Suspect Killed After Opening Fire on Carroll County Police

Details have been released about an early Monday morning high-speed police chase turned deadly in Carroll County. 

Pier Shelton is dead after opening fire on police officers with an AK-47.

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Chauvin Avoids Testifying, Defense Rests in Dramatic Final Day of Murder Trial

Derek Chauvin

In dramatic final day of Derek Chauvin’s trial for second and third degree murder of George Floyd, Chauvin invoked his Fifth Amendment right remain silent during his own trial. 

After a series of questions and answers between Chauvin and his attorney Eric Nelson, confirming for the court’s record that Chauvin understood his Fifth Amendment rights, and was exercising them on his own accord, the former Minneapolis Police officer decided he would not take the stand.

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Florida Trade Secret Revamp, Crackdown on Foreign Research Theft Set for Adoption

Bills revising Florida’s trade secret law and placing enhanced disclosure requirements on sources of foreign grants for university, medical and high-tech researchers are set for adoption by the House and Senate.

The bills are a response to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ call for lawmakers to adopt legislation to thwart attempts by foreign governments to infiltrate agencies and universities to steal trade secrets.

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Will Smith Pulls Movie from Georgia Over Voter Integrity Law

A big name actor-turned-producer says he will not film his upcoming movie in Georgia after the state passed a voter integrity law requiring identification to vote with an absentee ballot.

“Antoine Fuqua and Will Smith will move production on their big-budget, runaway slave thriller ‘Emancipation’ out of Georgia in protest over the state’s controversial new voting restrictions,” NBC reported.

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Officer Involved in Daunte Wright Shooting Charged with Second Degree Manslaughter

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput announced Wednesday that the police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center will be charged with second degree manslaughter.

Kimberly Potter resigned from her post Tuesday after she shot and killed Wright during a struggle Sunday. She worked as a police officer for 26 years.

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State’s Expert Witness Says Fentanyl Did Not Kill Floyd

According to a doctor called by prosecutors to testify in the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, the potentially fatal levels of fentanyl and methamphetamine in George Floyd’s body at the time of his arrest were not the cause of his death.

Dr. Martin Tobin of Chicago said a “low-level of oxygen” caused by Chauvin pinning Floyd to the ground during his arrest “caused damage to his brain that we see, and it also caused a PEA arrhythmia that caused his heart to stop.”

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Report: Georgia Lt. Gov. Not Expected to Run for Reelection, Will Fight Trump GOP

According to several reports, Georgia’s Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) is not expected to run for reelection, and is instead expected to focus his efforts on moving the Republican Party away from former President Donald J. Trump. 

“Duncan has signaled for months that he would not seek reelection after he’s repeatedly criticized former President Donald Trump, but he’s declined to say publicly whether he will stand for another term,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said Thursday. “Duncan’s chief of staff, John Porter, said the lieutenant governor was not planning a 2022 bid, though he added the decision hasn’t been finalized.”

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Abrams Blames Republicans for Economic Blow After Leading MLB Boycott

After leading a boycott against Major League Baseball’s All-Star game, originally scheduled to be held in Atlanta, failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is backtracking and blaming Republicans for the negative economic impact that the boycott will have on Georgia. 

“Republicans who passed and defended Senate Bill 202 did so knowing the economic risks for our state,” Abrams said in a statement posted to her Twitter account. “They prioritized making it harder for people of color to vote over the economic well-being of Georgians.” 

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Pro Golfers Join Woke Chorus in Condemning Georgia’s Voter Integrity Laws

Amid the left-wing outrage over Georgia’s new voter integrity law that requires identification to procure an absentee ballot, professional golfers are joining the woke chorus in condemning the state. 

Irish professional golfer and four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, who is not a United States citizen, led the charge. 

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MLB Moves All-Star Game to State that Requires Voter ID

After ditching Atlanta in protest over a new voter integrity law which requires voters to present identification if they wish to vote absentee, Major League Baseball decided to move its All-Star game to Colorado, a state that also requires voter ID. 

In order to register to vote in Colorado, voters are required by law to present some form of government issued identification. The only exception to that rule is a current “utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the elector,” with “current” defined as issued within the previous 60 days before registering to vote. 

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Georgia’s Cobb County Says it Will Lose $100 Million From MLB Moving All Star Game

Braves baseball stadium

The Cobb County Travel and Tourism Bureau said that it estimates it will miss out on $100 million in revenue, after Major League Baseball (MLB) was brow-beaten by political activists into moving its 2021 All-Star game from Atlanta. 

