Our network

Politics

Negotiations Break Down on Georgia's Firearms Bill


ATLANTA (AP) - Gun laws in Georgia will not change in 2013.

House leaders said they could not come to an agreement with key senators over whether to expand gun possession rights on college campuses in Georgia.

While a conference committee released a compromise plan late Thursday, lawmakers supporting it acknowledged they did not have the support to force a vote before a midnight deadline. Any bills that don't pass by the final adjournment fail.

Both sides had agreed to allow local K-12 school boards to choose whether to arm certain school employees and allow churches to choose whether to allow concealed weapons on their property.

But House members wanted to relax restrictions for college students. Senate leaders sided with college executives who want to keep their existing bans on concealed weapons.

Ga. House, Senate Leaders Formally Approve Budget

ATLANTA (AP) - House and Senate leaders have formally approved a roughly $41 billion state operating budget comprised of state and federal money for the next fiscal year. 

The next stop is the desk of Governor Nathan Deal.  The final version looks a lot like what Deal pitched in January.

The state portion includes $19.9 billion, an increase of around $56 million.

The budget largely spares K-12 education from budget cuts, while many state agencies will see slight cuts. The pre-kindergarten school year will be expanded, as will HOPE grants for technical college students.  Some of that money will also go to the Education Center at Robins Air Force Base and to Mercer University, though dollar amounts aren't certain yet.

Deal has called for cutting payment rates to health care providers treating Medicaid patients. Lawmakers rejected that idea.

The budget year begins July 1.

 

How to Write for 13WMAZ's Where You Live

How to Write for 13WMAZ's Where You Live

Where You Live is WMAZ's hyperlocal feature. This means that we are helping bring you more community-specific news more often.

We have websites for these communities:

Dooly-Macon County
Hancock-Putnam
Bleckley-Dodge-Pulaski
Twiggs
Sandersville
Milledgeville
Peach-Crawford
Gray-Jones
Forsyth-Monroe
Dublin
Perry 
Warner Robins
Macon
R
obins AFB

These community websites are a place for you and your community members to share information.

To join our team and share with folks just like yourself, all you have to do is email us your email address and name whereyoulive@13wmaz.com

From there, we set up an account for you. This account lets you log in to your community site and post photo galleries, concerts, community events, 100th birthday parties, your concerns, latest creative projects, how-to advice and anything else you want people in your area to know.

Once you have an account, here are some examples of how you can stay involved Where You Live:

(These are just ideas to get you started. Feel free to come up with your own blog ideas!)

  • Post about your hobby: 
    Exercise 
    Photography 
    Scrapbooking 
    Hunting 
    Fishing 
    Couponing 
    Music reviews 
    Movie reviews 
    Local fashion

 

  • Are you that person who always takes photos at the high school's football games or at community festivals?  You can log in with your new account and create a gallery to show off your photos on our site.
  • Have a story idea that may need a reporter in our newsroom? Send us a news tip by emailing eyewitnessnews@13wmaz.com
  • Where You Live is your space for public conversation.  Feel free to comment on others' articles. New ideas can crop up just from simple conversations with others.
  • See something bizarre around town? Take a (cell phone) photo and post it to your community site! Maybe someone else will know the background story.
  • Add an event to our community calendar. Click "Add an Event"  on your community site's event section.
  • Like" us on Facebook to include your local news, breaking news and weather warnings and watches in your Facebook feed.
  • Follow us on Twitter for breaking news and weather updates.

Bill That Would Allow Electronic Proof of Auto Insurance Heads to Governor's Desk

Bill That Would Allow Electronic Proof of Auto Insurance Heads to Governor's Desk

The State Senate passed House Bill 254 unanimously, allowing drivers to show proof of insurance with either paper or electronic format.

“This is a simple and easy solution for insurance companies moving towards new-aged technologies,” said Sen. Burt Jones, (R-Jackson) carrier of HB 254 in the Senate.  “House Bill 254 also protects forgetful drivers who may have left their wallets at home, but have their phone with them and can now show proof of insurance.”

HB 254 lists acceptable electronic formats include a display of electronic images on a mobile electronic device such as a smart phone or tablet.  HB 254 now heads to the Governor’s desk for his approval to become law.  

High Profile Bills Pass on 'Crossover Day' in Ga Legislature

Georgia lawmakers closed "Crossover Day" with the passage of several high profile bills Thursday.

Senate voted to ban Georgia law enforcement agencies from setting minimum waiting periods before they act on a reported missing persons case. That's Senate Bill 13. It will now go to the house.

Lawmakers in the House approved a plan to lower grade requirements for those seeking HOPE grants to attend the state's technical colleges. They voted 169 to 1 to send it to the Senate. 

The bill would return the qualifying grade point average to 2.0.

Senator Jones: Report from the State Capitol

Senator Jones: Report from the State Capitol

 

February is coming to a close and the General Assembly has officially reached the halfway mark of the 2013 Legislative Session.  The Senate remains busy passing legislation, meeting with constituents and working on a fiscally responsible balanced budget.

Reps. Bishop and Scott React to State of the Union

Two Congressmen who represent Central Georgia responded Tuesday night to the President's State of the Union Address with fundamentally different views on how effective the Commander in Chief was.

Republican U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, District 8, said he was disappointed in what he called a lack of specifics.

"We didn't get to hear more about his specific plans to undo the sequester that he signed," Congressman Scott said. "That is going to have such a devastating effect on our military," he added, referring to the string of cuts that would hit the Pentagon's budget March 1, if Congress doesn't intervene.

He also felt President Obama missed an opportunity to heal wounds from the weeks-long fiscal cliff standoff.