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Georgia legislature headlines

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Tim Kaine to Georgia Latinos: ‘We are all Americans’
Democratic Vice President candidate Tim Kaine (R) walks through the crowd at the Fiesta Mexicana in Duluth, GA, Sunday, September 25, 2016. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC

3:46 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016

Democratic vice presidential hopeful Tim Kaine on Sunday urged Georgia Latinos to vote for Hillary Clinton for president and told them they can “make the difference.” Kaine arrived Sunday morning for a fund raiser in Atlanta but made an unannounced stop at the Fiesta Mexicana at Gwinnett Place Mall in ...
In South Carolina, Democrats enjoy ever brief moment of parity
Nick Pasternak is the president of the College Republicans at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. He does not believe South Carolina is yet a battleground state in national politics. But Pasternak said Republican candidates such as Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, and even Democratic Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, showed more appeal than GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump to some college students in what has been a reliably Republican state. AARON GOULD SHEININ / ASHEININ@AJC.COM

12:00 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016

For a few weeks in August, South Carolina Democrats had that battleground state smell.It was likely the happiest the beleaguered party had been since 1998, when it won the governor’s office and protected a U.S. Senate seat.But a series of polls that birthed a purple bloom over the state gave ...
Georgia governor unveils second part of law enforcement pay raise
Gov. Nathan Deal, who earlier this month announced a $79 million plan to give 20 percent pay raises to more than 3,300 state law enforcement officers, has unveiled a plan to increase the pay for about 300 additional officers by 10 percent. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM

3:19 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, 2016

Gov. Nathan Deal has rolled out the second phase of his plan to give state law enforcement officers pay increases.The governor earlier this month announced a $79 million plan to give 20 percent pay raises to more than 3,300 state law enforcement officers. But several hundred state employees who wear ...
Georgia’s judicial watchdog in leadership crisis, member says
Richard Hyde, a member of the Judicial Qualifications Commission and  the panel’s longtime former investigator appeared before a House  committee studying changes in the group that investigates judges accused  of misconduct. KENT D. JOHNSON/KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM

3:49 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016

A member of the state commission that investigates allegations of misconduct by judges told a Georgia House committee Thursday that his panel is in the midst of a “perfect storm of dysfunction,” providing ammunition to lawmakers aiming to make changes in the system.Richard Hyde, a member of the Judicial Qualifications ...
Gwinnett House candidate’s company accused of extorting the poor
Former state Rep. Clay Cox

2:59 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016

Five people jailed because they couldn’t pay probation fees have filed suit against a company operated by a candidate for the state House of Representatives, saying the business extorts money from poor people. The federal lawsuit claims Professional Probation Services threatened clients who were guilty of traffic offenses or misdemeanors ...
Judicial watchdog: Georgia panel in “perfect storm of dysfunction.”
Richard Hyde, a member of the Judicial Qualifications Commission and  the panel’s longtime former investigator appeared before a House  committee studying changes in the group that investigates judges accused  of misconduct. KENT D. JOHNSON/KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM

Updated: 2:25 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016

A member of the state commission that investigates allegations of misconduct by judges told a Georgia House committee Thursday that his panel is in the midst of a “perfect storm of dysfunction,” providing ammunition to lawmakers aiming to make changes in the system.Richard Hyde, a member of the Judicial Qualifications ...
Gwinnett House district gets voting rights scrutiny
Critics say a state House of Representatives redistricting plan may have illegally diluted the voting power of minorities in a Gwinnett County district.

Updated: 3:42 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016

Georgia’s decision to redraw state House of Representatives districts last year is getting new scrutiny as the battle over voting rights heats up in federal courts across the country.The Georgia General Assembly approved new boundaries for 17 of the 180 House districts, including several in metro Atlanta. But one in ...
Judge orders Georgia to release database records on voter registration
Sharon Huff, of Atlanta, fills in voter registration form at the desk of Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Atlanta, in The Sweet Auburn Curb Market on Saturday, August 20, 2016. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

11:58 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016

A federal judge has ordered Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp to release more detailed public records about why the state decides to reject applicants trying to register to vote, granting a temporary victory to voter advocates as a lawsuit over the records continues. A spokeswoman for Kemp said he ...
Georgia ethics policy may be stumbling block for new commissioner
New ethics commission member Jake Evans, right, attended his first meeting Monday. James Salzer@JSALZER

6:40 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016

The state ethics commission has a new conflict-of-interest policy that could have its newest member recusing himself from considering a lot of the cases before the panel. The commission, which investigates complaints filed against politicians, candidates and political organizations mostly over campaign money issues, approved the policy this week at ...
Ralston names Savannah lawyer to ethics commission
Speaker David Ralston addresses the state House in this February 2016 file photo. The Blue Ridge Republican on Tuesday appointed James Kreyenbuhl to the Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

12:02 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016

House Speaker David Ralston on Tuesday appointed Savannah attorney James Kreyenbuhl to the state ethics commission.Kreyenbuhl, a graduate of the University of Georgia and the Georgia State University School of Law, will fill the unexpired term of former commission Chairwoman Hillary Stringfellow. That term ends in January 2018.With Kreyenbuhl’s appointment, ...
Oxendine could face new allegations from Georgia ethics commission
Former Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine is still fighting ethics charges dating to his unsuccessful race for governor in 2010.

