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.

Shooter accused of murder could face hate crime charges in spa killings

By: and - March 17, 2021

The 21-year-old Woodstock man suspected of gunning down eight people who were mostly Asian women is now charged with murder and has told investigators the shocking violence was not driven by racial animus. But the brutal slayings Tuesday afternoon have brought a new focus to the rise in hostility toward Asian Americans during the pandemic. […]

Georgia chief justice appeals to state lawmakers to avert speedy trial ‘crisis’

By: - March 16, 2021

Outgoing Georgia Chief Justice Harold Melton brought his appeal for legislative help with a backlog of cases straight to lawmakers Tuesday during a speech that reflected on the last year’s challenges and heartaches. Melton announced earlier this month that jury trials can resume in Georgia a year after he first ordered them suspended to avoid […]

Georgia Dems urge state to accept sweetened Medicaid expansion deal

By: - March 15, 2021

Georgia Democrats called on the state’s GOP leadership to take advantage of new federal incentives to fully expand Medicaid that were baked into the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package President Joe Biden signed last week. Georgia is one of a dozen states that did not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, with Republicans calling […]

Top Georgia Republicans rip strings attached to coronavirus relief aid

By: - March 11, 2021

High-ranking GOP state officials are objecting to a provision in the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill that blocks them from using the federal funds to pay for tax breaks. The sweeping relief measure, which includes a $1,400 direct checks for many Americans, is on its way to President Joe Biden’s desk after getting final approval Wednesday from […]

Busy Georgia legislative deadline day includes citizen’s arrest overhaul

By: - March 9, 2021

A proposal to create a new school voucher program, legislation banning transgender girls from playing on girls sports teams and a pay raise for state lawmakers were among the bills left behind as a key legislative deadline came and went Monday. House lawmakers continued to flirt with passing their own version of a bill that […]

Lawmakers adjust to COVID limits as deadline arrives to advance legislation

By: - March 8, 2021

Monday marks a pivotal point in this year’s legislative session: It’s the last day for a bill to clear at least one chamber to have a decent chance at becoming law this year. Last year, lawmakers barely made it through the traditional night of marathon law-making before the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to abruptly suspend […]

Georgia House restores some mental health spending in next year’s budget

By: - March 5, 2021

Another $36 million would go toward mental health services in next year’s $27.2 billion budget as state lawmakers work on erasing spending cuts made last year. House lawmakers added funding to the $22 million Gov. Brian Kemp penciled into the budget, bringing the increased funding for the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities up […]

State lawmakers to vote whether to double their pay starting in 2023

By: - March 4, 2021

State lawmakers would nearly double their pay and significantly raise the salaries of constitutional officers under a bill gaining traction under the Gold Dome. The powerful House Rules Committee approved a bill Wednesday that set their annual salary at nearly $30,000, up from the $17,342 they are currently paid. The change would take effect in in 2023 […]

Georgia House approves bill that would turn porch piracy into a felony

By: - March 3, 2021

State lawmakers want to make it a felony to swipe a package from someone’s porch. Porch piracy is nothing new, but proponents argue that the tougher penalty would reflect society’s increased reliance on delivery drivers and mail carriers, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. They also say the change would bring the consequences under state law […]

Ga. House panel passes bill to require coal ash monitoring for decades

By: - March 2, 2021

The state’s largest electric public utility would have to monitor groundwater near toxic coal ash ponds for five decades under a revived proposal that cleared a Georgia House committee Tuesday. And while the GOP bill has largely found support at the statehouse, environmentalists and residents living near the coal ash ponds have urged lawmakers to take […]

Senate panel moves to end no-excuse absentee voting in Georgia

By: - March 1, 2021

The state Senate is poised to consider restrictive voting legislation that would require Georgians to have a reason to vote absentee, putting an end to the no-excuse system the GOP created in 2005 and that many Georgians relied on during the pandemic. The Senate Ethics Committee hastily passed a wide-ranging proposal that would overhaul the […]

Okefenokee lovers still hope state, Biden administration will halt mine

By: and - March 1, 2021

This story was updated 11:50 a.m. Monday.  Environmentalists hold up the controversial proposal to mine for minerals near the Okefenokee Swamp as the poster child of the lands that lost federal protection under former President Donald Trump’s administration last summer.  That rule replaced an Obama-era one that opponents criticized as government overreach and shifted the […]