929, and served as the first Republican woman elected to the Georgia legislature.

Dorothy Felton was the first Republican woman elected to the Georgia General Assembly and eventually became the longest-serving Republican and the longest-serving woman of either party in the state legislature. She also worked for more than a quarter of a century for the right of the Sandy Springs community of Fulton County to incorporate as a municipality, a goal that was not achieved until four years after she retired from elective office.

Felton was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 1974 from a district in Sandy Springs.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Under the Gold Dome Today – Legislative Day 25

8:00 AM Senate Ethics-CANCELLED – 307 CLOB
8:00 AM Senate Economic Development and Tourism – 450 CAP
8:00 AM HOUSE Small Business Development Incentives and Education Workforce Subcommittee – 406 CLOB
9:00 AM Senate Government Oversight – Mezz 1
9:00 AM Senate Higher Education – 450 CAP
9:00 AM HOUSE RULES – 341 CAP
9:00 AM HOUSE AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS – 406 CLOB
10:00 AM Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities – 450 CAP
10:00 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD25) – House Chamber
11:00 AM Senate Education and Youth – 307 CLOB
1:00 PM Senate Floor Session (LD 25) – Senate Chamber
1:00 PM HOUSE PUBLIC SAFETY AND HOMELAND SECURITY – 406
1:30 PM HOUSE JUDICIARY – 132 CAP
1:30 PM HOUSE INTRAGOVERNMENTAL COORDINATION – 341 CAP
2ish? Senate Rules Upon Adjournment – 450 CAP
2:00 PM HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ACCESS TO QUALITY HEALTH CARE – 515 CLOB
2:00 PM HOUSE REGULATED INDUSTRIES – 406 CLOB
3:00 PM Senate Ethics – 307 CLOB
3:00 PM HOUSE HUMAN RELATIONS AND AGING – 606 CLOB

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

SB 140 – Flag, Seal, and Other Symbols; placement of a monument in honor of the Honorable Zell Bryan Miller upon the capitol grounds of the state capitol building; provide (SI&P-53rd)

SB 80 – “Ensuring Transparency in Prior Authorization Act”; enact(Substitute)(I&L-32nd)

SB 82 – Emergency Medical Services; prudent layperson standard is not affected by the final diagnosis given; clarify (Substitute)(I&L-48th)

SB 169 – Bonds; acceptance of electronic signatures and electronic corporate seals on bonds; provide (I&L-20th)

SB 185 – Revenue and Taxation; all questions of law decided by a court; matters from state board of equalization and refunds and appeals be decided without deference; require (JUDY-50th)

SB 235 – Offenses Against Public Order; offense of wearing a mask, hood, or device which conceals the identity of the wearer; revise (Substitute)(H&HS-1st)

SB 114 – Professions and Businesses; grounds for refusing to grant or revoking a license; revise (JUDY-29th)

SB 112 – Life Insurance; annual notification to policy owners and requested beneficiaries of the existence of such policies; require (Substitute)(I&L-16th)

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Modified Structured Rule

HB 124 – Funeral directors and embalmers; multiple cremation devices; provide (RegI-Williams-145th)

HB 244 – Insurance; flood risk reduction in the enumerated list of county purposes for ad valorem taxes; include (GAff-Hogan-179th)

HB 392 – Alcoholic beverages; licenses for retail sale packages of alcoholic beverages for consumption off premises shall be subject to regulation as to distance from schools as determined by the local governing authority; provide (RegI-Ridley-6th)

HB 443 – Torts; transfer of structured settlement payment rights; provide new requirements (Judy-Leverett-33rd)

HB 453 – Special license plates; certified, volunteer, and retired firefighters; provide standards for proof of eligibility (MotV-McDonald-26th)

HB 459 – Local government; prohibit annexations of county operated airport property (GAff-Martin-49th)

HB 466 – Motor vehicles; number of required hours in the intervention component of DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Programs; reduce (Substitute)(MotV-Powell-32nd)

HB 476 – Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors Act of 2021; enact (Substitute)(RegI-Washburn-141st)

HB 531 – Elections; no election superintendents or boards of registrars shall accept private funding; provide (Substitute)(SCEI-Fleming-121st)

HB 539 – Medical Practice Act of the State of Georgia; institutional licenses; revise provisions (H&HS-Cooper-43rd)

Governor Brian Kemp congratulated the University of Georgia on its successful fundraising campaign to raise $4.5 million dollars to endow the John H. “Johnny” Isakson Chair for Parkinson’s Research and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar position, according to a Press Release:

“For decades, Johnny Isakson was devoted to serving his fellow Georgians and to causes he knew were bigger than himself, so it only makes sense that he would be the one to push this important project over its funding goal,” said Governor Kemp. “It was an honor to announce the creation of this position in my State of the State Address in 2020, and I am thankful to the University of Georgia for their leadership in fighting this disease and honoring Senator Isakson. This partnership commemorates an unrivaled statesman and outstanding Georgian and will bring us one step closer to curing Parkinson’s disease once and for all.”

On January 16, 2020, Governor Brian P. Kemp, in conjunction with University of Georgia, announced in his State of the State address the creation of the Johnny Isakson Professorship for Parkinson’s Research at UGA. The PhD researcher will develop better treatments, better medicines, and a better quality of life for Parkinson’s patients. The incoming Isakson Chair and GRA Eminent Scholar will also be the director of UGA’s forthcoming Center for Brain Science and Neurological Disorders.

Isakson served in the Georgia General Assembly, chaired the State Board of Education, and represented Georgia’s 6th Congressional District for six years before serving in the U.S. Senate. Even after concluding of his career in public service, Isakson continues to advocate for Americans through funding Parkinson’s research.

The Biden Administration denied a Georgia waiver request to alter standardized testing, according to the Gainesville Times.

Following the decision, in a press release Kemp called it “ridiculous” to expect students to take standardized tests this year amid the challenges faced by the pandemic.

“I am disappointed in the Biden Administration’s decision and will continue to work with State School Superintendent Richard Woods and leaders in education to lessen the burden on teachers and students in Georgia’s classrooms,” Kemp said in the release.

In the waiver form submitted last week, Kemp defended his request by saying students should not be evaluated on “test scores, accountability or percentiles.”

The Georgia State House is expected to vote today on House Bill 531, an omnibus election “reform” bill, according to the AJC.

Republican legislators have said their bills are meant to restore voter confidence after it was shaken by distrust promoted by their own political party. Their proposed policies would reduce easy access to absentee voting, used by a record 1.3 million people in the presidential election, two-thirds of whom voted for Democrat Joe Biden.

“Both sides have lost the sense of security with election integrity,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan, a Republican from Carrollton. “At the end of the day we’ve got to figure out a way to make it as fast, as accurate, as secure and with the public’s faith in the system as we possibly can.”

The measure pending in the House on Monday, House Bill 531, would require ballot drop boxes to be available only at in-person early voting locations, limit “Souls to the Polls” community events to one Sunday during early voting, and require voters to provide a driver’s license number, state ID number or copy of photo ID to request absentee ballots.

Meanwhile in the Senate, the Ethics Committee could vote Monday on Senate Bill 241, which would only allow people to vote absentee if they’re 65 or over, have a physical disability or are out of town. Georgia has allowed any registered voter to cast an absentee ballot since 2005.

The legislation also includes requirements for ID to vote absentee and restrictions on ballot drop boxes.

The Georgia Senate Ethics Committee passed legislation to reform voting procedures, according to the AJC.

