Ross Williams

Ross Williams

Before joining the Georgia Recorder, Ross Williams covered local and state government for the Marietta Daily Journal. His work earned recognition from the Georgia Associated Press Media Editors and the Georgia Press Association, including beat reporting, business writing and non-deadline reporting.

Limited COVID-19 testing locations open in Georgia with tight eligibility 

By: - March 18, 2020

Drive-through coronavirus testing is now available in a handful of Georgia communities, according to representatives from local public health departments, and other testing facilities are set to follow in coming days. Columbus and Valdosta are home to the early rollout of testing on a very limited availability. Officials from the Cobb and Douglas Public Health […]

Struggling rural health care system to get tested by COVID-19 outbreak

By: - March 17, 2020

Dr. Brent Waters sees a bit of everything at his medical office in Blackshear near the southeast corner of Georgia. Patients come to his clinic for worries ranging from colds and the flu to chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension as well as bumps, bruises and cuts. But Waters said lately his office, part of […]

Anti-gang legislation clears Georgia House over Democrats’ protests

By: - March 16, 2020

The Georgia Senate is now set to take up a bill that aims to toughen the state’s approach to gangs after the House approved major changes last week over the objections of Democrats. House Bill 994, written by Marietta Republican Rep. Bert Reeves, adds to the list of offenses that fall under the state’s definition […]

Bill advances that aims to deliver justice for adults abused as children

By: - March 16, 2020

After a couple of failed attempts in recent years, Georgia lawmakers are again advancing legislation to allow adults who were victims of sexual abuse more time to sue organizations that employed their abuser. This latest version of the Hidden Predator Act passed the House late last week and its fate is now in the state […]

Clock runs out on business-friendly tort legislation for 2020 session

By: - March 12, 2020

A sweeping tort reform bill failed to survive the General Assembly’s Crossover Day, the final day of the 40-day legislative session for a bill to have a clear path to become law. Senate Bill 415 would have limited jury awards, and affected seat belt law, asbestos claims and more. Its sponsor, Sen. Steve Gooch said […]

Legislative support builds for more disclosure of industrial toxic gas leaks

By: - March 12, 2020

The Georgia House and Senate unanimously passed bills Thursday requiring companies to publicly report leaks of the toxic gas ethylene oxide. The Senate bill’s sponsor is Sen. Brian Strickland, a Henry County Republican and Gov. Brian Kemp’s floor leader. The House bill was sponsored by Marietta Republican Rep. Don Parsons. Under the legislation, companies that […]

Lawmakers, filmmakers still tout tax credit following damning reports

By: - March 12, 2020

Georgia’s film industry came to the Capitol Wednesday to celebrate another big year, months after two scathing reports raised doubts about the state’s return on its generous film tax credit. “Georgia film is booming,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Chief Operating Officer Bert Brantley. “In fiscal year 2019, Georgia saw a new filming record […]

Bill to tamp down civil jury awards flounders on Senate floor

By: - March 10, 2020

A sweeping bill to limit jury awards and punitive damages stalled in the Senate Tuesday as the odds for tort legislation to pass this year grew longer. Sen. Steve Gooch, a Dahlonega Republican, said the aim of his Senate Bill 415 is to rein in out-of-control damages in civil cases which he said drive up […]

Freshman Dems push bill to reverse Georgia’s 2019 anti-abortion law

By: - March 10, 2020

A group of freshman Democratic legislators is pushing to repeal Georgia’s strict anti-abortion “fetal heartbeat” legislation nearly a year after lawmakers first bitterly debated it in the halls of the Capitol. A federal judge last fall blocked the law from taking effect in January. It would ban most abortions once a heartbeat is detected – […]

Lawmakers want tax credit for teachers at low-performing schools

By: - March 5, 2020

Georgia teachers at low-performing schools could get a total of $15,000 in tax credits over five years if a proposed law is approved. The author, Buckhead Republican Rep. Dave Belton, said the legislation will help fill a teacher shortage. “Last year, there were 3,112 teacher vacancies, places we could not fill, so that’s 90,000 kids […]

‘Sanctuary cities’ could face legal liability for injuries caused by immigrants

By: - March 5, 2020

Georgia’s so-called sanctuary cities could be subject to legal damages if someone in their jurisdiction is harmed by an undocumented immigrant, under proposed legislation. The bill’s author is Rep. Jesse Petrea, a Savannah Republican who filed legislation in past years to ensure Georgia isn’t home to sanctuary cities, which are banned in Georgia. If the […]

Senate takes turn at requiring ethylene oxide release transparency

By: - March 4, 2020

The state Senate Natural Resources Committee moved forward on a plan to keep tabs on spills of a cancer-causing chemical Tuesday, despite concerns from some lawmakers and activists that the measure does not go far enough. Like legislation approved by a House panel Monday, Senate Bill 426 mandates any unauthorized release of the chemical be […]