Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 30, 2023


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 30, 2023

On March 30, 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was formally adopted after sufficient number of the states ratified it.

With the adoption of the 15th Amendment in 1870, a politically mobilized African-American community joined with white allies in the Southern states to elect the Republican Party to power, which brought about radical changes across the South. By late 1870, all the former Confederate states had been readmitted to the Union, and most were controlled by the Republican Party, thanks to the support of African-American voters.

In the same year, Hiram Rhoades Revels, a Republican from Natchez, Mississippi, became the first African American ever to sit in Congress. Although African-American Republicans never obtained political office in proportion to their overwhelming electoral majority, Revels and a dozen other African-American men served in Congress during Reconstruction, more than 600 served in state legislatures, and many more held local offices. However, in the late 1870s, the Southern Republican Party vanished with the end of Reconstruction, and Southern state governments effectively nullified the 14th and 15th Amendments, stripping Southern African Americans of the right to vote. It would be nearly a century before the nation would again attempt to establish equal rights for African Americans in the South.

Robert E. Lee arrived in Augusta on March 30, 1870.

On March 30, 1937, Georgia Governor E.D. Rivers signed legislation authorizing non-profit Electric Membership Corporations to electrify rural Georgia.

On March 30, 1945, President F.D. Roosevelt arrived for his final visit to Warm Spring, Georgia.

On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot.

The president had just finished addressing a labor meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel and was walking with his entourage to his limousine when Hinckley, standing among a group of reporters, fired six shots at the president, hitting Reagan and three of his attendants. White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head and critically wounded, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy was shot in the side, and District of Columbia policeman Thomas Delahanty was shot in the neck. After firing the shots, Hinckley was overpowered and pinned against a wall, and President Reagan, apparently unaware that he’d been shot, was shoved into his limousine by a Secret Service agent and rushed to the hospital.

The president was shot in the left lung, and the .22 caliber bullet just missed his heart. In an impressive feat for a 70-year-old man with a collapsed lung, he walked into George Washington University Hospital under his own power. As he was treated and prepared for surgery, he was in good spirits and quipped to his wife, Nancy, “Honey, I forgot to duck,” and to his surgeons, “Please tell me you’re Republicans.” Reagan’s surgery lasted two hours, and he was listed in stable and good condition afterward.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

House and Senate budget negotiators came to agreement on the FY2024 state budget, according to Atlanta News First via WRDW.

State Representative Matt Hatchett and Senator Blake Tillery worked together on the budget document. in a meeting on Monday, Hatchett highlighted that the effort was a compromise between priorities in both the Senate and the House.

“Compromise is not a bad thing. If you dont get 100% of what you want, if you get 10%, you’ve succeeded, The only people who get 100% of what they want is our students on HOPE” said Hatchett.

The budget bill presented to lawmakers on Wednesday would fully fund the HOPE scholarship for the students who qualify. The measure is something that Governor Brian Kemp included in his initial plan. Currently, the scholarship is closer to 90% of tuition. The House originally wanted to increase it to 95% of tuition. education is the largest chunk of the budget- the state would spend a record 13 billion dollars in k-12 education.

The Senate favored increasing pay boosts for law enforcement. Governor Kemp proposed $2,000 raises and the House included $4,000 raises, but the lastest budget includes $6,000 raises or several agencies.

From the AJC:

The $32.4 billion budget, which was approved by the Senate 54-1 and the House 170-3 on the 40th and final day of the 2023 legislative session, was the one measure state lawmakers had to pass before adjourning Wednesday night. The new fiscal year begins July 1.

While the measure includes big raises and boosts to law enforcement, school and mental health funding, Senate Appropriations Chairman Blake Tillery, R-Vidalia, said it was written with the knowledge that the state could face an economic slowdown later this year.

There’s a chance not everything lawmakers approved will get by Gov. Brian Kemp’s veto pen. Kemp told lawmakers late Wednesday that there were “significant holes” in the budget in an uncertain economy.

Lawmakers cut $66 million from the University System of Georgia’s budget. The cut is a little more than half the amount Kemp and lawmakers recently approved for a new electronic medical records system for the Medical College of Georgia, part of Augusta University.

