Georgia Trend Daily – July 14, 2023

July 14, 2023 Rough Draft Atlanta

EPD evaluates enforcement action for Chattahoochee River sewage spill

Bob Pepalis reports that the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) will decide what enforcement action to take after partially treated wastewater flowed into the Chattahoochee River earlier this month. Fifteen miles of the river were closed to recreational use from the Chattahoochee Nature Center south to the downstream limits of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

Political Notes Graphic


July 14, 2023 Georgia Trend – Exclusive!

Political Notes: Ups, Downs and In-between

Susan Percy reports on New Budget Surprises: The $32.4 billion state budget for the 2024 fiscal year, signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, “invests in public safety, education, healthcare, workforce development and much more,” according to a press release from his office.

July 14, 2023 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Clear standard line moves to ATL airport lower level to avoid congestion

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that the standard security screening line for members of the Clear trusted traveler program is moving to the lower level of domestic Terminal North at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The shift comes amid security lane closures because of construction at the main checkpoint, as airport officials struggle to juggle long lines of passengers and congestion at the world’s busiest airport.

July 14, 2023 The Center Square

Atlanta city council wants action on blocked grade crossings

T.A. DeFeo reports, an Atlanta City Council committee has passed a measure to advocate for punishing railroads that block grade crossings for prolonged periods, the latest salvo in an ongoing dispute between railroads and communities nationwide. The Atlanta measure calls on the Georgia General Assembly and Congress to pass legislation limiting how long freight trains can block a grade crossing.

July 14, 2023 Milledgeville Union-Recorder

Literacy summit held at GCSU

Gil Pound reports that former Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal may no longer be living, but her legacy as an advocate for childhood literacy lives on through events like the Governor’s Summit on Early Language and Literacy held Wednesday and Thursday at Georgia College & State University. Established in 2017 under former Gov. Nathan Deal, the annual summit brings together state legislators and about 200 education professionals to share evidence-based research and best practices for teaching Georgia’s children reading skills.

July 14, 2023 Georgia Recorder

State commission continues plan to remove words like ‘equity’ and ‘inclusion’ from teacher lesson plans

Ross Williams reports that the group tasked with training Georgia’s teachers voted unanimously and without discussion Thursday to eliminate more “woke” words from educator preparation standards. This month’s changes will affect future teachers of subjects including science, math, English, history, economics, family and consumer science, physical education, dance, English as a second language, special education and gifted classes.

July 14, 2023 The Current, ProPublica

How we measured the title lending industry in Georgia

Joel Jacobs and Margaret Coker report, when The Current GA and ProPublica began investigating the title lending industry in Georgia, we faced a daunting question: How do we measure an industry that nobody is tracking? Title lenders provide quick cash in exchange for a car title as collateral.

July 14, 2023 WABE

Feds launch investigation into Fulton County Sheriff’s Office for ‘pattern of constitutional violations’ at county jail

Chamian Cruz reports that the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office for civil rights violations at the county jail. The inquiry will examine living conditions, access to medical and mental health care, use of excessive force by staff and conditions that may have led to violence between incarcerated individuals at the Fulton County Jail.

July 14, 2023 State Affairs

From tenants’ rights to truck weights, how lobbyists in Georgia work for their cause

Jill Jordan Sieder reports, last year, lobbyists in Georgia reported spending nearly a million dollars on hospitality and gifts for lawmakers, agency heads and other state leaders. During the legislative session, lobbyists are omnipresent in the hallways and hearing rooms of the Capitol, sometimes testifying, sometimes listening and taking notes, and always looking to make connections with people who can influence the outcome of a bill.

July 14, 2023 Athens Banner-Herald

Gov. Brian Kemp touts work of anti-gang unit, talks local law enforcement challenges

Abraham Kenmore reports that Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday touted the work of his gang prosecution unit, as well as a crime suppression unit and a gang unit with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. “In my opinion, we have not had a better state, local, federal partnership … in regards to law enforcement in a long time,” Kemp said.

July 14, 2023 Georgia Recorder

Georgia House study panel to dig into contentious state law limiting hospital construction

Jill Nolin reports that House Speaker Jon Burns told members of a House study panel looking at how Georgia regulates health care services to “follow the facts” as they delve into the thorny issue this year. Proposed changes to Georgia’s rigid certificate-of-need rules are regularly met with fierce resistance from those who argue the decades-old regulations protect fragile hospitals from new facilities that might set up next door and poach profitable services.

July 14, 2023 Capitol Beat News

Start of eligibility ‘redetermination’ knocks almost 100,000 Georgians off Medicaid

Dave Williams reports that nearly 100,000 Georgians have lost Medicaid coverage since the federal public health emergency brought on by the pandemic expired in April, the state Department of Community Health (DCH) reported Thursday. The federal government prohibited disenrolling any Medicaid recipients for three years after COVID-19 struck the nation in March 2020.

July 14, 2023 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Capitol Recap: New surplus could mean more rebates for Georgia taxpayers

Jim Denery reports that Georgia taxpayers could receive a third rebate in three years, as all signs point to another huge state surplus for the fiscal year that just ended. An exact total isn’t available yet. That won’t be known until all the bills are paid and state agencies return funds they did not use.

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