The Republican-controlled state House approved new congressional district maps Thursday. Democrats say the maps are part of a systematic plan to isolate minority voters. But Republicans insist they are following federal laws designed to protect minority voters.
Facing tea party opposition, Governor Nathan Deal has abandoned for now plans to shift a public vote on a transportation tax hike until the November 2012 general election.
A key House committee approved draft congressional maps Wednesday. The proposal will keep an air force base near Valdosta in the first congressional district. The draft maps now head to the full House for a vote. Under the map proposed Monday, Moody Air Force Base would have been taken out of the first congressional district.
Lack of jobs and continued weakness in the economy are sending more Georgia families into the food stamp program. The number of Georgians receiving the supplemental food assistance has jumped 42% in two years. The US Agriculture Department says, there are now 1.8 million Georgians using food stamps. That's one in seven Georgia families.
The House has voted to punish members who fail to pay ethics fine by banning them from participating on committees. Lawmakers approved the measure 147-4 on Wednesday. House Majority Leader Larry O'Neal said it is designed to so that lawmakers can "sanction our own folks." The resolution was changed to provide an appeals process for members who dispute that they are delinquent on fines.