The blog.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for March 11, 2021

The rescue group that is caring for the following puppies and the rest of their litter will hold a puppy shower on March 20, 2021 at Longview Park in Carrollton, GA from 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM. It would be a great time to meet their dogs. If I wanted one of these puppies, I’d get my application in ASAP.

Bessie 2nd Chance Animal Shelter Rescue Carrollton

Bessie is a 2-month old, female Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from 2nd Chance Animal Shelter & Rescue in Carrollton, GA.

Bessie is a petite little girl, she loves to cuddle and give you sad puppy eyes if you don’t pick her up. She loves to lay in your lap and be where you are.

Molly 2nd Chance Animal Shelter Rescue Carrollton

Molly is a 2-month old, female Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from 2nd Chance Animal Shelter & Rescue in Carrollton, GA.

Molly is a fun little girl, she loves to play, loves to cuddle and gives so many kisses.

Lydia 2nd Chance Animal Shelter Rescue Carrollton

Lydia is a 2-month old, female Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from 2nd Chance Animal Shelter & Rescue in Carrollton, GA.

Lydia is a pretty chill little girl, she loves to play but also loves to just relax in her bed. She is a cuddly little girl when she wants to be. She is in foster care at this time to help with potty training and basic obedience.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections for March 11, 2021

On March 11, 1779, Congress created the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

On March 11, 1861, the Confederate Congress, assembled in Montgomery, Alabama, adopted the Constitution of the Confederate States of America. Today the original signed manuscript of the Confederate Constitution is in the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries.

On March 11, 1942, General Douglas MacArthur obeyed the President’s order dated February 20, 1942, and left the Philippines.

On March 11, 2005, Brian Nichols shot and killed Fulton County Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes and court reporter Julie Brandau in the Fulton County Courthouse, leading to a lockdown of the state capitol and a number of nearby buildings. Nichols killed two more before taking a young woman hostage in Duluth; that woman, Ashley Smith, would talk Nichols into surrendering the next day. Nichols was eventually convicted for four murders and is serving consecutive life sentences.

Happy Birthday to former Governor Roy Barnes, who served from 1999-2003, and lost to Republican Sonny Perdue in 2002, and to current Governor Nathan Deal in 2010.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections


TBD Senate Rules Upon Adjournment – 450 CAP
7:30 AM Senate Appropriations- Compensation Sub – 125 CAP
8:00 AM Senate Ethics – canceled – 307 CLOB
8:00 AM Senate Appropriations- Higher Education/Education Sub – 310 CLOB
8:00 AM Senate Appropriations- Government Operations Sub – 450 CAP
8:00 AM HOUSE Natl Res & Envt Environmental Quality Subcommittee – 606 CLOB
10:00 AM Senate Floor Session – Senate Chamber
10:00 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD31) – House Chamber
1:00 PM Senate Public Safety – Mezz 1
2:15 PM Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs – Mezz 1
2:15 PM Senate Transportation – canceled – 450 CAP
3:30 PM Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities – 450 CAP
3:30 PM HOUSE Regulated Industries Occupational and Professional Licensing Subcommittee – 606 CLOB
4:00 PM Senate Appropriations- Economic Development Sub – Mezz 1
4:45 PM Senate Government Oversight- canceled – 450 CAP


SB 274 – Bartow County; homestead exemption; school district ad valorem taxes for educational purposes; provide (SLGO-14th)

SB 275 – Bartow County School District Ad Valorem Taxes; homestead exemption; increase exemption amount (SLGO-14th)

Governor Brian Kemp yesterday announced expanded criteria for vaccine eligibility, according to a press release.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for March 10, 2021

Toppy Cedartown Animal Rescue Education & Sterilization

Toppy is a female Papillon & Dachshund mix who is available for adoption from Cedartown Animal Rescue, Education & Sterilization in Cedartown, GA.

Toppy is an adorable girl who was pulled from a local kill shelter along with her 2 puppies. She is about 12-18 months old and weighs only 12 pounds. This pup has a gorgeous, soft black coat. Toppy is perfectly crate trained and sleeps on a very nice plush dog bed. In the short time the rescue has had her, she has never had an accident so it is possible she may already be house-trained.

Molly Hooties Haven Animal Rescue Rome GA

Molly is a female Chesapeake Bay Retriever & Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Hootie’s Haven Animal Rescue Inc. in Rome, GA.

