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