Georgia Legislation to Suspend Compensation of Indicted Public Officials Passes out of Committee

Members of the Georgia State Senate Government Oversight Committee this week passed two pieces of legislation that they said will restrict public officials from certain privileges if and when any court officials indict them on felony charges. State Sen. Larry Walker (R-Perry) sponsored both bills, according to the Georgia General Assembly’s website.

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Georgia Senate Passes Business and Religious Institution Protection Act

Members of the Georgia State Senate Friday passed SB 200, which would, if enacted into law, protect businesses and churches against government shutdowns during a COVID-19-like pandemic or other health emergency. Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R-Cumming) emailed a press release Friday and said this bill “provides businesses and churches with common-sense protections against government shutdowns.”

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Georgia Bill Would Give State Election Board Greater Powers to Replace Election Superintendents

A new bill in the Georgia General Assembly would provide the State Election Board with greater powers to suspend, appoint, and replace superintendents who oversee elections at the city or county level. The Georgia General Assembly’s website identifies State Rep. Barry Fleming (R-Harlem) as the sole sponsor.

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Georgia House Members Pass Tax-Cutting Legislation

Members of the Georgia House of Representatives this week passed four pieces of legislation that they said will cut taxes for Georgia families and businesses and create jobs and expand economic opportunity across the state. These measures include the Tax Relief Act of 2021, the Georgia Economic Recovery Act of 2021, the Georgia Economic Renewal Act of 2021, and the reauthorization of the House Rural Development Council.

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Georgia Bill Would Make Certain Noncitizens Eligible as In-State for Tuition Purposes

  A Georgia legislator has filed a bill that would provide that students — other than nonimmigrant aliens — are classified as in-state for tuition purposes. State Rep. Kasey Carpenter (R-Dalton), sponsored the bill. Carpenter’s bill also, if enacted into law, would authorize the state Board of Regents and the…

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Georgia Lawmakers This Week Propose Additional Ways to Reform State Elections

Officials at the Georgia General Assembly this week proposed what they said were new methods to reform Georgia’s elections. House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) proposed that the Georgia Department of Driver Services offer state ID cards, free, to all eligible Georgians.

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Georgia Voter Integrity Bill at Standstill in State Legislature

Georgia State Rep. Charlice Byrd (R-Woodstock) has defended voter integrity legislation she’s filed that would require non-U.S. citizens to have “BEARER NOT A U.S. CITIZEN — NOT VOTER ID” printed on their driver’s licenses, permits. This, even though Georgia officials said at an Election Integrity Committee hearing late last week that they already have a system in place to stop illegal immigrants from voting.

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Georgia State Senate Democrats Want Washington, D.C. Statehood

Democrats in the Georgia General State Senate have proposed certain resolutions for this current session, all of which support politically left-leaning causes, one of which cites influence from the United Nations. Georgia State Sen. Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur) and 15 other state senators filed a resolution that urges the U.S. Congress to grant statehood to Washington, D.C.

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Georgia Chamber of Commerce Influences David Ralston in Ways Average Georgians Won’t Like, Former Legislator Says

A former state representative said the Georgia Chamber of Commerce influences the agenda of House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), even though that agenda favors large corporate entities and  sometimes frustrates average Georgians’ best interests. As The Georgia Star News reported last week, former State Rep. Jeff Jones said “the Georgia Chamber of Commerce is not the friend of the average Georgia citizen.”

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The John Fredericks Radio Network Expands to Atlanta Monday, Syndicates The Doug Collins Show

Starting Monday, Atlanta has a new talk radio station that will broadcast shows featuring, among others, hosts Steve Bannon, Dave Ramsey, and former U.S. Republican Congressman Doug Collins. The John Fredericks Radio Network (JFRN), headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, announced the new talk radio station will broadcast in Metro Atlanta starting March 1.

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Georgia Bill Would Regulate People Who Pass out Absentee Ballot Applications

Six members of the Georgia House of Representatives filed a bill last week that would regulate third party entities who distribute absentee ballots applications. The Georgia General Assembly’s website identifies State Rep. Rick Williams (R-Milledgeville) as the primary sponsor.

