Georgia

Politics In Brief - October 23 2017 | 10-20-2017

GA TRIES OUT PAPER-BALLOT VOTING MACHINES GEORGIA initiated the first step of a new paper-ballot voting machine pilot program last week with the start of early voting ahead of local contests and special elections on Nov. 7. The aim of the test, in...

Budgets In Brief - October 2 2017 | 09-29-2017

BIG DISPARITIES IN ECONOMIC RECOVERY BETWEEN US ZIP CODES Fifty-two percent of the new jobs created in the first few years of the recovery from the Great Recession came in the 20 percent of U.S. ZIP codes that were already among the most prosperous...

Business - May 15 2017 | 05-12-2017

Illinois Approves SB 1502 The ILLINOIS Senate approves SB 1502 , a measure that would require online companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon to disclose to consumers what data about them has been collected and shared with third parties. It is...

Education - May 15 2017 | 05-12-2017

Texas Approves Senate Bill 7 The TEXAS House approves Senate Bill 7 , which would require principals and superintendents to report teachers having inappropriate relationships with students or face a state jail felony or a fine of up to $10,000. It...

Health & Science - May 15 2017 | 05-12-2017

Florida Amended HB 1397 The FLORIDA Senate declines to hear an amended version of HB 1397 , which would have created rules for the Sunshine State’s nascent medical marijuana industry, killing the measure for the year. Rules to regulate the medical...

Social Policy - May 15 2017 | 05-12-2017

Texas Approves HB 3859 The TEXAS House approves HB 3859 , which would allow foster care and adoption agencies to refuse to place children with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender households over religious objections. It moves to the Senate (AUSTIN...

Budgets In Brief - May 15 2017 | 05-12-2017

GA Gov Signs Rural Investment Tax Credit Bill GEORGIA Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed legislation ( SB 133 ) providing $60 million in tax credits for companies that invest in businesses in rural areas. The measure has been both criticized as a handout...

Democrat Nearly Wins GA Congressional Seat | 04-28-2017

Jon Ossoff, a Democrat and first-time political candidate, narrowly missed winning a crowded special election last month to fill the U.S. House seat in Georgia’s heavily conservative Sixth District vacated by President Donald Trump’s appointment...

Partisan Divide On ‘Sanctuary’ Legislation | 04-28-2017

Legislation prohibiting or otherwise opposing local government adoption of policies restricting cooperation with federal immigration authorities has been introduced in at least 22 mostly Republican-controlled state legislatures this session. Three of...

Some States Pulling Plug On Electric Car Incentives | 04-14-2017

States have been offering tax credits and other financial incentives for the purchase of electric and hybrid vehicles since the 1990s. But at least seven states have recently repealed or exhausted the funding of their programs, or allowed the programs...

Business - April 3 2017 | 03-31-2017

Georgia Senate Approves HB 481 The GEORGIA Senate approves HB 481 , which would regulate the operation of drones in the Peach State and bar local governments from adopting their own laws around drone operation. It goes to Gov. Nathan Deal (R), who...

Governors in Brief - April 3 2017 | 03-31-2017

MORE GOVS NOW PONDERING MEDICAID EXPANSION : With the failure of the Congressional proposal to overturn the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, a growing number of governors are expressing openness to expanding their states’ Medicaid programs...

States Delaying Payment of Income Tax Refunds | 03-31-2017

A lot of taxpayers are going to be waiting longer than usual for their state tax refunds this year. At least 21 states, including Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina and Wisconsin, say refunds could be delayed...

Dams With ‘High Hazard Potential’ Scattered Across U.S. | 03-17-2017

As of 2015, 1,235 of North Carolina’s dams were classified as “high hazard potential” by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the highest number in the nation. Texas had 1,212 dams with that same hazard potential, meaning that a...

GA Advances Sales Tax on Uber, Lyft | 03-10-2017

Georgia could soon become the second state, after Rhode Island, to require ride-sharing services to collect sales taxes from passengers. Under a bill ( H 225 ) passed by the state’s House last week, riders of Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing services...

Business - February 20 2017 | 02-17-2017

Indiana Approves HB 1133 The INDIANA House approves HB 1133 , which bars local governments from banning Airbnb and similar short-term rental services. The bill moves to the Senate (INDIANAPOLIS STAR). New Jersey Signs AB 3695 NEW JERSEY Gov....