“This event would have directly impacted our county and the state, as visitors spend their dollars on local accommodations, transportation, entertainment and recreation, food and retail throughout the county,” the bureau said. “This would have been a big boost to Cobb businesses and help with recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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Funding for Georgia Charter Schools Boost Heads to Gov. Kemp

A bill to increase state funding for Georgia charter schools was passed by the General Assembly and awaits approval by Gov. Brian Kemp.

Senate Bill 59 increases charter school allocations by about $100 per student. It also secures an equal portion of federal funding for local charter schools and gives teachers and staff more access to the State Health Plan.

The General Assembly approved the bill with limited debate in both chambers this week before its legislative session ended. The House gave SB 59 its final approval, 113-51, on Wednesday after it cleared the Senate, 40-11, on Tuesday.

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General Assembly OKs Paid Parental Leave for Georgia State Workers

A follow-up attempt by lawmakers to implement paid parental leave for Georgia state employees is on its way to Gov. Brian Kemp.

The measure allows state employees in Georgia to take three weeks of paid parental leave. The House agreed Monday, 153-8, to the Senate’s changes to House Bill 146 after it unanimously passed the Senate last week. A similar measure cleared the House in 2020.

Under HB 146, state or local school board employees who worked at least 700 hours over the six months preceding the requested paid leave date can qualify for the paid time off after the birth of a child, adoption of a child or taking in of a foster child. Paid parental leave would be granted only once a calendar year. State agencies and school boards are able to dictate the policy rules.

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Chauvin Attorney Destroys Narrative That Floyd Called for Mother Before His Death, Media Ignores

Towards the end of his questioning of George Floyd’s girlfriend Courteney Ross, Eric Nelson, the attorney for former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, uncovered a bombshell that has been left out of mainstream media coverage. 

“You and Floyd – Mr. Floyd, excuse me – I’m assuming, like most couples, had pet names for each other?” Nelson asked Ross. 

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Georgia Legislature Approves $27B Budget for New Fiscal Year

Blake Tillery

The Georgia General Assembly has approved a $27.2 billion spending plan for the 2022 fiscal year, which starts July 1.

The Senate and House agreed to spend more money on health care, education, transportation, state positions, internet access and economic initiatives.

The House approved the measure, 148-21, late Wednesday night after it cleared the Senate unanimously, 52-0. Lawmakers now must send the proposal for state spending through June 30, 2022, to Gov. Brian Kemp for consideration.

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Georgia Senate Passes Bill to Repeal Citizens Arrest Law

Georgia is on its way to repealing a centuries-old citizens arrest law that currently allows citizens of the Peach State to detain others if a crime is committed in their presence “or within their immediate knowledge.”

Monday, HB 479  passed the Georgia Senate with a 52-1 vote. It will head back to the House where a Senate amendment giving business owners the right to detain suspected thieves will be voted open. 

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Georgia Tech Professor ‘Abused His Position’ by ‘Fraudulently’ Helping Chinese Nationals Get U.S. Visas, DOJ Says

Georgia Tech professor Dr. Gee-Kung Chang

A Georgia Institute of Technology professor accused of using the college’s J-1 Visa Program to “arrange for Chinese nationals to fraudulently obtain and maintain J-1 Visas” was arraigned in a federal court in Georgia, the Department of Justice announced on Wednesday.

Gee-Kung Chang, who was indicted by a grand jury on March 18, pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit visa fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud, according to a press release. Chang’s alleged co-conspirator, Jianjun Yu, was also arraigned, joining him in what U.S. Attorney Kurt Erskine called “The first step toward holding them accountable” for running a tightly orchestrated scheme that placed Chinese nationals at ZTE USA in New Jersey.

ZTE USA is a subsidiary of ZTE Corporation, a technology company partly owned by the Chinese Communist Party. On March 3, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Chinese Communist Party represents America’s “biggest geopolitical test of the 21st century.”

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Leftists Target Georgia for Boycotts After Election Integrity Law Passed

Left-wing activists groups are targeting the state of Georgia after Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed an election integrity bill into law last week. 

One of the most high-profile targets of the boycotts is the Augusta National Golf Course, home to the Professional Golf Association’s (PGA) Masters Tournament, the most storied professional golf tournament in the United States. 

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Georgia Senate Passes Measure Blocking Local Efforts to Reduce Police Funding

A bill that bans counties and municipalities in Georgia from reducing their police department budgets by more than 5% has passed the Georgia Senate and will be sent back to the House.

Sen. Randy Robertson, R-Cataula, a law enforcement veteran, said the legislation, House Bill 286, is a response to local efforts to “defund the police.”

