Speaking at Georgia State University Wednesday, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens weighed in on a controversial topic: the collection of telephone data.
Stevens said the use and storage of phone data to identify callers does not violate the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable searches. He cited his decision in the 1979 case Smith v. Maryland, in which the court ruled the instillation of a pen register (a device that records all numbers called from a particular phone) was not a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
A bill awaiting Gov. Nathan Deal’s signature requires the DeKalb County Commission to fill its District 5 seat temporarily.
However, that may not be a simple task.
Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams helped push the bill through on the final day of the legislative session. She told WABE, “The impetus for this was resolving a flaw in the law, as I see it, for dealing with the removal of a person from active engagement of their job.”
A state lawmaker is pleased Gov. Nathan Deal is taking steps to help children with seizure disorders potentially obtain an oil based form of medical marijuana. However, State Representative Allen Peake says there is still a need to make the oil legal in Georgia.
On Thursday, Gov. Deal said an FDA clinical trial being done by a private company could potentially be expanded along with the help of Georgia Regents University. It would allow some Georgia children with seizure disorders to receive a pure form of cannabis oil.
On Tuesday, April 8, 2014, The Pew Charitable Trusts released its latest Election Performance Index, which looked at whether all 50 states improved their administration of elections between 2008 and 2012. Georgia, which ranked 32nd, showed the biggest decline in the nation. But state officials point to new initiatives, like the online voter registration program which was launched just days before the Pew report was released.
Citing Georgia's "broken" campaign finance system, Gov. Nathan Deal is proposing an overhaul of the state ethics commission.
He wants to expand the commission board from five members to 12. Currently, the governor appoints three members and the lieutenant governor and House speaker each appoint one. Deal’s proposal would give the executive, legislative, and judicial branches four appointments each.
Gov. Nathan Deal is facing fresh questions about his role in an ongoing saga at the state ethics commission.
Friday, a jury awarded former commission chief Stacey Kalberman more than $700,000 for wrongful termination. Kalberman alleged she and her top deputy were forced out because they were investigating Deal’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign.
Deal said Sunday he has nothing to hide and dismissed a wave of criticism from his political opponents.
WABE's Denis O'Hayer spoke with Republican Georgia U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss on March 31, 2014. The conversation took place on a day when many Americans were rushing to sign up for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, which Chambliss has opposed.
After a medical marijuana bill failed to reach his desk, Governor Deal said he would explore whether anything can be done before the next legislative session to allow Georgians with seizure disorders to legally use an oil based form of marijuana.
Former Georgia Supreme Court Justice Leah Ward Sears says she thinks it would be difficult for the governor to accomplish that through an executive order. But she says there might be something that can be done administratively.
We have put together a summary of the key provisions of the new gun law that was passed in the waning hours of this year's General Assembly and which is now awaiting Gov. Deal's signature. The summary appears below as an image.
On March 20, 2014, in the final hours of the legislative session, Georgia lawmakers passed HB 772, a bill which would require some food stamp recipients to submit to drug tests--if state officials have a reasonable suspicion that the recipients are using drugs.
The measure is a response to a recent Federal court ruling that threw out a Florida law requiring drug tests for welfare recipients. Georgia had passed a similar bill in 2012, but had decided not to enforce it while the Florida challenge was pending. The court's ruling means that the 2012 Georgia bill remains in limbo.
Former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin said in an interview with National Journal that she regrets not working harder to improve social mobility in Atlanta. Looking back, she says she feels she could have pushed more to raise wages and to support education. In the interview, she also highlighted some of her accomplishments as mayor. Franklin is currently teaching at the University of Texas.
The Holy Grail in current political and economic debates is finding the best way to help more Americans move up the socioeconomic ladder. No one likes the idea of the American Dream being reduced to individuals stuck in the status to which they were born.
Unlike last year, House and Senate lawmakers this year reached a deal on legislation to expand gun rights in places like bars, churches, and some government buildings. The bill now goes to Governor Deal’s desk.
The Georgia House agreed with the Senate Version of the bill during the last hour of legislative session. That led to this announcement by Senator Bill Heath:
“Mr. President I believe that the House has finally come along in representing Georgia’s gun owners and protecting themselves.”
Plans to privatize most of the state’s child welfare system failed Thursday night when House leaders opted not to take up a bill approved by the Senate earlier in the day.
Privatization looked poised for passage earlier Thursday when the Senate passed a plan that looked similar to the House’s version.
It laid out a three-year pilot program to privatize services like adoption and foster care rather than a statewide rollout, as had previously been pushed for by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and other Senate lawmakers.
The Georgia General Assembly has revised a law on drug-testing welfare recipients.
A law passed two years ago allowed drug testing for anyone in Georgia who applied for welfare or food stamps. State officials never implemented the law, and a federal court struck down a similar measure in Florida, ruling it unconstitutional.
The new, Republican-backed bill allows state officials to test recipients if they have what is called in the measure “a reasonable suspicion” the person is using drugs.
Workers who are privately contracted to schools will no longer be able to collect unemployment during the summer if Gov. Nathan Deal signs a bill passed by the General Assembly Thursday.
Bus drivers, lunchroom staff, and other workers who do not work directly for school systems often find themselves in the unemployment line during the summer -- sometimes with a wink and a nod from their private employers -- who hire them back when school starts again.
However, if the governor signs the new bill, they will not be able to collect unemployment.
On the 40th and final day of legislative session, state lawmakers signed off on a pair of bills related to MARTA.
Currently, the Fulton and DeKalb County Commissions appoint seven of the 11 voting members to MARTA’s board. Under HB 264, some of that appointment power beginning in 2017 would be shifted to a group of mayors in DeKalb and north Fulton.
In 2012, a report found that 152 children who had had some contact with the state Department of Children and Family Services died. These deaths are part of what has led to a search for alternatives to Georgia's current child welfare system.
Georgia's child welfare system, which includes foster care, has been struggling for years. This past year, after several deaths of children in the system--and amid a backlog of investigations of abuse--House and Senate lawmakers rolled out competing reform proposals. Some called for an immediate privatization of much of the child welfare system; others advocated a slower approach, involving pilot privatization programs in parts of the state.