Georgia Trend Daily – Feb. 26, 2020

Feb. 26, 2020 WABE 90.1

Georgia Moves A Step Closer To Federal Relief For Farmers After Hurricane Michael

Emma Hurt reports that Georgia has reached a verbal agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on its block grant contract to distribute $347 million in federal disaster relief aid for those affected by Hurricane Michael. Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black made the announcement before a state Senate committee Monday afternoon and said more details on the application timeline would come Wednesday.


Feb. 26, 2020 Georgia Trend – Exclusive!

Bird’s-Eye View of Coast

Betty Darby reports that Georgia’s coastline covers about 100 miles, as the roseate spoonbill flies. And this exotic bird – large and pink with a combination of great beauty and comic facial features – does, improbably, fly the Georgia coast, from its start where the Savannah River divides the state from South Carolina to the southernmost point in the state, where the St. Marys River marks the boundary with Florida.


Feb. 26, 2020 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta home price gains ranked 6th among 20 big cities in 2019 — report

Michael E. Kanell reports that low mortgage rates and a lack of homes for sale have continued to lift U.S. home prices, with metro Atlanta close to the head of the pack, according to a high-profile national report. The nation’s 20 largest metro areas averaged a 2.9% increase in home prices in the 12 months ended December, according to the Case-Shiller report from S&P CoreLogic Indices.


Feb. 26, 2020 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta firm buys Tennessee health care company

Joel Stinnett reports that an Atlanta digital health company is expanding its footprint in Tennessee. Sharecare Inc. has bought Franklin, Tenn.-based reporting and data analytics firm Visualize Health, according to a news release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Feb. 26, 2020

Elavon to Sell Mexican Card Processing Business to Santander

Trevor Williams reports that Atlanta-based payment processor Elavon has reached an agreement to sell its Mexican business to Santander, the Spanish bank with a deep presence in Latin America.  Elavon, a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, said the action would not impact any of its business in the U.S. or beyond, and that local employees in Mexico would join Santander as a part of the deal, which is expected to close pending regulatory approval in the next few weeks, according to a release.


Feb. 26, 2020 WABE 90.1

Ga. Lawmakers Introduce Bills That Would Expand School Voucher Programs

Martha Dalton reports that state legislators have drafted two new school voucher bills that would extend Georgia’s existing programs. Senate Bill 386 would increase the number of students who qualify for the Special Needs Scholarship program.


Feb. 26, 2020 Cherokee Tribune-Ledger News, Capitol Beat News

Voters may get to choose between standard and daylight saving time

Dave Williams reports that State Rep. Jimmy Pruett claims Georgians are divided over whether the Peach State should observe standard time all year or daylight saving time. But, he said, they are united in wanting to stick with just one.


Feb. 26, 2020 Georgia Trend – Exclusive!

Nominate Deserving Leaders

Karen Kirkpatrick reports, Georgia Trend turns 35 this year. One of the ways we plan to celebrate is by publishing a special section that recognizes Legacy Leaders from around the state. Our readers have the opportunity to help determine the outstanding leaders we spotlight.


Feb. 26, 2020 Dalton Daily Citizen News, CNHI

Democrats in the General Assembly still pushing for felon voting rights expansion

Riley Bunch reports that despite being voted down by a bipartisan study committee, state Democratic lawmakers continue to push for the expansion of voting rights for some felons. Prior to this year’s legislative session, a Senate study committee heard arguments for and against expanding voting rights for nonviolent felony offenders upon completion of their sentences.


Feb. 26, 2020 The Center Square

Right-to-shop medical bill passes Georgia Senate

Nyamekye Daniel reports that the Georgia Senate voted Tuesday in favor of the Georgia Right to Shop Act, which gives patients a chance to choose medical providers based on affordability. The bill would require insurance companies to create a webpage or toll-free phone number where patients could compare rates, see the average amount for particular services, estimate out-of-pocket costs and access quality metrics.


Feb. 26, 2020 Georgia Recorder

Bill could give borrowers who pawn cars better chance to get title back

Stanley Dunlap reports that the Georgia Senate is considering a bill that would cap interest rates charged on car title pawns at 36% to clamp down on the last-ditch loans that often leave people stuck in a cycle of monthly payments that barely put a dent into what they owe. With bipartisan backing and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Hufstetler as a sponsor of Senate Bill 329, consumer advocates like Georgia Watch are optimistic about its chances of becoming law.


Feb. 26, 2020 Capitol Beat News

Georgia teacher pensions to allow ‘alternative investments’ with Senate bill

Beau Evans reports that the Georgia Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would allow the state teacher retirement fund to invest in “alternative investments” that critics view as potentially too risky.


Feb 26, 2020 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Former Georgia lawmaker Stacey Abrams is laying the groundwork for the White House

Francesca Chambers reports that Stacey Abrams has her sights set on the White House, and the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives is already laying the groundwork for a future campaign. Promotion of her Fair Fight organization, which has a goal of eliminating voter suppression, is taking Abrams to battleground states across the nation.


Feb. 26, 2020 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Opinion: Behind a stalled agriculture bill is a farmer vs. farmer split

Jim Galloway writes, last Friday, a measure to protect large production farming operations in Georgia against “nuisance” lawsuits, two years in the making, was set for a vote on the floor of the state Senate. Until it wasn’t. A whip count fell short, and the legislation was tabled until further notice.


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