Georgia Trend Daily – May 5, 2023

May 5, 2023 Augusta Chronicle

How much is Wellstar spending in its merger with AU Health? Check here for the details

Abraham Kenmore reports that the final agreement that would make Wellstar the sole corporate member of AU Health was filed with the Attorney General’s office for legal review on Friday. The transfer is not a sale, but that does not mean that Wellstar is not taking on any financial commitments.

Political Notes Graphic

May 5, 2023 Georgia Trend – Exclusive!

Political Notes: Ups, Downs and In-Betweens

Susan Percy reports that HB 162, signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp well before the end of the legislative session, will bring tax refunds for Georgians who filed returns for the 2021 and 2022 tax years. A press release from the governor’s office noted this is the second such refund in as many years, made possible by a budget surplus.

May 5, 2023 Atlanta Journal-Constitution, KFF Health News

Lead contamination surfaces in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood

Andy Miller reports that EPA officials recently recommended Elizabeth Burns’ yard for a “time-critical” removal, meaning a plan to rid the site of dangerous contaminants needed to be initiated within six months. Of the roughly 100 such removals from designated Superfund sites completed each year, about 30% list lead as a key problem, according to EPA spokesperson Davina Marraccini.

May 5, 2023 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Columbus State’s interim president has a new role in the University System of Georgia

Mark Rice reports that the next step in the career of Columbus State University’s interim president has been decided. John Fuchko III, who has led CSU since Chris Markwood retired last summer, will be interim president of Dalton State College, effective June 1.

May 5, 2023 Emory University

Creative Writing Fellow Sanjena Sathian receives Townsend Prize for Fiction

Susan M. Carini reports, when Creative Writing Fellow Sanjena Sathian took home the Townsend Prize for Fiction on April 13 for her novel “Gold Diggers,” her department chair, Tayari Jones, had two reasons to celebrate. Expanding the joy in Sathian’s win was the fact that another member of the creative writing faculty, Tiphanie Yanique, was among the 10 finalists for her novel “Monster in the Middle.”

May 5, 2023 Capitol Beat News

General Assembly legalizes lemonade stands

Dave Williams reports that Gov. Brian Kemp signed Senate Bill 55 on Wednesday, a bipartisan measure that will allow Georgians under age 18 to sell non-consumable goods, pre-packaged food items and non-alcoholic beverages on private property without requiring a permit or license or paying a tax. “The Lemonade Stand Act represents a bipartisan effort to support youth education, empowerment and entrepreneurship,” said state Sen. Elena Parent, D-Atlanta, the bill’s chief sponsor.

May 5, 2023 Valdosta Daily Times, CNHI News

Aid to pregnant women among signed health care laws

Asia Ashley reports that among the more than a dozen health care related bills have been signed by Gov. Brian Kemp are bills that aim to improve maternal health, increase access to health care services, and protect health care workers. Two of them, signed into law May 2, focus on providing aid to pregnant women.

May 5, 2023 11 Alive

New Georgia law requires biomarker testing to be covered under insurance | Here’s what it means

Joe Ripley reports that a new law could help cancer patients save thousands of dollars. The law would require health insurers to cover biomarker testing.

May 5, 2023 Rome News-Tribune

Tax breaks and fraud protections: Gov. Kemp signs slate of Hufstetler bills

Diane Wagner reports, a doctorate degree in any specialty confers the right to be called “doctor,” but a new Georgia law will ensure only physicians can use that title in a clinical setting. Senate Bill 197 is one of several pieces of legislation sponsored by Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, that were signed into law this week by Gov. Brian Kemp.

May 5, 2023 The Center Square

Kemp signs Georgia’s ‘Zucker bucks’ ban into law

T.A. DeFeo reports that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has signed legislation banning counties from soliciting or accepting donations to help cover the costs of administering elections. Senate Bill 222 stipulates that public funds must pay for election administration costs.

May 5, 2023 Georgia Recorder

Georgia election chief dashes Dems’ dream of frontrunner relevance with March 12, 2024 primary

Stanley Dunlap reports that Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced on Thursday that March 12, 2024, is the date for next year’s partisan primary, which squashed wishes of the Democratic Party of Georgia for a Feb. 13 contest that would put the state in a prominent position with the earliest slated state primaries.

May 5, 2023 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Jolt: ‘Draft Kemp’ chatter begins as Trump dominates GOP field

Patricia Murphy, Greg Bluestein and Tia Mitchell report that Gov. Brian Kemp has ruled out a run for president, but key Republicans are nudging him to be open to a draft movement as former President Donald Trump seems to be dominating a low-energy GOP field. Veteran GOP strategist Mike Murphy is among the loudest voices behind the idea.

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