Georgia Trend Daily – Aug. 11, 2023

Aug. 11, 2023

July Non-Motor Fuel Tax Revenues Up 5.0%, Net Revenues Up 13.1%

Staff reports that the State of Georgia’s net tax collections for the first month of FY 2024 totaled nearly $2.50 billion, for an increase of $289.3 million, or 13.1 percent, over July 2022 when net tax collections totaled almost $2.21 billion. $179.5 million of this increase, or 62 percent, was the result of the reinstatement of the Motor Fuel Excise Tax.

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Aug. 11, 2023 Georgia Trend – Exclusive!

Augusta | Richmond County: More than the Masters

Jennifer Hafer reports that while Augusta is probably best known as home of the Masters Tournament, it was also the childhood home of iconic soul singer James Brown and home of the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon. However, these highlights are just part of the “magic” occuring in one of Georgia’s oldest cities.

Aug. 11, 2023 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Survey results: Workplace integrity more important than pay

Laura Berrios reports that the region’s best workplaces are honest and ethical, with managers who care about their employees. Statements such as “This company operates by strong values,” “My manager cares about my concerns,” and “I feel included at this company” ranked high in Energage surveys submitted by employees for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s 2023 Top Workplaces awards.

Aug. 11, 2023 Savannah Morning News

Homegrown: Georgia’s first leases for oyster farms hit the water

Marisa Mecke reports that a handful of the oysters consumers eat on the 100-mile Georgia coast are locally grown. But that number is set to rise as the first handful of oyster aquaculture operations — maritime farms for the mollusks — put out their crop thanks to that state’s first-ever mariculture leases.

Aug. 11, 2023 Rome News-Tribune

Rome takes steps toward ending homelessness

David Crowder reports that the City of Rome’s General Administration Committee voted Thursday to support, without committing a dollar amount, a proposed rapid rehousing program that seeks to address homelessness in the community. The program is a partnership, primarily between the Northwest Georgia Housing Authority and the United Way of Rome and Floyd County.

Aug. 11, 2023 WABE, The Current

Coastal Georgia town blames crime on homeless shelter and sues to shut it

Kaily Cota reports that the city of Brunswick has escalated its fight against a Christian homeless day shelter working in the historic downtown by filing a federal lawsuit that seeks to shut it down. The lawsuit alleges that The Well, which uses private donations to serve individuals facing homelessness, is a public nuisance and should no longer be allowed to operate.

Aug. 11, 2023 Athens Banner-Herald

UGA tops ranking of commercial products developed from research

Abraham Kenmore reports that the University of Georgia is once again the top of the list for commercial products based on research, according to a survey by AUTM, a nonprofit that supports academic research and commercialization. The report lists 60 products that came to market from UGA research, ranging from poultry vaccines and crop variety’s to software in fiscal year 2022.

Aug. 11, 2023 GPB, Georgia Recorder

State auditor finds Georgia’s education programs for gifted students need improvement

Ross Williams reports that Georgia’s program for gifted students has problems with too-large class sizes, teacher training and student selection, a new report from the state auditor’s office finds. In the 2020-2021 school year, about 199,000 Georgia students were designated as gifted, representing about 12% of the 1.7 million statewide student body.

Aug. 11, 2023 Georgia Recorder

Sluggish start to Georgia’s modest expansion of Medicaid reignites debate over health coverage policies

Jill Nolin reports that fewer than 300 people have been approved for Georgia’s new Medicaid program for some low-income adults who rack up enough hours of work, or other qualifying activity, each month. The program, which launched July 1, is being closely watched nationally as Georgia becomes the only state to require work or the equivalent for low-income adults newly eligible for the public health insurance program.

Aug. 11, 2023 The Center Square

Georgia lawmakers likely to consider cyberbullying legislation

T.A. DeFeo reports that Georgia lawmakers will likely consider legislation requiring social media companies to help crack down on cyberbullying. Lt. Governor Burt Jones and Senate Majority Caucus Chair Jason Anavitarte, R-Dallas, plan to introduce legislation for lawmakers to consider during the 2024 legislative Session to require social media companies to take “concrete steps” to verify their users’ ages.

Aug. 11, 2023 State Affairs

Foster care, adoption wait times in Georgia are longer than neighboring states. A Senate study committee delves into the ‘why.’

Tammy Joyner reports that children in foster care in Georgia and those waiting to be adopted stay in the system longer than children in neighboring states and the rest of the country. At the same time, many of the hard-to-place children in the state’s foster care system — those with mental health challenges or other difficulties — are living in hotel rooms and offices because there’s no place for them to go.

Aug. 11, 2023 Capitol Beat News

State Health Benefit Plan premiums going up 5%

Dave Williams reports that state employees, public school teachers and retirees will pay 5% more for health insurance coverage next year on average. The Georgia Board of Community Health approved the premium increase Thursday, only the second in the last six years.

Aug. 11, 2023 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Jolt: Kemp slams Trump for refusing GOP nominee loyalty pledge

Adam Van Brimmer, Patricia Murphy, Greg Bluestein and Tia Mitchell report that on one hand, Gov. Brian Kemp has become one of former President Donald Trump’s leading GOP critics after walloping a Trump-backed challenger in last year’s primary. On the other, the governor doesn’t want to undercut Republican support in must-win Georgia in 2024 as a Fulton County indictment of Trump looms.

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