Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 22, 2017

22
Mar

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 22, 2017

King George III approved of the passage of the Stamp Act legislation on March 22, 1765 designed to pay for some of the costs the UK incurred in protecting the colonies, but it would lead to the movement that culminated in the American Revolution. No word on where the Myrmidons were on this.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Beer and Wine Revenue Act on March 22, 1933, allowing the sale of alcoholic beverages, and later that year, the federal Prohibition was ended.

The first Masters golf tournament began on March 22, 1934 in Augusta, Georgia.

The state prohibition on all alcoholic beverages ended on March 22, 1935 with Governor Eugene Talmadge’s signature of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act.

The United States Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment on March 22, 1972; it would fail to garner enough state ratifications.

Pixies released Surfer Rosa on March 21, 1988.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

COMMITTEE MEETINGS – LEGISLATIVE DAY 37

8:00 AM SENATE SLGO – CANCELED MEZZ 1

8:00 AM HOUSE AGRICULTURE 403 CAP

9:00 AM HOUSE RULES 341 CAP

10:00 AM HOUSE SESSION (LD 37) HOUSE CHAMBER

12:30 PM SENATE RULES – UPON ADJ’T 450 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE INSURANCE & LABOR – CANCELED 310 CLOB

1:00 PM SENATE NAT’L RESOURCES & ENV’T 450 CAP

1:00 PM HOUSE GOV’TAL AFFAIRS 406 CLOB

1:00 PM HOUSE NAT’L RESOURCES & ENV’T 403 CAP

1:30 PM HOUSE JUD’Y NON-CIVIL 132 CAP

1:30 PM HOUSE GAME, FISH AND PARKS 403 CAP

2:00 PM SENATE FINANCE 450 CAP

2:00 PM SENATE EDUCATION & YOUTH 307 CLOB

2:00 PM HOUSE SMALL BUSINESS DEV 606 CLOB

3:00 PM SENATE AGRICULTURE MEZZ 1 CAP

3:00 PM SENATE BANKING 310 CLOB

3:00 PM SENATE SLGO – CANCELED MEZZ 1

3:00 PM House Regulations Sub Regulated Ind 406 CLOB

3:00 PM HOUSE SPECIAL RULES 515 CLOB

4:00 PM SENATE VETS, MILITARY & HOMELAND SECURITY MEZZ 1

4:00 PM SENATE JUD’Y 307 CLOB


CLICK HERE FOR THE SENATE RULES CALENDAR

CLICK HERE FOR THE HOUSE RULES CALENDAR


Former Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski will stump for Bruce LeVell in the Sixth District Special Election. Click here for free tickets.

Here’s my 50-cent political analysis of the following election results, which show tax hikes passing overwhelmingly across Georgia. With polls showing the highest levels ever recorded of distrust of politicians by voters, you might expect tax hikes to fail. But historically, voters have tended to trust their own elected officials, while disdaining politicians generically. These SPLOST and other tax referendums were extremely local affairs, with elected officials you might run into at the park, the high school football game, or the grocery store.

Georgia voters appear to be following the example of state legislators, who last year voted to reform gasoline tax collections to fund infrastructure repairs. There is an understanding that deferred maintenance and expansion plans have come due, and Georgia residents are voting with their wallets (and their neighbors’ wallets) to fund infrastructure projects, and the more local and identifiable, the better.

I neither approve nor disapprove of this, but it’s worth noting that I haven’t yet seen any local tax measures that failed yesterday.

Nearly 74% of Cobb County voters yesterday approved the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education (E-SPLOST).

A total of 25,106 voters or 73.9 percent approved the referendum, according to unofficial numbers posted by the Cobb Board of Elections.

About 7.7 percent of eligible voters turned out for the special election.

The 1 percent special purpose local option sales tax will span from January 2019 to December 2023.

Fulton County approved a SPLOST for infrastructure by 70-30 percent margin.

Bill Edwards and Benny Crane will vie for Mayor of South Fulton in a Runoff Election and all seven City Council seats will also be decided in a runoff.

City of Marietta voters elected Kerry Minervi to the Board of Education.

Minervini received 206 votes or 52.4 percent in Tuesday’s special election, according to unofficial numbers posted by the Cobb Board of Elections.

About 8.7 percent of eligible voters turned out for the election.

Roswell voters elected to move two candidates into an April 18 runoff for City Council.

As of 11 p.m. Tuesday, unofficial results from the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office show Lori Henry leading the pack at 41.43 percent, or 2,421 votes. She holds a narrow lead over Marie Willsey, who has received 41.09 percent, or 2,401 votes.

Monroe County voters will return to the polls on April 18 in a Special Runoff Election for County Commission District 2.

Chris Ham and Eddie Rowland emerged Tuesday from the six candidate battle for the seat left vacant after the death of Commissioner Jim Ham. They’ll face each other again on April 18 after no candidates received at least 50 percent of votes during Tuesday’s election.

Chris Ham received 553 votes, 36 percent, followed by Rowland with 428 votes, or 28 percent, according to unofficial election results.

Monroe County voters also approved a property tax hike to support its local hospital.

There were 2,631 votes supporting the property tax increase compared to 1,090 against the 1-mill tax increase to fund Monroe County Hospital. County officials voted in January to begin a controlled shutdown of the hospital pending the outcome of Tuesday’s election.

Like many rural hospitals, Monroe’s has faced recent financial struggles. The medical facility is now under the management of Navicent Health. Hospital leaders have said they’re developing strategies to run a more efficient hospital.