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Georgia State Rep. Bonnie Rich Benefits from Chamber of Commerce PAC Donations

Georgia’s chamber of commerce interests have donated $4,250 to Georgia State Rep. Bonnie Rich (R-Suwanee) since 2018, shortly before she took office. As reported this week, Georgia State Rep. Charlice Byrd (R-Woodstock) said she suspected members of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Metro Atlanta Chamber are working behind the scenes to kill Byrd’s Voter ID legislation. She said Rich is working to block Byrd’s legislation in a Special Committee on Election Integrity subcommittee.

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Use of Mobile Voting Facilities Violated Intent of Georgia Law, State Senator Says

A 1998 Georgia law authorized the state to have mobile voting facilities, but voters in the Peach State’s most recent presidential election who voted at such places acted against that law’s original intent. State Sen. Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton) said this Thursday as he spoke to members of the State Senate’s Ethics Committee. Dugan said this as he discussed a new bill he’s sponsoring to reform the state’s election systems.

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Former Georgia Legislators Say Chamber of Commerce ‘No Friend’ to Average Peach State Residents

Two former state legislators said Georgia Chamber of Commerce members, not unexpectedly, have tremendous influence at the State Capitol, but those two men also said Chambers’ members sometimes work against political conservatives’ best interests.

Former State Rep. Jeff Jones, who represented District 167 from 2015 until last month, told The Georgia Star News this week that he never hesitates to speak freely, and he didn’t even when he held office. And he said he won’t hold back now.

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New Georgia Bill Would Limit Secretary of State’s Ability to Enter into Consent Agreements

Georgia legislators filed a bill this week that, among other things, would limit the ability of the State Election Board and the secretary of state to enter into certain consent agreements. “The State Election Board, the members thereof, the Secretary of State, and any of their attorneys or staff shall not have any authority to enter into any consent agreement with any other person that limits, alters, or interprets any provision of this chapter without obtaining the approval of the General Assembly through a joint resolution,” according to the language of the bill.

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Doug Collins to Debut and Host Political Talk Show out of Georgia Next Week

Former U.S. Republican Congressman Doug Collins is scheduled to launch his own talk radio program Monday, March 1, and the show will feature guests local to Georgia as well as guests who hold national stature. The Doug Collins Show will broadcast from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. every weekday on the Georgia-based WMLB (1690 AM). People outside of the Atlanta-listening area may also listen to the show through the John Fredericks Radio Show app.

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Georgia Business Interests Suspected of Trying to Kill Voter ID Legislation

Georgia State Rep. Charlice Byrd (R-Woodstock) said this week that she suspects certain of the state’s business interests are working behind the scenes and trying to kill her Voter ID legislation. As The Georgia Star News reported Tuesday, that legislation, if enacted into law, would require non-U.S. citizens to have “BEARER NOT A U.S. CITIZEN — NOT VOTER ID” printed on their licenses, permits and/or identification cards. Byrd said State Rep. Bonnie Rich (R-Suwanee) is working to block Byrd’s legislation in a Special Committee on Election Integrity subcommittee.

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Georgia Voter ID Bill Could Die as Republican Legislator Stalls Moving it Forward

Georgia State Rep. Charlice Byrd (R-Woodstock) said Monday that a Republican colleague is holding up Voter ID legislation that Byrd said will help prevent fraud in the state. As reported, that legislation, if enacted into law, would require non- U.S. citizens to have “BEARER NOT A U.S. CITIZEN — NOT VOTER ID” printed on their licenses, permits and/or identification cards.

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New Georgia Bill Would Demand More Detailed Vote Reporting System from Secretary of State

Georgia legislators have submitted a bill that would require the secretary of state create a far more detailed election reporting system for general primaries, general elections, and runoffs from general primaries and general elections. “Such system shall provide for the entry of the number of ballots cast by type in each precinct, the results of state and federal races by precinct, the number of absentee ballots issued and returned, the number of absentee ballots certified, the number of absentee ballots rejected, the number of provisional ballots cast, and such other information which the Secretary of State deems relevant and useful to the citizens of this state,” according to the language of the bill.

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Georgia Democrats Push for Law to Bypass Nation’s Electoral College

Sixteen Democrats in the Georgia State Senate have filed a bill calling on Georgia to enact the Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote. According to the language of the bill, this agreement calls on states “to join together to establish an interstate compact to elect the president by national popular vote.”

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Georgia Bill Would Provide Hearings for People Denied Right to Vote

Five state senators in the Georgia General Assembly filed legislation late last week that would, if enacted into law, provide people the right to a hearing when government officials challenge whether they may legally vote. The Georgia General Assembly identified State Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas) as the bill’s primary sponsor.