Molly is such an amazing girl! She will play fetch for hours. She LOVES her balls & KONG toys! She had an accident as a puppy and she has issues with her back left leg but you would never know it. She is so toy driven that as long as you play ball, she will do anything else you want her to do! This girl grew up in a car as her human was homeless. She deserves a home and family that will love her as much as she is going to love you! She was surrendered pregnant and all of her puppies found their families but she needs you to take her home with you!

Amy Hooties Haven Animal Rescue Rome GA

Amy is a young female mixed breed puppy who is available for adoption from Hootie’s Haven Animal Rescue Inc. in Rome, GA.

Amy is shy at first, but once she warms up, she becomes quite the little shadow. She charmed the techs at the vet’s office while there for her spay surgery, and they commented on what a sweetheart she was. She follows her foster mom all around the house, right on her heels, and like most herding breeds, she’s happier when her “flock” is all in one room so she can keep an eye on them. She loves to snuggle and watch TV after a good game of tag or tug-of-war. She is great about only chewing on her toys and loves split elk antlers or the fake stick chews.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 10, 2021

On March 10, 1734, a group of German immigrants reached the mouth of the Savannah River, from where they would proceed on to Savannah. Today, the Georgia Salzburgers Society works to preserve the Salzburger heritage and traditions in Georgia.

On March 10, 1866, Governor Charles Jones Jenkins signed legislation allowing women to have bank accounts separate from their husbands as long as the balance was less than $2000; an earlier act set the limit at $1000.

On March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell transmitted the first speech over his new invention, the telephone.

Thomas B. Murphy was born on March 10, 1924 in Bremen, Georgia and would first be elected to office in the 1950s, winning a seat on the Bremen Board of Education. In 1960, Murphy ran for the State House facing no opposition and was sworn in in 1961. In 1973, he became Speaker Murphy and would hold the post until Bill Heath, a Republican, beat him in the November 2002 General Election.

Murphy held the top House seat for longer than anyone in any American state legislature. He died on December 17, 2007.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

File this under Unanticipated Consequences: increased use of hand sanitizer has led to an increase in calls to the Georgia Poison Control center, according to the Albany Herald.

The state saw a 60 percent increase in poisoning calls related to sanitizer last year over 2019, Gaylord Lopez, executive director of the Georgia Poison Center, said. The cases are continuing to rise so far this year, he added.

Most of the more than 1,000 calls were from parents alarmed about their young kids drinking the product.

“Children are home, and adults have more of these products at home, in their cars, and outside,’’ Lopez said.

A container of hand sanitizer is 60 percent to 95 percent alcohol, meaning it has a higher alcohol concentration than hard liquor.

But see: Barrel Strength Bourbon.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for March 9, 2021

Dexter Humane Society South Coastal GA

Dexter is a young male Spaniel and German Shepherd dog mix puppy who is available for adoption from The Humane Society of South Coastal Georgia in Brunswick, GA.

Cressida BBQ Humane Society South Coastal GA

Cressida BBQ is a young female American Bulldog mix puppy who is available for adoption from The Humane Society of South Coastal Georgia in Brunswick, GA.

Cressida’s mother rejected her. Because of this, she has been in foster care since she was 2 weeks old. Cressida is one of the best behaved puppies we have ever seen! All that love and attention from her foster really paid off. She is almost completely potty trained at 8 weeks old. She does not bark or demand a lot of attention. Cressida is pretty much perfect in our eyes.

Wiley Humane Society South Coastal GA

Wiley is a young male Coonhound mix who is available for adoption from The Humane Society of South Coastal Georgia in Brunswick, GA.

The photographer said Wiley is the “houndiest” hound she has ever seen. He is beautiful, and always has his nose to the ground searching for the latest news. He points and is always on a scent. When Wiley gets wind of some news, he lets everyone know it. We think he could win an award for his loud bark! Wiley has shown himself to be good with other dogs here, which is always a plus.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 9, 2021

On March 9, 1862, CSS Virginia and USS Monitor, a Union ironclad, fought to a draw in the Chesapeake Bay.

On March 9, 1866, Governor Charles Jones Jenkins signed two pieces of legislation dealing with African-Americans, one recognized their marriages, the other legitimized children born to African-American couples prior to the act and required parents to maintain their children in the same way white were required.

