Briefs

Agriculture section of reconciliation bill budgets for climate change fight, enhanced research

BY: - September 13, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Agriculture Committee on Monday advanced its section of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. The agriculture portion would provide funding for historically Black land grant colleges and investments in urban agriculture, along with boosting U.S. Department of Agriculture programs to address climate change threats in farming. The $66 billion agriculture measure passed along party lines […]

Universal pre-K, free community college included in sweeping reconciliation bill

BY: - September 12, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House Education & Labor Committee advanced legislation Friday that would provide universal pre-K education, expand federal Pell Grants for college students and institute two years of free community college. The $761 billion measure, approved on a party-line 28-22 vote, will be combined with other pieces of Democrats’ giant $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation measure, […]

Biden to require COVID-19 vaccines for federal employees and contractors, reports say

BY: - September 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal employees will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with no opt-out for testing under an executive order that President Joe Biden is expected to sign Thursday, according to several news outlets. The new requirement will be rolled out as Biden gives a major address Thursday afternoon on new national strategies for combating […]

White House seeks at least $24B to aid states struck by hurricanes, wildfires

BY: - September 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — The White House is urging Congress to approve at least $24 billion — and likely more — for disaster relief costs, saying that the aid should be included in a short-term spending bill expected this month. That tally includes $14 billion for recovery costs related to extreme weather events including hurricanes, floods and wildfires during the last […]

Grand jury indicts Brunswick DA for violating duty in Ahmaud Arbery case

BY: - September 2, 2021

A Glynn County grand jury has indicted a former Brunswick district attorney for accusations that she hindered the investigation into the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery. Attorney General Chris Carr announced Thursday afternoon that former Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Lee Johnson has been charged with violating the oath of public office and obstruction […]

Georgia college professors warn of COVID danger as state pushes mask-less fall

BY: - September 1, 2021

Georgia Tech’s current COVID-19 prevention measures are not sufficient to prevent widespread transmission of the virus, a biology professor wrote this week in a letter to Provost Steve McLaughlin. “I will not be surprised if we have 5,000 cases in the next month, half undetected and most asymptomatic or very mild, and more than half […]

Georgia AG joins court fight against Biden administration transgender protections

BY: - August 31, 2021

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is joining counterparts in 19 other states to sue the Biden administration over federal anti-discrimination protections for transgender students. “The administration is willfully circumventing the authority of Congress and ignoring the rule of law with this regulatory overreach,” Carr said in a statement. “There is an established process to change […]

U.S. military out of Afghanistan; evacuation of Americans and Afghans enters new phase

BY: - August 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — Even as the last military planes left Kabul, members of Congress were still trying to facilitate the evacuations of more Americans and Afghans. Reps. Jason Crow (D-Co.), Andy Kim (D-N.J.) and Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) are leading efforts to supply names and contacts of Afghans who helped the U.S. in the last 20 years […]

Federal civil rights investigations launched for five states banning school mask mandates

BY: - August 30, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal education officials have launched civil rights investigations in five Republican-led states that have prohibited school districts from mandating mask-wearing, saying those policies could amount to illegal discrimination against students with disabilities. The Biden administration notified the education chiefs in Iowa, Tennessee, South Carolina, Utah and Oklahoma of the investigations through formal letters Monday. The new investigations will examine whether “students […]

Supreme Court rejection of eviction ban increases pressure to dole out rental aid money

BY: - August 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of the Biden administration’s last-ditch effort to extend a federal ban on evictions has put hundreds of thousands of American renters at risk of losing their housing — and is increasing pressure on states and localities to get rental assistance dollars distributed faster. In an eight-page majority opinion […]

Georgia behavioral health services strained by budget woes, pandemic fallout

BY: - August 26, 2021

Officials with the state Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities say the agency is feeling the squeeze as more people turn to their services and a pandemic-weary workforce eyes lower-stress, higher-paid opportunities elsewhere. But even so, the state agency will submit a spending plan for next year to the governor that – as requested […]

Suit backed by Georgia lawmaker challenges state’s ballot barcode system

BY: - August 25, 2021

A self-described voting watchdog organization and a Republican state legislator who represents a suburban Atlanta district are suing to prevent the state’s continued use of an electronic voting system that uses a barcode to verify how a ballot is cast. The nonprofit VoterGa and Rep. Philip Singleton argue in Tuesday’s petition filed in Fulton County […]