Georgia along with other 25 states will face the Obama administration in a federal appeals court in New Orleans on Friday over the president's executive action on immigration.
In November, the president announced programs that would grant deportation relief and temporary work permits for some immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as a child or immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizen children.
Oliva Saldivar is a mother of two U.S. citizen children. The Sandy Springs resident said she hoped to apply for the president’s plan so she could get a work permit.
Gov. Nathan Deal announced Thursday he'd be appointing House Majority Leader Larry O’Neal, R- Bonaire, to a judgeship. That means one of the most powerful positions at the Capitol is now open. Several Republicans are already campaigning to take O'Neal's place.
Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, has formally thrown his hat in the ring. He’s best known for his successful campaign to legalize the limited use of medical marijuana.
"I'm a former CEO. I'm a small business owner. I believe I can be a good voice for our caucus on our core Republican values," Peake said.
A type of medical marijuana is now legal in Georgia. Gov. Nathan Deal signed a bill legalizing cannabis oil for Georgians with eight different medical conditions. That means some families who had left the state to get the oil can now return home.
The bill is named for 5-year-old Haleigh Cox who suffers from a seizure disorder. Her mother Janea moved with her to Colorado so she could get Haleigh cannabis oil, but her husband stayed behind. Janea and her entire family attended the signing.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is expected to sign a $21.8 billion state budget soon. The fiscal plan includes tax breaks and spending that lawmakers inserted in the final hours of the 2015 legislative session.
During the session as a whole, legislators addressed transportation funding and school issues, but the president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, Kelly McCutchen, said on the organization’s website “several opportunities to address critical economic issues were missed.”
Georgia’s legislative session wrapped up earlier this month and it was a big year for transportation. State lawmakers passed a major bill aimed at improving Georgia’s crumbling network of roads and bridges. The legislative package raises nearly $1 billion in new funds by hiking gas taxes and adding new fees on electric car drivers, hotel guests and truckers. It also eliminates tax credits for electric car purchases and jet fuel.
Gov. Nathan Deal will sign a medical marijuana bill on Thursday. The legislation decriminalizes cannabis oil for Georgians with eight different medical conditions. The oil won’t be produced in Georgia, so residents will have to figure out how to get it here.
Rep. Allen Peake sponsored the medical marijuana bill. He says Georgians will be able to get cannabis oil with less than 0.3 percent THC from two Colorado companies.
“[For] that particular product both manufacturers have said they’re willing to ship it back to Georgia,” Peake said.
Georgia gun owners with concealed carry permits might soon be able to take their firearms to more places in South Carolina. That’s if House Bill 3799 that’s been proposed in the South Carolina legislature gains approval.
A criminal justice reform bill passed by the state legislature would create a new state agency to oversee parole and probation. The agency would combine supervisory services from the Department of Corrections, Department of Juvenile Justice and Pardons and Paroles into one state agency.
Georgia lawmakers passed a key part of Gov. Nathan Deal’s criminal justice reform package this year, HB 310. Among other changes, the bill would change the state’s probation system for misdemeanor offenses. Critics have said for years that the system led to abuse, especially for poor offenders.
Gov. Nathan Deal will sign a law making possession of up to 20 ounces of cannabis oil legal for Georgians with certain illnesses, but the oil cannot be produced in the state creating complications for retrieving the oil.
Patients who need cannabis oil for medical treatment say they will face risks and hurdles even after medical marijuana becomes legal in Georgia on Thursday.
Gov. Nathan Deal will sign a law making possession of up to 20 ounces of cannabis oil legal in Georgia. But patients needing the oil still have to go out of state to get it, because it remains illegal to produce at home.
That means families have to travel out-of-state to get the oil, and it is unclear whether the federal government will tolerate that.
Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, is calling on the Veteran Affairs Secretary to provide a plan that ensures vets can access care outside the VA system. The request is due to a national report released on Thursday by the Associated Press, which said veterans still have long waits for care at VA hospitals, including here in Georgia.
A bill to authorize a referendum on incorporation for South Fulton County residents failed for the second year in a row in the Georgia legislature. House Bill 514 would have authorized a vote on the issue. It passed in the House, but stalled in the Senate.
“It was disappointing,” Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves told Rose Scott and Denis O'Hayer on "A Closer Look."
The Board of Commissioners’ position was that residents in unincorporated Fulton County should have had the chance to vote on whether to become a city, Eaves said.
During this legislative session, a push for cityhood was the focus for unincorporated south Fulton County. The bill fell short for the second year in a row.
That’s just one of many issues regarding the current state of Fulton County.
The bill passed in the house, but stalled in the Georgia Senate. After the bill’s failure, Fulton County commission chair John Eaves said the full Fulton County Board of Commissioners "strongly supported the taxpayers of south Fulton in heading to the ballot box to determine their own future."
Georgians will soon be driving on smoother roads and safer bridges. Lawmakers recently approved about a billion dollars of new money to repair Georgia’s aging infrastructure.
“What we saw this legislative session was something very spectacular. Something we haven’t seen probably since the 1970s," said Natalie Dale, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation.
That something, Dale said, is a major financial commitment from the state.
The State of Georgia has agreed to pay $480,000 to the former public affairs chief for the Georgia National Guard. It’s the fourth whistleblower complaint the state has settled in the past few years.
MaryTherese Grabowski filed the lawsuit against the Georgia National Guard and the State’s Department last year. She claimed she lost her job after accusing Jim Butterworth, the former head of the Georgia National Guard of unethical and illegal conduct.
Georgia lawmakers have wrapped up a busy 2015 legislative session.
The session ended late Thursday with the Senate working past the midnight deadline.
Lawmakers did not pass a controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA measure, but they did pass budget and transportation bills. They also agreed on a medical marijuana bill and a measure that provides insurance coverage for autistic children.
If you own a motorcycle or bicycle you could soon have a shorter wait at some stoplights. A bill passed by the state legislature last week allows riders to make their way through some intersections before a red light changes.
Whether you’re on your Harley or your Schwinn, you still have to come to a complete stop at an intersection.
But if you think your bike isn’t triggering the stoplight, you can go through the light as long as there are no other vehicles within 500 feet.
Cities and counties in Georgia will continue to be able to place bans on pit bulls or other dogs. A bill that would have prohibited local governments from making laws about specific breeds of dogs failed to gain passage this legislative session. The bill passed the Georgia Senate, but never got a vote in the House.
Under a bill passed by the state legislature this session, craft brewers would be able to charge customers for a brewery tour, with the option to hand out up to a six-pack's worth of take-home beer as a ''souvenir.''
Georgia’s craft brewers and brewpubs made some small strides this legislative session on loosening up sales restrictions, but the effort fell short of their ultimate goal to get direct sales to consumers.
One of the most contentious bills of this year’s legislative session failed to get final passage for the second year in a row. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act never made it out of a House committee.
Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, held on to the end and tried to attach the bill's language to an unrelated House measure. He argued the bill is needed to make sure the government doesn’t infringe on someone’s religious rights without a good reason.
“People of faith would be entitled to better treatment by courts,” McKoon says. “That’s the difference it would make.”