Bobby Fischer, the Eleventh World Champion of Chess, was born on March 9, 1943 and is considered by many the greatest player of all time.

Governor Ellis Arnall signed two important pieces of legislation on March 9, 1945. The first created the Georgia Ports Authority, with its first project being the expansion of the Port of Savannah. The second authorized the placement of a referendum to adopt a new state Constitution (in the form of a single Amendment to the Constitution of 1877) on the ballot in a Special Election to be held August 7, 1945.

On March 9, 1970, Governor Lester Maddox signed legislation setting the Georgia minimum wage at $1.25 per hour.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Glynn County voters continue early voting ahead of the March 16, 2021 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) referendum, according to The Brunswick News.

A total of 2,739 people had cast a ballot at the end of week two of early voting in the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax 2021 referendum.

On the ballot are the SPLOST 2021 referendum and another referendum to declare a SPLOST IV and V project, the Oglethorpe Conference Center, infeasible.

Of the total, 105 cast their ballot by mail, 503 at the Ballard Community Building, 30 Nimitz Drive; 423 in the Office Building, 1815 Gloucester St. in Brunswick; and 1,708 in Glynn County Fire Station No. 2, 1929 Demere Road on St. Simons Island.

Under the Gold Dome Today – Legislative Day 29

8:00 AM Senate Appropriations- Human Development subcommittee – 450 CAP
8:00 AM HOUSE Governmental Affairs General Government Subcommittee – 406 CLOB
10:00 AM Senate Rules – 450 CAP
1:00 PM Senate Floor Session – Senate Chamber
1:00 PM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD29) – House Chamber
1:00 PM Senate Insurance and Labor- canceled – Mezz 1
1:00 PM Senate Higher Education- canceled – 450 CAP
2:15 PM Senate Public Safety – Mezz 1
2:15 PM Senate Health and Human Services – 450 CAP
3:00 PM HOUSE Insurance Life and Health Subcommittee – 506 CLOB
3:30 PM Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities – 450 CAP
4:30 PM Senate Appropriations- Judicial subcommittee – Mezz 1
4:45 PM Senate Transportation – 450 CAP

Governor Brian Kemp announced that Georgia has vaccinated more than 900,000 seniors, according to a press release.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for March 8, 2021

Opal Friends to the Forlorn Pitbull Rescue

Opal is a female special needs French Bulldog who is available for adoption from Friends To The Forlorn Pitbull Rescue Inc. in Dallas, GA.

Opal has no rear legs and uses a wheelchair. Needs a home that has the understanding and desire to have a handicapped dog.

This sassy snuggly diva is about 15 pounds. She only has 2 front legs but she doesn’t know it! She has a doggie wheelchair that helps her get around and stay in shape. She wears a diaper as she does have urine and fecal incontinence but does great with her diaper and also has her own fashionable suspenders! This girl is happy with lots of love to give! Not sure how she would do with cats. Children are new to her world but she is friendly with them – due to her medical condition it is best the children are a bit older for her safety.

Rosebud Friends to the Forlorn Pitbull Rescue

Rosebud is a young female Terrier mix puppy who is available for adoption from Friends To The Forlorn Pitbull Rescue Inc. in Dallas, GA.

Rosebud is a gorgeous girl who will make a great companion! She is only 13 weeks old and is 100% crate-trained and will go to the door to let you know she has to go potty! She weighs 20 pounds so she is a little on the larger side.

Rosebud loves her crate. Every night at 8:00 p.m., she will “retire” to her crate to chill. She is currently in a home with 3 other dogs (sometimes 4) as well as a blind 4-month old cat, and gets along with everyone! “Rosie” would be a great addition to a family with kids. She is mild-mannered, not mouthy and she doesn’t nip.

Rudy Friends to the Forlorn Pitbull Rescue

Rudy is a male special needs Bull Terrier who is available for adoption from Friends To The Forlorn Pitbull Rescue Inc. in Dallas, GA.

Rudy has Megaesophagus, a combination disorder in which the esophagus (the tube that carries food and liquid between the mouth and stomach) dilates (gets larger) and loses motility (its ability to move food into the stomach). When esophageal motility is decreased or absent, food and liquid accumulate in the esophagus and have difficulty getting into the stomach often resulting in regurgitation.

