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.

New anti-abortion bills, gun safety legislation among long-shots as lawmakers reach key deadline

By: and - March 6, 2023

They can’t all be winners. Monday is Crossover Day, the deadline for bills to move from one chamber to the other without extreme legislative maneuvering. Many measures will be left in the dust when time runs out, despite the earnest efforts of politicians, advocates and lobbyists.  Other bills – like proposals for more abortion restrictions […]

Georgia Senate debate over gambling bills gets personal as session enters homestretch

By: - March 2, 2023

The state Senate roundly struck down a gambling bill Thursday, greatly decreasing the odds that the state will expand legal wagering opportunities this year beyond online sports betting. Senators voted 37-19 against Sen. Billy Hickman’s bill, which would have cleared the way for online sports betting companies to take bets in Georgia and also licensed […]

Georgia bill tagged ‘Don’t say Gay’ appears shelved for 2023 legislative session

By: - March 1, 2023

A watered-down version of a bill opponents called Georgia’s version of “Don’t Say Gay” legislation appears dead in the water after failing in a crucial Senate committee Wednesday. The first version of the bill would have restricted schools, camp counselors and other authority figures from answering children’s questions about gender identity or sexual orientation. The […]

Georgia Senate panel takes latest shot at passing school voucher bill opposed by public educators

By: - March 1, 2023

A new school voucher bill passed out of a Senate committee Tuesday and could be headed for a full Senate vote. Senate Bill 233, authored by Cumming Republican Greg Dolezal, would allow the parents of nearly all of Georgia’s nearly 1.7 million public school students to pull their children out of class in exchange for […]

Governor’s priority school safety training bill passes Georgia House despite gun safety concerns

By: - February 27, 2023

A school safety bill Gov. Brian Kemp named as a top priority passed the House Monday despite protest from some Democrats who said it ignores the dangers of guns. House Bill 147, sponsored by Dawsonville Republican Rep. Will Wade, passed 148-20. It sets up a school safety and anti-gang training program for educators, encourages colleges […]

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 […]

Georgia GOP lawmakers advance bill to ban some gender-affirming health care

By: - February 23, 2023

A Senate committee passed a bill Wednesday that would ban doctors from performing some gender affirming procedures on transgender patients under 18. Sen. Carden Summers’ Senate Bill 140  would restrict surgical treatment for gender dysphoria as well as hormone therapy for minors, but it would allow puberty blockers, which delay the onset of puberty. “This […]

Dalton Republican state lawmaker tries again on legislation to give DACA students in-state tuition

By: - February 22, 2023

Georgia college and technical students who participate in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program could get a break on their tuition thanks to a bill under consideration in the state House, but similar measures have failed in recent years. DACA is an Obama-era program that shields people from deportation who were brought to the […]

Georgia Senate on the brink of regulating Delta-8 sales, adding testing requirements

By: - February 21, 2023

Georgia senators pressed pause Tuesday on a bill that may have banned the marijuana-adjacent gummies, oils and vape cartridges now on sale at Georgia retailers. East Cobb Republican Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick said her bill, which was amended and expanded from a previous version that stoked fears of a ban for some, was intended to protect […]

Fair Districts GA study finds 2021 reapportionment delivered new non-competitive races

By: - February 20, 2023

They say every ballot counts, but when it comes to the Georgia Legislature, most voters had little choice in last year’s election, thanks to the state’s newly redrawn electoral lines. That’s one of the findings of a report released by Fair Districts GA, a nonprofit that encourages unbiased redistricting. The group partnered with the Princeton […]

Spirit of competition: Georgia lawmakers back competing views of legalized sports betting

By: - February 20, 2023

Sports fans will be scouting the state Capitol this week as three bills aimed at allowing Georgians to wager their money on games face vital committee hearings. On Tuesday, the House Higher Education Committee is scheduled to hear a bill by Rep. Marcus Wiedower, a Republican from Watkinsville. Wiedower’s plan would put sports betting under […]

Georgia GOP lawmaker hits pause on bill dubbed ‘Don’t Say Gay’ by critics to make changes

By: - February 14, 2023

Georgia lawmakers are considering a bill that opponents compare to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, which seeks to limit the way teachers and others responsible for caring for minors can answer questions about the child’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill, authored by Republican Sen. Carden Summers of Cordele, got its first debate at […]