Category: Georgia Politics

15
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 15, 2018

On February 15, 1796, Georgia Governor Jared Irwin and legislators gathered with a crowd for the burning of the “Yazoo Act.”

On February 15, 1898, the battleship U.S.S. Maine exploded in Havana harbor, Cuba.

On February 15, 1952 Gov. Herman Talmadge signed a joint resolution directing the purchase of Stone Mountain for development as a Confederate Memorial.

On February 15, 2011, Georgia Congressman John Lewis was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work in the civil rights movement.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal has ordered flags to half-staff on Friday, February 16, 2016 at the State Capitol and in Henry County to honor the late Locust Grove Police officer Chase Maddox. The Memorial Service will be held Saturday.

The Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform delivered its 2018 Report to Gov. Deal and recommended a legislative package:Continue Reading..

14
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 14, 2017

On February 14, 1779, Lt. Col. Elijah Clarke led a charge against British forces at the Battle of Kettle Creek.

On February 14, 1956, the Georgia General Assembly passed legislation calling for the protection, cleaning and maintenance, and display of historic Confederate flags at the State Capitol.

On February 14, 1958, the Georgia General Assembly passed a resolution purporting to censure President Dwight D. Eisenhower for using National Guard troops in the integration of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas.

On February 14, 1977, the B-52s played their first gig at a Valentine’s Day party in Athens.

Later that year, the group began making regular runs in the Wilson family station wagon up to New York City for gigs at seminal New Wave clubs like Max’s Kansas City and CBGB’s. With Kate and Cindy in their mile-high beehive wigs and 60s thrift-shop best, and Fred looking like a gay, demented golf pro, the B-52s made an immediate impression on the New York scene, and their independently produced single, “Rock Lobster,” became an underground smash.

The B-52s are still in business three decades later, minus Ricky Wilson, who died of AIDS in 1985. Significantly, their success is widely credited for establishing the viability of the Athens, Georgia, music scene, which would produce many minor successes and one massive one—R.E.M.—in the years immediately following the breakthrough of the B-52′s.

On February 14, 2012, we published the first edition of the GaPundit daily political news, featuring dogs. We originally thought that the dogs would be temporary until enough people complained about them that we felt the need to go to once a week. We were surprised that the adoptable dogs have become the signature of GaPundit’s otherwise-political offerings and our greatest success.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Republican John LaHood smoked the competition to win outright the Special Election in House District 175, receiving more than 70% of votes cast. From the Valdosta Daily Times:

He said his priorities will be to make sure the community and South Georgia are given the same priority as the rest of the state.

LaHood stated he would “preserve our conservative South Georgia values. As a Christian, I will not apologize for my faith, and I will never back down from protecting our values.”

He would “protect taxpayers by using my business experience to bring a results-driven approach to state government.”

“Improve rural health care and health-care outcomes by pushing Georgia-focused, conservative reforms based in the private sector and protect and support Georgia’s aging population with more choices and a stronger workforce of qualified caregivers.”

“Stand strong for our farmers.”

Governor Nathan Deal yesterday introduced House Bill 918 by State Rep. Chuck Efstration (R-Dacula) and the other Administration Floor Leaders to overhaul the state tax code.

The bill addresses the state revenue projections resulting from the Federal Tax Act while mirroring its 10-year timeframe.

The legislation would allow Georgia taxpayers to take the increased standard deduction at the federal level while providing flexibility to take either standard or itemized deductions at the state level. Another component would enhance personal exemptions by 25 percent.

“This legislation provides more flexibility and fairness to Georgians to decide what’s best for their families,” said Deal. “It will allow taxpayers to take full advantage of federal reforms while ensuring the fiscal health of our state long-term. This legislation will keep more hard-earned money in Georgians’ pockets and is an important step forward in modernizing state law to conform with federal reforms.”

From the Associated Press via the Gainesville Times:

Now, with the governor’s office estimating that Georgians will pay an additional $4.7 billion in state taxes cumulatively over the next five years, lawmakers are debating what to do with the extra funds.

Deal introduced legislation Tuesday that would allow filers who take the standard deduction at the federal level to itemize deductions at the state level, which is currently prohibited in Georgia. This would let Georgians take advantage of a major increase in the federal standard deduction without being forced to take the state standard deduction, which is relatively low. Deal’s proposal also calls for increasing the state personal exemption by 25 percent.

From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“It will mean the state is not collecting as much money from them as it would have been had we not made these changes,” Gov. Nathan Deal told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday.

Administration officials said their bill would cut the estimated windfall by 75 percent over five years and all but eliminate it this year.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who is running this year to replace the retiring Deal, said, “I look forward to reviewing Governor Deal’s proposal and working with him to give hardworking Georgia families the tax cut they deserve.

“Ultimately, I’m committed to moving forward with comprehensive tax reform that will — at a minimum — return every surplus dollar collected back to Georgia taxpayers.”

“My criteria have been, let’s make sure we don’t jeopardize state revenue by getting carried away (with tax cuts) because there is going to be a windfall,” Deal said. “Let’s do it in a very select way, let’s make sure the benefits we convey in a tax reform are benefits we can sustain over a long period of time.”

Under the Gold Dome

Both chambers of the General Assembly convene at 10 AM today for Legislative Day 21.

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE MEETING SCHEDULE

8:30 AM SENATE VETERANS, MILITARY & HOMELAND SECURITY 310 CLOB

9:00 AM HOUSE RULES 341 CAP

Upon Adjournment SENATE RULES450 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY MEZZ 1

1:00 PM INSURANCE AND LABOR 310 CLOB

1:00 PM House Reeves Sub Judy (Non Civil) 132 CAP

1:00 PM HOUSE Education Sub Academic Support 415 CLOB

1:00 PM HOUSE State Govt Admin Subc Govtal Affairs 406 CLOB

1:00 PM HOUSE AGRICULTURE & CONSUMER AFFAIRS 403 CAP

1:30 PM SENATE APPROP – Comm Health & Human Development and Public Health Subs 307 CLOB

2:00 PM DOT ELECTIONS -DISTRICT 10 SENATE CHAMBER

2:00 PM SENATE TRANSPORTATION 310 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE APPROP HIGHER ED 341 CAP

2:00 PM House Ways & Means Income Tax Sub 133 CAP

2:00 PM House Kelley Sub Judy (Civil) 403 CAP

2:00 PM HOUSE BUDGET AND FISCAL AFFAIRS OVERSIGHT 506 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE RETIREMENT 515 CLOB