Wellstar Health System is negotiating a partnership with AU Health System and could possibly take it over. Senate leaders have raised questions about the cost of the medical records system. Wellstar has also been a vocal critic of the Senate’s push to make it easier to build new hospitals in Georgia.

The Senate increased the pay raise for many law enforcement staffers — such as troopers — from the $2,000 Kemp proposed and $4,000 the House proposed to $6,000. Some others in law enforcement working in prisons and juvenile justice facilities would get $4,000 raises.

Tillery said the raises are aimed at retaining experienced law enforcement officers, given the expensive cost of trooper schools to replace those who leave.

The House and Senate deal agrees with Kemp’s proposal to fund public school HOPE college scholarship awards at 100% of tuition. Currently they are closer to 90% except for high-achieving students who earn Zell Miller scholarships. The House originally wanted to increase it to 95% of tuition.

Lawmakers again provided tens of millions of dollars more for mental health and substance abuse programs, the second consecutive year the General Assembly has made them a priority, pointing to greater need since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

From the Capitol Beat News Service via the Rome News Tribune:

A $32.4 billion state budget with pay raises of $4,000 to $6,000 for state law enforcement officers and $2,000 increases for other state workers, teachers, and university system employees gained final passage in the General Assembly Wednesday.

The Georgia Senate passed the fiscal 2024 spending plan 54-1 late Wednesday afternoon. The state House of Representatives followed suit 170-3 shortly before midnight on the final day of this year’s legislative session.

The budget, which takes effect July 1, increases state spending by $2.2 billion, or 7.4%, over the budget the legislature adopted last spring.

The spending plan fully funds Georgia’s Quality Basic Education (QBE) k-12 student funding formula with a record $13.1 billion in state dollars.

House and Senate budget conferees also added $6.3 million to provide 17 million free meals to public school children from low-income families.

“Kids aren’t able to learn when they’re hungry,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Matt Hatchett, R-Dublin.

From WRDW in Augusta:

Lawmakers somewhat reduced proposed Senate cuts to Georgia Public Broadcasting and Augusta University’s Georgia Cyber Center. The public television and radio agency would lose about $1.4 million in state funding, while the Cyber Center would lose about $3.2 million.

Work on the budget got tangled with Republican Lt. Gov. Burt Jones’ push for a bill that could allow a new hospital to be built near his home in Butts County. That could financially benefit his family if it’s built on land his father owns.

The dispute is also linked to an attempt by Wellstar Health System to take over Augusta University’s hospitals, and to a House push for additional changes to the state’s mental health system.

House and Senate leaders signed an agreement on Wednesday for the $32.5 billion state budget that begins July 1. The Senate voted 54-1 to approve the measure, leaving the House to approve it before the session concludes Wednesday.

The budget cuts some teaching funds at the state’s public universities, but not as much as the Senate had initially proposed. The Senate proposed the cuts as part of a dispute with the House over rules to allow new hospitals to be built and funding of Augusta University’s hospital.

House Bill 520, the Mental Health Reform bill, failed final passage, though part of it was transplanted into other legislation, according to the AJC.

The Georgia Senate quietly added a portion of a stalled House effort to expand on last year’s overhaul of the mental health care system to another bill on Wednesday that gained final passage.

[Af]fter HB 520 overwhelmingly passed the House earlier this month, progress slowed in the Senate.

State Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick, R-Marietta, inserted language in Senate Bill 23 to streamline the way agencies share information about patients, addressing concerns about violating their privacy that were raised by some conservative groups.

“The purpose of this is to force our state agencies to share their data with the Office of Planning and Budget,” she said. “This information that would be shared with the Office of Planning and Budget is already deidentified, aggregated and follows all state and federal law.”

Both the Senate and House overwhelmingly approved SB 23, which would revise the names of some of the state’s various committees and commissions, sending it to the governor for his signature.

State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, a Decatur Democrat who was one of the lead sponsors of HB 520, said it was disappointing that the Senate only approved a “tiny” portion of the mental health bill.

“This is the only provision that is offered from the Senate for mental health reform in 2023,” she said. ”I must express disappointment that we are not moving forward with mental health reform as the House wished.”

