Georgia Trend Daily – Feb. 6, 2023

Feb. 6, 2023 The Current

Riverkeeper monitors Ogeechee ahead of Hyundai boom

Mary Landers reports that electric vehicle production at the $5.5 billion Hyundai factory in Bryan County is still several years away, but the Ogeechee Riverkeeper is already preparing to protect the river from its effects. On Thursday the organization’s science and policy manager, Kris Howard, deployed the first of three new water quality monitoring stations in the river basin.

Economic Development Graphic


Feb. 6, 2023 Georgia Trend – Exclusive!

Economic Development Around the State

Christy Simo reports that Germany-based Becker Robotic Equipment is building its North American headquarters and a manufacturing facility in Cherokee County. The $30 million investment will create 137 new jobs.

Feb. 6, 2023 Atlanta Journal Constitution

Microsoft pauses plans for 90-acre Westside hub, leaving land in limbo

Zachary Hansen reports that Microsoft confirmed Friday it has stopped work on its gigantic campus in Atlanta’s Westside that was poised to bring thousands of jobs, act as a new hub for the technology giant and become a defining cornerstone of the area. A Microsoft spokesperson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the company “has decided to pause the planning process” on the 90-acre campus within the Grove Park neighborhood that it purchased nearly three years ago for about $150 million.

Feb. 6, 2023 WSB-Radio

India cuts tariffs by 70%, marking a big win for Georgia pecan farmers

Staff reports that Georgia produces about one-third of all American pecans. Recently, the farmers who are helping with this important Georgia export got a major win. This past week, the Republic of India announced a major 70% cut to tariffs on U.S. pecan exports.

Feb. 6, 2023 Dalton Daily News

Official: Tourism is strong in Dalton-Whitfield County

Staff reports that the Dalton Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) reports that 2022 was a record-breaking year for tourism in Dalton-Whitfield. The 2022 hotel/motel tax collections, a tax that typically only visitors pay, for city and county combined were $2,053,899.20.


Feb. 6, 2023 Macon Telegraph

Macon’s Ocmulgee Mounds expected to become National Park, but roadblocks remain

Mary Helene Hall reports that on Feb. 3, 2017, the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park Boundary Revision Act was passed by the House of Representatives, officially setting in motion a plan to expand and protect the Ocmulgee Mounds under federal law. Six years later, supporters of the initiative are wondering when Macon will get its long awaited national park.

Feb. 6, 2023 Capitol Beat News

New poll shows Georgians support Medicaid expansion, increasing education funding 

Rebecca Grapevine reports that a new poll out Friday shows Georgians support using some of the state’s record surplus to improve social services by expanding Medicaid and increasing funding for education. The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute (GBPI), a left-leaning think tank in Atlanta, commissioned the poll of 1,099 Georgians through the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs.

Feb. 6, 2023 Athens Banner Herald

U.S. Senator supports purchase of new land in Oconee National Forest

Wayne Ford reports that U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff recently issued a statement encouraging the U.S. Forest Service to support a nonprofit organization in its effort to acquire new property for public use, including possible land acquisitions in the Oconee National Forest near Athens. The Land and Water Conservation Fund is negotiating for the purchase of land in the Oconee forest, according to a report from Capitol Beat News Service in Atlanta.

Feb. 6, 2023 Georgia Recorder

Secrecy in Georgia’s medical cannabis regulation still frustrates efforts to deliver relief to patients

Ray Glier reports, for months, rival companies that want to produce low-THC cannabis oil for medical purposes in Georgia have not been able to pry open the black box of the state’s 2019 Hope Act to see how six firms—out of 69 bidders—were awarded licenses to dispense the marijuana extract to patients across the state. The state’s Open Records Act is so far proving no match for the Hope Act, either.

Feb. 6, 2023 Rome News-Tribune

‘We’re an important state’: Rome DNC member explains why Georgia should vote early in the presidential primaries

Diane Wagner reports that Georgia could be the fourth state in the nation to weigh in on the Democratic presidential nominee next year, instead of waiting until “Super Tuesday” — if state Republicans agree to move their primary date as well. “It’s huge… It’s a big deal economically; it’s a big deal politically for our state and our leaders,” said Wendy Davis of Rome.

Feb. 6, 2023 Marietta Daily Journal

Kirkpatrick bill seeks to end court clerks profiting from passport fees

Jake Busch reports that a legislator representing Cobb and Cherokee counties has taken the lead on a Georgia Senate bill aimed at curbing the practice of county officials profiting off passport processing fees. State Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick, R-east Cobb, co-authored the bill, which would prohibit superior court clerks and probate judges from pocketing the fees – $35 for each passport application – as personal income.

Feb. 6, 2023 Capitol Beat News

General Assembly to renew debate over certificate of need law

Dave Williams reports that state lawmakers have eased restrictions in Georgia’s certificate of need (CON) law over the years, making it easier for providers to build new health-care facilities or offer new medical services without proving the community needs them. Now, a push is on to repeal the CON law altogether, bolstered by a six-figure ad campaign launched ahead of this year’s General Assembly session by Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a conservative advocacy group founded by the Koch brothers.

Feb. 6, 2023 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia could try ranked-choice voting in cities under new bill

Mark Niesse reports that a bill introduced in the Georgia House would allow cities to hold elections with ranked-choice voting, eliminating runoffs at the local level. The bipartisan proposal wouldn’t end runoffs in statewide elections in Georgia, the only state in the nation that requires runoffs after both primary and general elections in which no candidate wins a majority.

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