The blog.

20
Jan

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for January 20, 2017

Barrow Mom and Pup

This 3-year old Boxer mix female and her 4-week old puppy are available for adoption from the Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, GA.

Barrow Three Puppies

Three nine-week old puppy siblings are available for adoption, either separately or as a matched set, from the Barrow County Animal Shelter in Winder, GA.

Barrow One of Three

20
Jan

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 20, 2017

On January 20, 1788, the First African Baptist Church was established in Savannah, Georgia, one of the first black churches in the United States.

John Marshall was nominated as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States by President John Adams on January 20, 1801.

On January 20, 1920, DeForest Kelley was born in Atlanta and he grew up in Conyers. Kelley sang in the choir of his father’s church and appeared on WSB radio; he graduated from Decatur Boys High School and served in the United States Navy. Kelley became famous as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy in the original Star Trek series.

On January 20, 1928, Franklin Delano Roosevelt visited Warm Springs, Georgia for the tenth time, staying through February 11th. During the visit, he spoke to the Chamber of Commerce of Americus and Sumter County, telling them

“In Georgia the movement towards the cities is growing by leaps and bounds and this means the abandonment of the farms or those farms that are not suited to the uses of agriculture. It means that we will have vacant lands but these can and should be used in growing timber.”

January 20th became Inaugural Day in 1937; when the date falls on a Sunday, a private inauguration of the President is held, with a public ceremony the following day. The Twentieth Amendment moved inauguration day from March 4 to January 20. Imagine six additional weeks of a lame duck President.

Roosevelt was sworn-in to a fourth term as President on Jauary 20, 1945 and died in Warm Springs on April 12, 1945.

On January 20, 1939, Paul D. Coverdell was born in Des Moines, Iowa. Coverdell was one of the key figures in the development of the Georgia Republican Party.

On January 20, 1977, former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter was inaugurated as the 39th President of the United States.

On January 20, 1981, Ronald Wilson Reagan was inaugurated 40th President of the United States.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Georgia State Patrol troopers were sworn in temporarily as Deputy United States Marshals to help with security at today’s inauguration.

Georgia Troopers Inaugural 628

Former Georgia Governor and President Jimmy Carter flew commercial and shook hands on the plane.

Carter Inaugural Twitter

Kirkland Perdue Twitter

Seventy of Georgia’s deplorables rode buses wrapped in “Make America Great Again” to Washington for the inauguration.

[M]ore than 70 Trump enthusiasts left Atlanta, arriving early Thursday morning at an RV campsite in College Park, Md., just outside Washington, D.C.

“We got a bunch of folks that’s really enjoying what we’re doing and it ain’t breaking the bank and we’re just having a good time,” said Wallace Mathis of Cordele, Ga.

“I think it’s going to be one of the greatest moments in history for the United States,” said Kim McCarthy of Alpharetta, Georgia. “I think he’s going to be one of the best presidents we’ve ever had.”

Sonny Perdue was introduced as the next Secretary of Agriculture by President-elect Donald Trump.

“Today, as you know, we appointed a secretary of agriculture. He happens to be a farmer. He happens to be… Oh, there his is. Look at that man. Sonny Perdue,” Trump said.

“He came into my office two months ago. Since then, I saw 10 people that everybody liked. Politically correct. And I kept thinking back to Sonny Perdue, a great, great farmer.”

Trump said he questioned the other candidates about their farming knowledge.

“Do you have any experience with farms or agriculture?” he asked one unnamed gentleman.

“No sir, I don’t.”

“Have you ever seen a farm?” the future president followed up.

Trump praised the applicant as a “great guy” but said “I can’t make him secretary of agriculture.”

It was the literal dirt on Perdue that set him apart.

“He loves the farms. Knows everything about farming. Knows everything about farming. He’s been successful in farming,” Trump said. “He knows the good stuff and the bad stuff.”

AJC Columnist Kyle Wingfield writes that he is optimistic for the Trump Presidency.

Education: As a candidate, Donald Trump promised a large federal school-choice program.

Tax reform: Trump talked a lot about fixing the U.S. tax code, and the area most in need of reform is the corporate income tax….Lowering that rate while reducing the number of exemptions would make the tax code, and companies’ tax-conscious decisions, more efficient.