“I think everyone sees the things that are going on around our country right now related to law enforcement, and what this does is just guarantee the citizens of any community that they’re not caught up in the politics that revolves around policing and offers protection,” said Robertson, who sponsored the bill.

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Georgia Dem Rep Arrested After Banging on Gov. Kemp’s Door

A Georgia House Democrat was arrested Thursday night after repeatedly banging on Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s office door. 

Rep. Park Cannon (D-GA-58) was banging on the door in protest of an election integrity bill signed into law Thursday. Democrats contend that the bill constitutes “voter suppression.” 

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Man Arrested with Six Guns in Atlanta Grocery Store

A day after a man in Colorado was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder after opening fire in a grocery store, a man was arrested in Atlanta after bringing six guns and body armor into a Publix. 

“Preliminary investigation indicates the male entered the location openly carrying a rifle and entered the bathroom,” according to the Atlanta Police Department (APD). “A witness observed the male and alerted store management who then notified police. When the male exited the bathroom, arriving units immediately detained the male.”

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$27 Billion State Budget Plan Advances in Georgia Senate

The Georgia Senate Appropriations Committee passed a $27.2 billion state spending plan Monday for fiscal year 2022.

The proposal for state spending from July 1 to June 30, 2022, reflects a 5.3% increase in expenditures over the current fiscal year’s original spending plan.

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Georgia House Passes on Effort to Study State’s Tax, Revenue Structure

The Georgia House has rejected a bill that would have launched a review of the state’s revenue and tax structure.

Senate Bill 148 would have created two panels to study and make recommendations for the state’s coffers. It would have re-established the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians and create the Special Joint Committee on Georgia Revenue Structure.

The House voted, 139-20, against the bill Thursday. It had 39 sponsors. 

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Massage Parlors Attacked by Gunman Busted in Prostitution Stings

According to documents released Friday, the two massage parlors targeted by a deranged gunman in Atlanta Tuesday had both been subjects of prostitution stings by police, despite claims to the contrary by Atlanta’s mayor. 

“As far as we know in Atlanta, these are legally operating businesses that have not been on our radar,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said after the shootings. “Not on the radar of [the Atlanta Police Department].”

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Commentary: A Bipartisan Call to Review Georgia’s Election Process

Our decisions, the laws we pass, carry the weight of authority, but only when it’s with the consent of the governed. And that consent is only given when the people have faith that an election was fair and fairly won.

Some of you may think it is sour grapes or whining over the results of the last election. Even if you think the machines can’t be hacked and the votes were fairly counted, we still need the people of Georgia to believe in the process — and right now they are unconvinced.

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Judge Won’t Delay or Move Chauvin Trial, Despite $27 Million Civil Settlement with Floyd Family

Derek Chauvin

Despite a $27 million civil settlement between the city of Minneapolis and the family of George Floyd, the judge in the high-profile trial of ex-Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin will continue as scheduled. 

“Unfortunately, the pretrial publicity will continue no matter how long we continue [the trial],” Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill said Friday. 

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Biden Meets with Abrams, Asian American Leaders in Georgia

President Joe Biden spent part of his Friday in Georgia meeting with failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, and leaders of the Asian American community. 

Along with Vice President Kamala Harris, Biden’s visit was aimed at offering “support to the Asian American community following a string of shootings at three Atlanta-area spas that left eight people dead, six of them women of Asian descent,” according to WKRN. 

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Senate Approves Tax Cut for Georgia Taxpayers

The Georgia Senate has approved a bill that collectively would cut income taxes for individuals by more than $600 million over the next five years.

House Bill 593, dubbed the Tax Relief Act of 2021, raises the standard deduction on state income tax returns for a single taxpayer by $800 to $5,400 and by $1,100 to $7,100 for a married couple filing a joint return, starting in the 2022 tax year.

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Michigan County Experimenting with Social Distancing Guidelines in Schools

After a damning New York Times report in which a Virginia Tech virologist said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) six-foot social distancing guidelines appeared to be pulled out of “thin air,” one Michigan county is experimenting with three feet of social distancing in schools.

“The Kent County Health Department is in the middle of a study that officials hope will reduce the social distance requirements in all pre-k through 8th grade classrooms,” a WZZM report said. “During the six-week pilot study, any student that has been within three feet of a COVID-positive student for 15 minutes or more — within 48 hours — must quarantine at home for 10 days. Before that, quarantine was triggered at a distance of six feet.”

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Georgia AG Carr Joins 20 Other AGs Who Fear American Rescue Plan Could Hijack State Tax Policy

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is among 21 state attorneys general calling on the U.S. Department of Treasury to secure states’ rights to implement tax policies under the American Rescue Plan Act.

