Georgia Political News for Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012

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Georgia Political News for Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012

Today we’re featuring two Golden Retriver-ish dogs. 22233 and 22235 are both friendly young males and will both be available for adoption starting Saturday, Feb. 25th from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

On Saturday, voters will be able to cast votes in person for the March 6th Presidential Preference Primary.

InsiderAdvantage says that Newt Gingrich holds a slight lead in the Georgia Republican Primary with 26% of the vote; IA shows Romney at 24% and Santorum at 23%, making this poll statistically meaningless.

Yesterday was National Guard Day at the Georgia State Capitol, with Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and the Speaker of the House welcoming Georgia National Guard members to the Capitol and their respective chambers. Also attending and honored were family members of Guard members who lost their lives in overseas service to our state and country.

Also celebrated yesterday with a house resolution was “Georgia Tea Party Day.”

Senator Jeff Mullis (R-Extreme Northwest Georgia) has proposed a bill to ensure the legality of reservoirs on north Georgia creeks and rivers and aimed squarely at water from the Tennessee River.

The House Judiciary Committee passed HB 872 by Rep. Jason Shaw (R-Lakeland) a version of a bill designed to make metal theft less attractive by requiring buyers of recyclable nonferrous metals to pay sellers by check rather than cash.

The House passed HR 1162, the Charter School Constitutional Amendment, which will allow the state board of education to approve charter schools, by a 123-48 margin which surpassed the requisite Constitutional super-majority. If passed by the Senate, voters will decide whether to approve the amendment in November.

The Senate Judiciary Committee recommended passage of SB 458 by Sen. Barry Loudermilk, which would prevent illegal immigrants from enrolling in Georgia state colleges and universities.

The State House passed legislation by State Rep. Rusty Kidd (I-Milledgeville) allowing Georgia distilleries to serve a single half-ounce sample to visitors.

A subcommittee chaired by Rep. Roger Lane (R- Darien) voted against HB 630 by Rep. Karla Drenner to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the state code section prohibiting employment discrimination in state and state university employment.

The same day that the House Resolution to allow voters to approve pari-mutuel wagering on horse races was scratched from the lineup in the House Regulated Industries Committee, a group of Senators introduced a Senate version of the bill.

House Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee Chairman Don Parsons has sponsored legislation to raise the amount of solar energy that Georgia Power may buy. “It shows that we in the state of Georgia take alternative energy seriously,” said Parsons.

Senate Bill 401 by Sen Buddy Carter (R-Pooler) would allow property owners to enter into agreements with third-parties to buy solar power but the Senate Natural Resources Committee has no plans to hear the bill this year, effectively killing the measure, which is opposed by power companies. Sen. Carter is attempting an end-run around that Committee by attaching his legislation to another bill that will be heard today in the Senate Regulated Industries Committee.

The Senate Ethics Committee voted against SB 377, which would have required voters signing election petitions to present photo ID.

The Georgia State University Economic Forecasting Center is predicting zero job growth in the state this year, with only one area, Columbus, expected to see net growth. Failures in Georgia’s banking industry likely are contributing to a scarcity of capital for small businesses, depressing job growth.

MSC Roma will become the largest container ship to call at the Port of Savannah this week.

A federal judge required Willcox County Sheriff Stacy Bloodworth to resign his office as a condition of being released on bond under an indictment for assaulting prisoners in his custody.

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