2:15 PM HOUSE GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS 406 CLOB

3:00 PM SENATE FINANCE MEZZ 1

3:00 PM SENATE EDUCATION & YOUTH 450 CAP

3:00 PM HOUSE PUBLIC SAFETY 606 CLOB

3:00 PM House Setzler Sub Judy (Non Civil) 132 CAP

3:00 PM House Ways & Means Sub Public Finance and Policy 133 CAP

4:00 PM SENATE JUDY SUB COMMITTEE B 307 CLOB

4:00 PM DOT ELECTIONS -DISTRICT 9 SENATE CHAMBER

4:00 PM DOT ELECTIONS- DISTRICT 14 SENATE CHAMBER

4:00 PM House Fleming Sub Judy (Civil) 132 CAP

4:00 PM HOUSE APPROP PUBLIC SAFETY 406 CLOB

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

SB 107 – Ethics in Government; filing campaign financial disclosure reports; additional date prior to general primary; revise the dates (Substitute) (ETHICS-40th)

SB 248 – Life Insurance; life insurers’ requirement to review the National Association of Insurance Commissioners life insurance policy locator; provide (Substitute) (I&L-16th)

SB 348 – Technical College System of Georgia; powers of arrest of campus policemen who are regular employees; revise (PUB SAF-7th)

SB 367 – Payment of Indemnification for Death or Disability; option of payment to an estate in the case of death; law enforcement officer; firefighter; emergency medical technician, emergency management specialist, state highway employee or prison guard; provide (PUB SAF-13th)

SB 368 – Criminal Justice Coordinating Council; functions and authority; add (PUB SAF-13th)

SB 369 – Revenues Collected from Fines and Fees; payments to Peace Officers’ Annuity and Benefit Fund; fees collected in criminal and quasi-criminal cases prior to adjudication of guilt; provide (Substitute) (PUB SAF-13th)

SB 366 – Local Government; counties and municipal corporations to perform wage and compensation studies for employees of sheriff’s office; require
(PUB SAF-51st)

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Open Rule

HR 898 Joint Study Committee on the Establishment of a State Accreditation Process; create (Ed-Coleman-97th)

Modified Open Rule

HB 190 – Domestic relations; marriage articles and antenuptial agreements; change provisions (Substitute)(Judy-Hanson-80th)

HB 740 – Education; local school system to conduct certain screenings, assessments, and reviews prior to expelling a student; require (Substitute)(Ed-Nix-69th)

Modified Structured Rule

HB 767 – State government; verification of lawful presence that may be utilized in conjunction with electronic filing of an application for unemployment insurance; provide (I&L-Werkheiser-157th)

HB 789 – Labor and industrial relations; marketplace contractors to be treated as independent contractors under state and local laws; provisions (Substitute)(I&L-Fleming-121st)

HB 800 – Workers’ compensation; eligibility for appointment as director emeritus and administrative law judge emeritus; change certain provisions (I&L-Bonner-72nd)

Structured Rule

HB 302 – Ad valorem tax; property; change certain requirements to notice pertaining to millage rate adoption (Substitute)(W&M-Nix-69th)

HB 749 – Income tax; retirement income is applicable as a retirement benefit from noncivilian service in the United States armed forces; clarify an exemption (Substitute)(W&M-Blackmon-146th)

HR 158 – General Assembly; provide for dedication of revenues derived from fees or other taxes to the public purpose for which such fees or other taxes were imposed; authorize – CA (Substitute)(W&M-Powell-171st)

Senate Bill 17, the “Brunch Bill” passed the Senate yesterday on a vote of 38-18. From the Gainesville Times:

Senators voted 38-18 in favor of Senate Bill 17, which would allow on-premise consumption to begin at 11 a.m. on Sundays. Off-premise sales, such as those at supermarkets, would remain illegal until 12:30 p.m. on Sundays.

The bill was revised by the Senate Committee on Regulated Industries and brought to the Senate floor on Tuesday as a substitute bill. The original legislation also included grocery stores in the establishments that would be allowed to sell alcohol beginning at 11 a.m. on Sundays.

Republican Sen. Jeff Mullis, of Chickamauga, said he is personally against expanding alcohol sales but is in favor of the bill because it gives local communities the ability to decide whether or not to allow earlier sales.

“If this ever came to Chickamauga, … I would want my constituents to have the right to vote,” Mullis said. “I support the right to the ballot.”

From the AJC:

State Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, said the legislation was a compromise made to appease opponents of the bill, including several who object to any expanded access to alcohol.

“The bill has been simplified and it’s had a lot of media attention, but I think everybody understands what they’re voting on,” Unterman said in brief remarks before the vote.

Unterman said she introduced Senate Bill 17 to let private businesses do what the state-owned Georgia World Congress Center already does, which is serve alcohol at its facilities on Sunday mornings.

State Rep. Meagan Hanson, R-Brookhaven, said while she is pleased the measure cleared the Senate, representatives still need to decide whether they’re comfortable with the time sales are permitted being later than originally proposed. Hanson will help steer the bill through the House this year.

House Bill 769, from the House Rural Development Council’s recommendations, passed out of the House Health and Human Services Committee. From Georgia Health News:

House Bill 769 would take several steps, including easing the creation of ‘’micro-hospitals,’’ with 24/7 care and a small number of beds, to replace full-scale hospitals that close.

It also would allow grants to help rural physicians afford medical malpractice insurance, as an incentive to practice in rural areas; permit remote pharmacy prescription orders from outside of Georgia; and require training of rural hospital board and authority members.

The legislation, sponsored by state Rep. Rick Jasperse, a Jasper Republican, would also raise the rural tax credit for donations to rural hospitals from 90 percent to 100 percent.

The rural health bill is not a silver bullet, Jasperse said after the approval by the committee. “It’s a piece of a puzzle that would help stabilize rural hospitals.”

State Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville), who Chairs the House Transportation Committee, introduced House Bill 930, which would coordinate transit development and funding across the Metro Atlanta region.

From The Atlanta Journal Constution:

With the introduction of HB 930, there are now two bills that seek to revamp transit oversight and funding in metro Atlanta. The Senate is considering similar legislation.

Both bills would create a new regional board to oversee transit planning in 13 metro Atlanta counties: Cherokee, Clayton, Coweta, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale.

