Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 30, 2018

30
Jan

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 30, 2018

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV)

Today’s historical moments below combine to show some of the major influences on Georgia politics and governance since her founding, and how the same conflicts have played out across the world, from Northern Ireland to India, to stages of rock and roll shows.

On January 30, 1788, the Georgia legislature passed a resolution calling for a state Constitutional Convention in Augusta to adopt a state Constitution that conformed to the new Constitution of the United States.

On January 30, 1862, the United States launced its first ironclad warship, USS Monitor.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882 in Hyde Park, New York. In 1942, Roosevelt ordered Japanese-Americans on the west coast of the United States into concentration camps, leaving German and Italian Americans free.

On January 30, 1935, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. protested segregated elevators at the Fulton County Courthouse.

On January 30, 1948, Mohandas K. Gandhi was assassinated.

1920 Georgia Flag

On January 30, 1956, six members of the Georgia State House of Representatives introduced House Bill 98 to replace the red and white stripes on Georgia’s flag (above) with a Confederate battle flag (below). That same day, a bomb was thrown at the Birmingham, AL home of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

1956 Georgia Flag

January 30, 1972 is remembered as Bloody Sunday in commemoration of the shooting of 26 civilians by British troops in Northern Ireland.

On January 30, 2001, the Georgia State Senate passed a house bill changing the state flag from the 1956 version to one that aggregated the State Seal and five former state flags, pictured below.

2001GeorgiaFlag

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal yesterday announced that she had undergone surgery and will undergo chemotherapy for breast cancer.

“During an annual mammogram, I was diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer,” said Mrs. Deal. “Since I caught it in its early stages, I am confident that the chemotherapy will yield successful results. In light of this, I encourage all women to be proactive about their health and see a medical professional for an annual mammogram. Nathan and I appreciate your thoughts and prayers during this time, and I look forward to continuing to read to students across the state.”

Information about mammograms and breast cancer prevention is available on the Georgia Department of Public Health website.

Our prayers are with her and her family.

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE MEETINGS

9:00 AM HOUSE RULES 341 CAP

UPON ADJOURNMENT SENATE RULES 450 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE ECON DEV & TOURISM 125 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE HEALTH & HUMAN SVCS 450 CAP

1:30 PM House Ways & Means Ad Val Sub 133 CAP

2:00 PM SENATE SCIENCE & TECH 307 CLOB

2:00 PM SENATE NAT’L RES & ENV’T 310 CLOB

2:00 PM SENATE RETIREMENT MEZZ 1

2:00 PM HOUSE HEALTH & HUMAN SVCS 606 CLOB

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

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

2:45 PM SENATE FINANCE MEZZ 1

3:00 PM SENATE REGULATED IND & UTILITIES 450 CAP

3:00 PM SENATE HIGHER EDUCATION 307 CLOB

3:00 PM HOUSE SCIENCE & TECH 506 CLOB

4:00 PM SENATE BANKING & FIN INST MEZZ 1

Grady Memorial Hospital opened a mobile emergency room as Georgia flu victims fill their beds.

The tractor trailer-sized structure sits outside Grady Memorial Hospital’s ER, looking like some huge tent assembled outside a major entertainment or sports event.

But the unit will open Tuesday morning as a mobile emergency department, with 14 beds, leased by Grady to handle its soaring ER numbers. The fully equipped structure is wired and ready to start delivering medical care.

Typically, the Atlanta safety-net hospital sees 400 ER patients a day. Lately, though, the number has moved above 500. And while flu has contributed to the increase, it has also included many patients with other viral illnesses, Dr. Hany Atallah, chief of emergency medicine at Grady, said Monday.

This is the mobile ER’s first use in Georgia, and Grady has arranged for a 30-day setup.

Georgia Senate leaders yesterday introduced legislation to address the opioid abuse crisis. From Jill Nolin for the Valdosta Daily Times.

There’s no new money for treatment services in next year’s proposed budget, but Sen. Renee Unterman, who chairs the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, said Monday that she plans to push for more funding this legislative session.

