Georgia Trend Daily – Feb. 3, 2023

Feb. 3, 2023 WABE

Ossoff, Carter push for Okefenokee UNESCO listing

Emily Jones reports that members of Georgia’s congressional delegation – from both sides of the aisle – are pushing to get the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Senator Jon Ossoff and Congressman Buddy Carter, who represents the coast, are calling on the Interior Department to nominate the Okefenokee for World Heritage Site status.

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Feb. 3, 2023 Georgia Trend – Exclusive!

Political Notes: The Ups, Downs and In-betweens

Susan Percy reports that State Rep. Carl Gilliard (D-Savannah) is the new chair of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus for the 2023-24 term. The caucus works to protect the general welfare of Black people, other people of color and disadvantaged citizens in matters of health, education, social and criminal justice, and economic empowerment.

Feb. 3, 2023 Atlanta Journal Constitution

Hartsfield-Jackson spilled 22,000 gallons of sewage into Sullivan Creek

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport said approximately 22,000 gallons of sewage spilled Monday into Sullivan Creek, which is a south flowing tributary of the Flint River. State law says the owner of a Publicly Owned Treatment Works responsible for a spill shall report the incident to local media within 24 hours of becoming aware of the incident.

Feb. 3, 2023 SCAD

SCAD TVFest returns in person in Atlanta for 2023

Staff reports that Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) today announced that the 2023 SCAD TVfest will return in person to Atlanta Feb. 9-11, 2023. Now in its 11th year, the university’s annual signature event celebrates all things television and streaming.

Feb. 3, 2023 Griffin Daily News

Custer gives tips for understanding a letter from FEMA

Karen Gunnels reports that storm disaster survivors in Spalding and surrounding counties who have applied for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will receive a FEMA letter in the mail or via email. “The key aspect when residents who’ve applied for FEMA help and get a letter from FEMA is to read it carefully,” said Nate Custer, FEMA media relations specialist.

Feb. 3, 2023 Saporta Report

Fulton County Board of Commissioners approves budget for reparations research task force

Mark Lannaman reports that what is believed to be the nation’s first-ever county-led reparations research task force has just received funding in Fulton County. The Fulton County Board of Commissioners executive session on Jan. 18 approved the overall county budget in a vote of 4-3, which included funding for the task force.


Feb. 3, 2023 The Brunswick News

Carter appointed vice chair of House subcommittee

Hank Rowland reports that when Republicans became the dominant party in the U.S. House of Representatives in November’s national elections, members with an “R” following their name tossed their monikers into a hat for leadership posts. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-1, starting in his fifth two-year term of office in January, submitted his name for House Budget Committee chair.

Feb. 3, 2023 State Affairs

State’s ‘Pathways’ Medicaid program set to begin July 1 amid continued controversy

Tammy Joyner reports that Georgia officials have spent more than a decade debating the pros and cons of expanding Medicaid benefits to more Georgians, making it one of the most contentious issues in state politics today, often split along ideological and political party. Georgia currently is one of 12 state that have opted not to extend Medicaid to more low-income people.

Feb. 3, 2023 Georgia Recorder

Rural Georgia lawmaker wants Legislature to settle stink raised by casting sludge upon the soil

Jill Nolin reports that tankers hauling mystery sludge have been a common – and unwelcome – sight in rural Wilkes County for more than a decade, but those haulers have been skipping past Wilkes County lately. That probably has something to do with a fish kill last summer that attracted a glaring media spotlight and brought public scrutiny to a waste disposal practice that wiped out more than 1,600 fish in the Little River, which is part of the prized Savannah River Basin.

Feb. 3, 2023 GPB

House passes beefed-up mid-year budget with a $1B property tax break

Stephen Fowler reports that Georgia House almost unanimously approved Thursday its proposed amended fiscal year spending plan through June 30, adding billions in additional spending following yet another massive surplus in tax revenue. House Bill 18 is a $32.6 billion budget that would increase spending by nearly $2.4 billion, or 8%, from what lawmakers passed last year, and utilizes a billion dollars of the record $6.6 billion in surplus to give homeowners a one-time additional homestead exemption of $18,000.

Feb. 3, 2023 Capitol Beat News

Instant runoffs voting bill introduced in Georgia House

Dave Williams reports that an effort that could lead eventually to the elimination of runoff elections in Georgia has surfaced in the General Assembly. State Rep. Joseph Gullett, R-Dallas, introduced a bill into the Georgia House this week that would allow Georgia cities to experiment with instant runoff voting in nonpartisan municipal elections.

Feb. 3, 2023 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia DAs could face new oversight under GOP measures

Greg Bluestein reports that some of Georgia’s most powerful Republicans want to create a panel that would give the state more oversight over district attorneys and make it easier for frustrated residents to recall top prosecutors. The legislation introduced Thursday by state Reps. Houston Gaines and Joseph Gullett comes after Gov. Brian Kemp and Lt. Gov. Burt Jones called for new efforts to bring “accountability” to local prosecutors.

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