The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday in a case that could bring about the end of federal oversight of elections in Georgia. Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires states with a history of racial discrimination at the polls to get federal approval for any changes in voting procedure.
State House Speaker David Ralston says the ethics reform bill passed this week by his chamber is a historic step toward limiting lobbyists’ influence at the Capitol. Speaking at the Atlanta Press Club Tuesday, he defended some of the bill’s more controversial provisions.
A federal appeals court has upheld a temporary ban on a Florida law requiring drug testing of welfare recipients. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled Tuesday that a lower court was right to temporarily halt enforcement of Florida's drug-testing program. The opinion says the state had failed to show a "substantial special need" for the testing.
Georgia lawmakers are debating whether to penalize a utility company if it goes over budget building a nuclear power plant. Republican Rep. Jeff Chapman of Brunswick has proposed trimming the profits of Georgia Power if the cost of building Plant Vogtle near Augusta exceeds a construction budget set at over $6 billion. Georgia Power is a subsidiary of the Atlanta-based Southern Co.
A bill aimed at limiting lobbyists’ influence over Georgia lawmakers passed the state House Monday. The measure is a lobbyist gift ban, but ethics reformers say it has too many loopholes, and would force activists to register as lobbyists. The bill would ban monetary gifts and restore authority to state’s ethics commission.