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New Bill Would Mandate That Absentee Ballots Go Only to Registered Georgia Voters

Georgia legislators have filed a bill that would require that government officials mail absentee ballot applications only to registered voters. The Georgia General Assembly’s website identified State Sen. Max Burns (R-Sylvania) as the bill’s primary sponsor.

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Georgia Bill Would Honor Certain Out-of-State Professional and Occupational Licenses

A new bill in the Georgia General Assembly would, if enacted into law, help individuals who relocated from out-of-state obtain a license to practice certain professions and occupations. State officials could grant expedited licenses to those people — other than dentists, physicians, and osteopaths. This, according to a bill that 12 Georgia legislators filed late last month.

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New Georgia Legislation Would Let Churches and Businesses Stay Open During Health Emergency

Georgia State Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R – Dallas) this week introduced legislation that he said supports a church and a business owner’s rights to keep their establishments open during a pandemic like COVID-19 or other health emergency. This, only if the business can abide by all of the mandated safety precautions that local and state governments issue, Anavitarte said.

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Georgia Bill Would Restrict Local Government’s Power to Defund the Police

Six members of the Georgia House of Representatives have responded to the “Defund the Police” movement and filed a bill that would prohibit local governments in the state from cutting more than 5 percent of their police budgets. State Rep. Houston Gaines (R-Athens), the bill’s primary sponsor, said Tuesday that his legislation would, if enacted into law, exempt local governments that lose more than 5 percent of their budget revenues.

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Georgia Driver’s Ed Students Would Learn Proper Ways to Interact with Law Enforcement, Under New Bill

Georgia State Sen. Randy Robertson (R-Cataula) has filed legislation that would provide an instructional course and educate drivers on how best to interact with law enforcement officers, especially during traffic stops. According to the language of the bill, members of the Georgia Department of Public Safety would offer the lesson.

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Georgia State Senators Want to Make it a Crime for Someone Under 17 to Access Firearms

Georgia State Sen. Elena Parent (D-Atlanta) has filed legislation that would, if enacted into law, make it a crime for an adult to knowingly have unsecured or unsafely stored firearms around minors. Six other state senators are co-sponsoring Parent’s bill, according to the Georgia General Assembly’s website.

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Georgia State Senators Push for Council to ‘Reform’ the Way State Collects Taxes

Nearly 40 Georgia state senators from both political parties might change certain aspects of the state’s tax system, and whatever they agree to may force you to pay higher taxes on certain commodities. Those state senators filed a bill late last week to create a Special Council on Tax Reform and to also create a Special Joint Committee on Georgia Revenue Structure.

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FBI Spokesman Says Nationwide Billboards Targeting January 6 Protestors Likely an Agency First

FBI officials have erected billboards seeking tips on possible suspects who breached the U.S. Capitol January 6 and, according to one agency spokesman, this is likely the first time the FBI has done this nationwide. But Joel Siskovic, speaking for the FBI’s Memphis Field Office, said members of his agency have used billboards before to find suspects — but only in limited regions of the United States.

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Georgia Legislators Propose Increasing Penalties for Voter Fraud

Eight members of the Georgia General Assembly have filed legislation that would, if enacted into law, increase penalties for election fraud within the state. Specifically, the bill would make it illegal to “tamper with, alter, destroy, modify, or falsify the electronic data constituting the official returns or votes cast in a primary, election, or runoff.”

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New Bill Proposes Georgia Grand Jurors Investigate Election Fraud

  Exactly 25 Georgia legislators have proposed adding an amendment to the state constitution that would create a state-wide panel of grand jurors to investigate or indict people for alleged election law violations. This, according to a bill that primary sponsor State Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega) introduced Thursday. Under the…

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New COVID-19 Bill Waives Legal Liabilities, Angers Georgia Democrats

Members of the Georgia House Democratic Caucus are displeased that their colleagues in the state house passed a bill that waives liability for employers if and when an employee contracts COVID-19. State house members passed the bill, HB 112, this week by a vote of 99 to 69.

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FBI Billboards Nationwide Demand Tips on Suspects Who Allegedly Breached U.S. Capitol on January 6

FBI officials have erected several billboards throughout the United States seeking information about anyone at large who helped breach the U.S. Capitol on January 6. According to witnesses, FBI officials have placed many of these billboards along the nation’s interstates. The billboards ask for tips and inform people that they may submit information about suspects through either a website or a toll-free telephone number.

