Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 21, 2015


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 21, 2015

Lieutenant William T. Sherman was ordered to Georgia for the first time in his military career on January 21, 1844.

United States Senator and former Georgia House Speaker and Governor Richard B. Russell, Jr. died on January 21, 1971.

On January 21, 1977, President Jimmy Carter pardoned draft resistors from the Vietnam War era and urged Americans to conserve energy.

On January 21, 1978, the Bee Gees Saturday Night Live album hit #1 on the sales charts, where it would stay for 24 weeks.

Budget Meetings this week

Wed Jan 21 8:00am – 9:30am
Joint AFY15- House Appropriations Higher Eduation Subcommittee – 341 Capitol
8:00am – 10:30am
Joint AFY15- House Appropriations General Government Subcommittee – 506 Coverdell LOB
8:00am – 10:40am
Joint AFY15- House Appropriations Public Safety Subcommittee – 606 Coverdell Legislative Office Building
9:30am – 11:30am
Joint AFY15- House Appropriations Education Subcommittee – 341 Capitol
10:30am – 12:30pm
Joint AFY15- House Appropriations Economic Development Subcommittee – 506 Coverdell Legislative Office Building
1:00pm – 2:30pm
Joint AFY15- House Appropriations Human Resources Subcommittee – 341 Capitol
2:30pm – 4:00pm
Joint AFY15- House Appropriations Health Subcommittee – 341 Capitol
Thu Jan 22 8:00am – 9:00am
Joint AFY15- House Appropriations Health Subcommittee – 341 State Capitol
8:00am – 9:30am
Joint AFY15- House Appropriations Public Safety Subcommittee – 606 Coverdell LOB
8:00am – 9:30am
Joint AFY15- Appropriations General Government Subcommittee – 506 Coverdell LOB
9:00am – 11:00am
Joint AFY15- House Appropriations Human Resources Subcommittee – 341 Capitol
9:30am – 11:00am
Joint AFY15- House Appropriations Economic Development Subcommittee – 506 CLOB
12:30pm – 1:00pm
Governor Deal Addresses Joint Appropriations Committees – 341 Capitol
12:30pm – 2:30pm
Joint Budget Committee Hearings – Georgia State Capitol Room 341
1:00pm – 3:30pm
Joint AFY15- House Appropriations Human Resources Subcommittee – 341 Capitol

Expanded Huckabee Book Tour

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who carried Georgia’s 2008 Presidential Preference Primary election with 33.9%, has additional book tour dates in Georgia. Think of it as Groundhog Day all over again.

January 30, 2015 at 4 PM – FoxTale Book Shoppe, 105 E. Main St #138, Woodstock, GA

January 30, 2015 at 7:30 PM – Annual Johnny Hunt Men’s Conference, First Baptist Church of Woodstock, 11905 Highway 92, Woodstock, GA

February 2, 2015 at Noon –  Barnes & Noble, The Shoppes at River Crossing, 5080 Riverside Dr, Macon, GA

February 2, 2015 at 4 PM, Fort Benning, 479 Fort Benning Rd.


Rep. Tom Price: Responds to President’s State of the Union Address

Rep. Austin Scott: On The State of the Union Address

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland: President Out of Touch with the People’s Priorities

Rep. Rob Woodall: Responds to State of the Union Address

Georgia Politics

Macon’s radical Democrat District Attorney David Cooke is making outlandish statements to the Macon Telegraph:

Once you talk to just one of the many child victims I work with as a district attorney, you are left with one unshakable truth: There is no excuse for child abuse. Yet we have a bill in front of Georgia’s Legislature that could fundamentally change our laws and the systems we have to protect our children.

The bill is House Bill 29, and supporters call it the “Religious Freedom” bill. Let’s talk about the name of the bill first.

Freedom of religion is one of our most fundamental rights as Americans. That is why it is already protected in the First Amendment in the U.S. Constitution and Georgia’s Constitution. But unlike our constitutional protections for freedom of religion, this new law would sometimes put an individual’s religious beliefs ahead of the common good, including, even, the welfare of our children.

