Georgia Political News for Wednesday, February 22, 2012 the “Save a Yellow Dog” edition


Georgia Political News for Wednesday, February 22, 2012 the “Save a Yellow Dog” edition

Rhoda is a one-year old yellow dog who weighs 40 pounds. Unfortunately, she is heartworm positive, so there will be an added expense for prospective adopters for the meds required to de-worm her. She is available now from Walton County Animal Control.

Speaking of yellow dogs, Daniel Fullerton still needs a kidney and it’s still incredibly expensive to pay for the transplant surgery and the ensuing lifetime supply of immune-suppressive drugs. You can make a tax-deductible donation here.

Governor Nathan Deal is considering exercising his power to suspend an automatic gas tax increase, which kicks in when the price of gas increases by 25 cents or more. Deal has previously exercised this power last summer.

On Monday, Gov. Deal announced that Georgia will partner with Google to rollout Georgia Get Your Business Online, to provide a free website and tools to easily create the site for Georgia businesses. A free event will be held March 1-2 2012 from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved an $18.5 billion mid-year supplemental budget for the fiscal year ending July 30 that includes a modest bump in spending based on higher tax receipts. Minor differences from the House-passed version may set up a conference committee.

Georgia’s Department of Community Health is looking at ways to slow growth in the cost of health care for Georgia’s poor, in part by recommending that seniors and disabled Georgians who receive state care be transitioned to Care Management Organizations, which have been successful in slowing the growth of costs since Georgia moved to CMOs for Medicaid. Some health care providers say those savings came only by refusing to pay providers money owed.

Senate Bill 458, by Sens. Loudermilk, Rogers and others, which seeks to prevent illegal immigrants from enrolling in state higher education institutions, will be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee this afternoon. Its future is uncertain as it would modify last session’s HB 87, and both Gov. Deal and the Speaker of the House have indicated they do not wish to modify that bill.

Senate Bill 62 by Sen. Ligon would require a two-thirds super majority vote of the General Assembly before any land is transferred to an Indian nation, other state or the federal government if the transfer would have the effect of negating Georgia’s jurisdiction over the land. Territory under the jurisdiction of a recognized Indian tribe is no longer under Georgia’s jurisdiction, which is why casinos are able to open there.

Congressman Tom Price appeared at a reception for BrookhavenYES! last night, in territory that will join his Sixth Congressional District in the 2012 election.

Newt Gingrich will go to church twice on Sunday, first visiting Cumming’s First Redeemer, where Rick Santorum appeared earlier this week at 10:30 AM, and in the evening at Rock Springs Church in Milner. On Tuesday he will visit the University of West Georgia in Carrollton for a meet-and-greet fundraiser. Gingrich will also be presented with a key to the City by Carrollton Mayor Wayne Garner.

Athens Mayor Nancy Denson is facing a recall petition accusing her of colluding with developer Sembler to bring a controversial mixed-use development to downtown Athens. If the initial petition is approved by the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections and the Superior Court, proponents will have to obtain more than 17,000 valid signatures during a 45-day period to move forward with a recall election.

The Augusta Commission rejected a measure to tighten the city’s anti-smoking ordinance. Meanwhile, Cobb County Commissioners will consider banning smoking in county parks. A study of indoor air quality following a smoking ban in Savannah bars and restaurants documents dramatic improvement in the air quality.

The long-running lawsuit between Columbus and Expedia will extend at least into the summer under a scheduling order approved by the Superior Court judge in the case. Columbus is suing Expedia arguing that the company must collect and remit hotel taxes based on the price the consumer pays Expedia, not the price Expedia pays the hotel.

The Hall County Board of Commissioners is considering selling the old North Georgia Detention Center to Corrections Corporation of America. Some members of the Gainesville City Council oppose the sale, because they believe it is a bad location for a detention center. An earlier deal for the City to purchase the building for other uses fell through.

Voters in the City of Moreland will go to the polls on July 31, 2012 to decide whether Aldermen and the Mayor should serve four-year terms.

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