On March 26, 1734, the British House of Commons voted £10,000 to subsidize the Georgia colony, down from £26,000 the previous year.
The British Parliament closed the Port of Boston on March 25, 1774, passing the Boston Port Act in retaliation for the destruction of $1 million worth of tea in the Boston Tea Party.
On March 26, 1920, This Side of Paradise, the debut novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald was published. The author was 23 years old.
Flannery O’Connor was born on March 25, 1925 in Savannah, Georgia. She would come to be recognized as one of the greatest American fiction writers. O’Connor graduated from the Georgia State College for Women, now called Georgia College and State University. She returned to Milledgeville in 1951, living at the family farm, called Andalusia, until her death at age 39 in 1964.
At GCSU, the Flannery O’Connor Room is located in the GC Museum, the Flannery O’Connor Collection includes manuscripts, and the College includes a program in Flannery O’Connor Studies.
O’Connor died of Lupus, which also killed her father.
Horton Smith won the first Masters tournament on March 25, 1934.
On March 25, 1937, Governor E.D. Rivers signed legislation creating the Georgia Department of Labor; in 1945, the Commissioner of Labor was upgraded from statutory office to Constitutional.
Governor E.D. Rivers signed a resolution on March 24, 1939, calling for the return of “General” locomotive made famous in the Great Train Chase from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Georgia. It currently resides in The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, Georgia. The other locomotive involved in the chase, The Texas, is displayed at the Atlanta Cyclorama in Grant Park until late last year, when it was removed for restoration and will be displayed in the Atlanta History Center beginning in fall of 2018.
Elvis Presley was inducted into the United States Army on March 24, 1958.
On March 24, 1970, Gov. Lester Maddox signed legislation naming the Largemouth Bass the Official State Fish.
On March 26, 1982, a groundbreaking ceremony was held in Washington, DC for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; the design approved a couple weeks earlier was by 21-year old Yale architecture student Maya Lin.
On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
COMMITTEE MEETINGS – LEGISLATIVE DAY 38
8:00 AM REAPPORTIONMENT AND REDISTRICTING 307 CLOB
8:00 AM >FULL HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS 341 CAP
8:30 AM REGULATED INDUSTRIES AND UTILITIES 310 CLOB
9:00 AM RULES 341 CAP
10:00 AM FLOOR SESSION (LD 38) HOUSE CHAMBER
SENATE RULES CALENDAR
HB 437 – Agricultural Education Advisory Commission; recreate (ED&Y-50th) Dickey-140th
HB 222 – HOPE; members of Georgia National Guard and reservists meet residency requirement; provide (Substitute) (H ED-46th) Blackmon-146th
HB 88 – Superior courts; qualifications for judges; revise (Substitute) (RULES-23rd) Fleming-121st
HB 340 – Alternative ad valorem tax; motor vehicles; change manner of distribution of proceeds (Substitute) (FIN-52nd) Blackmon-146th
HB 338 – Education; system of supports and assistance for low-performing schools in the greatest need; provisions (Substitute) (ED&Y-37th) Tanner-9th
HB 341 – Crimes and offenses; mandatory terms for trafficking individuals for sexual servitude; provisions (Substitute) (JUDY-45th) Reeves-34th
HB 290 – Ad valorem tax; definitions related to exemption of certain agricultural equipment; revise (FIN-7th) Watson-172nd
HB 261 – Penal institutions; certain individuals sentenced between March 18, 1968 and October 31, 1982; allow to petition court for first offender status (JUDY-19th) Werkheiser-157th
HB 510 – Alcoholic beverages; population and measurement of certain distances; repeal certain provisions (RI&U-15th) Smyre-135th
HB 221 – Commerce and trade; powers of attorney to a uniform Act; update and conform provisions (Substitute) (JUDY-18th) Efstration-104th
HB 202 – Public officers and employees; annual salary for the Governor; change provisions (Substitute) (APPROP-4th) Powell-171st
HB 153 – Council on American Indian Concerns; attach to Department of Natural Resources (NR&E-20th) Rogers-10th
HB 192 – Banks, trust companies, and corporations; responsibilities and standard of care of directors and officers; change provisions (B&FI-18th) Beskin-54th
HB 224 – Quality Basic Education Act; military student may attend any school in local system; provide (ED&Y-6th) Belton-112th
HB 452 – Georgia Bureau of Investigation; publicly post certain information to extent permitted by federal law; require (Substitute) (PUB SAF-6th) Petrea-166th