Infrastructure and debt reduction: Yes, you read that correctly. One of Trump’s big talking points was the need to update our infrastructure, from roads and rails to airports….Use the money to reward states and cities that are also putting their own money into such projects, and it’d go even farther.

Ronna McDaniel was elected Chair of the Republican National Committee and Bob Paduchik was elected Co-Chair.

McDaniel is the second woman ever elected Chair of the RNC. Outgoing Chairman Reince Priebus gave his final remarks to the RNC capping the most successful run as Chairman in RNC history.

The votes electing McDaniel and Paduchik to their respective positions were both unanimous.

About Ronna McDaniel

This November, Ronna McDaniel helped deliver Michigan for Donald Trump and the GOP for the first time in decades. She was elected as the State Chairman from Michigan in February of 2015.

Ronna served as a Trump delegate and chaired the Michigan Delegation to the 2016 Republican National Convention. She has served as a Precinct Delegate, as a District Committee Executive Member and State Committeewoman in Michigan and served as National Delegate to the Tampa Convention representing Michigan’s 11th District.

In 2013, she served as Co-Chair for the Mackinac Leadership Conference and was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to serve on the Board of Marriage and Family Therapists.

In her local community of Northville, Ronna has served on land planning and public safety committees and is actively involved in her local PTA. She received her B.A. in English from Brigham Young University. Ronna is married to Patrick McDaniel and has two children, Abigail and Nash.

About Bob Paduchik

Bob Paduchik most recently served as the Ohio State Director for the Trump-Pence presidential campaign. He was the Campaign Manager for Ohio Senator Rob Portman’s successful campaign for U.S. Senate in 2010, and was the Ohio State Director for the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign in both 2000 and 2004, helping President Bush carry the state both times. From 2011 through 2015, Bob worked in a variety of roles at the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a trade association representing the coal-fueled electricity industry. From October 2001 to January 2003, Bob served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy.

Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols hosted another “Unholy Tour” to help Georgia leaders understand the extent of the sex trafficking problem in Metro Atlanta.

I think all elected officials in this state should be concerned about something that is a blight on our state where kids are being sold and their lives are being ruined,” he said.

Echols is among those who see strong connections between Atlanta’s reputation as a strip club mecca and its designation as a top city for sex trafficking.

Georgia voters appear to make the same conclusion. In November, 83 percent of voters agreed to a constitutional amendment requiring strip clubs and other adult businesses to contribute $5,000 annually to a fund for exploited children.

Echols’ tour began downtown, cruising the bus stations that organizers say are commonly used to bring minors in and out of the city for illicit reasons. From there the tour went west to Fulton Industrial, then north to strip clubs in Sandy Springs recently raided by police there.

That the purveyors of sex with children are mostly local makes some common sense as well. An Urban Institute study from 2014 found Atlanta’s sex trade generated nearly $300 million annually. It’s unlikely anything other than a fraction of that trade could be coming from out-of-towners.

You can watch a video of the Unholy Tour on Commissioner Echols Facebook page.

A Gwinnett County Assistant District Attorney was arrested in an anti-prostitution sting in Dunwoody.

Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said Wednesday he’s aware of the arrest and awaiting more information.

Quinn’s attorney, Noah Pines, has declined to comment on the facts of the case. But he described Quinn as “an outstanding lawyer who finds himself caught up in the system.”

Quinn turned himself in Tuesday and has been charged with pandering and violation of Georgia’s felony racketeering statute.

He is considered on leave from the DA’s office, where he works in the appeals section after years with the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, Porter said.

19
Jan

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for January 17, 2017

The City of Perry, Georgia opened a new animal shelter this week.

The shelter will have 21 dog pens in a climate-controlled building with outdoor runs. It also has a room for cats and a separate room to quarantine cats.

The city has sought for years to get a new shelter, which has been delayed by the cost.

Last March, the City Council approved a contract for $544,022 to build the new facility, which also has an exam room and a quarantine area for dogs. The old block building nearby that had been the shelter is beyond repair and likely will be torn down, said Perry police Capt. Bill Phelps, who oversees animal control.

“This is a thousand times better than what we had,” Phelps said. “The animals were exposed to inclement weather. Now it can be raining or it can be snowing and you can still come down here and adopt a dog, It just lends a good atmosphere that people will want to come to.”

Angie Reed, the senior animal control officer, said she is also hopeful that with a better building more people will come to adopt dogs.