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New Bill in Georgia Legislature Imposes Restrictions on Ballot Counting

Fifteen members of the Georgia General Assembly have filed a bill that, if enacted into law, would require that election officials immediately count and tabulate ballots when the polls close. “After the close of the polls on the day of a primary, election, or runoff, the board of registrars shall notify the election superintendent of the total number of absentee ballots received by the close of the polls that were certified by the board of registrars, and the election superintendent shall post such information publicly,” according to the language of the bill.

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Georgia Legislators Want to Grant Broad Powers to Law Enforcement Review Council

Georgia legislators have put forward a bill to create a nine-member citizen-review panel to investigate law enforcement after officer-involved shootings and also after someone complains about an officer’s alleged inappropriate use of force. State Sen. Nikki Merritt (D-Grayson), the lead sponsor, refers to this as the Georgia Law Enforcement Citizen Review Council.

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After COVID-19, New Bill Pushes for Georgia to Produce Medical Devices

One year into COVID-19, Georgia State Rep. Jodi Lott (R-Evans) has introduced a bill that she says will incentivize people to manufacture medical devices within state lines. Sponsors say that this legislation, if enacted into law, would limit Georgia’s need to compete with other states or foreign nations for critical supplies.

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Georgia GOP Chair Seat up for Grabs, Outcome Could Influence Whether State Goes Blue or Red

Georgia Republican Party Chair David Shafer has not yet declared he will seek a second term for that position, but Cobb County GOP Chair Jason Shepherd wants Shafer’s seat. Shafer has told allies that he plans to seek a second term and will announce shortly.

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Georgia Legislator Pushes Bill to Remove Large Confederate Memorial at Stone Mountain Park

Georgia State Rep. Billy Mitchell (D-Stone Mountain) is sponsoring legislation that seeks to remove Stone Mountain Park’s 90-foot tall Confederate memorial. This memorial, carved into the mountain, depicts Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, according to the park’s website. Members of the Stone Mountain Memorial Association manage the park, which is state-owned, according to their website.

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Georgia Legislator Pushes Bill to Preserve Female-Only Sports

Georgia State Rep. Phillip Singleton (R-Sharpsburg) has submitted legislation that he said will preserve female-only sports in Georgia. Specifically, Singleton’s bill would outlaw schools from allowing students whose gender is male from participating in an athletic program designed for females.

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Georgia Representative Introduces Voter ID Legislation She Says Will Help Secure Georgia Elections

Georgia State Rep. Charlice Byrd (R-Woodstock) this week introduced Voter ID legislation that she said would prohibit people from using certain types of identification for in-person voting. That bill, HB 228, would, if enacted into law, require Georgia residents who are not U.S. citizens to have “BEARER NOT A U.S. CITIZEN — NOT VOTER ID” printed on their licenses, permits and/or identification cards. People who present a license, permit, and ID with this information on it could not present them to a poll worker to vote, according to Byrd’s legislation.

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Georgia Bill Proposes New Position to Oversee State’s Election Practices

Seven members of the Georgia General Assembly have filed a bill that would call on members of the State Election Board to appoint a chief elections assistance officer. According to the language of the bill, this person would work for the secretary of state to help manage and oversee elections.

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Unveils New Plan He Says Will Upgrade Public Schools

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Tuesday proposed a plan that he said will “recruit, prepare, mentor, and retain the best educators” and give teachers more power to influence the state board of education. Kemp unveiled his proposal at the Georgia State Capitol. Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R-Cumming) and Speaker Pro-Tempore Jan Jones (R-Milton) stood alongside Kemp to show their support.

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Georgia Film Industry Faring Better than California’s Due to State’s COVID-19 Policies, Deputy Commissioner Says

The people who work for Georgia’s film and television studios are not only working again but working more frequently than their counterparts at competing studios in California and the United Kingdom. That’s because officials in Georgia’s state government have a more lenient COVID-19 policy. Those studios opened back up not long after the start of the pandemic.

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Georgia Democrats Want Family Medical Leave in the State Constitution

Sixteen Democrats in the Georgia General Assembly want to add an amendment to the state constitution that would mandate workers have a Family Medical Leave Fund. The Georgia General Assembly’s website identifies State Sen. Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain) as the primary sponsor.

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