We shouldn’t let a cleverly named bill pass through the General Assembly when the results could allow a person to ignore Georgia’s child welfare laws by claiming “deeply held religious beliefs.” This is not a far-fetched idea. In fact, one Georgia couple already has tried to use religion to justify the murder of their 8-year-old son.

We do not need a new law in Georgia that would make it any more difficult to convict child abusers. We do not need this proposed legislation.

Having spent nearly $21,000 in their search for a new superintendent, Bibb County may end up hiring a search firm and spend tens of thousands more.

Floyd County is considering an energy excise tax that would raise $650,000.

The Floyd County Commission has made no decision on the energy excise tax. Off county books for years, the sales tax on energy used in manufacturing is estimated to bring in $650,000 this year and $1.2 million next year.

Commissioners are hesitant to impose the tax, citing the lure it provides to draw industry to the county. The discussion came as part of the county’s ongoing efforts to pass its 2015 budget, expected next week.

An attorney in Dalton called school disciplinary tribunals “kangaroo court[s]”.

Discipline tribunals are bodies, mostly comprised of school administrators, that determine guilt and levy punishments regarding students who have been charged with serious offenses such as carrying drugs, alcohol or weapons on campus, injuring another student in a fight or consistently bullying others. Because of the gravity of the offenses believed to have been committed by those appearing before tribunals, suspension or expulsion is the common result.

“Just as you can be denied your freedom to walk around on the streets if you violate a criminal law and are determined guilty, you can be denied your right and access to education if you are found guilty at a tribunal,” she said.

Peppers’ concern: “What happens is if a kid gets in trouble, the school sends a parent a letter to inform them what code their child has violated, and that they will have a hearing on a certain day and time. When parents get this letter, they either don’t know what it means, or think it will be like a parent-teacher conference, sitting with the teacher to figure out how they’ll work together to solve an issue regarding their kid. They don’t see it as a huge issue,” she said. “Then, they go to this tribunal, and all of a sudden, there are all of these educators and administrators serving as prosecution, judge and witness. All of a sudden it is the parent and kid versus everyone. My feeling about it is it looks like a kangaroo court. The person prosecuting the case has all of his friends as judge and jury. And, I’m not the only one that feels that way.”

Changes in federal funding will cost Decatur County schools thousands of dollars each month to pay for its technology needs.

Steve Dunn, Technology Director for the school system, informed the Decatur County Board of Education Thursday that the program is drastically changing and will shift the vast majority of those previously-covered costs to the local system.

Now, discounts on traditional communications, like local telephones lines and cellular service, are being phased out over a five-year period.

Dunn gave an example of the impact on the local system. Currently, the system pays only 10 percent of the monthly $6100 local telephone bill, with the E-Rate program paying the other 90 percent. In five years, the school system will be responsible for the entire $6100 bill.

The biggest impact, however, will come from discounts on capital technology projects in the schools. The E-Rate program is shifting the majority of the funding responsibility to the local school systems.

Recently, the system upgraded the network wiring at Hutto Middle School at a cost of $850,000. The E-Rate program again paid 90 percent of the cost, and the county school system was only responsible for $85,000 of the total project.

After the changes in the program are implemented, E-Rate would only provide $95,000 of the total $850,000 cost.

“These changes will paralyze us in terms of big technology projects,” said school superintendent Dr. Fred Rayfield.

Bainbridge City Council owns one of three remaining L&N railroad locomotives rusting away in a city park. Corbin, Kentucky, where the locomotive was built, would like to bring her home and restore her but City Council is balking.

Councilmember Rosalyn Palmer voiced her opinion that the train should stay, despite it not having as deep of ties to Bainbridge.

“Yes, it’s embarrassing that we’ve not kept this facility up like we should have, but I think we need to look closely at it,” Palmer said. “It’s been in our community for approximately 35 years. That starts to become history. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. I think we need to look at fixing it.”

Councilmember Luther Conyers’ biggest concern is that Bainbridge could potentially lose something of historical value and gain nothing in return.

Councilmember Glennie Bench voiced concern over the hurdles of restoring the train.

“I’m concerned that we can’t maintain it in the condition or restore it to the condition that it should be in, given its unique history and its unique status as the only left from this manufacturer,” Bench said.

I visited and photographed the 2132 in 2012.

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