Augusta, GA
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June 24, 2024 1:53 pm

Georgians poised to secure incremental gains in mental health treatment options in 2024

In Georgia, recent legislative efforts have expanded mental health initiatives, including passing several smaller bills that build on previous reforms and incorporating new funding for the behavioral health crisis system. These changes come after setbacks in prior sessions, reflecting a growing bipartisan commitment to enhancing mental health services despite some contentious political maneuvers.

State utility regulators approve Georgia Power plan to use fossil fuels to power data centers

In a decisive 4-1 vote, the Georgia Public Service Commission approved Georgia Power’s controversial plans to expand energy generation through a mix of fossil fuels and renewable sources, amid criticisms for not prioritizing cleaner energy options. The plan involves constructing natural gas and oil generators and solar battery facilities to cater to rising industrial demands, despite warnings about the long-term environmental and economic impacts of relying on volatile fossil fuel prices.

Georgia child welfare agency defensive after Ossoff Senate panel reports neglect and exploitation

The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services is critiqued in a U.S. Senate report for not adequately protecting children from abuse, contributing to child deaths and injuries through mismanagement. Senator Jon Ossoff emphasizes the need to protect the most vulnerable children from abuse and human trafficking, highlighting the serious and distressing findings of the investigation.

Georgia to strengthen property owners’ rights against squatters

Georgia lawmakers have passed the Squatters Reform Act, aiming to shift the legal treatment of illegal occupancy from a civil to a criminal matter, enabling property owners to more swiftly remove unauthorized occupants. The legislation, which awaits Governor Brian Kemp’s signature, mandates squatters to produce valid occupancy documentation within three days or face criminal trespass charges, streamlining the process for property owners to reclaim their rights.

Bookman: Eastman’s law license suspension suggests peril for Trump, allies in Georgia RICO case

After a lengthy trial, a California state bar judge found that John Eastman “conspired with President Trump to obstruct a lawful function of the government of the United States” by aiming to disrupt the electoral count on January 6, 2021, leading to Eastman’s law license suspension with a recommendation for permanency. In her ruling, Judge Yvonne Roland highlighted Eastman’s submission of false filings related to the 2020 election in Georgia, undermining the legitimacy of millions of votes and engaging in actions deemed beyond the protection of the First Amendment and professional responsibilities around honesty.

Republican state lawmakers revise Georgia election rules in time for 2024 campaign season

Georgia’s 2024 legislative session concluded with the passing of contentious election rules that could reshape voter eligibility and ballot security, amidst debates on enhancing voter confidence versus appeasing unfounded election fraud claims. The new regulations, expected to be signed into law, introduce measures like a watermark on paper ballots and criteria for mass voter challenges, fueling concerns about their impact on voter accessibility and the integrity of the election process.

Trump plans Atlanta fundraiser this month as Georgia GOP 2020 campaign allies plan to share stage

Former President Donald Trump is planning a return to Georgia for a high-cost fundraiser luncheon in Atlanta, joined by notable supporters such as former U.S. senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, amid the intensifying presidential campaign. This event is part of a broader strategy to bridge the financial gap with the Biden campaign, which currently holds a significant fundraising lead ahead of the November election.

Georgia Legislature approves coverage to help first responders cope with job-related PTSD treatment

The Ashley Wilson Act, named for Gwinnett police sergeant Ashley Wilson, passed unanimously in the Georgia House of Representatives, aiming to provide supplemental health insurance for first responders diagnosed with PTSD due to on-the-job experiences. This landmark legislation, celebrated for its potential to significantly aid in the recovery and support of traumatized first responders, reflects a broader recognition of PTSD’s serious impact on public safety personnel, promising financial and treatment support beginning January 1, 2025.

If the Okefenokee isn’t worth saving, what is?

In this opinion piece by Dink Nesmith for the Georgia Recorder, the focus is on the heated debate surrounding the proposed mining near the Okefenokee Swamp by Twin Pines Minerals, where financial interests clash with environmental preservation. Nesmith criticizes the influence of monetary interests on Georgia’s decision-makers and expresses concern over the potential ecological impact on this irreplaceable natural gem, urging for the protection of the swamp over economic gains.

FAFSA delays pose challenges for Georgia college-bound students

Students across Georgia are facing delays in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process, particularly challenging due to its late January rollout and additional complications for mixed-status families. Despite these setbacks, the Department of Education has implemented fixes for major issues, and officials, including MorraLee Keller of the National College Attainment Network, urge students not to give up on securing financial aid for college.