More than 11,000 Georgians lost HOPE grants to attend state technical colleges when the state Legislature imposed tougher academic requirements in 2011, and more than half have not re-enrolled in school as of this fall, according to Technical College System of Georgia statistics.
A new program designed to combat prescription drug abuse in Georgia might run out of money to operate only a few months after it gets under way in June. Georgia lawmakers didn't appropriate any funding for the prescription monitoring program when they passed legislation to create it in 2011. The program involves an electronic database that tracks prescriptions.
Top Georgia Lottery executives received large payouts and raises despite a law mean to curb bonuses. More than $260,000 worth of "incentive pay" went to top staffers in 2011. Lawmakers that year passed legislation to curtail bonuses for Lottery executives.
After four hours of debate, the Georgia Senate Tuesday evening passed a bill dramatically overhauling the cash-strapped HOPE scholarship program. The bill is part of Gov. Nathan Deal's plan to keep lottery programs like HOPE and pre-kindergarten from going broke. It passed 35-20.
The Senate Higher Education Committee Friday approved an overhaul of the HOPE scholarship that will make cuts to the awards many Georgia college students receive. The panel voted 5-2 along party lines. Democrats said the bill was being railroaded and that the Republicans' proposal would probably only cover 80 percent of tuition costs because it's based on last years rates.
A proposal to expand casino-like video lottery terminals to help fund the HOPE Scholarship program appears to be dead. When Governor Nathan Deal unveiled his own plan to fix HOPE this week, he rejected expanding gambling. And that pleased officials on Jekyll Island, where Republican State Representative Ron Stephens of Savannah proposed putting terminals.
Voters in three Southeast Georgia counties have until Friday to cast their votes during the "early voting" period for a special election. County election officials, however, say the problem is that few people have voted and it's costing them money to staff the "early voting" booth.
With the HOPE Scholarship fund in dire financial straits state lawmakers are trying to find ways to save it. Meanwhile some students at the University of Georgia offer their own ideas for reforming the popular program.