Rudy’s food needs to be blended in a blender and he needs to use a special Bailey chair to sit up in while eating. Feeding time takes a little extra time for this boy twice a day but it is well worth it. He is a happy curious boy that just loves everyone and everything. Does well in his foster home with other dogs, cats and children.

He is scheduled to be neutered on 3/18/21 and will be ready to go to a new home around 3/25/21. Rudy needs a family that has the time and energy to make sure that that he eats consistently and safely. Medical needs for him may also come down the road so the family would need to make sure that they are financially able to commit to veterinary care for this condition which may be pricey as he would most likely need specialty care.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 8, 2020

March 8, 1862 saw the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia at Hampton Roads, VA, take ninety-eight hits from Union warships without sinking. Virginia sank USS Cumberland after ramming it, blew up USS Congress, and ran USS Minnesota aground. It was the worst day in US Naval history at that time.

On March 8, 1946, a conference convened on Wilmington Island, near Savannah, that would lead to the creation of the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, commonly called the World Bank.

On March 8, 1946, a special train arrived at Savannah’s Union Station from Washington, holding nearly 300 delegates, government officials, technical experts and reporters from 35 nations. Thousands of Savannahians watched as a 100-car motorcade rolled along flag-bedecked streets to the General Oglethorpe Hotel on Wilmington Island.

Treasury Secretary Fred M. Vinson headed the American delegation; the British were led by John Maynard Keynes, “the father of modern macroeconomics.”

The stakes were enormous.

Two years earlier, as World War II neared its murderous end, the winning Allies pondered the nature of the postwar global economy. The United States was emerging as the leader of the free world, largely supplanting the British Empire, gravely weakened by the war.

The IMF and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (better known as the World Bank) were born at a July 1944 conference in Bretton Woods, N.H., where 44 countries established rules for the global monetary system.

The IMF was intended to promote international economic cooperation and secure global financial stability, providing countries with short-term loans. The World Bank would offer long-term loans to assist developing countries in building dams, roads and other physical capital.

The Bretton Woods agreements were ratified internationally by December 1945. Vinson, seeking a site for the new organizations’ inaugural meetings, sent Treasury agents around the country. “They made some fine reports on Savannah,” he later told the Morning News. He had never visited the city.

On March 8, 1982, President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union “an evil empire” for the second time, in an address to the National Association of Evangelicals.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Under the Gold Dome Today – Legislative Day 28, Crossover Day

8:00 AM HOUSE Motor Vehicles Alternative Fuel Vehicles Subcommittee – 515 CLOB
10:00 AM HOUSE FLOOR SESSION (LD28) – House Chamber

TBD Senate Rules Upon Adjournment – 450 CAP



From the Rome News Tribune:

Crossover Day marks the 28th day of the 40-day annual session and always brings a flurry of activity.

“We expect to go to 10 or 11 Monday night. It’s going to be a long day,” said Rep. Mitchell Scoggins, R-Cartersville, who also has a bill to shepherd through.

His House Bill 464 would transfer the authority to appoint a guardian for a minor to juvenile courts from probate courts.

“Juvenile courts can use DFCS to do a home study,” he said, referring to the Division of Family and Children’s Services. “Let them look out for the best interests of the child.”

Rep. Katie Dempsey, R-Rome, said her HB 291 is ready for the floor Monday. It expands eligibility for tuition equalization grants to some private nursing schools.

“This will help address our serious shortage of nurses,” Dempsey said. “The requirements are drawn very rigorously.”

Governor Brian Kemp and Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols announced a new broadban initiative for rural middle Georgia. From the Press Release:

Efforts to provide needed broadband service to Georgians took a step forward when Gov. Brian Kemp and PSC Commissioner Tim Echols made an announcement at Tri-County EMC’s headquarters earlier today. Gov. Kemp announced the formation of a new broadband provider in Middle Georgia, Tri-CoGo, which will provide high-speed internet service to 22,000 homes and businesses in eight Counties: Jones, Baldwin, Putnam, Jasper, Twiggs, Wilkinson, Morgan and Bibb.

This project will include a capital investment of more than $47 million by Tri-County EMC (TCEMC) to build a fiber network that will provide enhanced reliability and operational services for TCEMC electric customers while providing excess fiber capacity that will be leased to the cooperative’s broadband affiliate, Tri-CoGo, which will provide the broadband service, pending regulatory approval.

