Georgia Trend Daily – March 9, 2023

March 9, 2023 GPB

Jimmy Carter’s work for women’s rights is a lasting centerpiece of his legacy

Kristi York Wooten reports, in May 2015, a few months before his 91st birthday, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter appeared at a TED Women conference and gave a substantive 16-minute speech without notes. “Knowing the world as I do, I can tell you without any equivocation that the No. 1 abuse of human rights on Earth, strangely not addressed quite often, is the abuse of women and girls,” he began, before calling out religious hypocrisy, systematic gender-based violence and misleading laws about sex work.

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March 9, 2023 Georgia Trend – Exclusive!

Red, Blue & You: More Transit Needed

Tharon Johnson writes, we like to think of ourselves as a nation of big ideas – a nation of innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders that can show the rest of the world how to get things done. However, when it comes to how we get from Point A to Point B, the richest country in the world has a unique challenge and opportunity for innovative transit expansion.

March 9, 2023 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Rivian to sell $1.3B in bonds to support future Georgia plant

Zachary Hansen reports that electric vehicle company Rivian announced this week it intends to sell $1.3 billion in bonds to help facilitate the launch of a new crossover vehicle it plans to manufacture at its future $5 billion Georgia factory. The announcement comes as pressure mounts for the California-based startup to shore up its finances after it posted a $6.8 billion loss last year, prompting the company’s stock price to plummet.

March 9, 2023 Cherokee Tribune

Cherokee leaders approve moratorium on tobacco stores

Ethan Johnson reports that Cherokee County Board of Commissioners has enacted a 90-day moratorium on retailers selling tobacco, electronic cigarette and “other smoking supplies,” effective Tuesday. Officials said the pause will give county staff time to work with law enforcement and other stakeholders to study whether updates are needed to the county’s codes and ordinances related to tobacco stores, according to county documents.

March 9, 2023 WABE

Lawmakers seek federal investigations into Wellstar hospital closures

Jess Mador reports that a coalition of state lawmakers and other metro-area officials is asking the federal government to investigate Wellstar Health System’s recent closures of Atlanta Medical Center in the Old Fourth Ward and its East Point Atlanta Medical Center South hospital. Wellstar shut down the two hospitals last year, citing financial operating losses of more than $100 million in 2022.

March 9, 2023 The Center Square

Boggs: Backlog of Georgia courts’ cases ‘could take years to resolve’

T.A. DeFeo reports that the backlog of cases facing courts across Georgia “could take years to resolve,” Supreme Court of Georgia Chief Justice Michael P. Boggs said during his “State of the Judiciary” address on Wednesday. Boggs pointed to Fulton County, where he said there are more than 4,000 “pending indicted felony cases.”

March 9, 2023 Rome News-Tribune

Greene challenger Marcus Flowers launches new Democratic PAC with 2 former Republicans

Staff reports that former 14th Congressional District candidate Marcus Flowers has joined with two seasoned professionals to launch a new political action committee. Mission Democracy will focus on supporting Democratic Congressional candidates in difficult races nationwide, a media release states.

March 9, 2023 Savannah Morning News

See which environmental bills in the Georgia General Assembly won’t become law

Marisa Mecke reports, lawmakers are shaping up their policies, prioritizing what environmental and natural resource issues they will continue to prioritize in making laws in the coming year. Whether it’s focusing on Georgia’s bustling electric vehicle economy or looking at controversial soil additives, here are the bills swam or sunk so far at the capitol.

March 9, 2023 State Affairs

Georgia bills that will live to see more lively debate, and a few that won’t 

Jill Jordan Sieder and Tammy Joyner report, on Monday, the House passed the Amended Fiscal Year 2023 Budget, which incorporates changes the Senate had already made to Gov. Brian Kemp’s proposed budget. The final FY23 budget includes $1 billion in income and property tax rebates to taxpayers, increased funding for K-12 schools, mental health counselors and facilities, repair and renovations of prisons, and workforce housing.

March 9, 2023 Marietta Daily Journal

Ehrhart’s school accreditation bill stumbles, but Senate version still alive

Chart Riggall reports, though her own bill to rein in the powers of Georgia’s accreditation agencies fell short this week, state Rep. Ginny Ehrhart, R-west Cobb, says the push isn’t dead yet, with a similar measure having been passed by the Georgia Senate earlier this week. Ehrhart’s bill — House Bill 506 — came out of the firestorm of controversy sparked during the Cobb County School District’s “special review” by its accrediting company, Cognia, in 2021.

March 9, 2023 Georgia Recorder

Georgia House set to vote on $32.5B 2024 spending plan, adding millions for law enforcement

Jill Nolin reports that house lawmakers are set to vote Thursday on a spending plan for next year that includes additional salary bumps for hard-to-fill state jobs and more money for law enforcement and behavioral health services. The proposed $32.5 billion budget cleared the committee hurdle Wednesday and is scheduled to go before the full chamber Thursday.

March 9, 2023 Capitol Beat News

Rural Georgians call for economic investment, better broadband and health care 

Rebecca Grapevine reports that a group of rural Georgians outlined their policy priorities Wednesday, calling on state policymakers to prioritize rural agriculture, broadband and education. The aim would be to ensure that Georgia’s agricultural sector remains competitive by embracing cutting-edge developments, such as producing plant-based proteins, said Brian Kuehl, executive director of Rural Voices USA.

March 9, 2023 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

5 bills to watch in the final days of the Georgia legislative session

Mark Niesse reports, now that many bills failed and some survived, the major issues facing the Georgia General Assembly have become clearer during the homestretch of this year’s legislative session. Lawmakers will turn their focus to topics including prosecutor oversight, elections and transgender treatments after a long day of voting Monday on Crossover Day, the deadline for bills to pass their first chamber.

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