“It’s a lot cleaner and a lot nicer,” she said. “People will actually want to come down here and look at dogs.”

The Friends of the Perry Animal Shelter also has a separate facility where it holds dogs and cats from the shelter for adoption.

Ruby

Ruby is an adult female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Friends of Perry Animal Shelter in Perry, GA.

Daisy Perry

Daisy is a young female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Friends of Perry Animal Shelter in Perry, GA.

Cindy

Cindy is a young adult female Pointer mix who is available for adoption from Friends of Perry Animal Shelter in Perry, GA.

19
Jan

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 19, 2017

Delegates to the Secession Convention in Milledgeville voted 208-89 in favor of seceding from the United States on January 19, 1861.

Robert E. Lee was born on January 19, 1807 at at Stratford Hall Plantation in Westmoreland County, Virginia the son of a former Congressman and Governor of Virginia.

On January 19, 1871, Savannah, Georgia became the first city to recognize Robert E. Lee’s Birthday as a public holiday.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal appointed Ashley Wright as a Judge for the Superior Court for the Augusta Judicial Circuit. Prior to being appointed to the bench, Wright served as District Attorney for the August Circuit.

Deal also made a wager with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on the NFC Championship game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Green Bay Packers.

“Given the Atlanta Falcons’ stellar season under the leadership of Coach Dan Quinn and soon-to-be MVP and Pro Bowler Matt Ryan, I’m confident Falcons’ fans will be celebrating another win on Sunday,” said Deal. “The additional five Falcons named to the 2017 Pro Bowl roster—Vic Beasley Jr., Matt Bryant, Devonta Freeman, Julio Jones and Alex Mack—will help ensure a strong victory, bringing the Packers’ winning streak and season to an end. We are excited to host the Packers at the Georgia Dome. Given Sunday’s forecast, which is 68 degrees, our guess is that many Packers fans are excited too. Falcons fans, let’s get ready to cheer our home team on to victory and show the world what it means to Rise Up.”

“The Green Bay Packers are on a roll and have what it takes to go all the way this season,” said Gov. Walker. “The Falcons are going to be a tough opponent, but with the leadership of Mike McCarthy, the dedication and teamwork of the players, and, of course, our secret weapon – Aaron Rodgers, I am confident the Packers will pull out yet another ‘W’ in Atlanta. This Sunday, all of Packer Nation will be cheering on our team to victory.”

The wager:

In the unlikely event of a loss, Deal wagered ice-cold Coca Cola (which is not “pop”), chili dogs from The Varsity, peach pies from Dickey Farms, Georgia peanuts and two six-packs of Creature Comforts’ Tropicalia.

Gov. Walker wagered two six-packs of Leinenkugel’s Wisconsin Red Pale Ale, a box of assorted chocolates from Seroogy’s Chocolates in De Pere, jars of liquid and spreadable crystal raw honey from Wisconsin Natural Acres in Chilton, assorted Wisconsin artisan cheeses, crackers, and sausage, and a pair of Travel Wisconsin Old Fashioned glasses.

Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue will be named Secretary of Agriculture by President-elect Donald Trump.Continue Reading..

18
Jan

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for January 18, 2017

Tacoma

Tacoma is a ten-week old male Cattle Dog & Labrador Retriever Mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Morgan County in Madison, GA. He’s smart, alert, and ready for a new family.

Almond

Almond is a nine-week old male Labrador Retriever puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Morgan County in Madison, GA. He’s an easy-going and friendly pup.

Pecan

Pecan is a nine-week old female Labrador Retriever puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Morgan County in Madison, GA.

18
Jan

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 18, 2017

Georgia History

On January 18, 1776, James Wright, Royal Governor of Georgia, was arrested by John Habersham, a member of the Provincial Congress.

L.Q.C. Lamar, born near Eatonton, Georgia, was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court on January 18, 1888.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Committee Meetings Today

10:00 AM Joint Budget Hearings 341 CAP

1:00 PM Joint Block Grant Hearing 341 CAP

Todd Rehm Rand Paul

Dentons Atlanta office last week hosted Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who spoke about the current state of healthcare reform in Washington.Continue Reading..

17
Jan

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for January 17, 2017

Elsa

Elsa is a 7-month old, 24-pound female Basset Hound and Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Washington Wilkes Humane Animal Shelter in Washington, GA.