The voting limitations advanced Friday are the latest in a series of bills pushed by Republican legislators after record turnout led to Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over Republican Donald Trump. Other legislation advancing in the General Assembly would add voter ID requirements for absentee voting, restrict ballot drop boxes and limit weekend early voting hours.

Under Senate Bill 69, voters wouldn’t be automatically registered to vote when they get their driver’s licenses. They’d have to check a box to sign up to vote.

The sponsor of the bill, Rules Committee Chairman Jeff Mullis, said the state shouldn’t sign people up to vote by default.

“We believe that it’s important people have the ability to register to vote, and we believe just to assume that people need to vote might not be the right way,” said Mullis, a Republican from Chickamauga.

The measure ending no-excuse absentee voting, Senate Bill 71, would only allow people to vote remotely if they’re 65 or over, have a physical disability or are out of town.

A record 1.3 million people cast absentee ballots in the presidential election out of a total of 5 million total voters.

Georgia Democrats are pulling out the stops to oppose GOP election reform, according to the AJC.

Ads financed by Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight Action group began bombarding the airwaves last week with dire warnings that the new restrictions on mail-in ballots will hurt Republicans as much as Democrats.

Democratic lawyers have promised to challenge the new measures in court if they pass — and remind Republicans of their recent win streak on elections-related matters — while protesters brand the proposals “Jim Crow with a new suit and tie.”

And a new phase of the pushback starts Monday as critics demand that Georgia’s biggest corporations to take a stand. Many of the same companies that opposed the “religious liberty” legislation in 2016 are now being asked to fight the GOP voting restrictions.

A Capitol protest led to a sit-in by Georgia Democrats, sparking conflict with the Georgia State Patrol, according to the AJC.

A protest over Georgia voting bills led to a confrontation Friday between a state representative and a police officer who grabbed her arm to try to move her out of the way.

State Rep. Park Cannon and fellow Democrats then started a sit-in on the stairs of the state Capitol until they received an apology, which the Georgia State Patrol didn’t publicly offer. No one was arrested, and the sit-in ended after over an hour and a half.

“The goal of me speaking today is so that Black people, people across the state of Georgia, poor people, mothers and seniors can vote,” Cannon, a Democrat from Atlanta, said as she sat on the Capitol stairs.

She compared the conflict to a prior clash in 2018, when Capitol Police arrested Nikema Williams, who was a state senator at the time.

“The same police officers are still here today and touching Black women. It is not OK, and they need to apologize publicly,” Cannon said. “This is the people’s house, and we’ve got to protect the right to vote.”

Cannon positioned herself in front of an officer’s bullhorn, and then another officer took hold of her arm to move her away.

The Georgia Senate voted to pass Senate Bill 115 by State Senator Randy Robertson (R-Columbus), which would which would teach manners and common sense to prospective Georgia drivers, according to the AJC.

Senate Bill 115 would require the Department of Driver Services to collaborate with the Department of Public Safety in creating an education course that would teach “best practices of what a driver should do during a traffic stop.”

The bill passed 36-13 mostly along party lines and with no debate. Democratic state Sens. Michelle Au of Johns Creek, Emanuel Jones of Decatur, David Lucas of Macon and Sheikh Rahman of Lawrenceville voted in favor of the bill.

Senate Democratic Leader Gloria Butler of Stone Mountain said her caucus didn’t take a position on the bill, but she voted against it because it doesn’t address the different ways in which Black drivers and other drivers of color can be treated.

Butler said she also was concerned about what the curriculum would include. But Robertson said he believed it could be a step toward improving relationships between the public and police.

“I’m sure it will not only save lives but go a long way in rectifying certain issues related between law enforcement and citizen relationships,” he said.

African-American female candidates were at the leading edge of the Democratic wave in Gwinnett County, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

In a two-year span, 20 Black women were elected to legislative, county and municipal offices in Gwinnett. The county also went for Stacey Abrams, whose bid to be Georgia’s first African-American governor came up short in 2018, and voted for the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris presidential ticket in 2020.

“Gwinnett is a great example,” University of Georgia political science professor Charles Bullock said. “Women at the county level, traditionally the job they were most likely to hold would be that of clerk of court and then probably, oh, probate judge might be the next most common thing at the county level. They didn’t hold jobs like sheriff or district attorney.”

“We’re not just talking about Black women. We’re talking about any women holding those kinds of positions and so what we’re seeing is Black women are moving into county jobs that I guess were almost thought of more male jobs than women jobs.”

By the numbers, Gwinnett Democrats flipped 23 seats previously held by Republicans in partisan elections between 2018 and last November. These range from school board seats to the 7th Congressional District seat.

Of those seats, 11 were flipped by African-American women, five were flipped by African-American men, four were flipped by White women, one was flipped by an Asian woman, one was flipped by an Asian man and one was flipped by a White man.

On top of that, four Black women were elected in nonpartisan elections to the city councils in Lawrenceville, Suwanee, Snellville and Norcross. Four more Black women were elected to serve on the benches in Gwinnett’s Superior and State courts.

Gwinnett Solicitor General Brian Whiteside (D) is threatening to sue the State of Georgia if the General Assembly passes election reform legislation, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Regardless of how one describes it, the underlying message that came out of Solicitor General Brian Whiteside’s office on Friday afternoon is that he will fight the state of Georgia in court if a controversial omnibus elections reform bill, House Bill 531, pending in the Georgia House of Representatives becomes law.

“If Georgia H.B. 531 passes and is signed into law, the Gwinnett County Solicitor General’s Office is prepared to take legal action against the state of Georgia,” Whiteside said in a statement. “H.B. 531 poses an undue burden upon the citizens of Gwinnett County during a global pandemic by removing absentee ballot drop boxes and removing Sunday early voting.”

“The ramifications of H.B. 531 may increase the chance of possible civil disturbance and create a burden for local law enforcement and Gwinnett County Board of Registrations and Elections,” Whiteside said. “The Gwinnett County Solicitor-General’s Office has a duty to protect the rights and safety of the citizens from any possible violent protests and unconstitutional actions.”

Gwinnett Sheriff Keybo Taylor (D) held a pandemic-delayed formal swearing in, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Taylor, who has made history as the first African-American to be elected sheriff of Gwinnett County, talked about growing up in one of Lawrenceville’s poorer neighborhoods. He grew up to serve in the county’s police department and became its first Black major and the first African-American leader of the department’s narcotics unit.

“Failure builds character, but we must also understand that failure is not final and that it should never control or foretell the vigor or your enthusiasm for success,” Taylor said. “Your failure will leave scars and those are your badge of courage. You can hide it or you can proudly display it, but your scars are not the sum of who you are.”

Taylor’s swearing in ceremony was original supposed to take place in December, but it was postponed until this weekend after he tested positive for COVID-19 right before Christmas.

The event on Saturday was about celebrating the start of Taylor’s history-making tenure as sheriff. Taylor is one of eight African-American sheriffs currently serving in metro Atlanta counties.

He kicked off his tenure as the county’s top law enforcement official on Jan. 1 by disbanding the county jail’s embattled Rapid Response Team and terminating the office’s participation in the controversial 287(g) detention program on his first day in office.

Nearly 1200 early ballots were cast in the Glynn County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) Referendum, according to The Brunswick News.

The first week of early voting in the special election on Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax 2021 saw 1,197 casting a ballot in person.

On the ballot are two referendums, one to ratify SPLOST 2021 and another to declare the Oglethorpe Conference Center an infeasible project, thereby providing an avenue to return to the taxpayers $2.5 million in SPLOST IV and V proceeds that remain allocated for the project.

