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Politics

Columbus Feeling Out Passenger Rail

City leaders have been pushing for regional train service for the west Georgia city. Today's meeting will include speakers with knowledge of passenger rail and experience in bringing it back to viability. City leaders in Columbus have said that having high-speed rail service to their city is one of their top priorities.

Hightower Wins District 68

Dustin Hightower will take his seat in the Georgia House as the District 68 representative. He won more than 55 percent of the vote in a special election runoff Tuesday night. He defeated Alan Martinez in the district that covers Carroll and Douglas counties.

Ag. Commissioner Wants Reform in Washington

Agriculture officials surveyed 800 farmers under a provision in the immigration law. Farmers said migrant workers began leaving last spring. Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said the report found that farmers had about $10 million in direct crop losses because of the law.

Bill To Bar Immigrant Students

Some Georgia lawmakers want to toughen the state’s stance on illegal immigrants in public colleges and universities. A bill before the state legislature would widen a ban approved last year.

Former Rep. Ed Jenkins Dies

Former U.S. Rep. Ed Jenkins, a Democrat who represented Georgia in Congress for 16 years, has died after a long illness. He was 78.

Budget Cuts Threaten Death Row Cases

Some Georgia death row inmates could lose their attorneys amid budget cuts that could potentially halt appeals hearings and even delay executions. To make up for the gap, a nonprofit that is involved in 90 percent of death-row cases will ask lawmakers for more funding to avoid layoffs.

Ports Ask Lawmakers For $46 Million

Georgia ports officials are asking state lawmakers for $46 million for Savannah harbor deepening in the upcoming legislative session. But it's not the only item they'll be following. Georgia Ports Authority also is interested in the results of a year-long initiative to re-write laws affecting businesses.

Georgia Strives To Be Competitive

State officials will soon release details of an ongoing competitiveness initiative. The plan is likely to include wide-ranging recommendations, but the aim is simply to create jobs.

Women Mayors on the Rise in Georgia

Voters in Albany and Savannah elected female mayors this year. They join Columbus and Athens as major Georgia cities led by women.

Unemployment Benefit Changes Afoot

Jobless Georgians could see smaller unemployment checks next year. Cutting back benefits would be part of the state’s plan to re-pay $700 million it borrowed from the federal government to cover unemployment reserves. A look at the difficult road ahead for state leaders and the unemployed.

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