Elsa came in to the shelter with her brother and sister and is the low-rider of the group. She is very sweet, but shy. She is adjusting to shelter life and learning to walk on a leash.

Smiley

Smiley is a 7-month old, 27-pound male Basset Hound and Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Washington Wilkes Humane Animal Shelter in Washington, GA. He really does smile, which leads to lots of tail wagging and that causes major body squirming and wiggles–all of which adds to this boys charm.

Cleo

Cleo is a 7-month old, 32-pound female Basset Hound and Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Washington Wilkes Humane Animal Shelter in Washington, GA. She is very sweet and affectionate, but shy and timid. She is adjusting to shelter life and learning to walk on a leash.

Raelynn

Raelynn is a 2-year old, 51-pound male Labrador Retriever and Black Mouth Cur mix who is available for adoption from Washington Wilkes Humane Animal Shelter in Washington, GA. Raelynn is current on vaccinations, friendly, energetic and ready to play. He gets along with other dogs and kids.

17
Jan

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 17, 2017

On January 17, 1733, Georgia’s Trustees in London voted to ban Jews from the colony.

On January 16, 1919, the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, prohibiting alcoholic beverages, when Nebraska became the 36th of the 48 states then in the Union to ratify the Amendment.

Martin Luther King, Jr. began the Chicago civil rights campaign on January 17, 1966.

At 4:30 PM on January 16, 1991, the Persian Gulf War began as air attacks against Iraq launched from US and British aircraft carriers, beginning Operation Desert Storm.

On January 16, 1997, a bomb exploded in a Sandy Springs abortion clinic, later determined to be the work of Eric Rudolph, who also bombed Centennial Olympic Park in 1996, a lesbian bar in Atlanta in February 1997, and a Birmingham abortion clinic in 1998.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Georgia General Assembly is not legislating this week, but they’re doing something just as scary – budget meetings continue on the current year Amended Budget.

9:45 AM Joint Budget Hearings 341 CAP

Trump Inaugural

Trump Sparkling Wine

I’m not sure how all the Trump brand sparkling wine hasn’t been bought off the shelves. These were at the Brookhaven Total Wine store yesterday. I didn’t see a price on the shelf, but they typically see for about $25.

Congressman John Lewis won’t be attending the Trump inaugural this week.Continue Reading..

13
Jan

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for January 13, 2017

Bogart

Bogart is a 10-month old male Labrador Retriever & Pointer Mix who is available for adoption from Warner Robins Animal Control in Warner Robins, GA. He is a friendly and beautiful dog that looks like he is smiling.

Chachi

Chachi is a young male Viszla mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Houston County, Inc in Warner Robins, GA.

Tilly1

Tilly is a young female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Warner Robins Animal Control in Warner Robins, GA.

Tilly is a wonderful young yellow lab mix. She is loving and sweet, but does not understand how to walk on a leash just yet. However, she is willing to learn and is waiting patiently for a forever home to make her feel safe and loved.

Tilly2

13
Jan

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 13, 2017

On January 14, 1639, representatives of three cities in Connecticut adopted the “Fundamental Orders,” the first written Constitution in an American colony and one of the first founding document to cite the authority of “the free consent of the people.”

On January 13, 1733, the ship Ann (sometimes spelled “Anne”) sailed into Charles Town harbor and was met by South Carolina Governor Robert Johnson and the Speaker of the Commons House of Assembly. Aboard the ship were James Oglethorpe and the first 114 colonists of what would become Georgia. Later that year they would land at a high bluff on the Savannah River and found the city of Savannah.

On January 14, 1733, Oglethorpe and the other colonists departed Charles Town harbor for what would become Savannah, and the State of Georgia.

An elected Provincial Assembly first convened in Georgia on January 15, 1751. The Assembly did not have the power to tax or spend money, but was to advise the Trustees.

The state of New Connecticut declared its independence of both Britain and New York on January 15, 1777. In June of that year they would decide on the name Vermont. Vermont would be considered part of New York for a number of years, finally being admitted as the 14th state in 1791.

The Continental Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris to end the Revolutionary War on January 14, 1784. The Treaty was negotiated by John Adams, who would later serve as President, and the delegates voting to ratify it included future Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe.

On January 14, 1835, James M. Wayne took the oath of office as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. A Savannah native, Wayne had previously served in the Georgia House of Represestatives, as Mayor of Savannah, on the Supreme Court of Georgia, and in Congress. His sister was the great-grandmother of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts, and his home is now known as the Juliette Gordon Low house. When Georgia seceded from the Union, Wayne remained on the Supreme Court.