As of the close of business Friday, 234 people had cast a ballot at Ballard Community Building off Old Jesup Road, 190 at the Glynn County Board of Elections’ office and 773 at Glynn County Fire Station No. 2 on St. Simons Island.

Democrat Marcus Flowers is the second announced candidate to run against Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Extreme Northwest GA), according to the AJC.

The political newcomer unveiled his campaign Monday with a splashy video that sharply contrasts himself with Greene, the disgraced freshman legislator stripped of her committee assignments by her House colleagues for her embrace of hateful and dangerous conspiracy theories.

Flowers outlines a background that included overcoming a troubled childhood, serving in the U.S. Army and then years as a military contractor with “top-secret clearance” in combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan before deciding to compete for the seat.

“I’ve spent my life serving my country in combat zones across the world. But I never thought I’d see one here in the United States,” he said in the video, which shows images of the Jan. 6 insurrection egged on by lies about systemic voter fraud promoted by former President Donald Trump and echoed by Greene.

“Her twisted conspiracy theories might have made her famous, but they haven’t done a damn thing to help the people here in our district.”

Heading into the 2022 election, Greene is heavily favored to carry the 14th district, which spans from Atlanta’s northwestern exurbs through the rural corner of the state. The contours are sure to be revised, however, when legislators redraw the district later this year with new Census data.

The Macon Cherry Blossom Festival will be held this year with COVID-19 precautions, according to 13WMAZ.

Mayor Lester Miller was adamant, and said that there was “absolutely no chance” he would cancel the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Miller explained that the festival staff has spent the past year strategizing and planning the pinkest party on earth, pandemic-style.

“Buy your shirts, buy your pins, because it will happen this year,” Miller emphasized during the February meeting of the Downtown Macon Community Association.

“We are only producing outdoor events,” [Cherry Blossom Festival CEO Stacy] Moore told Visit Macon. “We’re not going to produce ourselves or sanction any indoor events.”

No one will be lining the sidewalks for the March 21st Cherry Blossom Parade which will be livestreamed and later broadcast.

The Conasauga Judicial Circuit Superior Court, serving Murray and Whitfield Counties, is planning to resume jury proceedings in March, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen News.

Statesboro will move forward with a $4.5 million dollar issue and awarding contracts for park improvements, as the City Council and the Urban Redevelopment Agency meet, according to the Statesboro Herald.

The Cumberland Island bobcat population is dwindling, according to The Brunswick News.

Researchers captured 32 of the animals from the mainland and reintroduced them to the barrier island in 1989. They have regularly monitored them ever since.

Bobcats were brought to the island as a way to help restore the ecological balance by introducing a natural predator to prey on rabbits, rodents, feral hogs and old or injured deer.

The population has dwindled to 24 bobcats and the prediction is they face extinction on the island over time without human intervention.

Since the animals were released on the island more than three decades ago, the population has lost about 15 percent of its genetic diversity. By 2040, the risk of extinction on the island will increase to about 20 percent.

26
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 26, 2021

On February 29, 1692, in Salem, Massachusetts, arrest warrants were issued for Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba, accusing the three women of witchcraft.

On February 28, 1784, John Wesley executed a document titled “The Rev. John Wesley’s Declaration and Establishment of the Conference of the People called Methodists.”

On February 28, 1827, the first American railroad organized to transport people and freight commercially, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, was chartered. At the time, Baltimore was the second largest city in the nation.

On February 28, 1854, 30 anti-slavery opponents of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which would repeal the 1820 Missouri Compromise, met in Ripon, Wisconsin and called for the creation of the Republican Party.

On February 26, 1868, the Atlanta City Council offered use of the combined City Hall and Fulton County Courthouse as a temporary capitol if the Constitutional Convention meeting in the city would designate it the capital city.

On February 26, 1877, Governor Alfred Colquitt signed legislation calling a June 1877 election of delegates to a state Constitutional Convention to be held in July of that year.

On February 28, 1885, the American Telephone and Telegraph company was incorporated, though some accounts says March 3d.

On February 29, 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed the first Panama Canal Commission.

On February 27, 1922, the United States Supreme Court released an unanimous decision holding that the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, granting women the right to vote, is constitutional. The case, Leser v. Garnett, arose because of a challenge seeking to strike women’s names from the voter rolls in Maryland and asserting:

  • The power to amend the Constitution did not cover this amendment, due to its character.
  • Several states that had ratified the amendment had constitutions that prohibited women from voting, rendering them unable to ratify an amendment to the contrary.
  • The ratifications of Tennessee and West Virginia were invalid, because they were adopted without following the rules of legislative procedure in place in those states.

It might as well have asserted that sleeping on the couch for the rest of the plantiffs’ lives would be cold and uncomfortable.

Johnny Cash was born on February 26, 1932.

On February 29, 1936, a board appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt recommended constructing a dam on the Savannah River at Clarks Hill, north of Augusta.

On February 29, 1940, Gone With the Wind received eight Oscars, including Best Supporting Actress for Hattie Mcdaniel, the first African-American winner.

On February 27, 1962, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ralph David Abernathy were tried in Albany for charges stemming from a demonstration on the steps of City Hall.

On February 27, 1982, Wayne Williams was convicted in Fulton County Superior Court of murdering two adult males. Atlanta Police later said he was guilty of at least 23 of 29 child murders between 1979 and 1981. Williams was never indicted or tried on the allegations of child murder and maintains his innocence.

On February 28, 1991, the First Gulf War ended, as President George H.W. Bush declared a ceasefire and that Kuwait was liberated.

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

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Under the Gold Dome Today – Legislative Day 24

7:30 AM Senate Health and Human Services – 450 CAP
7:30 AM HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS – 341 CAP
8:00 AM Senate Education and Youth – 307 CLOB
8:00 AM HOUSE Governmental Affairs State and Local Government Sub – 406 CLOB
8:00 AM HOUSE Governmental Affairs General Government Sub – 506 CLOB
9:00 AM HOUSE RULES – 341 CAP
10:00 AM Senate Floor Session (LD 24) – Senate Chamber
10:00 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD24) – House Chamber
Noonish Senate Rules Upon Adjournment – 450 CAP
12:00 PM HOUSE Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications – Telecom Sub – 403 CAP
1:ish Senate Judiciary – upon adjournment of Rules Comm. Meeting – 307 CLOB
1:00 PM HOUSE HIGHER EDUCATION – 606 CLOB
1:00 PM HOUSE HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES – 406 CLOB
2:00 PM HOUSE CODE REVISION – 341 CAP
3:00 PM Senate Ethics – 307 CLOB

SENATE RULES CALENDARContinue Reading..

25
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 25, 2021

The United States Congress passed the Legal Tender Act on February 25, 1862, allowing the government to pay its bills with paper money it printed.

On February 25, 1870, Hiram Rhoades Revels (R-Missippi) was sworn in as the first African-American Congressman in history.

In 1867, the first Reconstruction Act was passed by a Republican-dominated U.S. Congress, dividing the South into five military districts and granting suffrage to all male citizens, regardless of race. A politically mobilized African American community joined with white allies in the Southern states to elect the Republican party to power, which in turn brought about radical changes across the South. By 1870, all the former Confederate states had been readmitted to the Union, and most were controlled by the Republican Party, thanks in large part to the support of African American voters.

On January 20, 1870, Hiram R. Revels was elected by the Mississippi legislature to fill the Senate seat once held by Jefferson Davis, the former president of the Confederacy. On February 25, two days after Mississippi was granted representation in Congress for the first time since it seceded in 1861, Revels was sworn in.

On February 25, 1876, the first Georgia state law against abortion was passed.

