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Politics

Transportation Vote Shift On Hold

Facing tea party opposition, Governor Nathan Deal has abandoned for now plans to shift a public vote on a one penny transportation tax hike until the November 2012 general election. By late Wednesday legislative leaders said they hadn't yet reached a deal.

Draft Congressional Maps Head to House Vote

A key House committee approved draft congressional maps Wednesday. The proposal will keep an air force base near Valdosta in the first congressional district. The draft maps now head to the full House for a vote.

Food Stamp Use Up 42%

Dwindling jobs and the lingering economic slowdown have led to a big jump in the number of Georgians on food stamps. US Agriculture Department officials say, there are now 1.8 million people receiving food stamps in the state, a 42% rise from two years ago. Those numbers leave out people eligible for but not using the benefit.

House Agrees To Ethics Sanctions

The House has voted to punish members who fail to pay ethics fine by banning them from participating on committees. House Majority Leader Larry O'Neal said it is designed to so that lawmakers can "sanction our own folks."

Illegal Teens Allowed To Stay

Federal officials confirm that two teenagers who entered the country illegally as children and were facing deportation proceedings have been freed. Homeland Security Department officials say 19-year-old Pedro Morales of Dalton and 18-year-old Luis Hernandez of Calhoun have been released from the Stewart Detention Center in south Georgia and their cases were dismissed.

Senate Upholds Halt On Gas Tax Hike

The Senate has unanimously voted to keep in place a freeze on Georgia's gas tax. Senate lawmakers voted 50-0 to support the suspension, which took effect July 1. Gov. Nathan Deal issued an executive order in June halting an automatic increase linked to rising fuel prices, but lawmakers needed to sign off on the action.

Congressional Map Goes To Public

State lawmakers will hold a public hearing on a draft congressional map Wednesday near the state Capitol. The Republican-controlled state legislature unveiled the map Monday.

Deal Objects To Hall County Districts

Both chambers of the state legislature have approved new state house redistricting maps. But Gov. Nathan Deal wants lawmakers to take a second look at how the new map divides his home county.

New Macon Senator Starts Job

The Georgia Senate is welcoming Macon's former city council president as its newest member. Miriam Paris was sworn in Monday by Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham. Paris succeeds former Senate Minority Leader Robert Brown, who left the Senate earlier this year in an unsuccessful bid for mayor of Macon.

New Congressional District Unveiled

Georgia's newest congressional district will be based in the northeast corner of the state. The proposed congressional map unveiled by state lawmakers on Monday also redrew political boundaries for the 13 existing U.S. House districts. It showed the new U.S. House district will cover Hall County — home to Gov. Nathan Deal.

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