On January 14, 1860, the United States House “Committee of Thirty-Three” introduced a proposed Constitutional Amendment to allow slavery in the areas it then existed.

The donkey was first used as a symbol for the Democratic Party on January 15, 1870 by cartoonist Thomas Nash.

democrat-donkey-cartoon

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Julian Bond was born on January 14, 1940 in Nashville, Tennessee, and was one of eleven African-American Georgians elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965.

On January 14, 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Presidential Proclamation No. 2537, requiring Japanese-Americans, including American-born citizens of Japanese ancestry, as well as Italians and Germans to register with the federal Department of Justice. The next month, Roosevelt would have Japanese-Americans, including my grandfather, Joe Yamamoto, interned in concentration camps in the western United States.

On January 13, 1959, Ernest Vandiver was inaugurated as Governor of Georgia.

On January 13, 1966, President Lyndon Baines Johnson appointed Robert C. Weaver head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), making Weaver the first African-American cabinet secretary in U.S. History.

On January 13, 1982, Hank Aaron was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

This day in 1987 saw the inauguration of Governor Joe Frank Harris to his second term in office.

On January 13, 1998, Governor Zell Miller presented his $12.5 billion FY1999 budget to the Georgia General Assembly, including $105,000 to provide CDs of classical music for every baby born in the state. According to the New York Times,

“No one questions that listening to music at a very early age affects the spatial, temporal reasoning that underlies math and engineering and even chess,” the Governor said[]. “Having that infant listen to soothing music helps those trillions of brain connections to develop.”

Mr. Miller said he became intrigued by the connection between music and child development at a series of recent seminars sponsored by the Education Commission of the States. As a great-grandfather and the author of “They Hear Georgia Singing” (Mercer University Press, 1983), an encyclopedia of the state’s musical history, Mr. Miller said his fascination came naturally.

He said that he had a stack of research on the subject, but also that his experiences growing up in the mountains of north Georgia had proved convincing.

“Musicians were folks that not only could play a fiddle but they also were good mechanics,” he said. “They could fix your car.”

Legislators, as is their wont, have ideas of their own.

“I asked about the possibility of some Charlie Daniels or something like that,” said Representative Homer M. (Buddy) DeLoach, a Republican from Hinesville, “but they said they thought the classical music has a greater positive impact.”

“Having never studied those impacts too much,” Mr. DeLoach added, “I guess I’ll just have to take their word for that at the moment.”

In 2003, on January 13 at the Georgia Dome, Sonny Perdue took the oath of office as Georgia’s second Republican Governor, the first since Reconstruction.

A little over three years ago, on January 10, 2014, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution released a poll of the Georgia Governor’s race that showed Nathan Deal with 47 percent to 38 percent for Jason Carter. The nine-point Deal advantage was as close as the AJC polling firm would come all year to correctly predicting the point spread in the General Election.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

COMMITTEE MEETINGS

8:30 AM HOUSE APPROP GEN’L GOVERNMENT

9:00 AM HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS HEALTH 341 CAP

9:00 AM< HOUSE APPROP HUMAN RES 606 CLOB

Click here for live video feeds of today’s committee meetings.

Governor Nathan Deal announced his Administration Floor Leaders:

SENATE
Senator Butch Miller (R-Gainesville)
Senator P. K. Martin IV (R-Lawrenceville)
Senator Larry Walker III (R-Kathleen)

HOUSE
Rep. Terry Rogers (R-Clarkesville)
Rep. Chuck Efstration (R-Dacula)
Rep. Trey Rhodes (R-Greensboro)

Senator Renee Unterman (R-Buford) introduced Senate Bill 17, the “Mimosa Mandate,” to allow local governments to move the time for alcohol sales in restaurants from 12:30 PM to 10:30 AM. From the AJC:

Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairwoman Renee Unterman, R-Buford, does not drink, but said Senate Bill 17 is meant to correct what she considers a fairness issue: While privately owned restaurants in Georgia are banned from serving alcohol before 12:30 p.m. on Sundays, government-owned buildings — such as the Georgia World Congress Center — do not face such restrictions and are free to pour.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert, R-Athens, has blocked similar efforts over the past two years, saying it would upset what he has called a “fragile compromise” between legislative leaders and the faith community over allowing any alcohol sales on Sunday mornings.