Budgets In Brief - February 20 2017 | 02-17-2017

GA Approves Supplemental Budget GEORGIA’s General Assembly has approved a midyear, supplemental spending plan that includes about $27 million to give 20 percent raises to state law enforcement officers and $50 million for a new cybersecurity...

Obamacare Repeal Remains Elusive | 02-17-2017

Donald Trump and Republican congressional leaders pledged during the election campaign to make repeal of the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, their first order of business in 2017. But the controversial law is proving resilient. With insurance...

Some States Better Positioned than Others for Fiscal Downturn | 02-03-2017

Twenty-five states ended the 2016 fiscal year with revenue collections that were below projections, and nearly that many were already forecasting shortfalls for the current fiscal year only months after it had begun, according to the National Association...

GA Voter Registration Database Targeted by DHS? | 12-16-2016

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson this month saying the state had discovered an unsuccessful effort to breach computer systems housing its voter registration database by an...

GA To Consider Tax On Non-Citizens | 11-18-2016

A bill appears to be on the way in Georgia that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution described as that state’s “first piece of Trump-era legislation.” According to the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), which advocates for immigration...

Education - November 7 2016 | 11-04-2016

Education In Georgia The GEORGIA Supreme Court rules that a law prohibiting guns on school property supersedes one passed at the same time that allowed firearms inside school safety zones. Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed both bills into law in 2014. The...

Politics In Brief - October 24 2016 | 10-21-2016

VA Voter Registration System Slowed to Crawl by ‘Unprecedented Activity’ VIRGINIA’s online voter registration system slowed down last Monday - the last day to register to vote in time for the Nov. 8 election - to the point of being...

States Sue To Block Federal Overtime Rule | 09-30-2016

Twenty-one predominantly Republican-governed states have filed a federal lawsuit challenging a new Obama administration rule extending mandatory overtime pay to millions of American workers. The rule, which was finalized in May and takes effect in December...

Court Blocks Voter Registration Requirement In Three States | 09-16-2016

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ordered Alabama, Georgia and Kansas to stop requiring residents to provide proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a birth certificate or naturalization papers, when they register...

Most States Allow Transportation Network Companies | 08-12-2016

Thirty-seven states have passed laws regulating transportation network companies (TNCs), according to the R Street Institute and LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking database. The most recent addition to that group is Delaware, where Gov...

Texas et al Win Challenge To Obama Immigration Policy | 07-15-2016

Twenty-five states joined Texas in challenging President Obama’s executive actions on immigration policy in November 2014, expanding temporary relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants. Fifteen states also filed amicus, or “friend...

Pro-, Anti-LGBT Bills Put GOP Govs on the Spot | 06-03-2016

Some people might have presumed the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage would have settled or at least diminished the nation’s long culture war over civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It did...

Majority of States Looking at Daily Fantasy Sports | 05-13-2016

Thirty-three states have considered legislation related to daily fantasy sports this year, according to LegalSportsReport.com and LexisNexis State Net legislative data. DFS bills have been passed in four states, including Virginia, which enacted two....

Education - May 16 2016 | 05-13-2016

PA Approves HB 805 The PENNSYLVANIA Senate approves HB 805 , which would require Keystone State school districts to use an evaluation system instead of seniority when determining which teachers to lay off. It moves to Gov. Tom Wolf (D), who has said...

Budgets In Brief - May 16 2016 | 05-13-2016

Special Session on Budget in WV WEST VIRGINIA Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) has called a special session for May 16 to resolve how to close a $270 million projected shortfall in the state’s 2016-17 budget. The session will begin only 45 days before...

Drone Laws Passed In Over Half of States In Last Few Years | 05-05-2016

Since 2013, 27 states have enacted laws addressing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The laws generally define what UAS or drones are and specify how they can be used by law enforcement...

Congress Considering Preemptive Drone Regulation | 05-05-2016

Although the airspace over the United States is, by act of Congress, the exclusive regulatory domain of the Federal Aviation Administration, states have been very active in recent years on the issue of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), more commonly known...

Education - May 9 2016 | 05-05-2016

TN Gov Allows SB 2376 TENNESSEE Gov. Bill Haslam (R) allows SB 2376 , which allows full-time faculty, staff and other public college and university employees who have handgun-carry permits to carry their guns on campus as long as they notify the local...

