James Salzer

James Salzer has covered state government and politics in Georgia since 1990.

Latest from James Salzer

Georgia ethics panel dismisses harassment complaint against Shafer
 The Georgia Senate Ethics Committee dismissed a sexual harassment complaint a lobbyist filed against state Sen. David Shafer, with the announcement coming a day after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained an investigative report raising questions about the allegations. “Based on the findings of fact reported by the independent...

Posted: 5 days ago

The Georgia Senate Ethics Committee dismissed a sexual harassment complaint a lobbyist filed against state Sen. David Shafer, with the announcement coming a day after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained an investigative report raising questions about the allegations. “Based on the findings of fact reported by the independent...
Report raises questions about truth of Shafer sex harassment complaint
 The lawyer investigating claims that state Sen. David Shafer, a leading Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, persistently sexually harassed a veteran lobbyist cast suspicion on the allegation in a report obtained exclusively Thursday by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Attorney Penn Payne wrote that her conclusion was that...

Posted: 6 days ago

The lawyer investigating claims that state Sen. David Shafer, a leading Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, persistently sexually harassed a veteran lobbyist cast suspicion on the allegation in a report obtained exclusively Thursday by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Attorney Penn Payne wrote that her conclusion was that...
Racial discrimination settlement cost Georgia GOP more than $500,000
 The Georgia Republican Party paid more than $500,000 to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by a former staffer. The state GOP confirmed last fall that it had settled the lawsuit, but most of the payments have showed up in the party’s campaign disclosure filings since then. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution review of the filings...

Posted: 7 days ago

The Georgia Republican Party paid more than $500,000 to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by a former staffer. The state GOP confirmed last fall that it had settled the lawsuit, but most of the payments have showed up in the party’s campaign disclosure filings since then. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution review of the filings...
In final minute, Georgia lawmakers OK’d favored insurance bill
 In the final minutes of the 2018 session, the Georgia House quietly ended a three-year fight to pass legislation making sure insurance agents receive a commission when they sell health coverage. The measure, House Bill 64, was a priority of powerful House Rules Chairman John Meadows, R-Calhoun, a veteran insurance agent who has...

Posted: 10 days ago

In the final minutes of the 2018 session, the Georgia House quietly ended a three-year fight to pass legislation making sure insurance agents receive a commission when they sell health coverage. The measure, House Bill 64, was a priority of powerful House Rules Chairman John Meadows, R-Calhoun, a veteran insurance agent who has...
Georgia lawmakers cut Atlanta planning agency funds after bad audit
 A state audit that found the Atlanta Regional Commission engaged in sloppy spending practices, kept poor financial records and misused purchasing cards is proving costly to the planning agency. The state budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which gained final approval on the last day of the 2018 General Assembly session, cuts by two-thirds...

Posted: 14 days ago

A state audit that found the Atlanta Regional Commission engaged in sloppy spending practices, kept poor financial records and misused purchasing cards is proving costly to the planning agency. The state budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which gained final approval on the last day of the 2018 General Assembly session, cuts by two-thirds...
Lawmakers tinker with Ga. car tax but calls likely for more repairs
 Lawmakers waited until the waning hours of the 2018 General Assembly session to cut the levy new state residents pay when they register their cars and to try to fix a car tax system that has shortchanged local governments in recent years. House Bill 329, which was sent to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk for his consideration, is only the latest...

Posted: 16 days ago

Lawmakers waited until the waning hours of the 2018 General Assembly session to cut the levy new state residents pay when they register their cars and to try to fix a car tax system that has shortchanged local governments in recent years. House Bill 329, which was sent to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk for his consideration, is only the latest...
Internet sales tax, transit bills win approval in Georgia
 The Georgia House gave final passage Thursday to legislation aimed at making sure Georgians who buy goods from online retailers pay sales taxes on what they purchase. And in the final hour of the 2018 session, lawmakers backed a bill that House and Senate leaders say could lead to a dramatic expansion of mass transit in metro Atlanta. House...

Posted: 20 days ago

The Georgia House gave final passage Thursday to legislation aimed at making sure Georgians who buy goods from online retailers pay sales taxes on what they purchase. And in the final hour of the 2018 session, lawmakers backed a bill that House and Senate leaders say could lead to a dramatic expansion of mass transit in metro Atlanta. House...
Georgia House seals the deal on new $26.2 billion budget
 The Georgia House gave final approval to a $26.2 billion state budget for the upcoming fiscal year, sending it to Gov. Nathan Deal on Thursday for his signature. The spending plan is somewhat historic: For the first time since 2002, it includes full funding of the k-12 school formula, thanks to a growing Georgia economy that is bringing...

Posted: 20 days ago

The Georgia House gave final approval to a $26.2 billion state budget for the upcoming fiscal year, sending it to Gov. Nathan Deal on Thursday for his signature. The spending plan is somewhat historic: For the first time since 2002, it includes full funding of the k-12 school formula, thanks to a growing Georgia economy that is bringing...
As clock ticks, out come tricks on last day of Ga. legislative session
 If it’s the 40th day of the General Assembly session — and Thursday’s that day — it’s prime time for legislative shenanigans. That means vehicles without wheels (re: one bill attached to another), Christmas trees that are neither green nor have a star on top (re: several bills attached to one), and...

Posted: 21 days ago

If it’s the 40th day of the General Assembly session — and Thursday’s that day — it’s prime time for legislative shenanigans. That means vehicles without wheels (re: one bill attached to another), Christmas trees that are neither green nor have a star on top (re: several bills attached to one), and...
Internet sales tax clears big hurdle in Georgia
 The Georgia Senate joined the House on Tuesday in calling on online retailers to start charging sales taxes on their goods. The Senate voted 49-3 for House Bill 61, which would require online retailers who make at least $250,000 or 200 sales a year in Georgia to either collect and remit to the state sales taxes on purchases or send &ldquo...

Posted: 22 days ago

The Georgia Senate joined the House on Tuesday in calling on online retailers to start charging sales taxes on their goods. The Senate voted 49-3 for House Bill 61, which would require online retailers who make at least $250,000 or 200 sales a year in Georgia to either collect and remit to the state sales taxes on purchases or send &ldquo...
Deal comes up with money to fully fund Georgia k-12 schools next year
 With Georgia’s economy continuing to grow, Gov. Nathan Deal increased his projection of how much tax money the state will take in next year, allowing lawmakers to fully fund the k-12 school funding formula after more than a decade of cutbacks. State House Appropriations Chairman Terry England, R-Auburn, made the announcement Tuesday...

Posted: 22 days ago

With Georgia’s economy continuing to grow, Gov. Nathan Deal increased his projection of how much tax money the state will take in next year, allowing lawmakers to fully fund the k-12 school funding formula after more than a decade of cutbacks. State House Appropriations Chairman Terry England, R-Auburn, made the announcement Tuesday...