The bills would allow the counties to impose sales taxes for transit projects, if their voters approve them. The regional board would have to approve the project lists for any county transit referendum. But the taxes raised in any county would be spent only in that county.

From WABE:

State funds for a region-wide public transit system would come from two sources. One being a new, 1 percent sales tax on goods and services at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and Savannah’s International Airport and a 50-cent fee on each ride in a taxi, Uber or Lyft.

Rep. Kevin Tanner, R-Dawnsonville, helped write the bill. He said it would let the 13 counties in the metro Atlanta region create their own 30-year special purpose sales taxes for transit.

The bill would also create a single governing body to handle planning. It would work with counties to decide how the state and local funding is spent.

More from the AJC:

The bill would create a new board — dubbed Atlanta-region Transit Link, or “ATL” — to oversee transit planning in the 13-county metro Atlanta area. The transit-related sales taxes raised in any county would only be spent in that community, but the board would have to sign off on local project lists.

“This is not about forcing counties to take MARTA,” Tanner, a Republican from Dawsonville, said.

Maggie Lee of the Macon Telegraph writes about legislative attempts to curb opioid abuse:

In a rough 48 hours last June, Macon emergency rooms admitted more than a dozen people who had swallowed apparently fake Percocets.

“It’s not just an Atlanta problem, it’s a problem in middle Georgia,” said state Sen. Larry Walker III, R-Perry. “It’s ruining lives and killing people and probably driving up our crime.”

Renee Unterman has met countless people with stories of addiction. The state Senator’s name has been on many of the bricks in the legal wall that’s supposed to protect Georgians from the flood of strong opioids.

She looked up to the second floor of the Senate chamber, where the guests sit, as she presented Senate Bill 352 earlier this month. “I dedicate this bill to two mothers,” she said, looking toward Kathi Abraham and Lisa Manning, mothers whose sons Joseph and Dustin died of suspected opioid overdoses on the same day last year. The families lived in the same subdivision, just four streets apart.

“We have people peddling lethal substances,” said Unterman, R-Buford.

[Senator Larry] Walker is carrying another incremental bill, another one of the bricks in the wall Georgia is trying to put up between opioids and addiction. Georgia health care providers are supposed to log opioid prescriptions in a database, so that they can see if patients are getting a lot of prescriptions. His bill would allow law enforcement from other states look in the database, if they have a search warrant. It’s meant to remove state borders in investigation of possible criminal cases.

I recommend reading the story in its entirety.

Former State Rep. Valerie Clark (R-Gwinnett) announced she will make a comeback bid after losing her 2016 reelection, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Clark, a Republican, held the House District 101 seat for three terms but was defeated by Rep. Sam Park, D-Lawrenceville, in 2016. The election is expected to pit Clark and Park against each other in a rematch of the 2016 election, which Park won by 460 votes.

“I authored legislation to protect patients in hospitals and to make it easier for seniors to age in place,” Clark said in a statement. “I also fought tirelessly to pass legislation to reduce the production of methamphetamine from prescription drugs.”

13
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 13, 2017

On February 13, 1941, Gov. Eugene Talmadge signed legislation that proposed a Constitutional Amendment changing the 2-year terms for Governor and other statewide Constitutional Officers to 4-year.

On February 13, 1956, Gov. Marvin Griffin signed legislation adopting a new state flag incorporating the Confederate battle flag.

On February 13, 2007, United States Congressman Charlie Norwood (R-Augusta) died at home.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Voters in State House District 175 go to the polls today in a Special Election to fill the now-vacant seat.

Candidates are:

• Treva Gear, Democrat, Valdosta, educator.

• John LaHood, Republican, Valdosta, business owner.

• Bruce Phelps, Republican, Lowndes County, who lists his occupation as emergency medical technician.

• Coy Reaves, Republican, Quitman, self-employed.

The district represents part of Lowndes and Thomas counties and all of Brooks County.

The district was represented in the Statehouse for several years by Carter. She resigned at the end of 2017 to take a position as the executive director of advancement for the Technical College System of Georgia. She began her tenure as a Democrat who later switched to the Republican Party.

Governor Nathan Deal released a statement about the inclusion of $49 million for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project in President Trump’s proposed budget.

“I am encouraged to see that SHEP was President Trump’s top priority when it comes to port investments,” said Deal. “The expansion of the Port of Savannah is the single most important infrastructure project not only for Georgia, but for the Southeast as a whole, and deepening it is necessary to allow larger ships like the Neo-Panamax to navigate through our ports more quickly and ensure that a greater volume of goods will be able to move through our state. On top of President Trump’s budget, we are looking forward to investment from the Army Corps of Engineers work plan to supplement this amount. Finally, I am grateful for members of Georgia’s Congressional delegation and call upon them to redouble their advocacy for federal funding during the appropriations process. To date, Georgia taxpayers have already invested the state’s full local share to SHEP, amounting to roughly $266 million, and the state’s FY 2019 budget includes an additional $35 million to ensure its completion by 2021. A timely completion of this effort will ensure resources are allocated efficiently and taxpayer dollars are spent appropriately, while making a major step forward for our national infrastructure as more, larger ships will be able to navigate through the Port of Savannah and more quickly move goods through our nation.”

From the Savannah Morning News:

“It’s very good news,” Jamie McCurry, chief administrative officer for the ports said. “We are glad to see Savannah given the highest priority based on dollars of any expansion projects.”

Once the omnibus bill is passed in March, appropriations can move forward, officials with Georgia Sen. David Perdue’s office said. An omnibus spending bill allows appropriations bills to be combined into one bill that can be passed with one vote in each legislative house.

McCurry said the FY 2018 and FY2019 funding will help towards the $88-$100 million needed each year for the project.

“We are certainly thankful for the $49 million,” [Congressman Buddy] Carter said. “We all know we need more money to avoid any interruptions in this project. That’s our goal — not to have any interruptions.”

Under the Gold Dome

The House and Senate each convenes at 10 AM today for Legislative Day 20, the halfway point in the legislative session. It’s a doozy of a day for committee meetings.

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE MEETING SCHEDULE.

