Georgia

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia lawmakers on Thursday approved new rules for challenging voters and qualifying for the state's presidential ballot that could impact the 2024 presidential race in the battleground state. Senate Bill 189 passed the House by a vote of 101 to 73 and the Senate by a vote of 33-22, sending it to Gov. Brian Kemp for his signature or veto.

ATLANTA (AP) — An effort to authorize sports betting in Georgia has failed for another year, after lawmakers couldn't agree on how to spend money collected on taxes. Neither a proposed state constitutional amendment or authorizing legislation ever came to a vote in the House, after a committee passed it out early on Thursday, the last day of the 2024 legislative session.

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to a package of legislation they hope will limit property tax increases, in what could be Republicans' signature tax cutting effort of the 2024 session. The measures include a state constitutional amendment that will need voter approval in a November referendum before it can take effect.

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia's Legislature gave final approval Thursday to a bill that would require local jailers to check the immigration status of inmates and work with federal immigration officials instead of sheltering people who are in the country illegally.

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia could join other states in requiring children younger than 16 to have their parents’ explicit permission to create social media accounts. Lawmakers on Friday gave final approval to Senate Bill 351, which also would ban social media use on school devices and internet services, require porn sites to verify users are 18 or over and mandate additional education by schools on social media and internet use.

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Georgia lawmakers gave final passage Thursday to a change in state law that would allow a private utility to provide water service for new homes near Hyundai's upcoming electric vehicle plant without first getting permission from local governments. The state Senate approved House Bill 1146 by a vote of 32-22 on the final day of the legislative session. The measure now goes to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp to be signed into law.

ATLANTA (AP) — The end of Georgia's two-year legislative session arrives Thursday, the last day for bills to pass both the House and Senate or die as this term ends. Lawmakers will decide questions including whether to legalize sports betting and tighten rules on law enforcement cooperation with immigration officials.

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Power Co. announced a deal with regulatory staff to build and buy more electrical generation ahead of schedule on Wednesday, pledging that the deal will reduce rates for existing customers. “We expect the revenues associated with energy sales to incremental large load customers will put downward pressure on rates for all customers," Aaron Abramovitz, Georgia Power's chief financial officer, testified Wednesday before the Georgia Public Service Commission.

ATLANTA – Legislation guaranteeing Georgians the right to hunt and fish in the state’s navigable rivers and streams is on its way to Gov. Brian Kemp. The state Senate gave final passage to House Bill 1172 Tuesday night 34-18, with a sizable contingent of opponents arguing it doesn’t go far enough to protect public access.

ATLANTA – Legislation aimed at reforming Georgia’s coin-operated amusement machines industry is headed to Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk after squeaking through the state Senate. Senators passed House Bill 353 Tuesday night 29-24, the minimum number of votes needed to pass legislation in the 56-member chamber. The House followed suit later by a much larger margin of 148-18.

ATLANTA (AP) — Attorneys are asking a U.S. appeals court to throw out the hate crime convictions of three white men who used pickup trucks to chase Ahmaud Arbery through the streets of a Georgia subdivision before one of them killed the running Black man with a shotgun.

ATLANTA – The Georgia Senate overwhelmingly passed a $36.1 billion fiscal 2025 state budget Tuesday, signing off on pay raises for state employees and public school teachers. With Georgia sitting atop a $16 billion revenue surplus, the state can afford $4,000 cost-of-living increases for most state workers, with $3,000 raises on top of that for employees in state agencies being hit with large turnover rates, including law enforcement officers and welfare workers.

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Georgia officials picked up a key congressional endorsement Monday as they seek a federal study on whether the shipping channel to the Port of Savannah should be deepened again following a harbor expansion that was completed in 2022 and cost nearly $1 billion.

ATLANTA – The Atlanta Veterans Affairs Regional Office was formally renamed in honor of the late U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson Monday during a ceremony at the building in Decatur. Isakson, who died in 2021, served as chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee from 2015 until he retired from the Senate in 2019.

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) — A Louisiana man has been arrested and charged in the shooting death of a Georgia man aboard a bus traveling through Mississippi. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said in a news release Monday that the fatal shooting happened at about 11 p.m. Sunday as the Greyhound bus was on Interstate 10 near Ocean Springs, and the suspect was captured about 3 a.m. Monday after local deputies saw him crossing the interstate.

Legislative efforts to block a proposed titanium mine near the Okefenokee Swamp have taken a new turn.

ATLANTA (AP) — A former Georgia insurance commissioner who made a failed Republican run for governor has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit health care fraud. John W. Oxendine of Johns Creek entered the guilty plea Friday in federal court in Atlanta. The 61-year-old had been indicted in May 2022 on charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

ATLANTA – Georgia’s economy continued to reach all-time highs on a number of fronts last month, the state Department of Labor reported Thursday. While Georgia’s unemployment rate remained steady at 3.1% in February, the number of jobs rose by 2,400 to a record high of more than 4.9 million.

MCRAE-HELENA, Ga. (AP) — An inmate stabbed the warden at a Georgia prison during a disturbance Wednesday and officers used tear gas to regain control, a state corrections official said. Telfair State Prison's warden, Andrew McFarlane, was not seriously injured, department spokesperson Joan Heath said.

ATLANTA – The Georgia Senate gave final passage Wednesday to a bill that would accelerate income tax cuts, sending it on to Gov. Brian Kemp for his signature. The legislation, which was proposed by the governor, will accelerate a state income tax reduction that took effect this year, rolling back the income tax rate from 5.49% to 5.39%. The bill will save Georgia taxpayers about $1.1 billion this year, Sen. Bo Hatchett, Kemp’s Senate floor leader, said before Wednesday’s vote.

ATLANTA – The state Senate gave final passage Wednesday to legislation offering private-school vouchers to Georgia students attending low-performing public schools.

ATLANTA (AP) — The ability of people to sue insurance companies directly after trucking crashes would be limited under a bill receiving final passage in the Georgia legislature. The House voted 172-0 on Monday to pass Senate Bill 426, sending it to Gov. Brian Kemp for his signature or veto. The measure says someone could only sue an insurance company directly if the trucking company involved has gone bankrupt or when the plaintiff can't find the company or the driver.

As rural hospitals continue to struggle financially, a new type of hospital is slowly taking root, especially in the Southeast.

ATLANTA — State Troopers are urging motorists to prioritize safety and avoid drinking and driving during the St. Patrick's Day weekend and spring break season. More people on the road mean a higher risk of serious accidents, especially with thousands of students traveling to spring break destinations. 

ATLANTA – Cases of COVID-19, RSV, and influenza have declined significantly as winter moves into spring, State Epidemiologist Dr. Cherie Drenzek reported Tuesday. On the fourth anniversary of the first reported death from coronavirus in Georgia, Drenzek told members of the state Board of Public Health the vast majority of patients hospitalized with the virus had not been vaccinated.

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