State lawmakers worked into late Tuesday evening on the next to last day of the General Assembly session. Movement on a Sunday alcohol sales bill, immigration, and the state budget was included on Tuesday's agenda.
Governor Nathan Deal announced revisions to his plan for cuts to Georgia's Pre-K program. In the Legislature, the $18 billion midyear budget was approved by the House and Senate. And the state Senate Ethics Committee unanimously approved a bill that would allow regulated utilities to contribute to political campaigns in Georgia
Parents and teachers assailed cuts being proposed cuts to the Georgia's pre-kindergarten program. At a legislative hearing on Friday, some pre-k teachers said they would no longer be able to make ends meet if the program is cut from 6 1/12 hours a day to four. Others said cutting the instruction time would hurt the quality of the education being offered to 4-year-olds.
Cities and counties are losing millions in fees intended to boost 911 call centers. Now, there's a legislative push to get that money back into local coffers. At issue are fees from sales of prepaid cell phones and packages of minutes bought to restock those phones. The extra $1.50 charge is supposed to go to technology upgrades for emergency call centers. But in recent years, money from those fees has gone into the state’s general fund during tough budget times.
Chief Justice Carol Hunstein says it's time for Georgia to reform its tough criminal sentences. In her annual State of the Judiciary address to a joint session of the state Legislature on Wednesday, Hunstein said many inmates clogging Georgia's prisons "are a greater threat to themselves than to society."
There’s a new effort underway at the state Capitol to push for a permanent trauma care network funding source. It’s still connected to vehicle registration fees—but with a twist. The measure revived this week by Douglas Republican Greg Goggans in the state Senate would peel-off $10 from the sale of each license tag and direct it into a dedicated trauma fund.