Georgia Trend Daily – Jan. 29, 2021

Jan. 29, 2021 Capitol Beat News

Initial jobless claims down in Georgia as labor department warns of tax fraud

Dave Williams reports that first-time unemployment claims in Georgia fell by 7,896 last week to 28,016, reflecting a weekly decline at the national level, the state Department of Labor reported Thursday. The agency paid out more than $238 million in state and federal benefits last week as it continued to implement the 11-week payment extensions provided in the latest COVID-19 relief package Congress passed late last month.


Jan. 29, 2021 Georgia Trend – Exclusive!

Our State: Americus|Sumter County – Looking Ahead

K.K. Snyder reports, like the rest of the world, Sumter County was relieved to put 2020 behind it, though the fourth quarter did bring some announcements to cheer about. And while many of the issues from last year remain, Sumter leaders are looking straight ahead.


Jan. 29, 2021 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia’s economic outlook: Some sun, still plenty of clouds

Michael E. Kanell reports, it’s tough to style hair over the internet. So until customers feel comfortable in public spaces, Erin Freer will be struggling to keep her two Blo Blow Dry salons alive — which means serving a smaller clientele, maintaining pandemic protocols as much as possible and juggling finances.


Jan. 29, 2021 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta ranks as top U.S. city for real estate development opportunities

Douglas Sams reports that Atlanta is the most favorable market for commercial development in the country, boosted by low costs and a strong university system, according to a new report from real estate services company CBRE Group Inc. (NYSE: CBRE).


Jan. 29, 2021 GPB

COVID-19 Hampers Georgia Power’s Efficiency Efforts In 2020

Emily Jones reports that Georgia Power planned to improve energy efficiency in 2020, but COVID-19 protection measures led the utility to fall far short of its goal. A new report finds the coronavirus pandemic disrupted Georgia Power’s plans to improve energy efficiency in 2020.


Jan. 29, 2021 University of Georgia

Grant boosts development of novel food ingredients from jellyfish

Sean Montgomery reports that the University of Georgia Department of Food Science and Technology’s Kevin Mis Solval and his team of researchers have secured a nearly half-million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to aid in creating safe food ingredients from cannonball jellyfish.


Jan. 29, 2021 Georgia Recorder

COVID clouds legislative session, from illness to test resistance

Stanley Dunlap reports that the lone state representative kicked out of the House chamber for refusing to take a COVID-19 test returned to the Capitol Thursday for the first time since law enforcement escorted him out the door Tuesday. Rep. David Clark reversed a stand to skip the House’s twice-a-week testing guidelines after condemnations from many of his fellow Republicans and Democrats who share meeting spaces for not following safety protocols put in place for the session.


Jan. 29, 2021 WSB Radio

Lawmakers propose budget changes to fix state’s virus tracking system, more money for public health

Matt Johnson reports that as people across Georgia continue to fight to get an appointment for their COVID-19 vaccine, lawmakers are proposing more money to fix the state’s antiquated tracking system, as well as infusing the state’s health department with funds so that it’s better prepared in the future if it ever has to deal with another pandemic. Lou Ann Carmichael said it took six hours and 510 redials to get a hold of her public health district for an appointment for her COVID-19 vaccine, but she finally got one on Thursday.


Jan. 29, 2021 Valdosta Daily Times, CNHI

Bill would require 2 copies of photo ID to vote absentee

Riley Bunch reports, in the wake of a tumultuous presidential election where absentee ballots pushed Democrats across the finish line, Republican state lawmakers are mulling additional requirements for Georgia voters who use mail-in ballots. Top GOP state officials have voiced support for taking additional steps in the process to use absentee ballots — despite record turnout by Georgia voters who relied on the method during the pandemic — citing increased opportunity for fraudulent ballots to be cast.


Jan. 29, 2021 Capitol Beat News

Georgia House committee OKs permanent switch to daylight saving time

Dave Williams reports that Georgia would observe daylight saving time all year long subject to congressional approval under legislation that cleared a committee in the state House of Representatives Thursday. Switching every six months between daylight and standard time disrupts sleep patterns and has been shown to increase the number of heart attacks, car crashes and workplace injuries, Rep. Wes Cantrell, R-Woodstock, the bill’s sponsor told members of the State Planning & Community Affairs Committee.


Jan. 29, 2021 The Center Square

Georgia House approves spending increase in amended 2021 budget

Nyamekye Daniel reports that the Georgia House approved changes Thursday to the state’s fiscal year 2021 spending plan. The House voted 149-20 to approve a 2.5% increase – or $654 million more – in spending for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends June 30.


Jan. 29, 2021 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia lawmakers revive Kemp-backed foster care, adoption measures

Maya T. Prabhu reports that Gov. Brian Kemp is continuing his push for an overhaul of the state’s adoption and foster care system. Lawmakers in the House and Senate this week filed bills that will lower the age at which someone can adopt a child form 25 to 21, increase the tax credit for families who adopt children from the foster care system and make changes to the juvenile court process for children in foster care.


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