Georgia Trend Daily – Aug. 6, 2020
Aug. 6, 2020 Fox 5 Atlanta
Staff reports that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said he will be calling for a special session of the General Assembly in the coming weeks to fix a procedural issue with a bill he signed this week offering tax relief for those who received federal disaster relief or assistance following Hurricane Michael in 2018. In a statement released Wednesday, the governor wrote “an incorrect legislative counsel number (i.e., tracking number) was assigned to the draft” of House Bill 105.
Aug. 6, 2020 Georgia Trend – Exclusive!
Ben Young writes, it’s been a rough summer. Georgia has been rocked with two killings that have inspired protests engulfing the world following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota and in reaction to the broader mistreatment of Black Americans by authorities.
Aug. 6, 2020 WSB-Radio, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
James Salzer reports that Georgia House Speaker David Ralston this week became the latest state official to urge Congress to provide a $500 billion relief package to states as governments across the country shed workers and cut programs because of the coronavirus recession. “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge us on the state level regarding the delivery of services,” Ralston wrote in a letter to U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, both Georgia Republicans.
Aug. 6, 2020 Georgia Recorder
Jill Nolin reports that Atlanta lags other major U.S. cities in total solar capacity but has ramped up its sun-powered energy production, according to a new report. Georgia’s capital city has doubled its solar capacity in the last five years, improving its standing in recent years on Environment Georgia’s annual ranking of cities.
Aug. 6, 2020 Savannah Morning News
DeAnn Komanecky reports that Mayor Van Johnson has committed to an open process, including public involvement, in the city manager hiring process. Council members and Johnson are scheduled to interview six candidates in closed session via Zoom video for the job.
Aug. 6, 2020 WABE 90.1
Grace Walker reports that a new report from Measure of America, a project of the Social Science Research Council, finds Hancock County, located in central Georgia, has the nation’s highest rate of “youth disconnection” — young adults out of school and work. And, despite recent gains in disconnection rates following the Great Recession, the report predicts the COVID-19 pandemic will cause disconnection to “spike dramatically.”
Aug. 6, 2020 Rome News-Tribune
Diane Wagner reports that Georgia hospitals and businesses will get some protection against COVID-19 related lawsuits under a Senate bill that was pushed through on the last day of the session. SB 359, sponsored by Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, absolves a wide range of entities from damages unless the injury or death stems from gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, reckless infliction of harm, or intentional infliction of harm.
Aug. 6, 2020 11 Alive
Michael King reports, late Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Brian Kemp signed House Bill 838, the Police Protection Act, into law. The most significant provision establishes an “offense of bias-motivated intimidation” defined as when someone “maliciously and with the specific intent intimidate(s), harass(es), or terrorize(s) another person because of that person’s actual or perceived employment as a first responder.”
Aug. 6, 2020 Brunswick News
Taylor Cooper reports that Gov. Brian Kemp vetoed Wednesday a Senate bill that would place a non-binding referendum on the ballot asking Glynn County voters whether they would prefer to see the Glynn County Police Department merged into the Glynn County Sheriff’s Office. Senate Bill 504 was passed by both houses of the Georgia General Assembly earlier this year as part of a package of three bills that would allow registered voters in the county to abolish the GCPD.
Aug. 6, 2020 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that Gov. Brian Kemp on Wednesday vetoed a bill that aimed to bring more transparency and accountability to contractors for state health care plans. House Bill 991 would have allowed a newly formed committee to examine records related to health care contractors for the state and compel the Department of Community Health to respond to questions about these contracts.
Aug. 6, 2020 Capitol Beat News
Dave Williams reports that Georgia’s electric membership corporations (EMCs) will play a major role in expanding broadband service in rural Georgia under legislation Gov. Brian Kemp has signed into law. Under House Bill 244, the state Public Service Commission will decide how much EMCs can charge telecommunications providers for broadband attachments to their utility poles.
Aug. 6, 2020 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Brian Kemp’s call for a special legislative session later this year promises to focus on a tax break for Georgians still recovering from Hurricane Michael. But he made clear that he could also ask lawmakers to “address other budgetary and oversight issues.”