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Politics

Black Officials Gather In Macon

The Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials is meeting in Macon. Key issues are education, budget, voter registration and redistricting. Reverend Joseph Lowery will give keynote address.

Utilities Could Fund Campaigns Under Bill

A Georgia state senator wants to lift a decades-long ban on political contributions by utility companies. Republican state senator Don Balfour of Snellville says, he’s pushing the change over free-speech concerns.

Proposed Pre-K Cuts Challenged

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.

Racially Divided Council Nominates Manager

Savannah is expected to get its first African-American city manager after a bitter, months-long fight. The search for a new city manager intensified racial divisions as white and black council members exchanged bitter accusations that spun out into the community. One black council member said that a racially-divided vote would be "the nuclear option."

HOPE Bill Moving Under Gold Dome

A sweeping overhaul of the state's lottery-funded HOPE scholarship has rapidly cleared two hurdles in the Georgia Legislature. The House Appropriations Committee approved the bill 60-2 Thursday morning soon after the higher education subcomittee signed off on it.

Locals Push For 911 Fees

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.

Lawmaker: Bill Not About Harbor Deepening

A bill in the state Senate would make it easier for private companies to invest money in river infrastructure. State Sen. Ross Tolleson (R-Perry) is sponsoring the measure because he says local officials need flexibility in getting financing for reservoirs. He says the bill is aimed at new water infrastructure and not the Savannah harbor deepening project, for which state officials are urgently seeking funds.

Gov. Deal Announces HOPE Fix

Governor Nathan Deal wants top-performing Georgia high school students to receive free tuition at public colleges. Deal on Tuesday outlined sweeping changes he is proposing to the state's lottery-funded HOPE scholarship, which is struggling financially.

EPD Okays Harbor Deepening, With Caveats

Georgia environmental regulators are making their approval of the Savannah harbor deepening project contingent on 15 conditions. The massive port expansion has angered environmental groups who worry about the project's long-term effects on the coastal estuary. The conditions were aimed at addressing the concerns.

Bill Pushes to Stop GA 400 Toll

State Senator Jon Albers of Roswell wants to stop the toll at Georgia 400.

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