On February 25, 1999, Johnny Isakson was sworn into Congress from the Sixth District, a seat vacated by the resignation of then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Whitfield County Voters are going to the polls in two elections scheduled for March 16, 2021, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen News.Continue Reading..

24
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 24, 2021

On February 24, 1803, the United States Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Marshall decided the case of Marbury v. Madison, enunciating the principle of judicial review under which the Court has authority to review Congressional action and hold them unconstitutional.

In writing the decision, John Marshall argued that acts of Congress in conflict with the Constitution are not law and therefore are non-binding to the courts, and that the judiciary’s first responsibility is always to uphold the Constitution. If two laws conflict, Marshall wrote, the court bears responsibility for deciding which law applies in any given case.

Union troops under General George Thomas attacked Confederates led by General Joseph Johnston near Dalton, Georgia on February 24, 1864.

Casualties were light. Thomas suffered fewer than 300 men killed, wounded, or captured, while Johnston lost around 140 troops. The Union generals did learn a valuable lesson, however; a direct attack against Rocky Face Ridge was foolish. Three months later, Sherman, in command after Grant was promoted to commander of all forces, sent part of his army further south to another gap that was undefended by the Confederates. The intelligence garnered from the Battle of Dalton helped pave the way for a Union victory that summer.

The first prisoners of war were moved to Andersonville on February 24, 1864.

The Atlanta Journal was first published on February 24, 1883.

On February 24, 1988, the United States Supreme Court held in the case of Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, that the First Amendment protects publishers against claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress where the plaintiff is a public figure being parodied by the publication.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Under the Gold Dome – Legislative Day 22

Continue Reading..

23
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 23, 2021

President elect Abraham Lincoln arrived in Washington, DC on February 23, 1861.

WW2_Iwo_Jima_flag_raising

On February 23, 1945, United States Marines raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi, the highest point on the Pacific island Iwo Jima.

This first flag-raising was photographed by Marine photographer Sgt. Louis R. Lowery. On Lowery’s way down Mt. Suribachi, he ran into AP photographer Joe Rosenthal and two other Marine photographers, PFC Bob Campbell and PFC Bill Genaust, who was shooting movies, informing them that the flag-raising they were looking for had already occurred, but encouraging them to check out the view from the top of the hill. The three men continued up the volcano.

Once atop Mt. Suribachi, Rosenthal attempted but was unable to find the soldiers involved in the first flag-raising, deciding instead to photograph the second flag-raising, which featured a much bigger and more photogenic Stars and Stripes. Lowery’s film was sent back to military headquarters for processing via ordinary army post–and took a month to arrive. Rosenthal’s film was sent by seaplane to Guam, and sent from there via radio-photo to the United States. The photograph so impressed President Roosevelt that he ordered the men pictured in it to return home for a publicity tour. Rosenthal later won a Pulitzer Prize for the photo, but for years was forced to deny erroneous reports that he personally staged the second flag-raising and attempted to pass it off as the original.

Although the famous photograph has long led people to believe that the flag-raising was a turning point in the fight for Iwo Jima, vicious fighting to control the island actually continued for 31 more days.

Today, the first and second flags flown atop Mt. Suribachi are held at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia.

On February 23, 1954, the first children in the U.S. were inoculated against polio using a vaccine developed by Dr. Jonas Salk.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Holy smokes, Georgians are voting today! From The Brunswick News:

Light turnout characterized the first day of early voting on two special purpose local option sales tax-related referendums, with 180 casting a ballot in person Monday.

In addition, a total of 85 voters requested absentee ballots for the dual referendums, one to ratify Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax 2021 and the other to declare the Oglethorpe Conference Center an infeasible project, thereby providing an avenue to return to the taxpayers $2.5 million in SPLOST IV and V proceeds that remain allocated for the project.

As of the close of business Monday, 74 mail-in ballots were on their way to voters and 11 were in the hopper.

Voters will be able to cast their ballots from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at the Office Park Building at 1815 Gloucester St. in Brunswick; the Ballard Community Building at 30 Nimitz Drive; and on St. Simons Island at Glynn County Fire Station No. 2, 1929 Demere Road.

All polling precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 16.

Glynn County commissioners propose implementing a 1 percent sales tax for three years, which would generate a total of $68.5 million split among the county, city of Brunswick, Brunswick-Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission and Jekyll Island Authority for infrastructure and capital projects.

Continue Reading..

22
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 22, 2020

The British Parliament repealed the Stamp Act on February 22, 1766.

Georgia’s first Governor Archibald Bulloch died mysteriously on February 22, 1777.

[Bulloch] became a leader in the state’s Liberty Party and was elected to the Commons House of Assembly in 1768, to the post of speaker of the Georgia Royal Assembly in 1772 and finally to the Continental Congress in 1775.

On June 20, 1776, Bulloch was elected the first president and commander in chief of Georgia’s temporary government, posts he held until February 5, 1777, when Georgia adopted its state constitution. Just over three weeks later, on February 22, 1777, Georgia faced a British invasion, and the state’s new government granted Bulloch executive power to head off the British forces. A few hours later, Bulloch was dead. The cause of his death remains unknown but unsubstantiated rumors of his poisoning persist.

[H]e is also known as the great-great-grandfather of America’s 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt.

The Cyclorama painting of the Battle of Atlanta went on display on Edgewood Avenue on February 22, 1892.

On February 22, 1976, a series of U.S. Postage stamps commemorating the Bicentennial was issued, featuring the state flags.

GeorgiaFlagStamp1976white

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The United States Supreme Court hears oral arguments today in a lawsuit between Georgia and Florida over water, according to the Albany Herald.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit the state of Florida filed in 2013 demanding the justices order Georgia to use less water. It’s just the latest episode in the so-called “tri-state water wars,” a legal battle over water allocation between Florida, Georgia and Alabama that has dragged on for nearly three decades.

The suit claims Georgia is taking so much water out of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin to meet the needs of fast-growing metro Atlanta and irrigate crops in the lower Flint that Florida isn’t left with enough freshwater for its once-thriving oyster industry in Apalachicola Bay.

Georgia appears to have the advantage going into Monday’s hearing, Chris Manganiello, the water policy director for the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, said. A special master the Supreme Court appointed to hear the dispute recommended in late 2019 that the court dismiss Florida’s case.

“Special Master (Paul) Kelly was pretty clear: Florida failed to make a compelling argument that Georgia was using too much water or that any harm to Florida’s fisheries could be traced to Georgia,” Manganiello said.

Metro Atlanta’s ability to grow its population while reining in water consumption has been one of Georgia’s major arguments in defending against Florida’s lawsuit. Since 2000, total water use in the region has dropped by more than 10%, even as the population has increased by more than 1.3 million.

