Tuesday is the last day Gov. Deal can veto or sign bills into law. And some of the most controversial bills from the legislative session are still awaiting his signature. These include a bill that would make Georgia the first state in the nation to force welfare and food stamp recipients suspected of drug abuse to submit to drug tests. There’s also a bill that would allow officials to erect a monument to the Ten Commandments at the state Capitol, which the legislature’s counsel cautions might result in a lawsuit. Another bill on his desk governs how private probation companies oversee Georgia prisoners.
The ink is dry and H.B. 60 is no longer the “gun bill”. It took two sessions and an untold amount of private and public wrangling, but Georgia’s “Safe Carry Protection Act”, more commonly known as the “guns everywhere” bill, is now law. Governor Nathan Deal signed the bill on Wednesday, during a ceremony in Ellijay, Georgia. Hundreds of supporters, including members of Georgia Carry, attended the signing and held a bbq afterwards. GPB News reporter Jeanne Bonner, who has covered the bill since this year’s legislative session, says the ceremony had the “feel of a campaign rally.”
Governor Deal signed a sweeping gun bill Wednesday, expanding the places where people can carry firearms in Georgia. The Safe Carry Protection Act, more commonly known as the “guns everywhere” bill, will allow licensed gun owners to carry firearms in many churches, bars, and government buildings. During the signing ceremony in Ellijay, Gov. Deal said he was putting into law a gun bill that heralds “self-defense, personal liberties, and public safety.”
A campaign event April 16 turned into a screaming match as Republican gubernatorial candidate and former Dalton Mayor David Pennington held a news conference inside the state Capitol. Pennington said he was going to make a “major announcement” that Wednesday. But the fairly standard conference took a quick turn. when Randy Martin, Governor Nathan Deal’s attorney, jumped in. The heated exchange appeared to be about campaign financial disclosures.
A campaign event Wednesday afternoon turned into a screaming match as Republican gubernatorial candidate and former Dalton Mayor David Pennington held a news conference inside the state Capitol. An attorney for current Governor Nathan Deal even jumped in. The exchange appeared to be about campaign financial disclosures. GPB reporter Claire Simms dug into the raucous with fellow political reporter Greg Bluestein of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
One of the most controversial bills awaiting Governor Nathan Deal’s signature is one that would expand where guns can be carried. The bill took a circuitous path through the legislature, picking up provisions, then losing them. Later two gun bills were combined, and the measure went back and forth between the two chambers. So what would the new law look like? It might be easier to start with what it won’t include: a provision known as campus carry. Gun advocates have been pushing for the right to bring firearms on university campuses. But college presidents, the state’s Board of Regents and others oppose that provision, and it was dropped.
Hundreds of protesters met outside Governor Nathan Deal’s office Tuesday morning to present a petition calling for Deal to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The group is part of a movement called “Moral Mondays,” which started in North Carolina with a similar goal. The Georgia group organized several events during this the legislative session, but this protest was the first one since lawmakers adjourned. GPB reporter Claire Simms has been following Moral Mondays Georgia activities since this year’s session. She joined All Things Considered host Ellen Reinhardt to discuss Tuesday’s protest.
Governor Nathan Deal has extended the winter storm state of emergency through Sunday night. Thursday, the governor extended the state of emergency for two additional days in order to assure all necessary resources are available for state agencies and local governments to clear roads and any additional storm-related obstacles. In a statement released Thursday evening, Deal says he has directed state government employees to report to their workplaces at regular hours on Friday, unless doing so puts them in harm’s way.
The General Assembly continued a third day of hearings Thursday morning after Governor Nathan Deal unveiled his 2015 budget proposal in his State of the State address this week. The governor is asking state lawmakers to include an additional $547 million in education funding. The Department of Education has faced severe cuts over the last decade—so how much impact will these new dollars have? GPB reporter Claire Simms has been following the budget process at the Capitol and spoke to "Morning Edition" host Joshua Stewart about how far the money can really go.
Governor Nathan Deal proposed a $547 million budget increase for K-12 education in Georgia during his State of the State address on Wednesday morning. Deal says the increase will allow the state to eliminate teacher furlough days and increase teacher salaries. In addition to education reform, the governor also outlined his plan for job creation in the state. Deal says his focus has been on creating private-sector jobs for Georgians.