Author

Ross Williams

Ross Williams

Before joining the Georgia Recorder, Ross Williams covered local and state government for the Marietta Daily Journal.Williams' reporting took him from City Hall to homeless camps, from the offices of business executives to the living rooms of grieving parents. 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. A native of Cobb County, Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Atlanta's Oglethorpe University and a master’s in journalism from Northwestern University.

Bill proposing ban on free-speech zones at college campuses clears Georgia Legislature

By: - April 4, 2022

So-called college free-speech zones could soon be nothing but a memory in Georgia after the Senate passed a bill Monday designed to expand free speech areas at Georgia’s public schools campus-wide. “House Bill 1 will protect and clarify the First Amendment rights our students should enjoy on our public colleges and universities,” said Sen. Bruce […]

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 […]

Georgia recess requirement bill awaits Kemp’s signature

By: - April 1, 2022

This story was updated at 1:25 a.m. Tuesday, April 5.  Georgia’s more than 740,000 public elementary school students could be spending more time climbing on jungle gyms and racing down slides thanks to a bill passed by the Legislature. House Bill 1283 requires schools to schedule 30 minutes of recess per day for children in […]

Is banning school mask mandates and vaccine ‘passports’ premature, or justified?

By: and - March 29, 2022

Georgia took two big steps toward ending pandemic restrictions Tuesday as Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill allowing a parental veto for school mask mandates and the state House passed a bill banning so-called vaccine passports for public facilities, including colleges and universities. Republicans called the measures signs of a return to normal, but Democrats […]

Georgia House panel opens path to legalized sports betting and more

By: - March 28, 2022

The age-old debate over expanded legalized gambling is back in the Georgia Legislature after a House committee voted Monday to open the door to sports betting and eventually other forms of wagering. The House Economic Development and Tourism Committee gave the OK to a pair of bills that put the question of expanding Georgia’s legal […]

Trump GOP kingmaking power to be tested after Georgia rally

By: - March 28, 2022

On Saturday, Donald Trump made his latest triumphant return to Georgia after losing the 2020 election. Much of Commerce, a rural city north of Athens, was swathed in patriotic colors, and merchants hawked Trump 2024 merchandise outside gas stations as thousands of the Trump faithful, many in vehicles festooned with Trump flags and bumper stickers, […]

Warnock pushes to lower drug prices for seniors, diabetics

By: - March 24, 2022

Georgia U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock announced a plan Thursday to lower drug costs for seniors in his latest efforts to revive provisions from the Democrats’ stalled social spending bill. “This bill focuses specifically on lowering the cost of prescription drugs for seniors on Medicare Part D,” Warnock said during a virtual press conference. “I think […]

Two parents’ rights bills inch closer to becoming law

By: - March 23, 2022

A once-controversial bill seeking to protect parents from being removed from local school board meetings sailed through a House committee Wednesday after undergoing major changes, while another so-called parental bill of rights squeaked past a Senate committee with a tie-breaking vote. Senate Pro Tem Butch Miller’s Senate Bill 588 passed the Senate 32-20 last week […]

Georgia lawmakers close in on ban to prevent schools from requiring masks

By: - March 21, 2022

The Georgia Legislature could be one vote away from banning mask mandates in schools. A Senate bill to give parents veto power over school district health measures passed the House Education Committee Monday, teeing it up for a full House vote. Gov. Brian Kemp has personally backed the bill. “Parents are the best decision makers […]

Bill declaring open season on raccoons to protect turkey eggs could miss the mark

By: - March 21, 2022

There’s a battle raging in Georgia between turkeys and raccoons, lawmakers say. They’re stepping in on the side of the gobblers, but some experts doubt whether their plans will do much to help the turkeys or hinder the raccoons. Turkey hunters in much of the state are having a hard time bagging birds. Just ask […]

Gas tax suspension signed into law, will last through May 31

By: - March 17, 2022

This story was updated at 10 p.m. Friday, March 18 to reflect the governor signing the bill into law.  A plan to temporarily suspend Georgia’s motor fuel tax in the wake of sky-high gasoline prices was made official Friday afternoon with Gov. Brian Kemp’s signature. Both the Senate and House unanimously passed the bill. It […]

Memorials mark anniversary of spa shootings with tributes to victims of ‘hate and fear’

By: - March 16, 2022

Wednesday marked a somber anniversary for Georgians, especially those with Asian American ancestry. On March 16, 2021, a gunman attacked three Asian American spas in Atlanta and Cherokee County, killing eight people and injuring another. Six of the people killed were Asian American women. The nation mourned along with Georgia as the tragedy came amid […]