Following participation in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase 1 Auction, Tri-CoGo was awarded approximately $1.1 million to provide Gigabit service to 2,923 unserved locations in 24 census blocks within the cooperative service area. In addition to those locations, Tri-CoGo plans to offer services to all of the more than 22,000 accounts currently receiving electric service from Tri-County EMC.

Tri-County EMC is constructing the network with the assistance of Conexon, a rural fiber engineering consultant. Conexon works exclusively with electric cooperatives and is considered one of the pioneers in the electric cooperative broadband movement. Construction of the fiber network will be complete in two years, and all TCEMC members will have access to broadband services with Tri-CoGo in the months soon thereafter, as service drops are constructed and home installations are completed. Available services will include 100 Mbps, Gigabit and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone service for residential and commercial customers.

“Today’s broadband announcement by Tri-County EMC is another exciting step toward securing greater opportunities for hardworking Georgians through expanded internet access,” said Governor Kemp. “Broadband access is critical to economic growth, better educational outcomes, and access to quality healthcare. Our EMCs are critical partners in that fight, and thanks to the passage and signing of Senate Bill 2 in 2019, they are empowered to work with the communities they serve on projects like this that lessen the digital divide in rural Georgia. I’m honored to be part of this announcement and will continue working with leaders across our state to increase broadband access and ensure a brighter future for all Georgians – no matter their zip code.”

“Ensuring the citizens of our state have access to broadband service is a key part of my goal to make our state the ‘Technology Capitol of the East Coast’,” said Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan. “Today’s announcement from Tri-County EMC continues to show how our state’s EMCs can play a key role in making that happen. Expanding broadband access has been a key priority for the Senate and I am excited to see our EMCs take another step in helping close the digital divide.”

“The availability of high-speed broadband in rural Georgia is truly a game changer – affording access to telemedicine, online learning and e-commerce,” said House Speaker David Ralston. “I am proud that our House of Representatives, guided by our House Rural Development Council, has prioritized the expansion of broadband internet resulting in announcements like Tri-County EMC’s. We will continue to work with public and private sector partners to expand economic opportunity to every corner of our state.”

“Accessing high-speed broadband is incredibly important for rural businesses and families – especially in the COVID era,” said PSC Commissioner Tim Echols. “As a utility regulator and father of seven, I’ve tried to make it easier for EMCs to engage and play a role in expanding broadband and reaching unserved and underserved areas.”

“Today is truly an exciting day for our cooperative,” said Tri-County EMC CEO Ray Grinberg. “For our members and our community, today marks the beginning of a digital revolution. Regardless of location across our service territory, every member of Tri-County EMC will soon be able to receive high-speed internet.”

“I firmly believe that high-speed internet will be a catalyst for economic development, just like rural electrification,” commented Greg Mullis, Chief Operating Officer for Tri-CoGo. “Access to one hundred percent fiber, high-speed internet for every member of Tri-County EMC may certainly have the largest impact on business development and quality of life since we brought electricity to rural middle-Georgia in 1939.”

From 13WMAZ:

The plan is to build a 1,600-mile fiber optic network, in order to provide broadband access to 22,000 Tri-County accounts. Tri-County has invested over $47 million in this project, Kemp says.

Kemp says they state is making other efforts. There is $40 million in its budget proposal that is dedicated to a rural innovation fund. It’s all about providing a pool of resources to empower businesses and entrepreneurs to start and expand in rural Georgia areas.

“Just to make sure that these folks in our state have opportunity as well,” Kemp said.

He says the broadband project is part of his commitment to rural Georgia.

“Addressing the lack of broadband access in rural Georgia has been a key priority of mine since the campaign trail,” Kemp said.

Governor Kemp will visit two vaccination sites today, according to

Kemp will visit the state-operated mass vaccination site in Clarkesville at 8:30 a.m. and also visit a Gwinnett County vaccination site administering shots to educators and school staff at 11:30 a.m.

The Gwinnett County site is at the old Sears building at the now mostly-unoccupied Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth.

The state currently has mass-vaccination sites in Fulton County (Delta Air Lines Museum), Bibb County (Macon Farmers Market), Dougherty County (Albany Georgia Forestry Commission Site) and Habersham County (Fairgrounds).

