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.
Gov. Nathan Deal has until April 29 to sign or veto bills passed this year by the state legislature. But some experts say he may not veto anything. That’s partly because Gov. Deal works extensively behind the scenes to signal to lawmakers what he will and won’t sign. But politics may also play a role in the potential low veto count this year. Deal faces two challengers in the May 20 Republican primary.
Last month, 119 state legislators in the House voted for a sweeping gun bill that, if Gov. Nathan Deal signs it into law, would loosen restrictions on taking firearms into churches, government buildings and other places previously off-limits. Republicans pushed the measure, after failing to pass a similar bill in the waning moments of the 2013 legislative session. But three Democrats were among those ratifying the bill in the House. And another person supporting gun legislation was state Senator Jason Carter, a Decatur Democrat who’s running against Republican Governor Nathan Deal.
State leaders want Georgia to be prepared the next time an emergency hits, but some lawmakers say better preparation may come with a hefty price. State Senator Jason Carter says Georgia’s governor needs more power in an emergency. The Decatur Democrat took to the well of the state senate Friday to address the state’s handling of two inches of snow that gridlocked interstates Tuesday and left thousands of people stranded.
It would appear two inches of snow can cripple traffic in metro Atlanta. It can force people to abandon their cars and start walking. It waylays children and teachers at schools and keeps workers shut in at the state Capitol. And it can cause even the mightiest of Governors to admit maybe the state wasn’t prepared. But can it turn elections?
In a press conferences Wednesday morning, the state's top officials apologized for decisions they made during the winter storm that placed the city of Atlanta in a gridlock. However, Gov. Nathan Deal and Kasim Reed agree shutting down Atlanta early would not have been the right decision.
Sen. Vincent Fort hinted that his arrest Monday for occupying Governor Nathan Deal’s office wouldn’t be the last clash in his efforts to convince Georgia’s top official to expand Medicaid. The Atlanta Democrat has pledged to hold events each week that he’s calling “Moral Mondays.” And in an interview Tuesday, he reiterated his belief that Deal’s decision not to expand Medicaid to the 650,000 Georgians without health insurance is immoral.
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.