Mark Niesse

Georgia government reporter

Mark Niesse covers Georgia government. He previously covered DeKalb government and Atlanta schools. Before coming to the AJC, he worked for The Associated Press and The Daily Report.

Latest from Mark Niesse

Georgia Legislature Today: Capitol gears up for budget and other bills
 The Georgia General Assembly at a glance for Monday, Day 7 of the 2018 legislative session: Ramping up: Some state lawmakers will be busy running between various committee meetings, many of them dealing with the state’s $26 billion budget. In the House, appropriations subcommittees are reviewing public safety, education, economic development...

Posted: 7 hours ago

The Georgia General Assembly at a glance for Monday, Day 7 of the 2018 legislative session: Ramping up: Some state lawmakers will be busy running between various committee meetings, many of them dealing with the state’s $26 billion budget. In the House, appropriations subcommittees are reviewing public safety, education, economic development...
WATCH: Georgia Legislature takes up adoptions and budget
 Georgia lawmakers are moving closer to passing legislation to make adoptions easier and to fund state government services. The state Senate voted Thursday to approve the adoption bill, which is a priority for legislative leaders. But its prospects are unclear in the state House after senators added a provision that Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed...

Posted: 12 hours ago

Georgia lawmakers are moving closer to passing legislation to make adoptions easier and to fund state government services. The state Senate voted Thursday to approve the adoption bill, which is a priority for legislative leaders. But its prospects are unclear in the state House after senators added a provision that Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed...
WATCH: SNL pokes fun at Atlanta’s bid for Amazon HQ
 “Saturday Night Live” is joking about Atlanta’s traffic, accents and Southern cooking after Amazon named the city as one of 20 finalists for its second headquarters. Not even Coca-Cola, Chick-fil-A and Waffle House escaped comedians’ jibes on the latest episode of “SNL.” The episode also...

Posted: 13 hours ago

“Saturday Night Live” is joking about Atlanta’s traffic, accents and Southern cooking after Amazon named the city as one of 20 finalists for its second headquarters. Not even Coca-Cola, Chick-fil-A and Waffle House escaped comedians’ jibes on the latest episode of “SNL.” The episode also...
5 noteworthy bills introduced in the Georgia Legislature
 While Georgia lawmakers are busy debating major bills of statewide significance, they’re also considering legislation that isn’t getting as much attention. Here’s a look at five lesser-known proposals that might have been overshadowed by proposals to improve public transportation, make adoptions easier, revitalize...

Posted: 13 hours ago

While Georgia lawmakers are busy debating major bills of statewide significance, they’re also considering legislation that isn’t getting as much attention. Here’s a look at five lesser-known proposals that might have been overshadowed by proposals to improve public transportation, make adoptions easier, revitalize...
Georgia Senate approves adoption bill despite governor’s concerns
 The Georgia Senate passed a bill Thursday designed to unite more children with adopted families, moving forward despite Gov. Nathan Deal’s objections to legislative add-ons. Senators voted 40-13 for the adoption legislation, House Bill 159, which would make it easier and faster to adopt children and place more of the state&rsquo...

Posted: 3 days ago

The Georgia Senate passed a bill Thursday designed to unite more children with adopted families, moving forward despite Gov. Nathan Deal’s objections to legislative add-ons. Senators voted 40-13 for the adoption legislation, House Bill 159, which would make it easier and faster to adopt children and place more of the state&rsquo...
Georgians have to wait for income tax refunds
 Georgia income tax refunds might not be issued until more than 90 days after returns are filed this year as the state guards against the threat of tax fraud. The Georgia Department of Revenue blocked more than $212 million in fraudulently filed refund requests last year. Meanwhile, the IRS is warning of an ongoing email scam in which people...

Posted: 3 days ago

Georgia income tax refunds might not be issued until more than 90 days after returns are filed this year as the state guards against the threat of tax fraud. The Georgia Department of Revenue blocked more than $212 million in fraudulently filed refund requests last year. Meanwhile, the IRS is warning of an ongoing email scam in which people...
AJC poll: Georgians back medical marijuana expansion
 More Georgia voters than ever support changing state law to allow harvesting and distribution of medical marijuana, according to a poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Over three-quarters of those surveyed said Georgia’s medical marijuana program should be expanded, an increase from previous years. This year’s AJC...

Posted: 4 days ago

More Georgia voters than ever support changing state law to allow harvesting and distribution of medical marijuana, according to a poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Over three-quarters of those surveyed said Georgia’s medical marijuana program should be expanded, an increase from previous years. This year’s AJC...
Religious groups renew effort for greater protections in Georgia
 Pastors and faith-based groups are pushing for a “religious liberty” bill to be approved this year, arguing it wouldn’t result in discrimination or hurt the economy of Georgia, which is bidding to become Amazon’s second headquarters. They said during a press conference in the state Capitol on Tuesday that...

Posted: 5 days ago

Pastors and faith-based groups are pushing for a “religious liberty” bill to be approved this year, arguing it wouldn’t result in discrimination or hurt the economy of Georgia, which is bidding to become Amazon’s second headquarters. They said during a press conference in the state Capitol on Tuesday that...
Elderly kept in ‘dungeons’ in alleged Georgia Medicaid fraud scheme
 Three people have been arrested on allegations that they confined 14 elderly or disabled adults in middle Georgia residences, denying them food and stealing their government benefit payments, law enforcement officials said Tuesday. Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said the defendants participated in “an organized web...

Posted: 5 days ago

Three people have been arrested on allegations that they confined 14 elderly or disabled adults in middle Georgia residences, denying them food and stealing their government benefit payments, law enforcement officials said Tuesday. Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said the defendants participated in “an organized web...
4 candidates join race for south Georgia House seat
 Three Republicans and a Democrat are running in a Feb. 13 special election for a state House seat representing a district on the Georgia-Florida border. The candidates are competing to replace former Rep. Amy Carter, R-Valdosta, who resigned from House District 175 in November to take a position with the Technical College...

Posted: 5 days ago

Three Republicans and a Democrat are running in a Feb. 13 special election for a state House seat representing a district on the Georgia-Florida border. The candidates are competing to replace former Rep. Amy Carter, R-Valdosta, who resigned from House District 175 in November to take a position with the Technical College...
AJC poll: Georgians support enticing Amazon to the state
 Georgians strongly support giving incentives worth more than $1 billion to Amazon if the company brings tens of thousands of jobs to the state, according to a new poll conducted for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The public’s support bolsters the state’s bid to land Amazon’s second headquarters, which could employ 50...

Posted: 9 days ago

Georgians strongly support giving incentives worth more than $1 billion to Amazon if the company brings tens of thousands of jobs to the state, according to a new poll conducted for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The public’s support bolsters the state’s bid to land Amazon’s second headquarters, which could employ 50...