Still, the move so early in this year’s legislative session — Unterman filed the bill on Thursday, the session’s fourth day — has buoyed the hopes of supporters, which include the Georgia Restaurant Association. The association has estimated that at least 4,000 Georgia restaurants would likely take advantage if the law changed.

One in eight DeKalb County homeowners has seen water bills triple according to analysis by the AJC.

Congressman Hank Johnson (D-DeKalb) is holding a “Fourth District Day of Resistance” on Sunday.

Johnson will be joined Sunday by DeKalb CEO Mike Thurmond, state Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta), Georgia NAACP President Francys Johnson, according to a news release.

Johnson is co-hosting the event from 2 to 4 p.m. with Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry at the Clarkston Community Center.

“Joined by faith leaders, environmentalists, seniors, students and immigration reform supporters among others, Johnson and Terry will gather to support Bernie Sanders’ nationwide call to oppose the Republican budget,” Johnson’s news release said.

State Rep. Geoff Duncan (R-Cumming) introduced House Bill 54, to expand the Rural Hospital Tax Credit from 70 percent to 90 percent. From the AJC:

A highly touted tax credit program designed to save rural hospitals has thus far been a major disappointment, and now state lawmakers are scrambling for a fix.

Deemed a “lifeline” for struggling rural hospitals, the tax credit program went live Jan. 3, but thus far, donors have applied for less than 2 percent of the available credits. State Rep. Geoff Duncan, R-Cumming, who sponsored legislation last year that created the program, introduced a new bill Thursday aimed at making the credits more attractive. A similar bill was introduced in the Senate.

The key to HB 54 is increasing the value of the tax credit from 70 percent of the donation to 90 percent. Duncan said many corporate donors have balked at only getting a 70 percent return on their contributions.

“Our rural communities cannot afford for this not to be a success,” said Duncan, who is considering a bid for statewide office in 2018.

State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) introduced House Resolution 36, to authorize a statewide referendum on medical cannabis.

From the Macon Telegraph:

“Its clear we’re going to have a hard time passing a cultivation bill (in the state Legislature) for the next two years. So why not put it in front of the voters, where every poll shows there’s clear evidence that voters support this?” Peake asked, just before handing his legislation to staffers on the state House floor.

Virginia Galloway, regional director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a national conservative group, said she thinks Georgia’s cannabis laws already put it in a dangerous place.

“I want double-blind placebo testing, just like is done on every other drug. And then we can make good policy decisions,” Galloway said.

She also sees medical cannabis as the first step down a road to recreational legalization.

The problem with recreational marijuana, she said, is “all those people standing over there who have lost family members to drug addiction,” pointing down the marble stairs of the state Capitol, toward folks making speeches for an addiction recovery awareness event.

What’s not yet set are the rules for any medical cannabis cultivation in Georgia: where would it be grown, who could grow it, where and how would it be sold? Would it mean just liquid products, or would it include things to smoke, eat or vape?

Peake’s own preference is for cultivation of specially bred cannabis in secure greenhouses by a handful of licensees, following the model of states like Minnesota.

Those questions would be answered in a separate bill. But Peake wants a vote on the broad idea of medicinal cultivation first. Then if there were a successful 2018 referendum, a newly elected governor and set of lawmakers would work on the rules in 2019.

Peake also introduced House Bill 65, to add several conditions to the list of those eligible for medical cannabis and to remove the “severe or end stage” requirement on conditions already eligible.

(3)(A) Cancer, when such diagnosis is end stage or the treatment disease produces related wasting illness, recalcitrant nausea, and vomiting;
(B) Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage;
(C) Seizure disorders related to diagnosis of epilepsy or trauma related head injuries;
(D) Multiple sclerosis, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage;
(E) Crohn’s disease;
(F) Mitochondrial disease;
(G) Parkinson’s disease, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage; or
(H) Sickle cell disease, when such diagnosis is severe or end stage;
(I) Tourette’s syndrome;
(J) Autism spectrum disorder;
(K) Intractable pain;
(L) Post-traumatic stress disorder;
(M) Alzheimer’s disease;
(N) Human immunodeficiency virus; or
(O) Acquired immune deficiency syndrome

and

(5) ‘Intractable pain’ means severe, debilitating pain that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measures for more than three months.