Government & Politics

State lawmaker says funeral industry oversight is too lax

BY: - August 21, 2019

Rep. Rick Williams is part of a small group of Georgia lawmakers who informally call themselves the funeral home caucus and are known for their macabre quips on the House floor. As Williams has told his colleagues, he’ll be the last one to let them down. But the middle Georgia funeral home director isn’t joking […]

Local officials head to Athens next month to fend off state mandates

BY: - August 21, 2019

Dozens of Georgia’s mayors, city and county managers and other local government leaders will come together in September to work on legislative priorities for 2020. They’ll work together in Athens on Sept.11 and 12 during meetings of legislative policy committees with the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and the Georgia Municipal Association, the two largest […]

Georgia voters challenge certification of elections system

BY: - August 20, 2019

Election security advocates are pushing for a federal judge to press pause on Georgia’s rollout of $107 million-worth of new ballot machines ahead of next year’s election cycle. After a key ruling in federal court last week, voters suing the Georgia Secretary of State’s office over the state’s old touchscreen ballots filed an amended complaint […]

State agency loosens rules on curbside package store service

BY: - August 19, 2019

The state’s alcohol regulators just gave cocktail lovers cause for a toast. New rules announced this week allow customers to pick up liquor through online-ordered curbside service, a convenience popularized by grocery stores. Local ordinances can still prohibit this kind of service, though. It’s a flexibility only recently allowed for wine and beer two years […]

Q&A: State House budget leader sees tough choices as budget cuts loom

BY: - August 19, 2019

State Rep. Terry England is no stranger to shepherding deep budget cuts through his powerful House Appropriations Committee.   England’s nine-year tenure as chairman of the budget committee began during the midst of a recession that spurred the slashing of state agencies’ budgets. Now, despite steady economic growth in the Peach State, Gov. Brian Kemp this […]

Abrams launches voting rights effort at site of 2018 balloting glitches

BY: - August 19, 2019

Karen Starks worked the polls at Annistown Elementary School on Election Day last fall and there was trouble from the start. All of the precinct’s card machines malfunctioned around 7 a.m., she said. When Gwinnett County elections officials replaced those machines, the new ones didn’t work either. The line of voters swelled by a couple […]

Georgia’s proposed hate crimes legislation gets renewed push

BY: - August 16, 2019

Georgia lawmakers are renewing calls to pass a bill defining and setting punishments for hate crimes committed in the state, one of only five that do not have a hate crimes law on the books. Supporters of the bill, which stalled earlier this year in the Georgia Senate, say it’s past time for the state […]

Georgia farmers “collateral damage” in NAFTA replacement

BY: - August 16, 2019

Sam Watson will likely have fewer eggplants, cucumbers, squash and bell peppers growing on his south Georgia farm next spring after struggling through the last three seasons. Watson said he just can’t compete with the much cheaper Mexican produce that is flooding U.S. markets. So he scaled back this spring and, with no relief in […]

Judge orders Georgia to scrap old voting machines in 2020

BY: - August 16, 2019

Georgia will not switch to paper ballots for an upcoming round of elections starting this fall after a federal judge ruled Thursday this fall’s contests will use the state’s 17-year-old voting technology until paper-based ballots are required next year. The state’s electronic touchscreen ballot machines can remain in use this year while Georgia Secretary of […]

Abrams takes Fair Fight 2020 to scene of 2018 voter frustration

BY: - August 15, 2019

Saturday former gubernatorial candidate and state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams plans to launch her Fair Fight 2020 initiative at a Gwinnett County elementary school where people attempting to vote last November were frustrated by long lines and voting machine glitches. Annistown Elementary School is a symbolic choice for a first public event after Abrams […]

Former Sandy Springs lawmaker chairs board overseeing Jekyll

BY: - August 14, 2019

Amid boom times for Jekyll Island, a former state lawmaker has been tapped as the new board chair for the state agency charged with managing the island.  Joe Wilkinson, a 16-year Republican state representative from Sandy Springs, was appointed board chairman for the Jekyll Island State Park Authority by Gov. Brian Kemp in July. His […]

COMMENTARY

A chisel is the right tool for a future-focused leader

BY: - August 13, 2019

You might remember this campaign commercial from last year. A small explosion detonates in a field behind then-gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp as he declares: “I’m so conservative, I blow up government spending.” Last week Gov. Kemp moved closer to fulfilling that pledge. His Office of Planning and Budget ordered most department heads to cut 4% […]