Senate Resolution 82 is the current Adjournment Resolution:

Monday, February 22 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . convene for legislative day 20
Tuesday, February 23 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . convene for legislative day 21
Wednesday, February 24 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . convene for legislative day 22
Thursday, February 25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . convene for legislative day 23
Friday, February 26 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . convene for legislative day 24

Monday, March 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . convene for legislative day 25

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

8:00 AM HOUSE Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Energy Subcommittee – 406 CLOB
8:00 AM HOUSE Motor Vehicles Driver Safety and Services Subcommittee – 515 CLOB
9:00 AM HOUSE RULES – 341 CAP
10:00 AM Senate FLOOR SESSION (LD 20) – Senate Chamber
10:00 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD20) – House Chamber
Noonish Senate Rules Upon Adjournment – 450 CAP
12:00 PM HOUSE Regulated Industries Special Subcommittee – 606 CLOB
1:00 PM Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs – canceled – Mezz 1
1:00 PM Senate Finance – 450 CAP
1:30 PM HOUSE Judiciary Gunter Subcommittee – 132 CAP
1:30 PM HOUSE PUBLIC SAFETY AND HOMELAND SECURITY – 406 CLOB
1:30 PM HOUSE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM – 341 CAP
2:00 PM HOUSE Governmental Affairs General Government Subcommittee – 506 CLOB
2:15 PM Senate Judiciary – 307 CLOB
2:30 PM Senate SLOGO – 310 CLOB
3:00 PM HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ELECTION INTEGRITY – 406 CLOB
3:00 PM HOUSE Judiciary Scoggins Subcommittee – 132 CAP
3:00 PM HOUSE Insurance Property and Casualty Subcommittee – 506 CLOB
3:00 PM HOUSE Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications – Telecommunications Subcommittee – 403
3:30 PM Senate Education and Youth – 307 CLOB
3:30 PM HOUSE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY – 606 CLOB
3:30 PM HOUSE Governmental Affairs State and Local Government Subcommittee –506 CLOB
4:45 PM Senate Ethics – 307 CLOB

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

SR 28 – United States Congress; call a convention; limit on the number of terms that a person may be elected; United States House of Representatives; request(GvtO-46th)

SR 29 – Article V of the United States Constitution; a convention of the states; apply to Congress for balanced budget amendment (GvtO-46th)

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Pursuant to House Rule 33.3, debate shall be limited to no longer than one hour on all legislation. Time to be allocated at the discretion of the Speaker.

Modified Structured Rule

HB 98 – State government; conditions for meetings and public hearings to be held by teleconference in emergency conditions; provide (GAff-Lumsden-12th)(Rules Committee Substitute LC47 0855S)

HB 150 – Public utilities and public transportation; prohibit governmental entities from adopting any policy that prohibits the connection or reconnection of any utility service based upon the type or source of energy or fuel (Substitute)(EU&T-Williamson-115th)

HB 156 – Military; sharing of information and reporting of cyber attacks; facilitate (Substitute)(EU&T-Parsons-44th)(Rules Committee Substitute LC36 4675S)

HB 210 – Motor vehicles; recording of odometer readings upon certificates of title; exempt certain vehicles (Substitute)(MotV-Corbett-174th)

HB 234 – Self-funded Healthcare Plan Opt-in to the Surprise Billing Consumer Protection Act; enact (SCQHC-Hawkins-27th)

HB 245 – Professions and businesses; podiatry; amend a provision relating to fingerprint and criminal background checks (H&HS-LaHood-175th)

HB 268 – The Occupational Therapy Licensure Compact Act; enact (Substitute)(RegI-Werkheiser-157th)

HB 273 – Distilled spirits; initiate a referendum election for the authorization of the issuance of licenses; provide additional method (RegI-Ballinger-23rd)

HB 307 – Georgia Telehealth Act; revise (Substitute)(H&HS-Cooper-43rd)HB 342Professions and businesses; certain advertisements related to plumbing; prohibit (A&CA-Washburn-141st)

HB 354 – State Board of Cemeterians and Funeral Service; report suspected unlawful activity to the sheriff’s office and the Attorney General; require (Substitute)(RegI-Williams-145th)

HB 362 – Environmental Protection Division; effective date for standards, rules, and regulations; revise (Substitute)(GF&P-Rhodes-120th)

Governor Brian Kemp last week announced that Georgia will disburse $522 million dollars in federal aid for emergency rental assistance.

Governor Kemp announced that the State of Georgia has received more than $552 million in stimulus funds through the federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Congress appropriated $25 billion to provide relief to landlords and tenants who are behind on rent and utility payments due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The effects of COVID-19 have hit many Georgians hard financially,” Governor Brian Kemp said. “In addition to protecting lives, we have to protect livelihoods so that Georgians can continue to have economic opportunity. I am pleased to be able to provide this rental relief to renters and landlords who have been impacted the most.”

The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) will administer the State of Georgia Rental Assistance (GRA) program, which will be subject to US Treasury guidelines (which are still under development). The payment will be made directly to the landlords and utility providers. Payments generally may not exceed 12 months, but some households may qualify for a total of 15 months under certain circumstances.

In general, households meeting all following criteria will be eligible:

▪  Qualified for unemployment benefits or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to COVID-19; and
▪  Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
▪  Has a household income at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), with priority given to: 1) households below 50 percent of the AMI, or 2) households with one or more individuals who have been unemployed 90 days or longer at the time of application

▪  Qualified for unemployment benefits or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to COVID-19; and

▪  Demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and

▪  Has a household income at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), with priority given to: 1) households below 50 percent of the AMI, or 2) households with one or more individuals who have been unemployed 90 days or longer at the time of application

The CDC Eviction Moratorium has been extended until March 31, meaning that no one should be evicted solely for non-payment of rent until that date. Visit GeorgiaLegalAid.org for more information.

DCA anticipates launching the public application portal in March, and additional program details will be available soon. For more information, visit garentalassistance.ga.gov.

Governor Kemp yesterday toured a mass vaccination site in Albany, one of four setup by the state that will open Monday, according to WSB-TV.

The vaccine sites have been set up at the Albany Georgia Forestry Site, the Habersham County Fairgrounds, the Macon Farmers Market and the Delta Air Lines Museum in Hapeville.

Vaccines are currently open to people eligible in Phase 1A, which includes people over 65 and their caregivers, healthcare workers, law enforcement and EMS personnel and residents and staff of long-term care facilities.

On Sunday, Kemp encouraged people to register with the state’s new vaccine portal, myvaccinegeorgia.com or call 1-844-275-3428, even if you aren’t eligible yet.

Dougherty County Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas said the Albany site has the ability to vaccinate over 1,100 people a day. Albany is also the only site where you can drive up without an appointment if you are eligible.

Cohilas also clarified who qualifies as a “caregiver.”

“If you are caring for somebody inside your home who is over 65, that qualifies you for the vaccine,” officials said. “I know we have a lot of folks in this community who have elderly people within their home. That is a qualifying factor.”

From 13WMAZ:

Macon-Bibb County Mayor Lester Miller says state leaders chose the Farmers Market off Eisenhower Parkway specifically because it is already owned by the state.

Governor Brian Kemp says another factor in picking the site locations was to ensure vaccine access to minority communities.

“He [Governor Kemp] realizes we have a vast need in Macon-Bibb County for especially our elderly population and our minority population being underserved,” Miller said. “He’s trying to do what he can to educate everybody but also let us make a key focus point because we’re centrally located.”

Gov. Kemp unveiled legislation aimed at street racing. From the Press Release:

Governor Kemp announced his administration’s introduction of H.B 534, a bill to combat dangerous street racing in Georgia. Governor Kemp was joined by law enforcement officers along with a bipartisan group of lawmakers in support of the legislation.

“In recent months, we have watched in horror as crime has skyrocketed in our capital city. Our brave law enforcement officers have worked tirelessly to contain the lawlessness, protect the communities they serve, and keep Georgians safe,” said Governor Kemp. “Today, I am proposing legislation to crack down on street racing by toughening penalties for offenders and holding those who promote these criminal activities responsible. In Georgia, we will not tolerate this reckless, illegal behavior.”

Read the full legislation here.

House Bill 372 by State Rep. Mandi Ballinger (R-Canton) passed out of the House Juvenile Justice Committee  with a unanimous do pass recommendation, according to the Statesboro Herald.