8:00 AM SENATE STATE & LOCAL GOVT OPS 307 CLOB

8:00 AM SENATE APPROPRIATIONS 341 CAP

8:00 AM House Envtal Qual Subc  Natl Res & Envt 403 CAP

8:00 AM HOUSE MILITARY AFFAIRS WORKING GROUP 415 CLOB

9:00 AM HOUSE RULES 341 CAP

Upon Adjournment SENATE RULES – UPON ADJOURNMENT 450 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE ECON DEV & TOURISM – CANCELED 125 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 450 CAP

1:00 PM House Setzler Sub Judy (Non-Civil) 506 CLOB

1:00 PM HOUSE APPROP PUBLIC SAFETY 415 CLOB

1:00 PM HOUSE APPROP TRANSPORTATION 406 CLOB

2:00 PM SENATE RETIREMENT MEZZ 1

2:00 PM SENATE SCIENCE AND TECH 307 CLOB

2:00 PM DOT ELECTIONS -DISTRICT 2 SENATE CHAMBER

2:00 PM SENATE NATL RES & ENVT 310 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS HIGHER ED 341 CAP

2:00 PM HOUSE JUDY (CIVIL) 132 CAP

2:00 PM HOUSE APPRO GENL GOVT 403 CAP

2:00 PM HOUSE REGULATED IND 415 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE BANKS AND BANKING 515 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 606 CLOB

3:00 PM SENATE HIGHER ED 307 CLOB

3:00 PM SENATE REG IND & UTILS 450 CAP

3:00 PM DOT ELECTIONS -DISTRICT 5 Senate Chamber

3:00 PM DOT ELECTIONS-DISTRICT 13 Senate Chamber

3:00 PM HOUSE MEDICAL CANNABIS WORKING GROUP 406 CLOB

3:00 PM HOUSE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 506 CLOB

4:00 PM SENATE STATE INST & PROP 450 CAP

4:00 PM SENATE BANKING AND FIN INST – CANCELED MEZZ 1

4:00 PM HOUSE Govt Affairs Special Sub Voting Tech 506 CLOB

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee today will hear testimony on Senate Bill 351 by Chair Renee Unterman (R-Buford), which would allow a greater scope of practice for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses in rural parts of Georgia. From Jill Nolin at CNHI:

Unterman, who chairs the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, has introduced a measure that would empower the nurses to practice to the fullest extent of their training.

“I just think it’s a shame that, here at the General Assembly, they’ve been held back and repressed for so long,” Unterman said during an interview at the state Capitol.

Georgia has one of the most restrictive laws for nurse practitioners. Nationally, 22 states and the District of Columbia grant them what is known as full-practice authority.

Proponents argue expanding the scope of practice for nurse practitioners could help fill in the health-care gaps in a growing state with increasing needs, especially with primary care. Nurse practitioners can also specialize in certain areas, such as pediatric care or mental health treatment.

“Everybody says, ‘Oh, it’s anti-doctor,’” Unterman said of her proposal. “It has nothing to do with that. It’s about access to care, and if you have a ready, willing and able workforce out there that’s willing to fill in the gap, I say let them have it.”

 

House Bill 865 by Rep. Miriam Paris (D-Macon) would reduce possession of small amounts of marijuana to a misdemeanor. From the Macon Telegraph:

[Rep. Paris] says the bill is not about legalizing marijuana, but about an appropriate punishment for a nonviolent crime.“It is just making it where we’re not sending people to jail, where they have to go and sit just because they can’t make bail or for it,” she said. Her bill says that a possession of up to a half-ounce of marijuana would be punishable by a maximum $300 fine.

Right now, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor and subject to up to a year’s imprisonment and up to a $1,000 fine. An ounce or more of marijuana is a felony.

Her bill moves the felony line up to two ounces or more of marijuana. Her bill is identical to Senate Bill 105, which state Sen. Harold Jones II, D-Augusta, carried to state Senate Judiciary Committee approval last year.

House Bill 678 by State Rep. Richard Smith (R-Columbus) addresses surprise medical billing passed out of the House Insurance Committee by substitute. From the Rome News-Tribune:

“Two out of three of you will get a surprise bill within the next two years,” Rep. Richard H. Smith, R-Columbus, said before his House Bill 678 passed in a vote of 164 to 1.

Surprise or balance bills come when a service is performed at an in-network hospital by a contract provider and the patient is billed for the difference between what his insurance company covers and the contractor’s fee.

“You’ve done everything right, or so you believe … (But) some healthcare providers are not in the insurance network and they can charge you whatever they want,” Smith said. “In some cases it’s 10 to 12 times higher than in-network.”

HB 678 offers protections for scheduled procedures.

House Bill 887 by State Rep. Jay Powell (R-Camilla) could be the opposite of “Netflix and chill.” From the Valdosta Daily Times:

Sticking a tax on Netflix, e-books and other digital services that currently go untaxed in Georgia would help pay for upgrades to internet connections in neglected corners of the state.

“We tax books but not Kindle downloads,” Rep. Jay Powell, R-Camilla, said in an interview Thursday. “We used to buy movie tickets and go to Blockbuster – all of which were taxed – but now we videostream from Netflix.

Powell, who heads the House Ways and Means Committee, co-chaired the House Rural Development Council. The broadband bill, which was filed Thursday, is the most ambitious measure to come so far from that panel’s yearlong work. About 16 percent of Georgians lack internet access.

Powell’s measure would replace that lost revenue with a broader tax base, imposing a sales tax on music downloads, streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, and other digital purchases.

Another tax would expand to all communications services, including those not currently taxed such as satellite TV.

Governor Deal’s  Commission on Children’s Mental Health recommended the increased use of telemedicine for providing services in rural areas. From the Gainesville Times:

Telemedicine, also called telehealth, is becoming a growing part of rural Americans’ health care consumption. Faced with few providers or high-deductible insurance (or no insurance at all), patients are turning to less expensive webcam consultations with a specialist.

Much of the almost $23 million for children’s mental health programs requested by the governor’s office and the commission is intended to “connect kids to services where they are everyday, and that’s schools,” Sitkoff said. “Where we’ve seen great success in tele-mental health is where these school-based health centers leverage telehealth equipment to get kids access to behavioral health providers.”

Tucked into the budget recommendations are two line items totaling $482,500 for telemedicine services and infrastructure — money that will help fund the cameras, computers and training needed to coordinate and carry out telehealth programs through public schools, the state and public-private health care providers.

Sitkoff held up the Tanner Health System in the West Georgia town of Carrollton as an example for its tele-mental health services, which include providing telehealth services in local schools. The system also does regular “mental health first aid” classes that teach people how to identify someone struggling with mental illness and how to approach them about it.

