Latest Georgia state government News

FILE - In this Feb. 3, 2020, file photo, Renee Unterman, R-Buford, speaks to fellow senators at the state legislature in Atlanta. Supporters of broadening a Georgia program that pays for special education students to attend private schools say changes would meet its original mission, while opponents say it's another attack on the state's public schools. Opponents, though, note 504 plans can cover accommodations for even a passing physical ailment such as a broken arm. Unterman, the Buford Republican sponsoring the bill, indicated that she's willing to tighten who would be eligible, (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP, File)

Bill: Widen Georgia aid for students to go to private school

Feb. 26, 2020 5:19 PM EST

ATLANTA (AP) — Supporters of broadening a Georgia program that pays for special education students to attend private schools say changes would meet its original mission, while opponents say it's another attack on the state's public schools. The Senate Education and Youth Committee heard testimony Wednesday...

Chief justice: Turn law libraries to legal self-help centers

Feb. 26, 2020 4:31 PM EST

ATLANTA (AP) — The state needs to do more to help people who can't pay for lawyers, and to aid the mental health of lawyers and judges, the chief justice of Georgia's Supreme Court said Wednesday. In a State of the Judiciary address to the General Assembly, Chief Justice Harold Melton also hailed retiring...

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, left, and State Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, announces that federal disaster relief is on its way to farmers who suffered losses after Hurricane Michael, at the Georgia State Capitol, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020 in Atlanta. (Riley Bunch/The Daily Times via AP)

Georgia officials announce long-awaited hurricane relief

Feb. 26, 2020 2:44 PM EST

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s governor and agriculture commissioner on Wednesday announced that $347 million in federal disaster relief funding would soon be available to farmers, nearly a year and a half after Hurricane Michael caused billions of dollars in damage to southwest Georgia. Producers in...

Editorial Roundup: Georgia

Feb. 26, 2020 12:55 PM EST

Recent editorials from Georgia newspapers: ___ Feb. 25 The Brunswick News on the decision to allow a county commission to decide on changes to a local law enforcement agency: Two members of Glynn County’s delegation to the Georgia General Assembly have had a change of heart. They announced on Feb. 23 that...

GA Senate panel seeks to block landfills near Satilla River

Feb. 25, 2020 5:16 PM EST

ATLANTA (AP) — Legislation that would prevent new landfills from being built near the Satilla River in southeast Georgia is advancing at the state Capitol. Senate Bill 384, sponsored by Sen. William Ligon, a Republican from Brunswick, was approved unanimously by the Senate Natural Resources and Environment...

Cities could get larger share of Georgia vehicle tax revenue

Feb. 25, 2020 3:30 PM EST

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia lawmakers could change how vehicle tax revenue is split among cities, counties and school districts. House members voted 157-1 on Tuesday for House Bill 779, sending it to the Senate for more debate. Georgia charges a combined title fee and property tax when an owner first registers...

Georgia bill aims for transparency in health care pricing

Feb. 25, 2020 2:43 PM EST

ATLANTA (AP) — A bill advancing at the state Capitol in Georgia would allow patients to compare prices for a medical procedure, get an estimate of their out-of-pocket costs and assess the quality of doctors. The state Senate voted 51-1 Tuesday in favor of the “Georgia Right to Shop Act, ”...

Test cuts praised amid worry on comparing Georgia to others

Feb. 24, 2020 5:06 PM EST

ATLANTA (AP) — A bill that would cut five mandatory standardized tests for Georgia public school students is moving ahead, although some longtime education leaders say Georgia is giving up other goals in seeking to decrease testing time. Gov. Brian Kemp and state Superintendent Richard Woods are among...

Gloria Hammond, a resident of Juliette, Georgia, shows off water tests that display contaminants in her homes' well at the Georgia capitol on Monday, February 24, 2020. Georgia Power Co., which operates a nearby coal-fired power plant, says its monitoring wells show no contamination from a coal ash pond. The Senate passed Senate Bill 123 on Monday by a vote of 52-2, sending it to the House for more work. The measure would raise the fee for dumping coal ash from $1 a ton to $2.50 a ton, equaling what it costs to dispose of other kinds of garbage at Georgia landfills.  (Jeff Amy/Associated Press)

Georgia eyes higher coal ash fee; residents seek more action

Feb. 24, 2020 4:41 PM EST

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia senators are passing a measure that would increase the fee for dumping coal ash in the state. The Senate passed Senate Bill 123 on Monday by a vote of 52-2, sending it to the House for more work. The measure would raise the fee for dumping coal ash from $1 a ton to $2.50 a ton,...

FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2020 file photo, State Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, Chairman of the Finance Committee, speaks to the media while gathered with other Senate leaders during the first day of the general session of the state legislature in Atlanta. Hufstetler sponsored a bill that would protect some patients from receiving unexpected medical bills. The legislation, which passed unanimously, would require insurers in many cases to pay for care by a doctor or at a hospital that is not within their network of medical providers. It also would limit patient liability for any costs. (AP Photo/John Amis, File)

Georgia Senate passes bill to limit surprise medical bills

Feb. 24, 2020 1:24 PM EST

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s state Senate passed legislation Monday that would protect some patients from receiving unexpected medical bills. The legislation, passed unanimously, would require insurers in many cases to pay for care by a doctor or at a hospital that is not within their network of medical...