Houston County voters overwhelmingly approved a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) by a 2,837 to 656 vote margin.

The tax is projected to collect $145 million over six years. The SPLOST will be collected from Oct. 1, 2018, until Oct. 1, 2024. That’s $10 million less than the current SPLOST, which has fallen behind projections.

It would put $38 million for transportation, $31 million for public safety, $30.6 million for recreation, $15.9 million for general capital obligations, $13.6 million for public buildings, $9.2 million for water and sewer improvements and $6.5 million for economic development.

Baldwin County extended the existing SPLOST.

The vote was 1,171 in favor, to 446 ballots cast against the measure. That’s a victory margin of just over 72 percent.

The tax is expected to raise about $40 million over six years.

Voters in Pulaski County also renewed their SPLOST.

There were 327 votes in favor of the special purpose sales tax referendum, while 75 people voted against the measure. The SPLOST is expected to bring in about $6 million of revenue over six years.

Fayette County will have a SPLOST for the first time in more than a decade after voters overwhelmingly passed the ballot measure.

Wilkinson County approved an E-SPLOST.

The vote was 721 in favor of extending the current special purpose local option sales tax earmarked for education, compared to 109 votes against it. That’s nearly 87 percent in favor of the initiative.

About $7.5 million is expected to be raised over five years.

Buford municipal voters passed a bond referendum to raise $20 million for the new high school.

Buford Commission Chairman Phillip Beard said the general obligation bonds, also known as GO Bonds, were backed by 153 of the 157 people who voted in the special election.

Read that again: 157 people decided the election that will results in issuing $20 million in GO Bends backed by local taxes.

Loganville voted to allow Sunday package sales of beer, wine, and liquor.

Butts County voted favored an E-SPLOST and expanded inventory tax exemption.

The E-SPLOST was approved by a vote of 753 to 122, or 86.06 percent in favor. The freeport exemption expansion passed 630 to 225, or 73.68 percent in favor.

The E-SPLOST continues the 1-percent sales tax in place for education and will be collected for five years beginning July 1. The referendum authorized the collection of up to $25 million but school officials estimate the tax will bring in less than that — approximately $18 million.

With the freeport exemption for e-commerce, Butts County development officials are hoping to make the county a more attractive place to locate order fulfillment centers.

The tax break applies to goods stored in Butts County destined to be shipped directly to consumers. It is an expansion of an exemption that already applied to traditional inventory of goods produced in the state of Georgia and goods used in the production process.

“Expanding freeport will allow us to be more competitive and attract clean industry and quality jobs to our community,” Butts County Development Authority Executive Director Laura Sistrunk said.

Coffee County and Colquitt County in South Georgia easily passed SPLOST measures.

Coffee County residents overwhelmingly approved a SPLOST referendum 731 to 56.

Those in Colquitt County made a similar decision.

The Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax there passed 703(y) to 121(n).

Colquitt County officials said voter turnout was low.

Thomasville passed two Sunday alcohol sales measures.

Miller County voters will have a second bite at the apple in the Sheriff’s race, as two candidates advance to a runoff.

Candidates Scott Worsley and Robert Grier will face each other in that contest.

Jason Lary will take office as the first Mayor of the new City of Stonecrest.

Lary, a 25-year health care executive, led the Stonecrest YES group that pushed for Stonecrest’s cityhood. The race featured three candidates of diverse backgrounds but was shrouded in controversy in the closing days as a flyer mailed by a mysterious group claimed that one of the candidates was mentally ill.

Also in Tuesday’s vote, two people were elected to the City Council, while the other three seats will be decided next month.

Jimmy Clanton won the council race for District 1 while Jazzmin Cobble won the District 3 post, both with 66 percent.

The elections office said 4,222 or about 13 percent of the Stonecrest voters went to the polls.

The three remaining Stonecrest City Council seats will be decided in an April 18 runoff.

Full Stonecrest municipal election results are available here.

Rubinell McDonald was elected to the Lake Park City Council in a special election.

Cheryl Walters resigned as Mayor of Meigs in Thomas County.

Blueberry crop losses in South Georgia may top $200 million after a combination of an early spring and a late hard freeze.

The City of Sandy Springs will end a controversial ban on adult toys after years of litigation.

Savannah Alderman Tony Thomas apologized for partying too hard at St. Patrick’s Day.

Photographs of Savannah District 6 Alderman Tony Thomas taken during the St. Patrick’s Day parade Friday prompted Mayor Eddie DeLoach to call a news conference Tuesday afternoon to address concerns about the alderman and let constituents know that Thomas has apologized for his behavior.

The photographs — taken Friday morning in the lobby of the Hilton Savannah DeSoto hotel on East Liberty Street — show Thomas slumped in a chair with a drink in his hand. Another photo shows a police officer helping Thomas either in or out of his chair.

Thomas apologized on his personal Facebook page earlier this week:

“This past St. Patrick’s Day, I overindulged while celebrating on Friday afternoon. Yes, I don’t deny it and I take full responsibility for my action. This may have offended some of my supporters and to them, I truly apologize for drinking too much while celebrating with friends on St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah. Many of my detractors and a couple of obsessive hate sites have worked themselves into a frenzy over this. While I cannot change the minds of those who commit to such hate and misguided energies of perpetuating it, I do hope that my supporters and well-wishers know that I take responsibility for my slip and ask for your forgiveness.”

 

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