Dade County Commissioners are considering putting a sales tax referendum on the May 2018 ballot. From the Times Free Press:

The county commissioners are holding a special called meeting Thursday at 5 p.m. to decide whether to put a referendum on the May 22 ballot, asking whether people support a transportation special purpose local option sales tax. The 1 percent burden at the cash register would be earmarked for work on roads, bridges and other transportation projects.

If the commissioners put it on a ballot, this will be the second election in six months on the issue. In November, 55 percent of voters rejected it.

But County Executive Ted Rumley believes the referendum has a better chance to pass this time. With only Trenton, Ga., races on the ballot in November, just 911 people came to the polls.

The Coweta County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing tonight to discuss the county’s “rural integrity.”

Coweta County public safety agencies are launching a new emergency notification system that works via smartphone app.

Macon-Bibb County already has at least two candidates for the next Mayoral election in 2020. From the Macon Telegraph:

Macon-Bibb County Commissioner Larry Schlesinger and Bibb County school board President Lester Miller have filed paperwork to begin raising funds for a mayoral bid. The election will be held in May 2020.

The Macon-Bibb mayor is limited to two consecutive terms under the consolidation charter, meaning that [Mayor Robert] Reichert will not be able to run again in 2020. That could open up the field to what might be a large group of candidates.

“When everyone knows the incumbent … does not have the option to run again and it’s going to be a wide open seat, I think it’s a natural progression for interested candidates” to begin their mayoral campaigns earlier than usual, said Cox, a former Georgia secretary of state.

Neighborhood activist Betty C. Reece filed paperwork to run against Augusta District 4 Commissioner Sammy Sias.

Lee County Coroner Bill Harris announced he will run for reelection.

Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach delivered his State of the City address, promising to continue to prioritize public safety while improving infrastructure.

Chatham County Probate Court is struggling to keep up with an increasing number of applications for concealed weapons permits. From the Savannah Morning News:

Deputy Clerk Jennifer Fogle recently handled 180 applications for weapons carry licenses in one day in Chatham County Probate Court.

About 60 of those required background checks, a time-consuming process that sometimes requires follow-ups that have contributed to a current five-month timeframe to complete the process.

For Fogle, it is a daily challenge to satisfy legal requirements and the patience of members of the public who might not understand the process or court staff who must satisfy both.

Chatham County commissioners on Friday granted an emergency request by court officials and transferred $25,000 from contingency fund to cover overtime and equipment funding to help deal with backlogs.

9
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 9, 2018

On February 11, 1733, the first military formation in Georgia was held, as male colonists assembled with their muskets.

On February 11, 1776, Georgia Royal Governor Sir James Wright escaped from house arrest in Savannah to a waiting British warship HMS Scarborough.

On February 10, 1787, the Georgia House of Assembly named William Few, Abraham Baldwin, William Pierce, George Walton, William Houstoun, and Nathaniel Pendleton to the Constitutional Convention called to revise the Articles of Confederation at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

On February 9, 1825, the United States House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams as President of the United States, despite his having received fewer popular votes than Andrew Jackson. Congress voted for the President after no candidate received a majority of electoral votes in the 1824 election.

The 12th Amendment states that if no electoral majority is won, only the three candidates who receive the most popular votes will be considered in the House.

Representative Henry Clay, who was disqualified from the House vote as a fourth-place candidate, agreed to use his influence to have John Quincy Adams elected. Clay and Adams were both members of a loose coalition in Congress that by 1828 became known as the National Republicans, while Jackson’s supporters were later organized into the Democratic Party.

Alexander Stephens was elected Vice President of the Confederate States of America on February 9, 1861. On February 10, 1861, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi received word that he was chosen as President of the Confederate States of America.

On February 9, 1926, the Atlanta Board of Education voted to prohibit teaching evolution in the Atlanta Public Schools.

Burt Reynolds was born on February 11, 1936 in Lansing, Michigan, though some accounts say Waycross, Georgia. Beginning with Deliverance, filmed along the Chattooga River in North Georgia in 1972, Georgia rose to number three in the nation for film production while Reynolds’s star rose to prominence. Other Reynolds movies filmed in Georgia include The Longest Yard, Gator, Smokey and the Bandit, Cannonball Run, and Sharkey’s Machine.

On February 9, 1964, the Beatles debuted in America on The Ed Sullivan Show.

On February 10, 1964, the United States House of Representatives voted 290-130 for passage of the Civil Rights Act.

On February 10, 1972, David Bowie made his first appearance as Ziggy Stardust.

On February 10, 2015, on the anniversary of the United States House of Representatives passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation proclaiming February as Black History Month.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

A new Public Service Announcement has been released, aimed at reducing youth suicide in Georgia, according to Fox5 Atlanta.

A startling statistic, 144 youths have taken their own lives in the past three years in Georgia.

That is part of a new public service announcement that will soon hit TV screens around the state. The PSA includes survivors who bravely share their stories about suicide attempts.

The Georgia Child Fatality Review Plan is behind that new ad. They were at the Georgia State Capitol on Thursday to raise further awareness.

https://youtu.be/6mlpCG_SqO8

Georgia is ranked as the sickest state in the nation, due to widespread flu-like symptoms, according to WSAV.com.Continue Reading..

8
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 8, 2018

On February 8, 1751, the first session of the Georgia Provincial Parliament adjourned, having convened on January 15, 1751.

On February 8, 1955, Gov. Marvin Griffin signed a resolution by the General Assembly calling on Congress to require racial segregation in the military.

On February 8, 1956, the Georgia State House adopted a resolution purporting to hold the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education null and void.

On February 8, 1981, R.E.M. held their first recording session at Bombay Studios in Smyrna, recording “Gardening At Night,” “Radio Free Europe” and “(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville,” as well as others.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Under the Gold Dome

Today, the Senate and House convene at 10 AM for Legislative Day 18.Continue Reading..

7
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 7, 2018

On February 7, 1733, the first Georgia colonists had been here a week and they finished building a hand-operated crane to move heavy supplies and livestock from their boats to the top of the forty-foot high bluff where they were building a settlement.

On February 7, 1980, Pink Floyd opened “The Wall” tour in Los Angeles.

On February 7, 1990, the Communist Party Central Committee of the Soviet Union agreed to a proposal by Prime Minister Mikhail Gorbachev that is should give up its political monopoly.

The response from the United States was surprise and cautious optimism. One State Department official commented that, “The whole Soviet world is going down the drainpipe with astonishing speed. It’s mind-boggling.” Former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger indicated that he was “personally gratified and astonished that anyone would have the chance to say such things in Moscow without being shot.” President George Bush was more circumspect, merely congratulating President Gorbachev for his “restraint and finesse.”