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee discussed changes to HB 520 but did not vote on the bill before that chamber’s deadline for a panel to pass legislation and still have it be considered before the full Senate this year.

From WTOC:

As the General Assembly wraps up the last few hours of the 2023 session, House Speaker Jon Burns says he’s disappointed lawmakers won’t get a vote on House Bill 520, which includes reforms for mental health treatment.

“We would like to see it move on through. But we understand how the process works here, working in conjunction with our friends in the Senate,” said Rep. Burns.

The bill would expand student loan forgiveness for mental health care providers, create crisis stabilization centers around the state, and expand the provisions for court-ordered outpatient treatment.

“We know we’ve make significant progress when it comes to funding issues. And that helps move the needle forward. We’re working with our local providers, working with public safety, trying to solve some of the homeless issues.”

He says that some of the initial work on this began last year through the former Speaker, the late David Ralston. He pledges to keep that moving.

“Advocates of mental health issues know they have an ear in the House, have an ear in this building. And we’re going to continue to do that. I’m encouraged. We’ve made progress. We would like to make more.”

He says that will continue through the year even before they reconvene next January.

House Bill 144 to define “antisemitism” in Georgia code failed to pass, according to the AJC.

The measure, House Bill 144, would have defined antisemitism and made it a part of Georgia’s hate crimes law, allowing harsher criminal penalties against those who target victims on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, sex, national origin, religion, or physical or mental disability.

Members of several Muslim, Jewish and civil rights organizations that were critical of the bill said it could have been used to curtail freedom of speech on university campuses.

The bill would have adopted into state law the definition of antisemitism used by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, which says antisemitism includes “claiming that the existing of the state of Israel is a racist endeavor.”

“Let’s be very clear: Antisemitism is a very real problem,” said Murtaza Khwaja, executive director for the Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “However, HB 144 is not the way to do. What this bill does is conflate antisemitism with critiques of the state of Israel.”

Under the legislation, antisemitic actions would have been considered as evidence of intent after a crime or illegal act of discrimination has occurred, and speech against Israel or Jewish people wouldn’t be limited otherwise, they said.

“I’m disappointed that Jews under assault weren’t a priority,” said state Rep. Esther Panitch, a Democrat from Sandy Springs and Georgia’s only Jewish legislator. “But I’m not going anywhere and am more determined than ever.”

The definition that would have been adopted into state law calls antisemitism “a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews” that is directed at individuals, institutions or religious facilities.

Senate Bill 223 by Sen. Greg Dolezal (R-Cumming) would have provided $6500 vouchers to families of some public school students and failed final passage in the State House, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Albany Herald.

The bill would have created $6,500 vouchers for Georgia students to use for private-school or home-schooling expenses if they were assigned to attend a public school in the lowest-performing quartile of public schools in the state.

The bill passed in the Senate earlier this month but ultimately failed to survive in the House, losing on an 85-89 vote.  A group of mostly rural Republicans crossed party lines to vote against the measure.

The House Rules Committee made several last-minute changes to the bill on Wednesday in an effort to make the proposal more palatable. The amendments would have tied the scholarship amount to changes in the state’s education funding formula and changed the method for determining which schools qualify as low performing.

House Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones, R-Milton, argued school voucher measures are popular with voters of all backgrounds, including rural voters and Democrats. She said Georgia students deserve a choice about where they study.

Democrats argued the voucher measure would divert funds from public education and that the $6,500 scholarship amount would be insufficient to cover private school tuition.

From the Associated Press via AccessWDUN:

Rural Georgia Republicans defied lobbying from Gov. Brian Kemp and conservative groups on Wednesday to vote down a proposed state voucher plan funding private school tuition and home schooling.

A total of 16 House Republicans voted against the bill, sending it down to an 89-85 defeat, with Democratic opponents literally leaping for joy as the bill’s defeat became clear. Only one Democrat voted for the measure.

The vote illustrates how protective many rural conservatives remain of the public school systems that are the heartbeat of their communities. Those feelings endure despite a nationwide GOP wave for what supporters call education savings accounts following the pandemic and amid culture war fights over what children should learn in public schools.

