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: Who wants a tax cut?
 The Georgia General Assembly at a glance for Thursday, Day 25 of the 2018 legislative session: Speedy cut: Just two days after Gov. Nathan Deal announced a major tax cut plan, the Georgia House of Representatives will vote on it. The legislation, House Bill 918, rocketed through committees this week as lawmakers look to prevent an impending...

Posted: 13 hours ago

The Georgia General Assembly at a glance for Thursday, Day 25 of the 2018 legislative session: Speedy cut: Just two days after Gov. Nathan Deal announced a major tax cut plan, the Georgia House of Representatives will vote on it. The legislation, House Bill 918, rocketed through committees this week as lawmakers look to prevent an impending...
Georgia Legislature Today: Gun control push comes to the Capitol
 The Georgia General Assembly at a glance for Wednesday, Day 24 of the 2018 legislative session: Gun control rally: Hundreds of gun control advocates plan to descend on the Georgia Capitol on Wednesday in the wake of last week’s deadly shooting in Parkland, Fla. The event, organized by Moms Demand Action and Everytown...

Posted: a day ago

The Georgia General Assembly at a glance for Wednesday, Day 24 of the 2018 legislative session: Gun control rally: Hundreds of gun control advocates plan to descend on the Georgia Capitol on Wednesday in the wake of last week’s deadly shooting in Parkland, Fla. The event, organized by Moms Demand Action and Everytown...
Georgia senators vote to let adoption agencies deny same-sex couples
 A bill that would guarantee religious adoption agencies’ ability to turn away gay couples in Georgia passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. The committee voted 5-2 to approve the legislation, Senate Bill 375.  The measure allows faith-based agencies to use their religious beliefs as a justification to...

Posted: a day ago

A bill that would guarantee religious adoption agencies’ ability to turn away gay couples in Georgia passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. The committee voted 5-2 to approve the legislation, Senate Bill 375.  The measure allows faith-based agencies to use their religious beliefs as a justification to...
Georgia Legislature Today: Religion, adoptions and gay couples
 The Georgia General Assembly at a glance for Tuesday, Day 23 of the 2018 legislative session: Religious adoptions: Senators might move forward with a bill that would permit faith-based adoption agencies to reject same-sex married couples who are trying to adopt children from foster care. Senate Bill 375 could get a vote in...

Posted: 2 days ago

The Georgia General Assembly at a glance for Tuesday, Day 23 of the 2018 legislative session: Religious adoptions: Senators might move forward with a bill that would permit faith-based adoption agencies to reject same-sex married couples who are trying to adopt children from foster care. Senate Bill 375 could get a vote in...
Georgia might let adoption agencies use religion to refuse gay couples
 If you believe several Georgia senators, allowing adoption agencies to turn away married gay couples would result in more adoptions of foster children. They reason that more Christian adoption providers will open in Georgia if the government protects their religious objections to same-sex parents, as envisioned by Senate Bill 375. The...

Posted: 3 days ago

If you believe several Georgia senators, allowing adoption agencies to turn away married gay couples would result in more adoptions of foster children. They reason that more Christian adoption providers will open in Georgia if the government protects their religious objections to same-sex parents, as envisioned by Senate Bill 375. The...
Research center proposed to boost rural Georgia businesses
 A government organization could be created to help rebuild the economies of rural Georgia communities, according to legislation introduced this week. The Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation would identify business opportunities, create community plans, provide assistance to various industries and help coordination with nonprofit...

Posted: 5 days ago

A government organization could be created to help rebuild the economies of rural Georgia communities, according to legislation introduced this week. The Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation would identify business opportunities, create community plans, provide assistance to various industries and help coordination with nonprofit...
Georgia lawmakers required to receive sex harassment training
 Georgia legislators must receive mandatory sexual harassment training every two years, according to a policy approved by leaders of the state House and Senate on Thursday. The Georgia General Assembly’s new sexual harassment policy also was expanded to include lawmakers’ dealings with lobbyists and part-time employees. The...

Posted: 6 days ago

Georgia legislators must receive mandatory sexual harassment training every two years, according to a policy approved by leaders of the state House and Senate on Thursday. The Georgia General Assembly’s new sexual harassment policy also was expanded to include lawmakers’ dealings with lobbyists and part-time employees. The...
Man arrested at Georgia Capitol after allegedly pulling gun on crossing guard
 While Georgia lawmakers were making laws inside the state Capitol last week, a man was allegedly breaking them outside. The suspect allegedly displayed a handgun to a security officer at a pedestrian crosswalk on Thursday morning, drove off the wrong way on a one-way street and was later arrested after a confrontation with an FBI special...

Posted: 7 days ago

While Georgia lawmakers were making laws inside the state Capitol last week, a man was allegedly breaking them outside. The suspect allegedly displayed a handgun to a security officer at a pedestrian crosswalk on Thursday morning, drove off the wrong way on a one-way street and was later arrested after a confrontation with an FBI special...
Republican John LaHood elected to south Georgia House seat
 John LaHood won a special election Tuesday for a south Georgia seat in the state House of Representatives. LaHood, a Republican and the CEO of Fellowship Senior Living, defeated three opponents to represent House District 175 on the Georgia-Florida border. LaHood received about 71 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results...

Posted: 8 days ago

John LaHood won a special election Tuesday for a south Georgia seat in the state House of Representatives. LaHood, a Republican and the CEO of Fellowship Senior Living, defeated three opponents to represent House District 175 on the Georgia-Florida border. LaHood received about 71 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results...
Medical pot supporters regroup after Georgia governor blocks expansion
 Gov. Nathan Deal slammed the door shut on a proposal that would make it vastly easier for Georgians to obtain medical marijuana. But the dejected supporters of the expansion are already plotting ways next year to expand the program after he leaves office. The governor said in an interview that legislation to legalize in-state cultivation...

Posted: 8 days ago

Gov. Nathan Deal slammed the door shut on a proposal that would make it vastly easier for Georgians to obtain medical marijuana. But the dejected supporters of the expansion are already plotting ways next year to expand the program after he leaves office. The governor said in an interview that legislation to legalize in-state cultivation...
Ga. House Speaker Ralston impressed by Trump infrastructure plan 
 Georgia House Speaker David Ralston says President Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan could be “transformative,” potentially bringing in federal money for rural Georgia and metro Atlanta public transportation. Ralston was among about 20 state leaders from across the country invited to Washington on Monday as Trump announced ...

Posted: 9 days ago

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston says President Donald Trump’s infrastructure plan could be “transformative,” potentially bringing in federal money for rural Georgia and metro Atlanta public transportation. Ralston was among about 20 state leaders from across the country invited to Washington on Monday as Trump announced ...