Georgia

Will State Elections Bring Statehouses Closer to Balance? | 06-15-2018

Lauren Arthur is not a household word, except perhaps in the neighborhood of suburban Kansas City, Missouri, where she lives. But Arthur, who on June 5 won a special election to fill a vacancy in the Missouri state senate, epitomizes the high hopes of...

Politics in Brief - June 18 2018 | 06-15-2018

RANKED-CHOICE VOTING GETS INAUGURAL STATE-LEVEL RUN IN ME: In last Tuesday’s primary election, MAINE became the first state to use ranked-choice voting, already employed in about a dozen cities, including Minneapolis and San Francisco. Although...

Half of States Have Considered Internet Privacy Bills in 2017-18 | 06-08-2018

At least 27 states have considered but only two, Oregon and Virginia, have passed legislation dealing with internet privacy in the current session, according to information compiled from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State...

Gov Vetoes GA ‘White Hat’ Hacker Bill | 05-11-2018

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) vetoed a controversial bill last week that would have given police the power to pursue hackers who probe computer systems but don’t steal any data. Opponents said the bill would also have prohibited so-called “white...

And Joy Spread Throughout the Land | 05-11-2018

When considering the great problems and injustices facing our world, the lack of availability of a good Mimosa before noon on Sunday is right up there. Or at least it has been for the good people of Georgia, where brunch patrons have just had to make...

Business - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

VT Senate Approves HB 196 The VERMONT Senate approves HB 196 , which would grant workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave a year. The bill, which would ensure employees are paid 70 percent of their wages for a maximum of 12 weeks of combined parental leave...

Health & Science - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

NH House Approves SB 313 The NEW HAMPSHIRE House approves SB 313 , which would expand Medicaid eligibility to cover an additional 50,000 residents. It has returned to the Senate (UNION LEADER [MANCHESTER]). CO House Approves HB 1436 The COLORADO...

Potpourri - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

GA Governor Signs SB 402 GEORGIA Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signs SB 402 , which begins a state process to bring high speed Internet lines to rural areas of the Peach State. The law allows for internet lines in public rights of way along state and limited...

Some State Progress in Deadly Opioid Crisis | 04-20-2018

Thirteen states have made progress in battling the deadly opioid epidemic while eight states have notably failed to deal with the crisis, according to a report issued this month by the National Safety Council (NSC). It comes on the heels of a report earlier...

Most States Not Doing Enough to End Opioid Crisis | 04-20-2018

Only 13 states are currently taking five or all six of the key actions needed to end the opioid crisis, according to a report from the National Safety Council, a nonprofit organization that seeks to eliminate preventable deaths. The six actions are: educating...

Business - April 9 2018 | 04-05-2018

VT Legislature Endorses SB 55 The VERMONT Legislature endorses SB 55 , legislation that would raise the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21, limit the capacity of gun magazines that retailers may sell, ban bump stocks – devices that allow semiautomatic...

Politics in Brief - March 19 2018 | 03-16-2018

VOTING SYSTEM OVERHAUL BILL ADVANCING IN GA: GEORGIA’s Senate has passed a bill ( SB 403 ) requiring the state to overhaul its voting system before the 2020 presidential election. Georgia is one of only five states that use electronic voting...

More State Cybersecurity Regulation Ahead for Financial Services Industry? | 03-08-2018

Developments in 2017, including the highly publicized Equifax data breach and adoption of cybersecurity requirements for insurance companies, banks and other financial institutions by New York’s Department of Financial Services, have the financial...

Social Policy - March 12 2018 | 03-08-2018

HI House Approves HB 2739 The HAWAII House approves HB 2739 , which would allow Aloha State doctors to assist terminally ill patients to end their own lives. The measure moves to the Senate (HONOLULU CIVIL BEAT). GA Governor Signs HB 159 GEORGIA...

States Seek To Chart Their Own Course on Net Neutrality | 03-02-2018

Whether you are reading this in Olympia or Atlanta, Boston or Sacramento, the rules for how this story – or the collection of bytes of data that comprise it - travels from the Capitol Journal to your laptop, tablet or phone, are the same. ...

Over Half of States Seeking to Maintain ‘Net Neutrality’ | 03-02-2018

At least 29 states have introduced legislation this year aimed at reinstating the requirement that internet service providers treat all content the same in terms of price and accessibility, which was eliminated last year with the Federal Communications...

GA Senate Committee Penalizes Delta for Cutting Ties with NRA | 03-02-2018

Georgia’s Republican-dominated Senate Rules committee voted last week to strip a $50 million jet fuel tax exemption out of a larger tax-cut proposal already passed by the House ( HB 918 ). The move came in response to the announcement by Delta Airlines...

Social Policy - March 5 2018 | 03-02-2018

GA Senate Approves SB 375 The GEORGIA Senate approves SB 375 , which would bar same-sex couples from adopting children in the Peach State. It is now in the House (ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION). WI Senate Approves AB 128 The WISCONSIN Senate approves...

The Local Front - March 5 2018 | 03-02-2018

GA Senate Rejects SB 418 The GEORGIA Senate rejects SB 418 , which would have barred local governments from enacting prohibitions on the sale of commercially-bred puppies (WXIA [ATLANTA]). Going On In HI The HONOLULU City Council unanimously...

Social Policy - February 12 2018 | 02-09-2018

GA Senate Approves HB 159 The GEORGIA Senate approves HB 159 , which among several things shortens the time allowed for a birth mother to change her mind after giving up her child, allows adoptive parents to reimburse birth mothers’ living expenses...

Blockchain Bills Under Consideration in 14 states | 02-09-2018

At least 18 bills dealing with blockchain or distributed ledger technology have been introduced in 11 states so far this year, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking system. Another five blockchain-related measures that were introduced...

State Charitable Giving Programs Model for SALT Cap Workaround | 01-12-2018

In response to the $10,000 cap on the federal deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) included in the federal tax overhaul, lawmakers in high-tax states like California are considering allowing taxpayers to make charitable contributions to state funds...

Most States Taking Action on Cybersecurity | 12-08-2017

As of Oct. 30 at least 43 states had introduced over 240 bills and resolutions related to cybersecurity this year, according to analysis of LexisNexis State Net data by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twenty-seven of those states have enacted...

More Familiar Issues Likely to Draw State Lawmakers’ Attention in 2018 | 12-08-2017

As SNCJ ’s Rich Ehisen reported last week, some of the issues likely to receive the most attention from state lawmakers next year are those that are already familiar, such as health care, the opioid epidemic and sexual harassment. Here are several...

CHIP Money Running Out in States | 12-01-2017

At least 11 states will exhaust their Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funds before the end of the year, if Congress fails to extend federal funding for the program, according to a survey of state Medicaid officials by the Kaiser Family...

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...