HB 241 – Cove’s Law; enact (H&HS-51st) Hawkins-27th
HB 210 – Health; certain specimen collection stations and blood banks are not considered clinical laboratories; provide (H&HS-17th) Lott-122nd
HB 134 – Sales and use tax; special district mass transportation; provisions (Substitute) (FIN-21st) Epps-144th
HB 234 – Motor vehicles; drivers stop at crosswalks with user activated rectangular rapid-flash beacons; require (PUB SAF-50th) Frye-118th
HB 253 – Special license plates; dog and cat reproductive sterilization support program; increase the proportion of moneys derived from the sale (Substitute) (PUB SAF-54th) Willard-51st
HB 257 – Local government authorities; register with Department of Community Affairs; require (SLGO(G)-7th) Tankersley-160th
HB 506 – Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Act of 1965; award certain contracts involving concessions; provide for vote by Board (TRANS-21st) Taylor-79th
HB 154 – Dental hygienists; perform certain functions under general supervision; authorize (Substitute) (H&HS-45th) Cooper-43rd
HB 117 – Sales and use tax; certain voluntary contributions; exclude from definition of retail sales (FIN-56th) Watson-172nd
HB 205 – Mining and drilling; regulate exploration and extraction of gas and oil; provisions (Substitute) (RI&U-52nd) Meadows-5th
HB 453 – County law library; board of trustees; add chief judge of magistrate court (SJUDY-42nd) Dreyer-59th
HB 481 – Aviation; unmanned aircraft systems; provide for preemption (TRANS-21st) Tanner-9th
HB 67 – Crimes and offenses; entering a motor vehicle with the intent to commit a theft or felony; provide for increased punishment (Substitute) (JUDY-30th) Boddie-62nd
HOUSE RULES CALENDAR
Modified Open Rule
HR 462 – House of Representatives; commitment to strengthening military installations located within state; reaffirm (D&VA-Belton-112th)
SB 8 – “Surprise Billing and Consumer Protection Act”; health insurance; provide consumer protections; definitions (Substitute)(Ins-Smith-134th) Unterman-45th
SB 117 – Georgia Technology Authority; definition of the term “agency”; change; establishment of certain policies and standards used by all agencies; provide (Substitute)(GAff-Rogers-10th) Martin-9th
SR 229 – Public Property; granting of non-exclusive easements for the construction, operation, and maintenance of facilities, utilities, roads; authorize 10 counties (Substitute)(SProp-Pirkle-155th) Jones-25th
Modified Structured Rule
SB 153 – Hearing Aid Dealers and Dispensers; exempt certain activities (Substitute)(RegI-Ehrhart-36th) Brass-28th
SB 219 – Motor Vehicles; definitions; operation of motor vehicles with automated driving systems on certain public roads; provide (Substitute) (Trans-Kelley-16th) Gooch-51st
Note: I would guess that more Senate Bills will be added to the House Rules Calendar at the 9 AM House Rules Committee meeting.
Governor Nathan Deal earlier this week appointed Jeffery N. Osteen as State Court Judge of Liberty County. Osteen previously served as Solicitor General for Liberty County, which opens that seat up.
Nineteen-year old Spelman student Mary-Pat Hector, whose candidacy was challenged on account of her age, reached the runoff election for Stonecrest City Council against first-place finisher George Turner, Jr.
Voters in two counties passed referendums to dedicate public funding to keep local hospitals open.
Voters in Monroe and Jefferson counties Tuesday approved tax increases to help preserve their rural hospitals, which are in financial danger.
[T]he Tuesday vote in the hospital referendums in Monroe County, just north of Macon, and Jefferson County, in east Georgia, had many in the health care industry breathing sighs of relief. It followed similar success in Cook County, in South Georgia, where commissioners, hearing from residents and businesses, voted to approve funding to build a new hospital there.
Jefferson County residents, in a nonbinding referendum, voted to let commissioners raise the county millage rate by up to 3 mills to support operations at Jefferson Hospital. Three mills is the equivalent of $1.2 million, the Jefferson Reporter newspaper said.
Monroe County voters also easily approved a tax increase to keep the local hospital open. County officials in January had voted to begin a shutdown of Monroe County Hospital pending the outcome of the vote.
Ronnie Ridley was elected to the Haralson County Commission, winning the seat vacated up the death of his twin brother, Donnie Ridley.
“I promise them I’ll do a good job, not just for those who voted for me, for everybody,” Ridley said.