Republican opponents endured an intense lobbying push, as Kemp took to the radio on Monday and then pushed the bill Tuesday at a House Republican lunch. But superintendents and teacher groups were lobbying intensely on the other side. It became clear that Republican leaders lacked the votes last week after the House debated the bill but didn’t vote on it. More changes made Wednesday failed to win over a majority.

Georgia already gives vouchers for special education students in private schools and $120 million a year in income tax credits for donors to private school scholarship funds.

Senate Bill 133 by Sen. Brian Strickland (R-McDonough) will reform foster care, according to Atlanta News First via WRDW.

The bill passed the House Wednesday by a vote of 102-69, on the legislature’s final day of the session, known as Sine Die.

The bill would require the courts to “consider on record” what services have already been provided to the child or their guardian, consider what services are needed, and what services remain available to help the child remain with the family. The court system would have to do all of that before even considering whether to send the child into the custody of the state – Georgia’s foster care system known as DFCS.

That’s because Atlanta News First investigates found kids were being sent into state custody as the ‘lesser of two evils.’ Kids dealing with mental and behavioral issues would go before a juvenile judge, who was faced with two options: send the child to detention or state custody (foster care system). Juvenile judges chose state custody as the better alternative, hoping the child would get help instead of punishment.

That loophole would be closed, say supporters of SB 133, when the law takes effect if/when Gov. Brian Kemp signs it.

“Addressing housing for foster kids is bigger than just this bill,” said state Sen. Brian Strickland, who introduced the bill.

“This bill is not the end-all solution to solving all the problems that we have with housing and foster children but it’s a big step in hopefully helping a lot of these cases,” Strickland said.

Senate Bill 44 by Bo Hatchett (R-Clarkesville) will enhance sentencing for people convicted of some gang activities, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Albany Herald.

Senate Bill 44 requires judges to impose prison sentences of at least five years on those convicted of recruiting gang members. It would also impose tougher penalties for those who recruit someone under age 17 or someone with a disability to a gang, requiring at least a 10-year sentence.

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has made cracking down on gangs an important part of his legislative agenda this year.

“There’s no room for street gangs in Georgia. This bill is going to help prosecutors across the state. It’s going to help children,” Sen. Bo Hatchett, R-Cornelia, one of the governor’s Senate floor leaders, said. “It’s going to really provide serious penalties for someone that tries to recruit a child into a life of crime by asking them to join a street gang.”

The bill would prohibit judges from allowing people accused of certain crimes to go without bond if they have been convicted of bond jumping within the past five years or if a bench warrant for a failure to appear in court has been issued to the person within the past five years.

Senate Bill 63 by Sen. Randy Robertson (R-Cataula) would have required cash bail from defendants in cases involving 31 crimes, according to the Associated Press via AccessWDUN.

Georgia lawmakers are moving to require cash bail for many more crimes, including misdemeanor marijuana possession.

The Georgia House voted 95-81 Wednesday to pass Senate Bill 63, which would require cash or property bail for 31 additional crimes, including some misdemeanors.

Supporters say that bail is needed to guarantee people show back up for trial and to respect victims.

“This measure establishes Georgia as a state that won’t accept the soft-on-crime policies that we’ve seen in placed like New York, California, Illinois, or catch-and-release,” said Rep. Houston Gaines, an Athens Republican.

But the bill fell short on final passage in the Senate, according to the Associated Press.

The Georgia House voted 95-81 on Wednesday to pass Senate Bill 63, which would have required cash or property bail for 31 additional crimes, including some misdemeanors. But the House and Senate could not agree on a final version, and the measure failed to pass as the 2023 session ended just after midnight Thursday.

`Georgia already requires defendants to post cash or property to get out of jail for seven severe crimes, such as murder or rape. The measure would have added crimes to the list, including passing a worthless check, or misdemeanors such as reckless driving or unlawful assembly. Parts of a 2018 law championed by then- Gov. Nathan Deal sought to eliminate cash bail for most misdemeanor crimes.