The age for charging most people with adult crimes would rise from 17 to 18 in Georgia under a bill moving forward in the state House.

House Juvenile Justice Committee Chairman Mandi Ballinger, a Canton Republican, has been pushing the idea for years. She cites testimony from experts that teen brains are still developing to full adulthood and lack the impulse control that older people usually develop.

Advocates say that means 17-year-olds should go before juvenile courts, where judges can decide their cases with an eye toward promoting positive growth and change without giving them a permanent criminal record — instead of adult court, which is more focused on punishment.

Such a change also would mean parents have to be notified of an arrest and could be present when teens are questioned by police.

People who are 17 would still be charged as adults for certain violent crimes including murder, rape, child molestation and armed robbery with a gun — as teens 13 to 16 already are in Georgia. However, as with younger children, prosecutors could decide to send charges down to juvenile court.

There are still opponents in Georgia, though. Terry Norris, the executive director of the Georgia Sheriff’s Association, said as many as 5,000 17-year-olds are arrested in Georgia in a typical year, with half charged with felonies.

“This age group is an age group that commits a lot of crime,” Norris said.

Senate Bill 142 by State Senate Rules Committee Chair Jeff Mullis (R-Extreme Northwest Georgia) would legalize some forms of sports betting, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Statesboro Herald.

The state Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee held a hearing on legislation that would legalize online sports betting in Georgia under the jurisdiction of the Georgia Lottery Corp.

“Over 2 million [Georgians] are doing it now,” said Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, chief sponsor of Senate Bill 142. “Do you know who’s in control of it? The bookies.”

Mullis’ bill is similar to sports betting legislation before the Georgia House of Representatives.

Both measures would put the state Lottery Commission in charge of licensing at least six operators such as FanDuel or DraftKings to run online sports books in Georgia. The companies would pay annual licensing fees of $900,000.

But the bills also feature some key differences. While the licensed operators would pay a tax of 14% of their adjusted gross revenues toward Georgia’s HOPE Scholarships and pre-kindergarten programs, the Senate version calls for a tax of 10%.

The House bill would limit bettors to using debit cards, a provision intended to keep potential problem gamblers from getting in their over their heads.

The Senate measure, however, would allow both debit cards and credit cards.

The bill’s opponents argued sports betting cannot be legalized in Georgia without a constitutional amendment.

Virginia Galloway, regional field director of the Duluth-based Faith and Freedom Coalition, cited a 2016 opinion from the Georgia attorney general’s office to that effect.

But Robert Highsmith, a lawyer representing the Atlanta Hawks, said the state Constitution only expressly prohibits casino gambling. Sports betting only requires the legislature to pass a statute authorizing the Georgia Lottery Corp, to add sports betting to its current operations, he said.

Committee Chairman Bill Cowsert, R-Athens, suggested that Mullis prepare a constitutional amendment to introduce next week in case lawmakers decide it’s necessary.

Mullis said he has one ready to go.

State Senator Lester Jackson (D-Savannah) proposed legislation renaming the Savannah River bridge after John Lewis, according to the Savannah Morning News.

A resolution introduced in the Georgia General Assembly this week proposes dedicating the bridge in the memory of late U.S. Rep. John Lewis as the John Lewis Freedom Bridge.

“Although Georgia is not his birthplace, Georgia was his home for much of his life. He represented Georgia with not only distinction, but with valor. He was a man who risked his life to stand up for righteousness and justice for all Americans, and should rightly so be honored in Georgia,” Jackson said.

Under state law. only the Georgia Department of Transportation can institute a name change for the bridge. However, a resolution would make the DOT aware of the Legislature’s opinion and desire to have the change taken into consideration.

Jackson is currently seeking a committee hearing for the resolution. From there it would move to the Rules Committee before going to the Senate floor for discussion. With 22 legislative days remaining in the 40-day session, there is enough time to get the measure through, Jackson said.

The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission will review nearly 70 applications for licenses to manufacture cannabis oil, according to the AJC.

The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission announced this month it will review the proposals and then award licenses to six companies, possibly in late spring or early summer.

The winning companies will then have one year to begin operations, according to state law, providing medicine for 14,000 registered patients for conditions including seizures, terminal cancers and Parkinson’s disease. Though they’re allowed to consume the medicine, there’s no legal way to buy it until the companies come online.

“The goal is to ensure that patients have access to the highest-quality medicine that we can arrive at in our state with these production facilities,” said Andrew Turnage, the commission’s executive director. “I’m very impressed with the quality and caliber of applicants.”

Under the law, six companies will be licensed to cultivate medical marijuana, which can have no more than 5% THC, the compound that gives marijuana users a high. They’ll be allowed to grow the drug on a total of 400,000 square feet of indoor growing space statewide.

“The only thing we should be thinking about is how we can get the safest oil and the best medicine to Georgia patients,” said state Rep. Micah Gravley, a Republican from Douglasville who sponsored legislation starting the program. “The licensees should be the six companies who are capable of creating a lab-tested, trusted, safe oil, and have a tested and proven product in other states.”

Mrs. GaPundit had her card for the oil, and she died more than three years before the state will allow people like her to actually receive what the card purports to allow.

Former U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler will launch a another multi-million dollar boondoggle to benefit erstwhile political professionals political organization. From the AJC:

Former U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler is wading back into Georgia politics weeks after her runoff defeat with the start of a new voter registration group aimed at helping Republicans recover from the stunning Democratic victories in November and January.

The former financial executive framed the launch Monday of the Greater Georgia organization as a Republican answer to the powerful Fair Fight voting rights group that Stacey Abrams started days after her 2018 defeat in the race for governor.

In her first extensive interview since her Jan. 5 loss to Raphael Warnock, Loeffler said the group will focus on a trio of initiatives: Registering droves of likely conservative voters, building a network to promote “big tent” proposals and advocating for conservative electoral policies.

“Right now there is no answer on the Republican side to a comprehensive platform that provides the resources, the scale, the network, the message, the communications platform that we need for statewide success in 2022 and beyond,” Loeffler said.

Georgia State Patrol Troopers may now wear long-sleeved shirts to cover tattoos, according to AccessWDUN.

Georgia’s Department of Public Safety says state troopers still can’t have visible tattoos, but can now wear long-sleeved shirts year-round to cover up marking on their lower arms.

Department of Public Safety recruiting coordinator Lt. Auston Allen tells WMAZ-TV that the change was announced earlier this month.

Applicants still can’t have tattoos on their neck or face.

The policy could particularly affect military veterans who would like to become troopers, Allen said.

“People that are in service, in public service, have been allowed to get tattoos on their forearms or slightly below the elbow that until this policy change has automatically been disqualified from attending trooper school,” he said. “Now they have an option and some of those will make outstanding troopers no doubt.”

Macon-Bibb County Mayor Lester Miller wants to promote free mental health services to prevent violence, according to the Macon Telegraph.

“You can’t really address violent crime without going to the root causes, and one of those is mental health,” Miller said. “We believe that by targeting 300 to 500 families in those areas, we can make a dramatic impact in our crime rate in the future.”

The program, called Macon Mental Health Matters, would provide a variety of mental health support services to neighborhoods that have been identified through data. Miller said he would ask the county commissioners to approve a one-year, $600,000 contract with the Southern Center for Choice Theory to provide the services.

“The data tells us that we have several communities in Macon-Bibb County who need more assistance than others. They’re more challenged from a financial standpoint and from a crime standpoint, and we’ve identified these areas and we’re going to have a mental health group that’s going to be targeting those areas, mainly our youth and our youth parents,” Miller said.