Ironically, the fact that the Communist Party was willing to accept political challenges to its authority indicated how desperately it was trying to maintain its weakening power over the country. The measures were little help, however–President Gorbachev resigned on December 25, 1991 and the Soviet Union officially ceased to exist on December 31, 1991.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal outlined changes to the Georgia tax code he will ask the legislature to make after the federal tax reform act.Continue Reading..

6
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 6, 2018

The House of Assembly, Georgia’s legislative body, held its second meeting after statehood on February 6, 1788 in Savannah.

Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois. In 1980, Reagan would be elected President of the United States, beating incumbent Jimmy Carter. When he was born, his father said, “he looks like a fat little Dutchman.  But who knows, he might grow up to be president some day.”

On February 6, 1952, Governor Herman Talmadge signed resolutions of the General Assembly that included:

A resolution calling on Congress to call a convention to propose a constitutional amendment to repeal the Sixteenth Amendment and instead allow a maximum rate of 25 percent on any federal income, transfer, gift, or inheritance tax.

A resolution urging U.S. Senator Richard B. Russell to run for the presidency.

On February 6, 1956, Governor Marvin Griffin addressed a joint session of  the Georgia General Assembly, asking their support for House Resolution 1185, which introduced the idea of “interposition,” in which the State of Georgia would declare the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 and 1955 Brown v. Board of Education decisions “null and void” in Georgia. That day Griffin also signed a raft of legislation for his “massive resistance” agenda against integration of state schools.

On February 6, 1985, Reagan gave the State of the Union. During the speech he announced what would be known as the “Reagan Doctrine.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Under the Gold Dome

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

UPON ADJOURNMENT SENATE RULES 450 CAP

8:00 AM SEN APPROP – Human Dev and Public Health subc 341 CAP

8:00 AM STATE & LOCAL GOVT – CANCELED 310 CLOB

8:30 AM SEN APPROP – Higher Ed sub 307 CLOB

9:00 AM HOUSE RULES 341 CAP

1:00 PM SEN APPROP – Education sub 341 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE ECON DEV & TOURISM – CANCELED 125 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE HEALTH & HUMAN SVCS 450 CAP

1:00 PM HOUSE CIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 606 CLOB

1:30 PM HOUSE Resource Mgmt Sub of Natl Res & Envt 406 CLOB

1:45 PM HOUSE Ways & Means Ad Valorem Sub 133 CAP

2:00 PM SENATE RETIREMENT – CANCELED MEZZ 1

2:00 PM SENATE NATL RES & THE ENVT 310 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE Ways & Means Sales Tax Sub 133 CAP

2:00 PM HOUSE BANKS AND BANKING 515 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE HEALTH AND HUMAN SVCS 606 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE REG IND 506 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE JUDY (CIVIL) 132 CAP

2:00 PM HOUSE GAME, FISH, AND PARKS 403 CAP

3:00 PM SEN APPROPS – Ag and Natl Res sub 341 CAP

3:00 PM SENATE HIGHER ED 307 CLOB

3:00 PM SENATE REG IND & UTILITIES 450 CAP

3:00 PM HOUSE REAPPORTIONMENT 415 CLOB

4:00 PM URBAN AFFAIRS – CANCELED 125 CAP

4:00 PM SENATE APPROP – Community Health sub 341 CAP

Girl Scouts from across Georgia will be at the Capitol today, lobbying to rename the Savannah bridge. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Hundreds of Girl Scouts from across Georgia are expected to gather inside the state Capitol on Tuesday with milk and cookies seeking to convince lawmakers to get their founder’s name affixed to a Savannah bridge that is currently named after a white segregationist.

Coinciding with the scouts’ visit Tuesday, Rep. Ron Stephens, a Republican from Savannah, plans to introduce a bill to remove former Gov. Eugene Talmadge’s name from the bridge and rename it after Juliette Gordon Low. Low founded the Girl Scouts in the coastal city more than a century ago.

The organization’s campaign comes after Savannah’s city council in September unanimously asked state lawmakers to strip Talmadge’s name from the bridge. Their formal declaration came about a month after deadly violence erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white supremacists rallying in support of Confederate statues clashed with counter-protesters.

Governor Nathan Deal lauded the passage of House Bill 159.

“I applaud the House and Senate for working together to overwhelmingly pass these comprehensive revisions to the adoption code,” said Deal. “This compromise modernizes and streamlines Georgia’s adoption system to meet the needs and challenges of the 21st century. These reforms will bring us in line with other states nationally while uniting children and parents in loving, permanent homes. I commend the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Bert Reeves, for his tireless work on behalf of Georgia’s children, and I applaud the efforts of legislators and other stakeholders in ensuring passage of HB 159. I look forward to signing this legislation into law, thereby updating our decades-old adoption code.”

From Jill Nolin for the Valdosta Daily Times:

Lawmakers crafted a compromise last week, which includes the power-of-attorney provision but adds more safeguards.

They remain at odds, however, over whether adoptive parents should be able to pay some living expenses for birth mothers when going through a private attorney.

Rather than continue to hold up the measure, state Sen. Jesse Stone, R-Waynesboro, said he will propose a legislative study committee delve into the issue and the possible impact that allowing payment for living expenses would have on the cost of adoptions.

Stone said the measure was “too important a bill to delay.”

The measure, which passed in the Senate with 53-to-2-vote, is the first update of the state’s adoption laws in nearly 30 years. It’s also the first major bill to clear the General Assembly so far this year.

From the Gainesville Times:

State Rep. Emory Dunahoo, R-Gillsville, said he would like to see the religious exemption added back at some point, but was willing to compromise for now.

“These children have nothing to say when they’re born … there is also an opportunity to bring something back later,” he added.

State Rep. Lee Hawkins, R-Gainesville, told The Times last week that the bill needed to pass this year.

“I voted for the original bill, which provided the children of Georgia a better life through an opportunity for adoption,” he added.

“Remove the politics, this is about children and welfare and giving working-class families access to adoption processes that aren’t cost-prohibitive,” state Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, told The Times about why he supports the legislation.

“No, it’s not perfect,” he added, “but a big step forward.”

A pair of Health care bills, Senate Bill 357 by Sen. Dean Burke (R-Bainbridge) and Senate Bill 352 by Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) are headed for floor votes on Wednesday. From the Rome News-Tribune:

Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, said he expects them to clear the chamber this week.