They will open five additional state-run sites on March 17 in Chatham County (Gulfstream Aerospace), Ware County (Waycross Mall), Washington County (Sandersville World of Life Church), Bartow County (LakePoint Sports Complex) and Muscogee County (Columbus Civic Center).

Kemp said last week that 83,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines set to arrive today would be prioritized for educators.

March 8 is when teachers and staff at K-12 schools, as well adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers, and parents of children with complex medical conditions who are at high risk for COVID complications became eligible to receive the vaccine.

The Associated Press looks at legislation racing to pass by the end of Crossover Day today, via AccesWDUN.


CITIZEN’S ARREST: House Bill 479 would abolish the Georgia law that allows private citizens to arrest someone, while still allowing security guards and store employees to hold people they accuse of a crime until police arrive.

LAWMAKER PAY RAISE: Pay for Georgia’s 180 House members and 56 senators would nearly double under House Bill 675. Most statewide elected officials would also get substantial boosts in pay. Proponents say lawmaker pay hasn’t changed since 1999.

PATIENT VISITATION: Hospitals and nursing homes would be required to allow visitors, after many cut visitor access because of the coronavirus pandemic, under House Bill 290.


SPORTS BETTING: Senate Resolution 135 and Senate Bill 142 would let Georgia’s voters decide whether they’ll allow sports betting. Lawmakers would split the proceeds among college scholarships for low income students, expanded high speed internet access and rural health care services.

TIME CHANGE: House Bill 44 calls for Georgia to permanently switch to daylight saving time if the U.S. Congress authorizes it. Senate Bill 100 calls for Georgia to observe standard time year round, unless Congress lets states switch to daylight saving time permanently.


CASINO GAMBLING: None of the various measures that would authorize casinos have passed out of committee.

HORSE RACING: None of the various measures that would authorize betting on horse racing have passed out of committee.

From the AJC:

The fate of some of Georgia’s most pressing bills might be decided Monday, a long day of voting on proposals that could include measures addressing absentee voting and citizen’s arrest laws.

Monday is Crossover Day at the Georgia Capitol, the Legislature’s self-imposed deadline for bills to pass at least one legislative chamber, either the House or the Senate.

From the AJC Political Insider:

Up today in the Georgia Senate: More than one dozen elections-related measures, including bills to restrict absentee voting and end automatic voter registration.

A crucial underlying trend in the Republican-backed proposals that’s attracting less attention than efforts to roll back voting rights: A transfer of power from the Secretary of State’s office and county boards of elections to lawmakers.

Under Senate Bill 241, up for debate later today, lawmakers would have to approve emergency election rules within 20 days of their creation. Also, elections officials would no longer be able to send absentee ballot request forms without voter requests. And the state could no longer enter into a consent decree without a joint resolution from the General Assembly.

A separate measure that has already cleared the Senate empowers the State Elections Board to replace local elections officials with new leaders if they don’t meet new performance standards. The House has a similar proposal pending.

The measures would also greatly reduce the autonomy of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who is under attack by fellow Republicans after defying pressure to overturn former President Donald Trump’s loss.

House Bill 333 by State Rep. Chuck Efstration (R-Gwinnett) would revise the Ethics in Government Act, according to the AJC.

House Bill 333, sponsored by Judiciary Chairman Chuck Efstration, R-Dacula, addresses issues raised by two ongoing high-profile cases that have made headlines in recent years.

“Ensuring there is transparency and oversight in our campaign finance law is a very important thing,” Efstration told colleagues before they passed his bill 164-0. “It helps ensure public trust in our government.”

Under Efstration’s bill, he said, the commission would have more time to make cases without the statute of limitations running out, would make ex-candidates hold onto campaign bank records longer, would clarify that candidates could not use campaign contributions to make personal loans to themselves or invest in their companies, and would mandate what candidates could do with money raised for primary or general election runoffs when they fail to make the runoffs.

The Gainesville Times looks at the Daylight Savings Time bills currently in the legislature.

Senate Bill 100, a measure that would end the state’s observance of daylight saving time, passed on bipartisan lines via a 46-7 vote last week. Hall’s senators voted in favor.

SB 100 still needs to be passed by the House and signed by Gov. Brian Kemp before it would take effect. It is unlikely that those steps will be completed before daylight saving begins March 14.

