Georgia Political News for May 8, 2012


Georgia Political News for May 8, 2012

“23724” (left) and “23725” (right) are black labs who appear to be the same dog, except for different collars, so I’m guessing they’re likely brothers. They are available for adoption today from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

Governor Deal signs $19.3 billion Budget for FY 2013

Yesterday, Gov. Nathan Deal signed the budget for Fiscal Year 2013, which begins July 1st and represents a 4.5 percent increase over FY 2012.

“Together with the General Assembly, we have enacted a budget that holds the line on spending, while investing in the priorities that will contribute to making Georgia the No. 1 place in the country to do business and create jobs – and continue our high quality of life,” said Deal.

“As I do with general bills, I worked with legislators on the front end to make sure we’d have as few line-item vetoes as possible, and we have succeeded in doing that. I think the best way to eliminate wasteful or inefficient spending isn’t with a line-item veto – which is an important tool – but by never allowing such projects into the budget in the first place. I commend the General Assembly on its responsible work, which will preserve our coveted AAA bond rating.”

In addition to the press release, Gov. Deal released a statement detailing two line item vetoes and noting several line items in which he directs that an agency’s spending be changed or limited from what is authorized in the budget.

Deal previously signed House Bill 879 by State Rep. Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City), which helps schools provide better care to students with diabetes. Schools with a diabetic student will now be required to have at least two employees trained in caring for diabetic students and the Georgia Chapter of the American Diabetes Association has offered to provide free training to schools.

“Our family has seen the tremendous benefit of having a school nurse, teachers and school administrators willing to seek the training and information necessary to provide a safe school environment for our diabetic child,” Ramsey said when the legislation was announced in February. “House Bill 879 will ensure that every child receives that same benefit.”

Politics, Campaigns and Elections

Vice President Joe Biden will be in Atlanta today to address the Rabbinical Assembly at the Westin Perimeter Hotel annual convention. I wonder if he’s wearing kosher shoes today.

Senators Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) and Renee Unterman (R-Buford) will join Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson in a Copper Theft Task Force meeting at 3 PM today in the ground floor conference room in the Columbus Government Center at 100 10th Street. At 4 PM they will hold a press conference to discuss the metal theft legislation passed this session.

The Facebook tells me that State Rep. Michael Harden (R-Toccoa) is resigning from the House on May 15th to go work for the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Because of the timing of his resignation, the special election to fill his seat will be held at the General Primary this year.

Former State Rep. Clint Smith, who is running in House District 9 this year, will hold a fundraiser on Saturday, May 12th from noon to 2 PM at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Museum, located at 415 Highway 53 East in Dawsonville. You may R.s.v.p. by emailing clsmith [at] clintsmith [dot] org or call 678-316-8863.

On May 15th, Senator Josh McKoon is holding a Money Bomb, which is apparently a fancy way of saying he’s begging for online campaign contributions. Alternatively, you can donate online any other day.

The Bulloch County Republican Party will hold a luncheon at RJ’s for the candidates for Sheriff on Thursday, May 1oth from noon to 1 PM with the candidates starting at 12:30.

Ben Scott is running for the Republican nomination for Catoosa County Sheriff after a 32-year career in federal law enforcement. The other candidates are Lookout Mountain Drug Task Force Commander Larry C. Black, Catoosa County Manager Mike Helton and Maj. Gary Sisk, who currently serves as chief deputy.

The real estate investment company owned by former State Rep. Vance Smith and his son, State Rep. Kip Smith (R-Columbus) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a reorganization in which a company may shed or modify some debts in order to continue as a going concern, as opposed to Chapter 7, which is a liquidation.

The Fayette County Commission and Board of Education will meet in an Atlanta federal courtroom on May 10th in a dispute over voting districts. A previous decision by the district court judge would have ended at-large districts for the school board, but was reversed by the judge.

A different federal court will draw district lines for Cobb County Commission seats after the General Assembly failed to pass a new map this session.

Comments by the Mayor of Peachtree City on a local political blog spilled into a confrontation between city council members and the mayor at a recent meeting. Council member Kim Learnard said:

“In a spirit of keeping emotions at bay, I don’t want to hear another thing about emotional women,” she said, referencing the heated discussion between councilmen Eric Imker and George Dienhart and Haddix over the city’s motorcycle officer program. 

“I have in my hand a blog that is very upsetting to me. In the spirit of keeping emotions out of it, I’d like to ask that we not get started commenting on blogs about budget. We have a new board member and a lot of good conversations coming up this summer.”

Let’s hope they don’t follow the current pattern of suing each other.

Cobb County Commissioner JoAnn Birrell will hold a town hall meeting on Wednesday, May 9 from 6 to 7:30 PM at Mountain View Library, 3320 Sandy Plains Rd in Marietta.

Nina Hickson will take over as the City of Atlanta’s ethics officer following a 12-1 vote by City Council.

Columbia County Chief Magistrate Judge Bobby Christine has been called to active duty in the Georgia Army National Guard and will not run for reelection. Seeking the open seat will be Associate Magistrate Jason Troiano and local lawyers Jason Hasty and Chris Hudson.

Denice Traina is running for Augusta City Commission District One.

Senator Bill Jackson (R-Appling) has announced his campaign for reelection.

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