Last week, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation secured an arrest warrant for him and 10 other people as a result of a commercial gambling investigation. The bureau had executed search warrants at several businesses in Carroll and Haralson counties in January as part of the investigation. Ridley had turned himself in on Thursday. He was released on $15,000 bond.
Mary Layton, a supporter of Ridley who was at the after party and also the subject of one of the warrants, said the timing was bad, and she had worried that it might affect the election. She was excited about the win.
Speaking of commercial gambling, yesterday a House subcommittee heard testimony on the
Destination Resorts Casino Gambling bill previously declared “mostly dead.”
Thursday Rep. Ron Stephens, R -Savannah, presented an updated “destination resort” bill to the House Regulated Industries Committee.
The House Bill 158 substitute expands the maximum number of state-licensed casinos from two to four, which Rep. Stephens believes could garner it more statewide support.
“We’ve eliminated the opportunity for certain places around the state to even be part of the game, if you will. No pun intended,” said Rep. Stephens.
“Casinos are a net loss for the state,” said Dave Baker, executive director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition of Georgia. “They bring addiction, bankruptcy and crime– that includes human trafficking. And we work to fight so many of these things in so many other bills to bring casinos to the state is just moving completely in the wrong direction.”
But that meeting may have been a distraction from the Fantasy Sports betting legislation, which was tacked onto other legislation by Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody). From a Facebook post by Senator Millar,
My SB 156 that limits how the DeKalb Splost can be spent (no government complex, etc) has been “improved” in the House. Fantasy Sports bill and Yacht Repair bills have been added. I previously indicated I would be voting no on the Fantasy Sports bill but will have to vote Yes on SB 156 because I want to make sure DeKalb spends $300 million on the right projects over the next five years.
Senate Bill 156 is “must have” legislation for DeKalb County homeowners.
Senate Bill 8 by Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) is on the House floor today in the form of a dramatically reworked version by House Insurance Committee Chairman Richard Smith (R-Columbus).
The House Insurance Committee on Monday passed revamped legislation to reduce “surprise billing,’’ in which patients using hospitals in their insurance network may still get unexpected bills from doctors who are not in the network.
The new version of Senate Bill 8 is vastly different from the original proposal that passed the state Senate unanimously.
The previous version relied on a percentage of charges from a national database as the tool to resolve billing situations disputed by patients. The substitute legislation sets up a new formula for out-of-network reimbursement for emergency services, but does not have a similar setup for scheduled patient care by other hospital-based physicians, such as anesthesiologists.
The revamped legislation drew praise from the health insurance industry, with the Georgia Association of Health Plans saying the proposal mirrors a federal formula for out-of-network ER reimbursement.
But physician groups favored the previous Senate Bill 8, which called for the medical provider to be paid at a rate that’s 80 percent of benchmark charges for a particular procedure in the ZIP code where the service was delivered. And on Monday, doctors’ organizations said they oppose the new version, calling it “one-sided.”
Smith, a Republican from Columbus, said he has told MAG that “you’ve got some rogue doctors out there’’ responsible for much of the surprise bill problem. “It’s that small group out there that’s generating this conversation.”
If Senate Bill 8 passes the House, the two chambers must settle the differences between the original and revised versions in a conference committee.
Senate Resolution 258 by Sen. Burt Jones (R-Jackson) would, among other property conveyances, renew the lease of the Western & Atlantic Railroad to the CSX Railway. It has been amended in the House, purportedly to allow its use for public transit in conjunction with CSX’s operations.
The Western & Atlantic Railroad has been running since 1851. It passes through four of Cobb’s six cities and behind Cumberland Mall, which could make it a perfect path for business commuters or travelers seeking to come to and from SunTrust Park.
Some rail advocates worried about Senate Resolution 228, which would extend rail company CSX’s lease on the 137 miles of rail until 2070.
CSX or its predecessors have been subject to multiple lease agreements for the rails for about the past 100 years, but there were fears that the new lease would grant exclusive rights to CSX trains on the railroad line. That would put the kibosh on passenger rail service in Cobb County for over 50 years.
“The (House Rules) committee initially decided not to add any language to SR 228, but since then, evidently our testimony had more weight than we thought,” [Sierra Club lobbyist Neil] Herring said. “They have added language into SR 228, the Rules Committee added language to it that says in a general way that nothing in the new lease will impede the right of the state, the county or any other legitimate public agency from providing public transportation.”
State Senator Lindsey Tippins (R-Cobb) writes about the rail transit issue in The Marietta Daily Journal.
The Seventh District Georgia Republican Party is hosting the Zellner-Jennings Dinner on Friday, April 21, 2017.