Senate Bill 357, sponsored by Sen. Dean Burke, R-Bainbridge, would create a Health Coordination and Innovation Council. The 18-member panel of agency heads, medical academics and private health care representatives would be tasked with coming up with new ways to stabilize costs while improving access to care.

SB 352, sponsored by Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, would set up a director and a commission to address substance abuse, addiction and related disorders.

Unterman’s bill would allow the state to seek Medicaid waivers, for the first time, to set up programs specifically targeting the opiod crisis.

“We’re also trying to get more resources and money in the budget to address it, and mental health, because the two are connected,” Hufstetler said. “A lot of people in our state don’t even have access to treatment.”

 The General Assembly will again take up the issue of our border with Tennessee, according to 11Alive.

Some Georgia lawmakers want to change the state’s border with Tennessee. A new House resolution calls for a conference committee with Tennessee to discuss what Georgians say is a misplaced northern border.

Georgia officials contend the border placement was the sloppy work of a surveyor some 200 years ago – who mistakenly put it a mile south of where it should be.

“The constitutions are very clear on what the line is in each state. And it says the 35th parallel,” said state Rep. Marc Morris (R-Cumming). “And it’s time for us all to get honest about what the line really is.”

The current border, just south of the 35th parallel, is achingly close to the Tennessee River. Georgia officials would like to move that border north – putting it in the middle of the Tennessee River’s Nickajack Lake.

 

Lawrenceville Mayor Judy Johnson Jordan delivered her State of the City address.

Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap won the Victimology Impact Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. From the Savannah Morning News:

Tammy Garland, professor of criminal justice at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, said Heap is being recognized “due to her efforts with fighting for the rights of victims with the DA’s office.”

“It’s so important to fight for the rights of victims,” said Garland, who is chair of the academy and its Victimology Section.

Chad Posick, assistant professor of criminal justice and criminology at Georgia Southern University, said in his letter nominating Heap that, “began her career as a victim advocate and her passion for serving victims is never lost.

“Her approach to prosecution and crime intervention always has the victim on her mind.”

The Georgia Secretary of State’s office has opened an investigation into whether Tybee Island Councilman Jackson Butler met the qualification to be elected. From the Savannah Morning News:

At issue is Butler’s participation in the 2016 general election, according to information provided to Savannah Morning News in response to a request under the Georgia Open Records Act. Documents provided to the state as part of its investigation show that Butler voted by absentee ballot in Savannah in 2016.

However, it is the position of Tybee Island City Clerk Jan LeViner that despite this absentee vote, Butler met all of the requirements for a candidate seeking public office in the city when he qualified to run for council last August.

“Based on information provided to this office, Jackson Butler was qualified to run for City Council by being a resident of the city for 12 months prior to the date of the election and registered and qualified to vote in municipal elections of the city per Sec 2.11, Council Terms and Qualifications, Tybee Island Charter,” LeViner wrote in an emailed statement last month. “He also continues to reside in the city.”

The Dougherty County Republican Party named Russell Gray to the county Elections Board.

The Georgia Ports Authority intends to more-than-double throughput by 2028.

GPA executive director Griff Lynch made the announcement on the opening day the 50th annual Georgia Foreign Trade Conference on Sea Island.

“Georgia is home to both the single largest container and roll-on/roll-off facilities in North America,” Lynch told an international audience of trade professionals.

“Our goal in the next 10 years is to maximize capacity, create jobs and reduce impact on our local communities.”

With an average 6-percent growth over the past 10 years, including 8.5-percent growth last year, it’s a goal Lynch feels is attainable.

5
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 5, 2018

John and Charles Wesley arrived at Tybee Roads, at the mouth of the Savannah River on February 5, 1736, along with James Oglethorpe and 254 other colonists.

On February 5, 1777, Georgia’s first Constitution was adopted in Savannah, creating the first eight counties. Happy birthday to Wilkes, Richmond, Burke, Effingham, Chatham, Liberty, Glynn, and Camden counties.

The 1777 Constitution was progressive for the time, outlawing primogeniture and entail, English common law doctrines that controlled inheritance of land.

Primogeniture ensured that the eldest son in a family inherited the largest portion of his father’s property upon the father’s death. The practice of entail, guaranteeing that a landed estate remain in the hands of only one male heir, was frequently practiced in conjunction with primogeniture. (Virginia abolished entail in 1776, but permitted primogeniture to persist until 1785.)

Georgians restructured inheritance laws in Article LI of the state’s constitution by abolishing entail in all forms and proclaiming that any person who died without a will would have his or her estate divided equally among their children; the widow shall have a child’s share, or her dower at her option.

The Southern Pacific Railroad completed its “Sunset Route” from New Orleans to California on February 5, 1883, giving the SP a dominant position in transcontinental railroading.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt announced his “court packing” plan on February 5, 1937. After the United States Supreme Court found some of his “New Deal” legislation unconstitutional, Roosevelt’s proposal would have encouraged the retirement of justices older than 70 and for those who did not retire, appoint an assistant Justice with full voting rights on decisions by the Court.

On February 5, 1945, Governor Ellis Arnall signed legislation abolishing the poll tax, making Georgia the first Southern state to do so.

Georgia’s 1877 constitution authorized the tax, which limited voter participation among both poor blacks and whites. But most whites got around the provision through exemptions for those whose ancestors fought in the Civil War or who could vote before the war.

In 1937, the U.S. Supreme court upheld Georgia’s poll tax as constitutional. But in 1942, Georgia voters chose Ellis Arnall for governor and the progressive Arnall ushered in a wave of reforms, including abolishing Georgia’s poll tax.

Nigel Tufnel, of the band Spinal Tap, was born on February 5, 1948.

On February 5, 1974, “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe,” by Barry White reached #1 on the charts.

Def Leppard’s “Pyromania” began a 92-week run on the best-seller charts on February 5, 1983. Rock on.

Bill Kirby, writing in the Augusta Chronicle, looks back to 1964, when Carl Sanders was Governor.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

GEORGIA FLU DEATHS have hit 51, according to Georgia Health News, via the Savannah Morning News on February 3d.Continue Reading..

2
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 2, 2018

On February 4, 1789, George Washington was unanimously elected by the Electoral College as the first President of the United States; Washington’s runner-up John Adams served as Vice President. Washington would repeat the feat four years later on February 4, 1793.