County commissioners will have a chance to approve the initiative Tuesday during their committee meeting, Miller said.

Glynn County Manager Alan Ours is resigning effective August 27, 2001, according to The Brunswick News.

Gwinnett County Tax Commissioner Tiffany Porter announced changed hours for the tag office, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Tax Commissioner Tiffany Porter announced her office will shift the tag office hours on weekdays to be open hour later in an effort to address higher demand for services in the afternoons. The new hours go into effect on March 1.

“If an in-person visit is necessary, Gwinnett residents can now take care of their tax, tag and title work without taking time off work,” Porter said. “I promised to make tag offices more accessible and this is the first step.”

Tag offices had been open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., but they will shift to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. next month. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the Lawrenceville, Norcross and Snellville tag offices will stay open an extra hour, closing at 7 p.m. The Lawrenceville branch will be closed on Mondays, however, and will continue to offer its 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. hours on Saturdays.

19
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 19, 2021

On February 20, 1792, President George Washington signed the Postal Service Act, creating the United States Postal Service.

The act allowed for newspapers to be included in mail deliveries and made it illegal for postal officials to open anyone’s mail.

On February 19, 1807, Aaron Burr was arrested in the Mississippi Territory, in what is now Alabama. Burr had served as Vice President during the first term of President Thomas Jefferson, leaving the administration after the 1804 election; later Jefferson issued a warrant accusing Burr of treason.

The Washington Monument was dedicated on February 21, 1885.

On February 21, 1940, John Robert Lewis was born in Pike County, Alabama. In 1963, Lewis became President of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, based in Atlanta. In 1981, Lewis was elected to an at-large seat on the Atlanta City Council, and in 1986, he was elected to Congress, defeating Julian Bond in the Democratic Primary. He represented Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District from 1987 until his death on July 17, 2020.

On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, authorizing the military to remove from military areas any people whose exclusion was “necessary or desirable.” By June 1942, more than 110,000 Japanese Americans had been interned in concentration camps in the western United States. On the same day, the United States War Department announced that a new bomber plant would be built in Marietta, Georgia.

On February 21, 1958, Governor Marvin Griffin signed legislation creating the Stone Mountain Memorial Association to oversee construction and operation of a Confederate memorial and public park at the site.

On February 20, 1970, Georgia ratified the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote. The Amendment states:

Section 1. The right of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Seriously. 1970. Luckily ratification occurred when Tennessee approved adoption of the Amendment on April 18, 1920.

Interestingly, the only case in which the United States Supreme Court has addressed the Nineteenth Amendment arose in Georgia. Breedlove v. Suttles was a suit brought in Fulton County Superior Court concerning the poll tax. Here’s an excerpt:

The tax being upon persons, women may be exempted on the basis of special considerations to which they are naturally entitled. In view of burdens necessarily borne by them for the preservation of the race, the state reasonably may exempt them from poll taxes.

The laws of Georgia declare the husband to be the head of the family and the wife to be subject to him. To subject her to the levy would be to add to his burden. Moreover, Georgia poll taxes are laid to raise money for educational purposes, and it is the father’s duty to provide for education of the children. Discrimination in favor of all women being permissible, appellant may not complain because the tax is laid only upon some or object to registration of women without payment of taxes for previous years.

Privilege of voting is not derived from the United States, but is conferred by the state and, save as restrained by the Fifteenth and Nineteenth Amendments and other provisions of the Federal Constitution, the state may condition suffrage as it deems appropriate.

It is fanciful to suggest that the Georgia law is a mere disguise under which to deny or abridge the right of men to vote on account of their sex. The challenged enactment is not repugnant to the Nineteenth Amendment.

Bless their hearts.

On February 20, 1974, Reg Murphy, an editor for The Atlanta Constitution was kidnapped and held until managing editor G. James Minter delivered $700,000 in ransom. I’m not sure if they’d pay 700 cents to get any employee back nowadays.

On February 21, 1998, Julian Bond was selected as Chairman of the NAACP. Bond was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965, but the House initially refused to seat him due to his opposition to the war in Vietnam. The United States Supreme Court eventually ruled against the House and Bond was sworn in on January 9, 1967, serving there until his election to the Georgia State Senate. In 1986, Bond left the Senate to run for Congress.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp announced a new website, MyVaccineGeorgia, to pre-register for Covid vaccination, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen News.Continue Reading..

18
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 18, 2021

Alexander Stephens, who was born in Crawfordville, Taliaferro County, Georgia, was inaugurated as Vice President of the Confederate States of America on February 18, 1861. Stephens graduated from Franklin College, later known as the University of Georgia, and served in the Georgia legislature. Stephens opposed Georgia’s secession. One year later, Georgia’s delegation to the Confederate Congress, numbering ten members, was sworn in.

Ina Dillard was born on February 18, 1868 in Oglethorpe County Georgia. She married Richard Russell, who served on the Georgia Court of Appeals and as Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. Their son, Richard B. Russell, Jr., would be elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, where he served as Speaker and became the youngest Governor of Georgia in the 20th Century. In 1932 he ran for United States Senate and was elected.

In 1936, Russell was elected to his first full term in the Senate over former Governor Eugene Talmadge. In 1952, Russell ran for the Democratic nomination for President and he was an early mentor for Lyndon B. Johnson, who later served as President. Russell served on the Warren Commission that investigated the assassination of President Kennedy.

Russell served as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee for many years. Russell was an acknowledged leader within the Senate, and especially among Southern members, and he led much of the opposition to civil rights legislation and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Under the Gold Dome Today – Legislative Day 19

7:00 AM Senate Ethics – 307 CLOB
8:00 AM HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT – 606 CLOB
8:00 AM HOUSE Education Academic Support Subcommittee – 506 CLOB
8:30 AM HOUSE EDUCATION – 506 CLOB
8:30 AM HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS – 406 CLOB
9:00 AM HOUSE RULES – 341 CAP
10:00 AM Senate Floor Session (LD 19) – Senate Chamber
10:00 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD19) – House Chamber
11:30 AM HOUSE Judiciary NON Civil Reeves Subcommittee – 132 CAP
11:30 AM HOUSE Public Safety and Homeland Security Subcommittee A – 506 CLOB
12ish Senate Rules Upon Adjournment – 450 CAP
12:30 PM HOUSE Regulated Industries Alcohol and Tobacco Subcommittee – 606 CLOB
1:00 PM Senate Public Safety – canceled – Mezz 1
1:00 PM Senate Judiciary Subcommittee B – 307 CLOB
1:00 PM HOUSE JUVENILE JUSTICE – 403 CAP
1:00 PM HOUSE Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Energy Subcommittee – 515 CLOB
1:00 PM HOUSE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM – 406 CLOB
1:30 PM HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS HIGHER EDUCATION SUBCOMMITTEE – 341 CAP
1:30 PM HOUSE Regulated Industries Regulatory Subcommittee – 415 CLOB
2:00 PM HOUSE HUMAN RELATIONS AND AGING – 406 CLOB
2:15 PM Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs – Mezz 1
2:15 PM Senate Transportation – 450 CAP
3:00 PM HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ELECTION INTEGRITY – 606 CLOB
3:30 PM Senate Regulated Industries – 450 CAP
4:45 PM Senate Government Oversight- canceled – 450 CAPContinue Reading..

17
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 17, 2020

On February 17, 1739, Thomas Jones wrote to the Georgia Trustees in London of the appalling conditions in Savannah.

“The profanation of the Lord’s Day. When at church in the time of divine service, can hear continual firing of guns by people that are shooting at some game, others carrying burdens on wheelbarrows by the church door.