Budgets In Brief - May 9 2016 | 05-05-2016

KS Passes Unbalanced Budget KANSAS lawmakers ended their 2016 session by passing a $6.3 billion budget for next fiscal year that is roughly $22 million out of balance. Their budget bill ( SB 249 ) calls on Gov. Sam Brownback (R) to come up with...

Health & Science - May 9 2016 | 05-05-2016

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration bans the sale of e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and hookah tobacco to people under age 18 and requires companies to submit these products to it for regulatory review, provide it with a list of product ingredients...

Potpourri - May 9 2016 | 05-05-2016

CA Approves SB 807 The CALIFORNIA Senate approves SB 807 , which would grant civil immunity to any firefighter or first responder who damages an unmanned aircraft, or drone, in the course of doing their job. The measure heads to the Assembly (LEXISNEXIS...

Crime & Punishment - May 2 2016 | 04-29-2016

CA Fails SB 966 A sufficient majority of the CALIFORNIA Senate fails to endorse SB 966 , which would have repealed mandatory sentencing enhancements for someone convicted of the sale, possession for sale, distribution or transportation of drugs such...

Social Policy - April 4 2016 | 04-01-2016

Social Policy In GA GEORGIA Gov. Nathan Deal (R) vetoes HB 757, which would have allowed faith-based organizations to deny services to those who violate their “sincerely held religious belief” and preserve their right to fire employees...

Southeastern Govs Angry Over Oil Drilling Reversal | 03-18-2016

A quartet of southeastern governors expressed frustration last week over the Obama administration abandoning its announced plans to open up oil drilling in the waters off their coasts. All four – Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia and Republicans...

More States Oppose Obama Immigration Policy Than Support | 03-18-2016

Texas and twenty-five other states have filed suit to block President Obama’s executive actions in November shielding undocumented immigrants from deportation for three years, according to the Pew Research Center. Twelve states have filed an amicus...

Education - March 21 2016 | 03-18-2016

Education In GA The GEORGIA Senate approves HB 859, a bill that would allow anyone 21 or older with a weapons license to carry a gun anywhere on a public college or university campus, except for inside dormitories, fraternities and sorority houses...

Health & Science - March 21 2016 | 03-18-2016

Health In GA The GEORGIA Senate approves HB 965, the so-called “Jimmy Carter bill,” which bars Peach State health insurers from forcing cancer patients to first fail to respond to other treatments before trying more advanced treatment programs...

Few States Focusing On Self-Driving Vehicles | 03-11-2016

Since 2011, when Nevada became the first state to authorize the operation of self-driving cars, five other states -- California, Florida, Michigan, North Dakota and Tennessee -- have enacted legislation, and Arizona’s governor has issued an executive...

Budgets In Brief - March 14 2016 | 03-11-2016

LA Passes Liquor Tax Increase The LOUISIANA Legislature passed a bill in extraordinary session last week that would raise taxes on beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages. The measure (HB 27 a) was sent to Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), who pushed for...

Social Policy - March 14 2016 | 03-11-2016

Social Policy In AL The Supreme Court of the United States unanimously reverses an ALABAMA Supreme Court ruling that denied parental rights to a lesbian adoptive mother who had split with her partner. Social Policy In GA The couple legally adopted...

Majority of States Have Good Samaritan Laws | 03-04-2016

States have enacted numerous laws to combat the epidemic of opioid-related deaths plaguing much of the United States. Most common are so-called “Good Samaritan” laws that generally give a person civil or criminal immunity for seeking help...

Health & Science - March 7 2016 | 03-04-2016

Health & Science In WY The WYOMING Legislature rejects several proposals to expand Medicaid to cover around 20,000 low-income Equality State residents. All were offered as amendments to the state’s main budget bill (WYOMING TRIBUNE EAGLE...

Immigration - March 7 2016 | 03-04-2016

The GEORGIA Senate approves SB 6, legislation that states children brought to the U.S. as children who have been permitted to stay under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, could only receive drivers’ licenses...

Health & Science - February 22 2016 | 02-19-2016

The GEORGIA House approves HB 34, so-called “right-to-try” legislation that would allow Peach State doctors to prescribe experimental medications that have not yet received federal approval to terminally ill patients. The bill moves to the...