Mostly Democratic opponents of the measure said many more poor people would sit in jail, causing them to lose their jobs, housing or even custody of their children, while costing local taxpayers much more money to fund their jailing.

“This bill will harm poor people. This bill will create a two-tiered criminal legal system in the state of Georgia, one for those who can afford bond and one for those who cannot,” said House Democratic Whip Sam Park, of Lawrenceville. “We cannot simply lock poor people up as a solution to building safer communities.”

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has said he wants more restrictive bail conditions. That’s in line with how he and other Republicans bashed their Democratic opponents last year as soft on crime. Kemp is also backing other anti-crime proposals being put forward in Georgia this year, including longer sentences for some criminals.

Senate Bill 222 by Sen. Max Burns (R-Sylvania) bans local governments from accepting “Zuckerbucks,” or outside donations to defray election expenses and passed both chambers, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Ledger-Enquirer.

Senate Bill 222 cleared the lower chamber along party lines 100-69 late Monday night, the last bill lawmakers took up in a marathon next-to-last day of this year’s legislative session.

The legislation stems from complaints from Republicans in Georgia and other states about private donations flowing into elections offices in Democratic counties, notably a $350 million contribution by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to the nonprofit Center for Technology and Civic Life during the 2020 election.

“It’s common sense for us to make sure we’re banning private money from public elections,” said Rep. Houston Gaines, R-Athens, who carried the bill in the House.

Because of changes the House made to the bill, it now heads back to the Senate, which must act on it before the General Assembly adjourns for the year on Wednesday night if it is to become law.

The Senate voted to accept House amendments after the above story was filed.

Senate Bill 146 by Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega) regulates public charging stations for electric vehicles and passed, acccording to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Ledger-Enquirer.

The state House of Representatives voted 175-1 in favor of the bill, which included significant changes from the version of the legislation the Senate passed three weeks ago. The Senate then agreed to the House changes a few hours later Monday in a 51-4 vote.

Senate Bill 146 changes the way motorists charging their EVs will pay for the electricity they buy from the current system, which is based on the length of time a customer uses an EV charger. Instead, they will pay by the kilowatt hour, a federal requirement Georgia must meet to be eligible for $135 million in federal funds earmarked by Congress to build a network of charging stations across the state.

The biggest change the House made to the legislation reduces the tax rate motorists will pay when they charge their EVs. The final version of the legislation imposes a tax of 2.84 cents per kilowatt hour, down from 3.47 cents, as lawmakers responded to complaints that Georgia was poised to charge the highest excise tax on EVs in the nation.

The excise tax at charging stations is necessary to capture tax revenue from out-of-state motorists traveling through Georgia, Rep. Kasey Carpenter, R-Dalton, said Monday.

Savannah-area legislators approved local legislation to raise the hotel-motel tax, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The 2% increase sets the stage for a reworking of the hotel-motel tax distribution formula, and the new split is likely to include an approximately 15% share for “tourism development product.” Using 2022’s collections for reference, an 8% hotel-motel tax would mean around $7 million a year for projects listed under that description.

The two biggest needs in that inventory are the Canal District and River Street. The money would accelerate the greenspace and Waterworks plans near the arena, which in turn should spur a sense of urgency from restaurateurs and retailers. Also atop the agenda is a refresh of River Street’s Rousakis Plaza and the riverwalk stretching between Plant Riverside and Morrell Park.

House Bill 230, local legislation by State Rep. Mark Newton (R-Augusta) would authorize a referendum to levy a special sales tax to fund a new James Brown Arena, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Georgia House Bill 230, which could provide a new funding source for the arena and its new connector to Bell Auditorium, was approved by the state senate Wednesday with 44 votes for and eight against.

If signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, the bill would then require a special referendum among Augusta voters.

The bill would ask voters whether or not they support a sales tax of up to 0.5% for up to five years for the purpose of funding “coliseum capital outlay projects and project costs” and not to exceed the project’s guaranteed maximum price.

If approved, the tax would only fund up to the amount needed to finance the project. The bill does not allow the tax to be renewed under any circumstances and limits the principal amount of general obligation bonds issued to up to $250 million.