“The uncommon lewdness practiced by many and gloried in.”

“The negligence of officers in permitting several in this town to retail rum and strong liquors, unlicensed, who have no other visible way of livelihood, where servants resort and are encouraged to rob their masters….”

“I need not mention profane swearing and drunkenness, which are not so common here as in some other places, and few are notorious therein, besides Mr. Baliff Parker, who I have seen wallow in the mire….”

The Georgia legislature, on February 17, 1783, passed legislation granting land to veterans of Georgia militia who served during the Revolutionary War.

On February 17, 1784, the Georgia legislature passed a bill to increase an earlier formula for settling the state, allotting 200 acres to each head of a family, plus 50 acres for each family member (including up to 10 slaves) up to a maximum of 1000 acres.

Thomas Jefferson was elected Third President of the United States on February 17, 1801. The election was deadlocked for three months between Jefferson and his running-mate Aaron Burr.

On November 4 [1800], the national election was held. When the electoral votes were counted, the Democratic-Federalists emerged with a decisive victory, with Jefferson and Burr each earning 73 votes to Adams’ 65 votes and Pinckney’s 64 votes. John Jay, the governor of New York, received 1 vote.

Because Jefferson and Burr had tied, the election went to the House of Representatives, which began voting on the issue on February 11, 1801. What at first seemed but an electoral technicality–handing Jefferson victory over his running mate–developed into a major constitutional crisis when Federalists in the lame-duck Congress threw their support behind Burr. Jefferson needed a majority of nine states to win, but in the first ballot had only eight states, with Burr winning six states and Maryland and Virginia. Finally, on February 17, a small group of Federalists reasoned that the peaceful transfer of power required that the majority party have its choice as president and voted in Jefferson’s favor. The 35th ballot gave Jefferson victory with 10 votes. Burr received four votes and two states voted blank.

On February 17, 1820, the United States Senate passed the Missouri Compromise to govern the admission of new states as either slave-holding or not.

On February 17, 1854, Georgia Governor Herschel Johnson signed legislation by the Georgia General Assembly placing on the ballot for the next generation the question of whether to move the state capital from Milledgeville to Atlanta.

The first portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to hang in the state capitol was unveiled on March 17, 1974 and was replaced in 2006 by the current portrait.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Under the Gold Dome Today
7:00 AM Senate Ethics, Subcommittee A – Mezz 1
7:00 AM Senate Ethics, Subcommittee B – 307 CLOB
8:00 AM Senate Government Oversight – 450 CAP
8:00 AM HOUSE Motor Vehicles Driver and Safety Services Subcommittee – 506 CLOB
8:00 AM HOUSE AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS – 406 CLOB
8:00 AM HOUSE Motor Vehicles Tags and Titles Subcommittee – 506 CLOB
9:00 AM HOUSE RULES – 341 CAP
10:00 AM Senate Floor Session (LD 18) – Senate Chamber
10:00 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD18) – House Chamber
12:00ish Senate Rules Upon Adjournment – 450 CAP
12:00 PM Senate Urban Affairs – 125 CAP
1:00 PM Senate Natural Resources and Environment – 307 CLOB
1:00 PM Senate Health and Human Services – 450 AP
1:00 PM HOUSE HIGHER EDUCATION – 341 CAP
1:00 PM HOUSE PUBLIC SAFETY AND HOMELAND SECURITY – 506 CLOB
1:00 PM HOUSE Ways and Means Ad Valorem Subcommittee – 403 CAP
1:00 PM HOUSE BANKS AND BANKING – 406 CLOB
1:30 PM HOUSE Judiciary Scoggins Subcommittee – 132 CAP
1:30 PM HOUSE Ways and Means Income Tax Subcommittee – 403 CAP
2:00 PM HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS HIGHER EDUCATION SUBCOMMITTEE – 341 CAP
2:00 PM HOUSE GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS – 406 CLOB
2:15 PM Senate Retirement – 450 CAP
2:15 PM Senate Education and Youth – 307 CLOB
2:30 PM HOUSE Ways and Means Tax Revision Subcommittee – 403 CAP
3:00 PM HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS GENERAL GOVERNMENT SUBCOMMITTEE – 606 CLOB
3:00 PM HOUSE INDUSTRY AND LABOR – 506 CLOB
3:30 PM Senate Finance – 450 CAP
3:30 PM HOUSE JUDICIARY NON CIVIL – 132 CAP
3:30 PM HOUSE STATE PROPERTIES – 403 CAP
4:00 PM Senate Insurance and Labor- Health and Workman’s Comp Subcommittee – Mezz 1
4:00 PM HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS EDUCATION SUBCOMMITTEE – 506 CLOB
4:45 PM Senate Judiciary – 307 CLOB

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

SB 52 – Selling and Other Trade Practices; legislative findings; standards for cybersecurity programs to protect businesses from liability; provide (Substitute)(S&T-14th)

SB 81 – Office of College and Career Transitions; change name to the Office of College and Career Academies (H ED-53rd)

SB 88 – Education; Georgia Teacher of the Year shall be invited to serve as advisor ex officio to the State Board of Education; provide (ED&Y-8th)

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Modified Structured Rule

HB 90 – Torts; certain persons, firms, or corporations who are buyers of land for conversion of timber shall be exempt from certain liabilities; provide (Substitute)(Judy-Williamson-115th)

HB 130 – Local government; fence detection system; define term (GAff-Gullett-19th)

HB 154 – Domestic relations; protection of children; strengthen, clarify, and update provisions (Substitute)(JuvJ-Reeves-34th)

HB 287 – Education; tobacco and vapor products in course of instruction regarding alcohol and drugs; include (Ed-Rich-97th)

Structured Rule

HB 282 – Ad valorem tax; qualified timberland property; add a definition (Substitute)(W&M-Meeks-178th)

Governor Brian Kemp yesterday announced his support for House Bill 479,  according to the AJC.Continue Reading..

16
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 16, 2021

https://youtu.be/wgTPH5y1-ZI

On February 16, 1923, Howard Carter and his archaeology party entered the burial chamber of King Tutankhamen.

The steps led to an ancient sealed doorway bearing the name Tutankhamen. When Carter and Lord Carnarvon entered the tomb’s interior chambers on November 26, they were thrilled to find it virtually intact, with its treasures untouched after more than 3,000 years. The men began exploring the four rooms of the tomb, and on February 16, 1923, under the watchful eyes of a number of important officials, Carter opened the door to the last chamber.

Inside lay a sarcophagus with three coffins nested inside one another. The last coffin, made of solid gold, contained the mummified body of King Tut. Among the riches found in the tomb–golden shrines, jewelry, statues, a chariot, weapons, clothing–the perfectly preserved mummy was the most valuable, as it was the first one ever to be discovered. Despite rumors that a curse would befall anyone who disturbed the tomb, its treasures were carefully catalogued, removed and included in a famous traveling exhibition called the “Treasures of Tutankhamen.”

On February 16, 1948, the United States Air Force renamed Robins Air Field to Robins Air Force Base. Robins AFB and the City of Warner Robins are named for Air Force General Augustine Warner Robins.

Fidel Castro was sworn-in as Prime Minister of Cuba on February 16, 1959.

On February 16, 1968, Speaker of the Alabama House of Representative Rankin Fite placed the first 911 call from Haleyville City Hall to Congressman Tom Bevill at the Haleyville police station.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Election Save the Date: March 16, Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax “SPLOST 8” in Augusta-Richmond County.

All state executive branch offices will open two hours late this morning due to winter weather and pursuant to Executive Order #02.15.21.02.Continue Reading..