Aaleah McConnell

Aaleah McConnell

Aaleah McConnell covers the Georgia Capitol as an intern for the Georgia Recorder. She covered the Georgia General Assembly in 2022, focusing primarily on voting rights and higher education. With a background in podcast producing, Aaleah is opening the platform up to offer engaging and listenable coverage of the 2023 legislative session.

Rosalynn Carter, former first lady and lifelong mental health advocate, diagnosed with dementia

By: - May 30, 2023

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter has been diagnosed with dementia, the Carter family announced through the Carter Center Tuesday.  In a written statement, the family did not share details, such as exactly when Rosalynn Carter was diagnosed or what type of dementia she was diagnosed with. But the letter did point out that one in […]

State lawmakers poised to revisit compensation bill for wrongly convicted Georgians

By: - May 25, 2023

The harsh reality for many wrongly convicted Georgians is that after spending decades locked away by the state, they are released without a financial safety net of any kind. So, getting absolved of guilt provides only a bit of solace.  Thirty-five states, the federal government, and Washington, D.C., maintain laws establishing a fair and efficient […]

Georgia lawmakers slogged through bipartisan attempts to protect Okefenokee, sinking in the end

By: and - April 3, 2023

This story was updated at noon Monday, April 3, 2023.  The push by a large coalition of Georgia legislators to protect the Okefenokee Swamp from mining failed this session even before legislators could vote on a panel to study ways to protect the diverse wildlife refuge. The failure of Georgia legislators to pass bills designed […]

Georgia Supreme Court justices hear arguments in challenge to state’s 2019 anti-abortion law 

By: and - March 28, 2023

Some Georgia Supreme Court justices appeared skeptical of the argument that the state’s six-week abortion should be tossed out because it passed while Roe v. Wade was still standing. That’s one of the key arguments plaintiffs made when they challenged the law last year in Fulton County Superior Court, where Judge Robert C. I. McBurney […]

Republican lawmakers back plan to tackle homelessness that critics say is misplaced

By: and - March 27, 2023

Lawmakers backed a plan Monday that proponents call a necessary first step toward better understanding persistent homelessness, which out-of-town legislators get an up-close view of while in downtown Atlanta for the three-month session. But critics argue the Senate bill steps on the authority of the local officials grappling with the complicated issue in their communities […]

Listen up: New wave of Georgia lawmakers accents state’s shifting demographics

By: - March 20, 2023

In the last decade, Georgia’s population has grown more diverse, especially as the state welcomes an increasing number of immigrants and refugees. As a result, much of the work taking place at the Capitol is beginning to reflect the state’s changing demographics – and accents. At least 83 non-white members participated in the 2023 legislative […]

Hiring more people with developmental disabilities pitched as Georgia’s labor shortage fix

By: - March 9, 2023

People living with intellectual and developmental disabilities say one solution to Georgia’s workforce shortage is to hire them. In a 2020-2021 report, National Core Indicators found that 54% of Georgians living with a disability want a paid community job, but cannot get one. That’s true even though 30% of them take classes or train to […]

Legislation to redact government employees’ information from Georgia public records falls short

By: - March 7, 2023

Legislation that would shield a government employee’s personal information from public records did not survive Crossover Day. State senators declined to act on  Senate Bill 176, which proposed to redact the personal information of government workers, such as home addresses, phone numbers and Social Security identification from public records.  A broader redaction bill, Senate Bill […]

Crossover Day wrap: Flurry of bills passed at pivotal deadline

By: , , and - March 7, 2023

Dozens of bills cleared a key legislative deadline Monday, with some controversial measures – like a ban on some gender-affirming care – squeaking by as the clock wound down. And in the House, it was notable what didn’t come up for a vote at all: sports betting. The bill likely represented the last shot this […]

Georgia lawmakers offer both punitive and safety net approaches to tackling homelessness

By: - March 5, 2023

More than 10,000 Georgians experience homelessness, according to a 2022 report released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. And one-third of Georgia’s unhoused population is in metro Atlanta, said Partners for Home CEO Cathryn Vassell. Each January, Partners for Home conducts its Point in Time Count, where hundreds of volunteers fan out […]

Welcome to America: Refugees from wars in Afghanistan and Ukraine get help starting anew in Georgia

By: - February 27, 2023

The 10th annual New Americans Celebration drew about 300 case workers, advocates and allies to the state Capitol this month to welcome resettled refugees and immigrants to Georgia.  The Coalition of Refugee Service Agencies (CRSA) organized the event to honor the more than 1 million foreign-born residents who call the Peach State home. And as […]

Georgia House proposal for cigarette tax hike to promote public health runs into anti-tax buzzsaw

By: and - February 24, 2023

Georgia smokers and vapers could be paying more for their nicotine habit under a pair of bills working their way through the state House. This week, the House Subcommittee on Tax Revisions held its first hearing on House Bills 191 and 192, which would raise taxes on cigarettes and vape products respectively. The cigarette tax […]