The State Senate passed several local bills for Gwinnett County, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The Georgia Senate passed House Bills 711, 748 and 777 on Wednesday. The House of Representatives had already passed the bills. It’s now up to Kemp. He can either sign them into law, or veto them.

House Bill 777 is one of two bills that have to become law to raise the commission chair’s salary. What that means is a raise is by no means guaranteed despite the passage of House Bill 777. A separate bill, Senate Bill 28, is still pending to repeal a population act that effectively blocks a raise for commissioners in counties with more than 800,000 residents.

If the population act is not repealed by Dec. 31, 2024, House Bill 777 will expire and efforts to raise the chair’s salary will have to start over from scratch in 2025.

If the population act is repealed, however, the chair’s salary would be equal to the base pay and local supplements that the Gwinnett sheriff receives. That would mean a raise of more than $100,000 for the chair, starting in 2025.

Meanwhile, House Bill 711 opens the door to double the homestead exemption for Gwinnett school taxes, from $4,000 to $8,000, and House Bill 478 creates an additional $2,000 homestead exemption on those same taxes for public servants such as police, teachers, nurses and active duty military personnel.

And, since the efforts deal with homestead exemptions, they still need approval by Gwinnett voters, which is why the bills call for referendums.

The referendums will be on the primary election ballot in Gwinnett County in May 2024.

I think the statement about Senate Bill 28 in the Gwinnett Daily Post article is incorrect, as that bill is about the Charter for Alto, Georgia.

A group of River Street Savannah businesses is exploring a Community Improvement District, according to the Savannah Morning News.

[A] group of downtown waterfront businesses is considering a move that would take the phrase quite literally: the owners want to tax themselves more to help pay for improvements to their shared space River Street.

Those business leaders are exploring the creation of a River Street Community Improvement District, restauranteur Ansley Williams told the Savannah-Georgia Convention Center Authority in February. Williams owns several eateries along the waterfront, including Spanky’s and Tubby’s, and has operated businesses along River Street since its commercial rebirth in the 1970s. He is a board member of the convention center authority

A community improvement district, or CID, is a self-levied property tax and a new concept for Savannah, Georgia’s oldest city. But around the state, these CIDs, are a popular and almost always successful way for businesses to supplement maintenance and services that would usually be covered under a municipal government’s jurisdiction.

The money raised through the tax won’t fund the major River Street infrastructure improvements planned for the tourist dollars expected from the recently increased hotel-motel tax. Instead, the funds from the CID will help pay for quality of life improvements in the area as well as additional maintenance and beautification, according to those close to the project, speaking on background.

The initiative is still in the planning stages, Williams told the Savannah-Georgia Convention Center Authority Board. According to those close to the project speaking on background, it’s expected to come before Savannah City Council later this year.

Congressman Sanford Bishop (D-Albany) delivered a $1 million dollar check to the Rosalyn Carter Institute for Caregivers at Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, according to WALB.

The check was secured from the Fiscal Year 2023 federal funding bill and amounted to $1,020,047.

The donation will expand the Rosalynn Carter Institute for caregivers who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia.

The program will be supported through outreach and engagement activities, curriculum development, training programs, and printing and distributing resource materials about the program while analyzing the program’s success among the community.

Georgia DOT will hold a public comment session in St Simons Island about a bridge replacements, according to The Brunswick News.

Albany City Commissioners voted to table a Rails-to-Trails agreement, according to the Albany Herald.

Colquitt County has rolled out a smartphone app for emergency information, according to WALB.

The new service is called the “Code Red” app and it goes way beyond weather alerts.

“The notification was almost simultaneous with what the National Weather Service put out,” Justin Cox, emergency management director, said. “We were alerted of severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings for Colquitt County this past Saturday. Fortunately, there wasn’t any serious damage or any injuries.”

The app does send weather alerts, however, it can also send alerts about criminal activity, road closures and missing person alerts.

“It also has an element where law enforcement officials can utilize it if there is a person they are looking for in a certain area. Utility departments can utilize it for example there is a broken water line and they have a boil water advisory, they can notify residents in that advisory.”

The app can be customized to fit your area with all kinds of alerts, including tornado warnings, and even missing person alerts.

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