According to the bill, if passed and signed by the governor before the transition to daylight saving time, the permanent switch to standard time will be effective immediately.

If passed after the March 14 transition, the bill takes effect when daylight saving time ends at 2 pm on Nov. 7.

If SB 100 is enacted, Georgia would be the third state to permanently adopt standard time, joining Arizona and Hawaii.

“There is a growing body of scientific evidence demonstrating that these annual time shifts are bad for our health, disruptive to sleep cycles, and related to a higher immediate risk of heart attacks, strokes, cardiac arrhythmia, and even car accidents,” said anesthesiologist and state Sen. Michelle Au, D-Johns Creek, in a statement. “Furthermore, a majority of Americans agree that they want to do away with this tradition of ‘springing forward’ and ‘falling back’”

Conversely, Georgia House Bill 44 proposes observing daylight saving time year-round, and that bill was passed 112-48 on March 5 in the House. Those in the Hall delegation approved, with the exception of Rep. Lee Hawkins, R-Gainesville.

Senate Bill 200 by State Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R-Paulding) passed the Senate and would prevent a Governor from ordering churches closed in a public health emergency, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Rome News Tribune.

“I think we as a people have a right to assemble in our churches,” Anavitarte said from the Senate floor on Friday. “As long as we follow the necessary health protocols that the experts put out there, we should be able to move forward.”

Anavitarte’s legislation is similar to a separate bill limiting the governor’s emergency powers over religious groups in the House, sponsored by Rep. Dominic LaRiccia, R-Douglas.

Opponents argue barring churches from closing could endanger Georgians during a public-health crisis by promoting gathering spaces where viral outbreaks could occur.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) called the measure “extreme, dangerous and unnecessary.”

“The right to exercise one’s faith is among our most fundamental constitutional rights,” said Andrea Young, executive director of the ACLU’s Georgia chapter. “But it is constitutionally appropriate for the government to place restrictions on religious activities and religious institutions.”

“In Georgia, we never shuttered churches, synagogues, or other places of worship because we value faith, family and freedom,” Kemp said in a statement. “With the Faith Protection Act signed into law, Georgia will be a sanctuary state for people of faith.”

Hall County is preparing to resume jury proceeding after a year delay due to COVID, according to the Gainesville Times.

If Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold D. Melton lifts the ban on jury trials in the statewide judicial emergency order, a trial over drug possession before Superior Court Judge Bonnie Oliver will be the first case since the yearlong trial shutdown.

Court officials said 150 potential jurors have been summoned.

“In the past, you’d have 70 people reporting at 8 a.m,” staff attorney Caitlin May said. “Instead, we’re going to have 20 people at a time in panels reporting so that we’d don’t ever have that many people.”

A video on the Northeastern Judicial Circuit’s website walks people through what health and safety measures are in place. Court administrator Jason Stephenson said jurors would be issued KN95 masks.

Richmond County will not use home sales to the Augusta National Golf Club to reassess neighboring homes at this time, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

“I don’t have a problem with the tax office trying to generate more revenue,” board member Bryan Simkins said. “I do have a problem with assessments being raised to what the Augusta National is paying for property.”

Over the last 25 years, the club has dropped seven-figure checks on adjacent properties, in its expansion across Berckmans Road to the west and Washington Road to the north.

Club affiliates such as Berckman Residential Properties and WSQ LLC are now owners of the National Hills Shopping Center, in a deal finalized for $26 million last year, the Publix Shopping Center, bought in 2018 for $21 million, the Stein Mart Shopping Center, the former Big Tree Shopping Center and the former Greens on Washington apartments, according to property records.

Berckman Residential has acquired over 100 single-family dwellings, paying premium prices such as $1 million to $5 million per home to snatch up properties now part of the National’s expansion and landscaped parking area to the west. More recently, the going rate for a Margate, Wicklow or West Terrace drive house was between $300,000 and $400,000, sometimes quadruple the home’s assessed value.

Assessors board members seemed intent on not punishing homeowners for the actions of speculators or the golf club.

“It’s not fair for them to be penalized because they had no crystal ball,” member Juanita Burney said.

Craig Landolt serves as the new State Fire Marshall, according to the Savannah Morning News.