The attorneys general sent a letter this week to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, asking her to confirm that provisions in the act do not attempt to strip states of their sovereign authority. They argue language in the act is too broad and could be interpreted as a blanket policy.

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Chauvin Lawyer Requests to Move Trial from Hennepin County

Earlier this week, the attorney for Derek Chauvin requested that the ex-Minneapolis Police officer’s trial be moved from Hennepin County due to the risk of a prejudiced jury. 

“You have elected officials — the governor, the mayor — making incredibly prejudicial statements about my client, this case,” Eric Nelson told Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill. “You have the city settling a civil lawsuit for a record amount of money. And the pre-trial publicity is just so concerning.”

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Bill Extending COVID-19 Liability Protection Gets Final Nod from Georgia Legislature

A bill that would extend the length of time Georgia businesses are protected from certain COVID-19-related lawsuits cleared the Senate on Wednesday.

The Senate voted, 36-17, in favor of House Bill 112, which extends the applicability of the Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act by a year, from July 14, 2021, to July 14, 2022.

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Judge in Chauvin Trial Threatens to Boot Media for ‘Irresponsible’ Reporting

Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill, who is presiding over the high-profile trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, had strong words for the members of the media inside his courtroom Wednesday. 

“It’s been brought to the court’s attention that the media has been reporting specific details trying to look at counsels’ – the documents, computers, post-it notes – on counsel tables,” Cahill said. “That’s absolutely inappropriate. Any media who are in this room will refrain from even attempting to look at what is on counsel tables, either for the state or for the defense.”

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Suspect in Custody After Deadly Rampage at Georgia Massage Parlors

Details are emerging after a man was arrested for allegedly committing a series of killings in Georgia on Tuesday.

Robert Alan Long, 21, of Woodstock, was arrested in south Georgia after he allegedly killed eight people of Asian descent in shootings at three different massage parlors.

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Illegal Aliens Sentenced for Running Meth Lab in Georgia

Three illegal aliens have been sentenced for operating a methamphetamine lab out of their home in Norcross, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). 

“Zury Brito-Arroyo, Bonifacio Brito-Maldonado, and Roberto Arroyo-Garcia have been sentenced to federal prison for manufacturing and distributing methamphetamine in a home where a minor child resided and within 1,000 feet of a school,” a Monday press release said. “The three men, all of whom had illegally entered the United States from Mexico, utilized a family home in Norcross less than 200 feet from an elementary school to operate a methamphetamine laboratory.”

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Georgia to Use $277M in Federal Coronavirus Aid on Transportation Projects

Georgia will use $277 million in federal coronavirus relief for local transportation projects, Gov. Brian Kemp’s office said Monday.

Kemp’s office said the money was set aside for the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to offset projected COVID-19-related revenue gaps.

“I am thankful for these one-time federal resources that will help keep Georgians working while also keeping our economy on the road to recovery,” Kemp said.

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Georgia’s Net Tax Collections Total Nearly $2B in February

Georgia’s decision to delay processing tax year 2020 individual returns helped lead to a net tax collection of nearly $2 billion in February.  

Georgia followed the Internal Revenue Service’s guidance of not accepting and processing 2020 returns until Feb. 12. The deferment led to a delay in tax refunds, which resulted in higher than usual individual income tax collections, Gov. Brian Kemp’s office said in a news release.

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Legal Sports Betting Clears First Hurdle in Georgia General Assembly

Legislation legalizing sports betting in Georgia has cleared the Georgia Senate and will be considered in the House.

Senate Resolution 135 would amend Georgia’s Constitution to legalize sports betting as a game played through the state lottery, which already is a legal form of gambling in the state.

The resolution cleared the Senate, 41-10, last week. If SR 135 passes the House, Georgians would vote on the constitutional amendment in the 2022 general election. Sports betting would then be legal by January 2023.

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Third-Degree Murder Charge Reinstated Against Chauvin

Derek Chauvin

Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill Thursday overturned his own decision to drop third-degree murder charges against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin after an appeal from state prosecutors. 

“The dispute over the third-degree murder charge revolved around wording in the law that references an act ’eminently dangerous to others,'” Spectrum News reported. “Cahill’s initial decision to dismiss the charge had noted that Chauvin’s conduct might be construed as not dangerous to anyone but Floyd.”

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Dueling Time-Change Bills Moving in Georgia General Assembly

In a bipartisan vote last week, the Georgia State Senate voted to end daylight savings time. 

H.B. 100, which ” provide[s] that this state shall observe standard time year round until such time as Congress authorizes the states to observe daylight savings time,” passed with 46 yes votes and only seven no votes. Three members of the Senate abstained. The bill now heads to the state House. 

