Two Georgia Legislators Will Influence How Reapportionment Affects Peach State Residents

Members of the Georgia General Assembly are preparing to discuss reapportionment, which involves redrawing district lines for the U.S. House of Representatives following the 2020 Census. Members of the Georgia House Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Committee as well as members of the Georgia Senate Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee will hold a joint virtual town hall hearing next week. The hearing will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 15 on the Georgia General Assembly’s website.

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Georgia House Committee Schedules Thursday Hearing on Internet Platforms and Constitutionally-Protected Speech

State Rep. Ed Setzler

Members of the Georgia General Assembly’s House Science and Technology Committee are scheduled to meet this week to hold a hearing on internet platforms and Constitutionally-protected speech. This, according to an emailed press release that Georgia House Media Services emailed Monday.

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First Battlefront Drawn in Georgia in Epic Fight over Future of American Elections

Over just a few hours Thursday, Georgia’s Legislature and Gov. Brian Kemp drew the first battle line in the high-stakes struggle to decide how American voters will cast ballots in the future after the pandemic-ridden election of 2020.

The Republican-controlled state put itself firmly in the camp of voter ID requirements, limited drop boxes and expanded weekend voting. And depending on the eye of the beholder, it was either a win for election integrity or a return to the era of Jim Crow voter suppression.

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Georgia Legislators Want to Require Law Enforcement and 911 to Speak Languages Other Than English

Members of the Georgia General Assembly filed various bills this week that would, if enacted into law, require law enforcement agencies to speak in languages other than English when working with members of the public. The first bill, SB 308, calls on the Georgia Emergency Communications Authority (GECA) and the state’s 911 systems to have a statewide system of language translation services. The Georgia General Assembly’s website identifies State Sen. Sheikh Rahman (D-Lawrenceville) as the bill’s primary sponsor. Nineteen other state senators, all Democrats, are co-sponsoring the bill.

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Georgia State Rep. Barry Fleming Loses Hancock County Attorney Gig Because of Stance on Voter Integrity

Georgia State Rep. Barry Fleming (R-Harlem) is reportedly no longer the designated attorney for Hancock County because of voter integrity legislation he’s filed with the Georgia General Assembly. This, according to the Atlanta-based Georgia Public Broadcasting.

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Georgia House Democrats Want to Expand TANF Benefits, Repeal Drug Felony Ban for Recipients

Six Democrats in the Georgia General Assembly filed a bill this week that calls on state officials to expand access to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. According to that bill, HB 741, those Democrats also want to make eligible people convicted of felony drug charges. The bill also would, if enacted into law, increase the lifetime maximum for TANF benefits and stipulate that the government could disregard a person’s assets when determining eligibility.

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Georgia Republicans File Bill to Expand Number of People Accountable for Supervising Elections

Six Georgia House Republicans filed legislation that would provide for a probate court judge to cease acting as a superintendent of elections and then create a board of elections to assume that judge’s prior responsibilities. This, according to a bill that State Rep. Mitchell Scroggins (R-Cartersville) filed this week.

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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 Lawmakers This Week Propose Additional Ways to Reform State Elections

Woman voting at booth

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 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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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 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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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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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 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 General Assembly Will Soon Examine Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws

Members of the Georgia General Assembly will soon consider two separate bills that pertain to civil asset forfeiture, one which would make it harder for government officials to seize private property. This bill, the Due Process in Civil Forfeiture Act, would increase the burden of proof for the government in civil forfeiture proceedings. The bill would alsoprovide people with public defenders during civil forfeiture proceedings in certain criminal cases.

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Democrats in Georgia General Assembly Say Felons Should Vote

Various left-leaning groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Southern Center for Human Rights, have endorsed a new initiative in Georgia to restore felons’ voting rights. Six Georgia state representatives filed legislation to allow felons the right to vote in Georgia. This, according to a press release that the Georgia House of Representatives emailed Monday.

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Georgia General Assembly Resolution Asks Congress Not to Increase Number of U.S. Supreme Court Justices

Members of the Georgia House of Representatives have submitted a resolution that asks the U.S. Congress “to reject any and all actions to increase the number of justices on the United States Supreme Court.” Staff for U.S. Sen.-elect Jon Ossoff and U.S. Sen.-elect Raphael Warnock, both Democrats scheduled to soon represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate, did not return The Georgia Star News’ requests for comment on the matter.

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Higher Ed Students in Georgia Would Have Greater First Amendment Rights under New Bill in General Assembly

Georgia State Rep. Josh Bonner (R-Fayetteville) has put forward a bill in the Georgia General Assembly that, if enacted into law, would grant greater free speech rights to students at the state’s institutions of higher learning. Bonner named the bill the Forming Open and Robust University Minds (FORUM) Act.

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Georgia Legislature Opens 2021 Session With COVID-19 Mitigation Measures, National Anthem Rendition

The Georgia General Assembly returned to session Monday for the first time since June 2020 with coronavirus measures in place.

Legislators were required to observe COVID-19 restrictions including wearing masks and social distancing, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Legislators will be tested twice a week for COVID-19, said State Senator Mike Dugan (R-Carrollton), the Republican Senate leader.

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Georgia House Democratic Caucus COVID-19 Subcommittee Petitions Governor for Mandatory Shelter-in-Place, Mask Mandates, and Social Gathering Restrictions

The Georgia House Democratic Caucus Subcommittee on COVID-19 requested that Governor Brian Kemp implement more emergency regulations to address the new COVID-19 strain. Subcommittee members are State Representatives Rhonda Burnough (D-Riverdale), Viola Davis, (D-Stone Mountain), Shelly Hutchinson (D-Snellville), Donna McLeod (D-Lawrenceville), Sandra Scott (D-Rex), and Kim Schofieeld (D-Atlanta). 

The letter requested that Kemp expand the emergency orders to require everyone to either shelter-in-place, or do a combination of the following: cease all in-person schooling; further limit gatherings in bars, clubs, and restaurants; impose a statewide mask mandate; and establish moratoriums on evictions and utility cutoffs for all of this upcoming year.

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Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston Joins BKP Politics to Discuss His Call with President Trump and a Legal Path Forward

Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston Joins BKP Politics to Discuss His Call with President Trump and a Legal Path Forward

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Georgia State Legislators Reportedly Fearful of Backlash and Destruction in Atlanta If They Vote for a Special Session

The Georgia legislature may not call a special session – but the decision wouldn’t be for a lack of doubt in election integrity.

In an interview with The Georgia Star News, State Representative Colton Moore (R-Trenton) shared that legislators are gun-shy about calling a special session to address the general and runoff elections.

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Pollster: Fraud Prone Drop Boxes Cost Trump and GOP the Election if Biden Wins GA; State Legislature Must Fix This Before Senate Runoffs

Drop-boxes will have cost President Donald Trump the election if Biden wins Georgia, and this points to the state’s most important concern for the upcoming Senate runoffs, Pollster John McLaughlin said in an exclusive statement to The Georgia Star News.

McLaughlin is CEO and partner of national survey research and strategic services company McLaughlin & Associates.

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During Georgia Senate Hearing, Giuliani Team Shows Video of Suitcases Filled With Ballots Processed After Counting Supposedly Ended

The election was a sham, and there is “overwhelming proof of fraud,” Rudy Giuliani said Thursday in the second of two hearings at the Georgia Senate, and his team showed a damning video of suitcases stuffed with ballots processed once counting was supposedly finished.

The Senate Government Oversight Committee held the first hearing of the day to “evaluate the election process to ensure the integrity of Georgia’s voting process,” 11 Alive reported.

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