His family’s Savannah Irish roots date back to 1860 on his father’s side – Fogarty, Kelly, Moore. On his mother’s side those roots are Japanese — Sakurada. This makes Landolt the first Asian American to become state fire marshal.

Because his mother is Japanese, he identifies as Asian American. Because of his father’s side, he also identifies as Irish American.

“I look forward to building relationships throughout the state and helping advance Georgia’s business-friendly environment.” Congratulations on his appointment poured in from across the spectrum of “his customers, his partners” from more than three decades of commitment.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for March 5, 2021

Adam Humane Society of Terrell County GA

Adam is a male Husky mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Terrell County in Dawson, GA.

Adam is one of 8 husky mix puppies born with us late Jan 2021. His mother, Angel, is a sable husky who was brought to rescue having been shot. Two blood transfusions and an emergency surgery later, she miraculously survived! The resuce quickly realized she was also pregnant. She gave birth and has been an excellent mother. These puppies have been handled since birth and are well socialized. They have no idea what the father may have been but we assumed they will be husky sized. They are at the perfect age to be adopted to a home with children and other pets.

Mary Humane Society of Terrell County GA

Mary is a female Husky mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Terrell County in Dawson, GA.

Joseph Humane Society of Terrell County GA

Joseph is a male Husky mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Terrell County in Dawson, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 5, 2021

On March 5, 1735, James Oglethorpe presented a budget to the trustees of Georgia and proposed seeking an appropriation from Parliament, thus beginning the addiction of the Georgia government to Other People’s Money.

On March 6, 1857, the United States Supreme Court published its opinion in Sanford v. Dred Scott.

the Court held that African Americans, whether slave or free, could not be American citizens and therefore had no standing to sue in federal court,and that the federal government had no power to regulate slavery in the federal territories acquired after the creation of the United States. Dred Scott, an African American slave who had been taken by his owners to free states and territories, attempted to sue for his freedom. In a 7–2 decision written by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, the Court denied Scott’s request and in doing so, ruled an Act of Congress in this case—the Missouri Compromise of 1820 which prohibited slavery north of the parallel 36°30′ north—to be unconstitutional for the second time in its history.

The decision would prove to be an indirect catalyst for the American Civil War and was functionally superseded by the post-war Reconstruction Amendments. It is now widely regarded as the worst decision ever made by the Supreme Court.

One member of the Court that decided Dred Scott was Associate Justice James M Wayne, who was born in Savannah and served in Congress from Georgia from 1829 to 1835.

On March 7, 1861, delegates to the Georgia Secession Convention reconvened in Savannah to adopt a new state Constitution. A resolution offering to host the Confederate Capitol did not pass.

On March 5, 1869, the United States Congress refused to seat Georgia’s elected members of the House and Senate.

On March 6, 1946, the Fifth Circuit United States Court of Appeals ruled in King v. Chapman that Georgia’s all white Democratic Primary violated the 14th, 15th, and 17th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Primus E. King of Columbus, Georgia brought the lawsuit against the Muscogee County Democratic Party Executive Committee Chair Joseph E. Chapman.

On March 7, 1965, a group of marchers led by Martin Luther King, Jr., met Alabama State Troopers on the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

“I was hit in the head by a state trooper with a nightstick… I thought I saw death.”

—John Lewis, SNCC leader

John Lewis, who later served as the United States Congressman from the Fifth District from 1987 to his death in 2020, was in the front row wearing a light-colored overcoat and backpack.

GaVoice talked to Lewis about what was in his backpack on that day.

On March 5, 1977, President Jimmy Carter held the first “Dial-A-President” radio broadcast in which he fielded questions from radio listeners.

Ron Daniels brings you more on the Presidential Q&A from 1977.

Regardless of Carter’s policy positions and his answers to questions, “Ask President Carter” was a truly historic broadcast. Never before had the President been accessible via telephone on a live radio broadcast. And the questions presented to the President weren’t confined to one or two issues that he had been prepared to handle. One can argue that the American people were also fascinated with the concept of calling and speaking directly to Carter; nine million people called into the broadcast trying to reach him.

The President seemed to enjoy the broadcast as well, remarking: “[t]he questions that come in from people all over the country are the kind that you would never get in a press conference. The news people would never raise them, like the Ottawa Indian question. And I think it’s very good for me to understand directly from the American people what they are concerned about and questions that have never been asked of me and reported through the news media.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections


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