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House Approves Georgia Adoption Tax Credit Increase

The Georgia House approved a bill Monday that would increase foster care adoption tax credits in the state.

House Bill 114 increases the annual tax incentive for adopting a foster child from $2,000 to $6,000. Proponents of the bill, including Gov. Brian Kemp, hope the legislation encourages more Georgians to adopt foster children. 

The bill cleared the House, 158-0, without debate.

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Georgia Southern University Preparing to Return to ‘Normal’ Operation

One publicly-funded university in Georgia says it plans to resume normal operations in the fall semester.

“For Fall 2021, we are currently planning for a full return to campus, which means resuming ‘normal’ operations with in-person instruction, research, events, service, and activities, and full dining and housing operations,” Georgia Southern University President Dr. Kyle Marrero said in a message to students, faculty, and staff according to WTOC. 

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Georgia House Passes State Budget with Five Percent Spending Increase

The Georgia House approved a $27.2 billion state budget for fiscal year 2022 on Friday, representing a 5.2% increase in spending over the current fiscal year’s original budget.

The proposal restores funding for education and other reductions lawmakers made to protect state coffers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The House plan also increases spending on health care and behavioral health and adds funding for new state positions and raises.

The House approved the measure, 136-31.

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Georgia Gov. Kemp Says He’d Back Trump in 2024 Despite Election Tiffs

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto Wednesday night that he will support former president Donald J. Trump in 2024, if Trump decides to run for president again and becomes the Republican Party nominee. 

“Absolutely, I’m going to support the nominee,” Kemp said. “As I said, again, I worked very hard for the president. I think his ideas … will be part of our party for a long time in the future. And Republicans, we need to have a big tent. I mean, there’s a lot of great ideas out there.”

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Georgia Senate Introduces Bill Making It a Felony to Block Traffic During a Protest

After a summer of rioting nationwide, Georgia lawmakers have introduced a bill that would make it a felony to block a sidewalk or a street after being directed to disperse by a police officer.

According to the text of SB 171, “purposely or recklessly obstructing any highway or street in such a way as to render it impassable without unreasonable inconvenience or hazard and fails or refuses to remove the obstruction after he or she receives a reasonable official request or the order of a peace officer to do so,  shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by an imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years or a fine of not less than $1,000.00 nor more than $5,000.00, or both.”

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Four Months After 2020 Presidential Election in Georgia No Chain of Custody Documents Produced for 404,000 Absentee Ballots Deposited in Drop Boxes; Fulton County One of 35 Scofflaw Counties

Four months after the November 3, 2020 presidential election, state and county officials in Georgia have failed to produce chain of custody documents for an estimated 404,691 vote by mail absentee ballots deposited in drop boxes and subsequently delivered to county registrars for counting.

As of March 3, only 56 of Georgia’s 159 counties have provided ballot transfer form data to The Georgia Star News. The number of absentee by mail ballots delivered to registrars in those 56 counties total only 195,309, or 32.5 percent, of the estimated 600,000 absentee vote by mail ballots deposited in drop boxes and delivered to county registrars and counted in Georgia’s 2020 presidential.

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Georgia House Passes Bill to Bolster Absentee Ballot Laws

Georgia’s Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill Monday aimed at making elections more secure, specifically in the way of absentee voting.

House Bill 531 passed Monday with a 97-72 vote, and along with sweeping reforms related to absentee voting, strips the Secretary of State from his role as chairman of the State Elections Board. That person will, if the bill passes and is signed into law, be chosen by the General Assembly.

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Georgia Nonprofit Owner Arrested for False Statements After Allegedly Letting Criminals off the Hook

A Marietta man has been charged after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) said his Atlanta-based nonprofit was scamming the criminal justice system. 

“On Thursday, February 25, 2021, Derek ‘Al’ Sneed, age 39, was arrested in Marietta and charged with one felony count of false statements and writings,” GBI said in a press release. 

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Measure Blocking Local Efforts to Defund Police Clears Georgia House

The Georgia House has approved a bill that would block local governments from cutting local police funding.

House Bill 286 bans counties and municipalities from reducing their police department budgets by more than 5% unless they are facing revenue shortages or other budget strains.

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Georgia Senate Approves Election Reform Package, Including Absentee Ballot Signature-Match Overhaul

The Georgia Senate approved four measures Tuesday that make changes to the election process as a response to November’s presidential election.

Georgia gained national attention after a close presidential election prompted three recounts and lawsuits and threats from former President Donald Trump’s campaign and supporters. Several questions and allegations arose from Georgia’s absentee-ballot process.

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