Author

Jill Nolin

Jill Nolin

Jill Nolin has spent nearly 15 years reporting on state and local government in four states, focusing on policy and political stories and tracking public spending. She has spent the last five years chasing stories in the halls of Georgia’s Gold Dome, earning recognition for her work showing the impact of rising opioid addiction on the state’s rural communities. She is a graduate of Troy University.

Georgia income tax slash races to the governor’s desk with a thumbs up

By: - April 5, 2022

Lawmakers signed off on a compromise plan late Monday to gradually cut the state’s income tax rate over several years. The income tax rate would flatten and drop to 5.49% starting in 2024, a major shift away from the state’s current six-step rate system that tops out at 5.75%. It would then continue to decline […]

‘Dean’ of Georgia House Smyre bids farewell as Dominican ambassadorship calls

By: - April 4, 2022

This story was updated at 2 a.m. Tuesday, April 5 with additional comment from Rep. Calvin Smyre.  Longtime state Rep. Calvin Smyre, known as the “dean” of the House, bid farewell to his colleagues Monday after a career that has spanned five decades. Smyre, a Columbus Democrat, has been tapped by President Joe Biden to […]

Georgia lawmakers race to beat Monday deadline to get pet bills passed

By: , and - April 4, 2022

Monday is the final day for a bill to land on the governor’s desk for the year, and there are several pivotal questions left to be answered. Will lawmakers empower a state law enforcement agency to investigate offenses related to voting? Will they pass a ban on women receiving abortion medication by mail? Will this […]

Bill shielding Georgia farmers from nuisance suits passes Senate

By: - April 1, 2022

A controversial proposal that would make it harder for Georgia landowners to file a nuisance claim against a neighboring agricultural producer has cleared the Senate. A similar measure stalled two years ago after the Senate made changes opposed by the bill’s backers. Changes were made once again in the Senate this session but haven’t drawn […]

Georgia lawmakers unanimously pass bill to overhaul mental health services

By: - March 30, 2022

A sweeping mental health bill meant to lift Georgia from near the bottom when it comes to access to treatment is on its way to the governor’s desk. The bill, led by Republican House Speaker David Ralston, overcame pushback from health insurers, intense opposition from ultra conservatives who packed hearings on the measure and false […]

Georgia senators weaken mental health bill parity rules, remove WHO mentions

By: - March 29, 2022

A Senate panel has scaled back a sweeping mental health proposal following loud opposition from conservative activists. A revised version of the plan unveiled Monday backed away from changes to the state’s involuntary commitment criteria and softened a proposal to require health insurers to treat behavioral health benefits the same as physical care. Gone are […]

State Senate panel pushes film tax break cap in altered income tax cut plan

By: - March 28, 2022

A Senate panel has drastically revamped the House’s income tax cut proposal and tethered it to new limits on the state’s film tax credit program. House GOP leadership unveiled a $1 billion tax cut plan early this month that would have flattened and reduced Georgia’s income tax to 5.25%, down from 5.75%.  Critics argued the […]

Controversial plan to ease school library book ban process clears the House

By: - March 25, 2022

The headline for this story was updated for clarity at 5:45 p.m. Friday, March 25.  A proposal that would make it easier for parents to object to school library books they find offensive is advancing through the legislature. The measure, Senate Bill 226, cleared the House Friday with a 97-to-61 vote that fell along party […]

Advocates cheer bump in funding for disability services but hope for more

By: - March 25, 2022

State lawmakers will boost funding for services for people with disabilities in next year’s budget, though thousands will remain on a wait list. Pressure had been mounting on lawmakers to increase funding for disability services as state revenues grow. But a national staffing shortage among the workers who assist people with intellectual and developmental disabilities […]

Backers of mental health bill defend proposal after sudden pushback

By: - March 23, 2022

Supporters of a sweeping mental health bill are defending the proposal after it was met with spirited opposition in the Senate this week. The bipartisan bill has the full backing of House Speaker David Ralston, who has called the measure his top priority for the year. The Blue Ridge Republican reiterated his support Wednesday as […]

House committee advances bills aimed at curbing Georgia’s maternal deaths

By: - March 22, 2022

A pair of proposals designed to help curb maternal deaths in Georgia easily cleared a House panel Tuesday. One popular measure would extend Medicaid coverage to one year after a woman’s pregnancy ends, up from six months of coverage. The other proposal, Senate Bill 496, would require autopsies when the woman’s cause of death is […]

House Speaker’s priority mental health reforms run into Senate buzzsaw

By: - March 22, 2022

House Speaker David Ralston’s sweeping mental health bill is picking up loud opposition in the Senate.  The bill overwhelmingly passed the House earlier this month with just a few lawmakers voting against it. But this isn’t the first show of criticism of a bill Ralston has called his top priority for the year. Advocates cautioned […]