On February 4, 1801, John Marshall took office as Chief Justice of the United States. Marshall continued to hold the post of Secretary of State until March 4th. In one of American history’s rich ironies, Marshall, who served at the same time in the judicial and legislative branches of the federal government, would write the Court’s opinion in Marbury v. Madison, establishing the supremacy of the Supreme Court in matters of applying the Constitution through judicial review and establishing the doctrine of separation of powers. Marshall would serve during the terms of six Presidents.

The first recorded reference to Groundhog Day was in 1841; the first Punxsutawney observance was in 1870.

The first recorded reference to Groundhog Day was in 1841; the first Punxsutawney observance was in 1870.

Atlanta City Council met for the first time on February 2, 1848.

On February 4, 1861, the Provisional Confederate Congress convened in Montgomery, Alabama, where it would draft a Constitution for the Confederate States of America, beginning with a near-verbatim copy of the United States Constitution.

On February 2, 1870, the Georgia General Assembly ratified the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states, “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

On February 3, 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, prohibiting racial discrimination in voting.

On February 3, 1887, Congress adopted the Electoral Count Act to clarify how Congress was to count electoral votes.

Electoral vote counting is the oldest activity of the national government and among the oldest questions of constitutional law. It was Congress’s first task when a quorum appeared in the nation’s new legislature on April 6, 1789. It has happened every four years since then. Yet, electoral vote counting remains one of the least understood aspects of our constitutional order.

The Electoral Count Act of 1887 (ECA) lies at the heart of this confusion. In enacting the ECA, Congress drew on lessons learned from its twenty-five previous electoral counts; it sorted through innumerable proposals floated before and after the disastrous presidential election of 1876; and it thrashed out the ECA’s specific provisions over fourteen years of sustained debate. Still, the law invites misinterpretation. The ECA is turgid and repetitious. Its central provisions seem contradictory. Many of its substantive rules are set out in a single sentence that is 275 words long. Proponents of the law admitted it was “not perfect.” Contemporary commentators were less charitable. John Burgess, a leading political scientist in the late nineteenth century, pronounced the law unwise, incomplete, premised on contradictory principles, and expressed in language that was “very confused, almost unintelligible.” At least he thought the law was constitutional; others did not.

Over the nearly 120 years since the ECA’s adoption, the criticisms faded, only to be renewed whenever there was a close presidential election. Our ability to misunderstand the ECA has grown over time. During the 2000 presidential election dispute, politicians, lawyers, commentators, and Supreme Court justices seemed prone to misstate or misinterpret the provisions of the law, even those provisions which were clear to the generation that wrote them. The Supreme Court, for example, mistakenly believed that the Supreme Court of Florida’s erroneous construction of its election code would deny Florida’s electors the ECA’s “safe harbor” protection; Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s hasty submission of his state’s Certificate of Ascertainment was untimely under the Act; and Democratic members of Congress framed their objections to accepting Florida’s electoral vote on the wrong grounds. Even Al Gore, the presidential candidate contesting the election’s outcome, misread the federal deadline for seating Florida’s electors.

Only the United States Congress could so obfuscate a matter as seemingly simple as counting that its Act remained undecipherable for more than one hundred years.

The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified by Delaware on February 3, 1913, giving the Amendment the requisite Constitutional supermajority of three-fourths of the states. The text of the Amendment reads, in its entirety,

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

President Woodrow Wilson died on February 3, 1924 in Washington, DC. Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia (pronounced Stan-ton) and spent most of his youth to age 14 in Augusta, Georgia. Wilson started practicing law in Atlanta, Georgia in 1882, leaving the next year to pursue a Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University. His wife, Ellen Louise Axson, was from Savannah, and they married in Rome, Ga in 1885.

On February 2, 1932, Al Capone was sent to federal prison in Atlanta.

On February 3, 1959, a chartered Beechcraft Bonanza carrying Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson crashed near Mason City, Iowa, killing all aboard.

Jimi Hendrix recorded Purple Haze on February 3, 1967.

On January 4, 1976, the Georgia Senate approved a resolution previously passed by the State House proposing a Constitutional Amendment to allow Governors of Georgia to serve two consecutive terms and voters approved in November 1976. Then-Governor George Busbee won reelection in November 1978, and since then Democrat Roy Barnes is the only Georgia Governor to not win reelection.

On February 2, 1988, the Georgia Senate ratified the 22d Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provides that pay raises for Members of Congress shall not go into effect until the next term.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

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1
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 1, 2018

Georgia’s first colonists landed at Yamacraw Bluff on February 1, 1733.

The United States Supreme Court held its first session in New York City, Chief Justice John Jay presiding, on February 1, 1790.

On February 1, 1861, Texas seceded from the Union.

On February 1, 1871, Jefferson Franklin Long of Macon, Georgia became the first black Member of Congress to speak on the floor of the United States House of Representatives. Long was born into slavery and taught himself to read and write. Long was a prominent member of the Republican Party, speaking on its behalf in Georgia and other Southern states. He helped elect 37 African-American members to the 1867 Georgia Constitutional Convention and 32 members of the state legislature; Long continued after his term in Congress as a delegate to Republican National Conventions through 1880. In 1880, Long’s support of Governor Alfred Colquitt showed that African-Americans could be an electoral force in Georgia politics.

On February 1, 1965, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. arrived in Selma, Alabama, where he was arrested.

Richard M. Nixon announced his candidacy for President of the United States on Feburary 1, 1968.

On February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded while re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Flu deaths in Georgia number 37, including the first pediatric death.

The deaths, up from the 25 total reported Friday, include a child who was between ages 12 and 18, Public Health officials said Wednesday. That case is the first confirmed pediatric flu death this season in Georgia.

The overall flu death toll may approach the 58 that the state recorded in 2009, said Cherie Drenzek, state epidemiologist. “It looks like we’re approaching our peak’’ in terms of flu activity, she said, but added that it’s likely that there are several more weeks of flu ahead.

“We’re seeing an increase in hospitalizations in metro Atlanta,’’ she said.

Emergency departments across Georgia have reported an unusually high number of patients, many of whom have the flu. Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital has added a temporary mobile ER to handle its patient overflow.

The flu is a serious problem, “but is not a disease that people should panic about,’’ said Dr. Patrick O’Neal, the state’s Public Health commissioner.  He said the number of pediatric cases has not been as high as in previous years.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was the designated survivor in last night’s State of the Union by President Trump.Continue Reading..