Credit: AP Photo/Russ Bynum
Political Rewind: Recapping Sine Die 2023, What bills to watch for, DeSantis set to visit Georgia
Kevin Riley, @ajceditor, editor-at-large, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Maya Prabhu, @MayaTPrabhu, government reporter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Meg Kinnard, @MegKinnardAP, political and legal affairs reporter, The Associated Press
Sarah Kallis, @SarahKallis, producer, GPB-TV's Lawmakers
- Senate Bill 233, which would grant public funds for students enrolling in private schools, lost by two votes. A coalition of Democrats and a handful of Republicans upset the bill.
- Gov. Brian Kemp's educational agenda was otherwise successful — the Legislature fully funded the HOPE scholarship.
- An expanded mental health care bill, House Bill 520, fell short, just one year after the late Speaker Ralston supported the initial bill.
- Several bills that could have legalized sports betting all also fell short.
- HB 144, which would add antisemitism to hate crime prosecution, ultimately failed.
2. Both chambers saw new leadership with Lt. Gov. Burt Jones and Speaker Jon Burns.
- There was a new dynamic to the House and Senate. Jones faced some pushback from the governor's office over his support of a certificate of need bill, SB 99, related to hospitals.
3. "Tough on crime" policy wins; tenants' rights fall short.
- Republicans pushed a "tough on crime" agenda, a reversal from Gov. Nathan Deal-era policymaking. Bills restricting cashless bail (SB 63) and judicial discretion for gang recruitment (SB 44) passed with full Republican support.
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's "Dangerous Dwelling" series led to an ultimately-failed bill, HB 404, that would have guaranteed that housing be habitable by humans.
4. State universities, Georgia Public Broadcasting face budget cuts.
- In addition to $66 million cut from University System of Georgia, Georgia Public Broadcasting saw a 10% cut in the state's budget. The cuts will affect GPB's education department, which creates resources for teachers and classrooms statewide. GPB's programming budget comes exclusively from supporting donors.
5. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is making a media appearance at a Smyrna gun store.
- DeSantis has faced pushback on several fronts. This appearance comes a week after a deadly shooting in Nashville at a private elementary school. DeSantis has also criticized U.S. involvement in Ukraine, a step outside of moderate Republican circles.
- The Nashville shooting has more political fallout in Georgia: A bill proposed by Rep. Andrew Clyde which would undo new rules on pistol braces created by the ATF has had its hearing delayed.
- Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was also suspended on Twitter for posting about a "Transgender Day of Vengeance" in connection to allegations that the shooter was transgender.
Friday on Political Rewind: Former columnist Jim Galloway joins the panel.