“When you’re looking at the epidemic, you see the need,” said Unterman, R-Buford. “We prioritize our needs in the budget process, and obviously, if you’re in the middle of an epidemic, that prioritization is going to float to the top.”

Sen. Dean Burke, R-Bainbridge, has introduced a bill that would create legislative council and a separate think tank that would vet ideas for fixes, particularly for rural Georgia. Burke compared the plan to what was done with criminal justice reform under Gov. Nathan Deal.

Cagle said funding solutions, such as potentially a Medicaid waiver for addiction treatment, may be considered.

“The reality is that we know this is a crisis,” Cagle said. “And to solve this issue, we need to have far more community resource centers than we do right now.

Cagle said, though, that it’s “not just simply that government needs to be the one to shoulder all the burden or the cost associated with it.”

From Andy Miller with Georgia Health News:

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle on Monday told reporters that he is opposed to expanding Medicaid in Georgia.

Big government won’t improve our health care system,’’ Cagle said at a press conference Monday at the Capitol. He added, “I have a philosophical difference’’ with supporters of expansion, which has been done in 32 states under the Affordable Care Act.

“It does no good to continue to grow government and create additional [budgetary] strain,’’ Cagle said.

Cagle acknowledged the problems in access to care in rural Georgia in discussing Senate Bill 357, whose goal, he said, is to improve the quality and affordability of medical care in the state.

“Our health system must become more efficient and effective,’’ he said.

Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Kathryn Schrader told reporters that Georgia doesn’t have sufficient treatment options. “Recovery is real when it’s done right,’’ she said.

Cherokee County has seen a 150% increase in suspected overdoses so far this year, according to 11Alive.

The year has just begun and already, people are dying from overdoses. In Cherokee County, nine people died in 19 days. Three of those deaths happened on the same day, January 14.

Cherokee County is always either the first or second highest county for drug deaths. They go back and forth with Richmond County. According to the GBI, Cherokee averages 35 to 45 drug-related deaths a year, that averages out to about three or four deaths a month. If all nine January deaths are officially ruled to be drug-related, this would be about a 150 percent increase.

The AJC writes that State Senator Brandon Beach (R-North Fulton) will introduce legislation to consolidate transit planning under the Georgia Regional Transportation Agency (GRTA).

State Sen. Brandon Beach, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, has not finalized all aspects of the bill he plans to introduce this week. A big unknown: the details of state funding for mass transitprojects that would be an incentive for counties to surrender some of their control over transit planning and operations.

But Beach, an Alpharetta Republican, said his goal is to create a seamless regional transit system that is not hindered by county lines.

“Gwinnett Transit works pretty good in Gwinnett. CobbLinc works pretty good in Cobb,” Beach said. “But until we get unified infrastructure planning, we’ll never have a truly regional system.”

Beach’s bill would be the year’s first formal proposal to tackle the thorny political issue of mass transit funding in metro Atlanta. But it almost certainly won’t be the last.

Bibb County’s proposed sales tax hike would increase its total take at the cash register to 9%, the highest in Georgia.

After three years of county budget shortfalls, Bibb County leaders are asking state lawmakers to help them pursue a new sales tax. But there’s hesitation in Atlanta, as the county could be headed to the highest sales tax rate in Georgia.

Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert pleaded the county’s case in a little hearing room in the state Capitol basement Monday morning. He told eight Macon-Bibb County lawmakers why the county wants them to set up a public vote on an “OLOST,” a one-penny “other” local option sales tax.

“This is the best of bad options,” Reichert said, adding that no one wants to go up on taxes, but that the county needs this increase.

There’s another sales tax ask ahead of it in line. In May, county voters will say if they want to raise the sales tax from 7 to 8 percent, mainly for roads and bridges. The OLOST would take it to 9 percent.

“That is the concern,” said state Rep. James Beverly, D-Macon. “How do you stimulate growth in a county that has the highest tax rate?”

Warner Robins City Clerk Bill Harte has resigned, saying he expected to be fired by Mayor Randy Toms.

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