How do you create an Atlanta icon? For the owner of one of the city’s most venerable indie food businesses, it started with getting laid off. Steven Carse lost his job at an insurance company in 2009, and began working on his Plan B: an artisanal ice pop company called King of Pops. In four years, he’s gone from hawking pops from a single refrigerated cart to churning out as many as 15,000 pops on peak summer weekends.
In the wake of back-to-back incidents involving dangerous materials, CDC officials say some scientists have become complacent about following safety rules. A report released Monday found the Atlanta-based federal health laboratories used expired disinfectants and transferred dangerous germs in Ziploc bags after dozens of CDC employees were exposed to live anthrax bacteria in June. The report follows an announcement last week that a dangerous strand of the H5N1 bird flu had been combined with a fairly benign flu sample.
Georgia lawmakers now have their sights set firmly on March 20 when the 40-day 2014 legislative session will end. Among the hundreds of measures that have a chance at passage into law this year, one proposal would place a monument to the Ten Commandments in a prominent spot at the Capitol. Another would bar the state from levying ad valorem taxes. There’s also a bill adding a high deductible option to the state employee healthcare plan. But which ones are the biggies?
Did you know that there’s an election this year in Georgia? For Governor? The state Senate staged a piece of theater Friday that served as a reminder, lest you forget. But first, a word about what’s on the roster for this week. A lot! Lawmakers will turn their attention this week to the 2015 budget. Passing a balanced budget is the only thing lawmakers are constitutionally obligated to do.
Georgia Democrats have little power these days. They hold no statewide offices, and have forceless minorities in both chambers of the state legislature. So when House and Senate Democrats rolled out their agendas in separate press conferences Thursday, it’s not an exaggeration to say little of what they proposed will come to pass. Much of it will fail to even garner a committee vote, much less make it to the floor of either chamber for a vote.
If you look at Georgia’s lawmakers as marathon runners, you could say they’re setting in at a fast pace. The proverbial ink wasn’t even dry on the bill Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law Tuesday when just a day later lawmakers moved ahead with the annual budget two-step.
A picture is worth 1,000 words, the saying goes. So how many words is a statue or a monument worth? Well, given that we’re talking about a potential tribute to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., that it was proposed by a Republican governor seeking re-election and that the tribute would be on the grounds of the state Capitol, the answer is many thousands of words.
The upcoming legislative session will pass in the blink of an eye as state lawmakers race to prepare for re-election campaigns. That’s because they can’t raise money while serving under the Gold Dome. And that means everyone from Governor Nathan Deal on down is looking for a quick exit to the 40-day session. They’ll also most likely be facing primary elections in May, giving some lawmakers a scant two months to fundraise and campaign. In a briefing for journalists Tuesday, experts from the Atlanta firm McKenna Long and Aldridge shared insights and predictions for the 2014 General Assembly session, which begins Jan. 13.
State Democratic Leaders want to re-instate an income cap on Georgia’s HOPE college scholarship program. Officials overseeing the HOPE scholarship say by 2016, the scholarship will cover less than half of the University of Georgia’s tuition and fees. They estimate the lottery would need $100 million more a year, starting this year, to avoid that scenario.