5:49 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, 2016

State ethics officials may file new allegations against former insurance commissioner and gubernatorial candidate John Oxendine in the coming months over his decision to “invest” $237,000 in leftover campaign money in his law firm. The ethics commission is still working through earlier complaints alleging that Oxendine, a one-time front-runner in ...
Jobs to be issue in religious liberty rematch
Jim Fowler, GE’s chief information officer, looks on as Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed shake hands after GE announced a new digital operations center in Atlanta. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

4:04 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, 2016

General Electric executives scouting Atlanta as a possible home for the corporate giant’s digital division reacted swiftly when Georgia legislators passed the controversial “religious liberty” bill in March: They canceled the trip. When Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed the measure days later, however, GE re-engaged. About the same time, North Carolina, ...
Former judges complain of treatment by judicial commission
Former DeKalb Superior Court Judge Cynthia Becker, in court in December 2013, says she was ambushed by the Judicial Qualifications Commission. KENT D. JOHNSON / KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM

6:17 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016

A former DeKalb County Superior Court judge said Thursday she was duped and “sucker punched” when she met with the commission that oversees Georgia’s judiciary — a meeting that led to her indictment and, finally, to her agreement never to return to the bench. A now-retired Bartow County Probate Court ...
Atlanta-based app connects people to their politicians

6:00 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016

Atlanta software developer Horace Williams traces the inspiration for his new mobile app to the outpouring of anger and activism that occurred in the wake of the 2012 shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. “It was the first time a public issue on television made me break down and ...
Georgia universities request $265 million for construction, repair
Kennesaw State University broke ground on this $26 million residence hall in 2011 and the growing school has seen many construction projects in recent years. The Board of Regents on Wednesday requested $39.5 million for a new academic learning center for KSU. Bob Andres bandres@ajc.com

4:25 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016

With Georgia colleges continuing to see climbing enrollment, the University System on Wednesday asked for a boost in state funding as well as $265 million more for construction and renovation projects. The request, approved by the Board of Regents, will go to Gov. Nathan Deal, who will decide whether to ...
Georgia universities request $265 million for construction, repair
Kennesaw State University broke ground on this $26 million residence hall in 2011 and the growing school has seen many construction projects in recent years. The Board of Regents on Wednesday requested $39.5 million for a new academic learning center for KSU. Bob Andres bandres@ajc.com

Updated: 11:59 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016

Kennesaw State, Georgia Tech, Georgia Gwinnett College and the University of Georgia would all get big money for construction projects under a budget request approved by the University System Board of Regents Wednesday. The Regents backed a budget request to lawmakers that includes $117 million to pay for enrollment growth ...
State of Georgia’s tax take up 6.8 percent in August
Tax collections were up 6.8 percent in August

Updated: 10:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 12, 2016

State collections grew in August in yet another sign that Georgia’s economy remains fairly strong. Overall collections were up 6.8 percent in August, with big gains in the state income tax take and improvement in sales tax collections. Those two taxes generally measure income growth and spending. Personal income tax ...
How secure is your vote on Election Day in Georgia?
A voting machine at the Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University. The center since 2002 has worked on behalf of the state to oversee the operation of the machines and make sure the intricate web of Georgia’s voting system performs smoothly for every federal, state and county election. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

10:25 a.m. Monday, Sept. 12, 2016

If you vote in Georgia, you care about ballot security. And ahead of this fall’s presidential election, it’s never been more in the news. Old voting machines, no paper audit trails, election vote hacking and what it would take to revamp Georgia’s election system — these are all questions for ...
An election primer on Georgia’s voting system and ballot security

2:04 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, 2016

If you vote in Georgia, you care about ballot security. And ahead of this fall’s presidential election, it’s never been more in the news. In the wake of Republican nominee Donald Trump’s call on supporters to prevent a “rigged” election in November, and federal officials warning of cybersecurity threats after ...
Gov. Nathan Deal, state of Georgia, bank a record $2 billion
Governor Nathan Deal. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

11:04 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9, 2016

Saving money isn’t politically sexy. But Gov. Nathan Deal is showing he’s pretty good at it. An end-of-the-fiscal year report (state fiscal years end June 30) shows the state’s savings account hit a record $2.05 billion in fiscal 2016. That’s up from $116 million in reserves - or about what ...
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