Members of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, James Mills, left, and Terry Barnard, prepare to hear a clemency hearing in the case of death row inmate Warren Lee Hill on July 13, 2012, in Atlanta.
The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles Tuesday denied clemency to Warren Lee Hill. He was put to death later that night.
The five-member board, which is appointed by the governor, doesn’t have to explain its ruling or make available to the public any document related to the decision. It has largely operated in secret since its creation in 1943.
A new House proposal, however, aims to change that. Rep. Kevin Tanner, R-Dawsonville, is sponsoring the bill.
A state lawmaker is expected to file legislation today that would allow breweries to be able to sell beer directly to their customers. Under current Georgia law, only distributors can buy beer from breweries.
Right now, the only way to get a beer at a local brewery is to buy a souvenir mug and get free tastings. Sen. Hunter Hill wants to change that. His bill would allow beer lovers to buy and drink up to six beers while at a brewery. Hill says brewers would also be able to sell the equivalent of a 12-pack per person to take home.
DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander has a Ph.D. in psychology, and he is leader of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).
President Barack Obama recently tapped Alexander to serve on the White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing, part of the administration's efforts to "strengthen community policing and strengthen trust among law enforcement officers and the communities they serve."
The state parole board Tuesday morning denied clemency for Warren Lee Hill. He's scheduled to be executed later tonight. Hill’s attorney argues his client’s intellectual disability bars Georgia from putting him to death.
Possession of an oil-based form of medical marijuana would be legal under a bill filed Monday at the Georgia House. The bill, however, doesn’t lay out how Georgia families would actually get it here. Statewide, growing and distributing medical marijuana remains illegal.
Shannon Cloud of Smryna was on hand to show support for the bill. She has an eight-year-old daughter who suffers from severe seizure disorders.
Gov. Nathan Deal’s latest budget plan cuts health benefits to more than 11,000 school workers - mostly bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and other employees who work less than 30 hours per week.
Deal this week defended the proposal, saying it’s a matter of fairness to other state employees who work part-time but don’t qualify for benefits.
“I think more and more people are asking the question, 'why is it that people who are working less than 30 hours a week were being able to participate when some of our own state employees could not,'” said Deal.
Speculation over Gov. Nathan Deal’s whereabouts was laid to rest Thursday. Deal, who was last seen Saturday, addressed the mystery after a budget meeting at the state Capitol.
Local and national news outlets, along with those on social media, were wondering where he was. His office wouldn’t offer details. At one point, his spokesman assured the press that no Argentinean lovers were involved ─ a reference to Congressman Mark Sanford, who as governor of South Carolina disappeared for days to rendezvous abroad with a mistress.
Gov. Nathan Deal wants to give more prisoners a shot at getting a high school diploma or GED. Deal made that case Thursday to state lawmakers who are reviewing his nearly $22 billion spending plan for next year.
“We are conveying to our fellow Georgians that the mistakes of their past have not sentenced them to a life of despair, that if they work hard and pay their dues then upon release they’ll have a chance to move on from what they’ve done,” said Deal.
Among the issues facing new state schools superintendent Richard Woods is an effort to make his position appointed, rather than elected.
Woods, who officially started the job this month, says Georgians shouldn’t give up the right to vote for a schools chief.
"You're looking at really surrendering your rights or your voice to express your opinions as the people of Georgia. That means you're losing liberty and once you surrender your liberty it’s probably lost forever," said Woods.
In this Aug. 28, 1963, file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addresses marchers during his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.
Gov. Nathan Deal gave more details Friday about exactly where a statue to honor Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. will be placed at the Georgia Capitol. The comments come after Deal signed a bill to erect the statue last spring.
During a ceremony to honor the late civil rights leader, Gov. Nathan Deal said the statue of King will go on the Capitol’s east side — close to the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Capitol Avenue.
Fueled by a steadily growing economy, Gov. Nathan Deal today unveiled a $21.7 billion budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. The plan boosts spending by about $900 million compared to last year and includes hundreds of millions in new money for public schools.
For the second year in a row, Deal wants to add more than $500 million for K-12 education. Half of that simply keeps up with enrollment. The other half, like last year, will go to local school districts to use as they wish.
Atlanta City Councilman Michael Julian Bond has agreed to pay more than $15,000 to settle over a dozen violations of the city’s ethics code.
The six-page settlement details how Councilman Bond took a $3,000 advance for a trip he never took and accepted dozens of free tickets for things like a Chaka Khan concert and the annual Dragon-Con convention. It also outlines his use of public money for personal travel, private tutoring and to print DVDs and pins for his high school reunion.
Democrats in Georgia’s House are vastly outnumbered, but they’re hoping to make inroads in several key areas. On Thursday, they unveiled their legislative agenda.
House Democrats put their support behind 26 bills they say will increase educational opportunity and improve economic security for all Georgians. They want to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour. House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams says, “As the state which is the 8th largest in the union, we certainly owe it to our families to offer them not only a good wage, but a livable wage.”
A Republican state lawmaker from Acworth has introduced the year’s first bill aimed at tackling Georgia's underfunded transportation network. Rep. Ed Setzler wants to gradually lower the state income tax while raising the amount drivers pay at the pump.
"I think we recognize that we have a statewide need that requires a statewide solution," said Setzler.
He says drivers ─ through the excise tax on fuel ─ should bear more of the burden to maintain the state’s roads and bridges.
A state lawmaker says if other options fail, he’s willing to risk going to prison to help Georgia families get medical cannabis oil.
This year, state lawmakers will consider a bill to decriminalize cannabis oil for those with seizure disorders and other medical conditions. But Georgians would still have to get the oil from other states, and that’s illegal under federal law. So to keep families from being arrested, bill sponsor Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, says he’s willing to bring the cannabis oil to Georgia himself.
A controversial bill that would require private insurers to provide autism treatment coverage for young children is back before state lawmakers.
The autism bill was one of the most hotly debated topics of last year’s session. This year’s proposal is nearly identical and would require insurers to cover children with autism who are six and under. Sen. Charlie Bethel is sponsoring the bill. He’s hopeful things will be different this time around.
On Wednesday morning, Governor Nathan Deal will highlight his priorities during the State of the State address at Georgia’s Capitol. The governor says he will provide direction on how the state can close an at least $1 billion dollar funding gap in transportation.
Governor Deal says the state has to find more money to unclog and improve Georgia’s roads and bridges. He made his position clear on Tuesday:
“I recognize its going to require additional funding to do the things we need."
This past November, American voters gave Republicans control of both houses of Congress. After President Obama said he had his veto ready for GOP bills he doesn't like, there were dire predictions that the Washington gridlock of the past few years will get even worse.
But Georgia Republican Senator Johnny Isakson insists the divided government has a chance to work, even as he promises to take on the President and campaign for his own re-election in 2016.
Georgia General Assembly House Speaker Rep. David Ralston says he would not allow law enforcement officers to become ''Enemy Number One'' in discussions about body cameras and other surveillance tools.