A Resolution Honoring Jon Richards

A resolution was placed in the Senate hopper on Friday in recognition of Jon Richards.

Senate Resolution 539

By: Senators Unterman of the 45th, Martin of the 9th, Shafer of the 48th, Butler of the 55th, Henson of the 41st and others

A RESOLUTION

Recognizing Jon Richards; and for other purposes.

WHEREAS, Jon Richards became a Georgian by moving to Lawrenceville, Georgia, after graduating from Allegheny College and having been born in Cleveland, Ohio; and

WHEREAS, Jon Richards has been a great family man as son to his mother, Caroline, and his late father, Glenn; his sisters Amy and Anne; his brother-in-law Andrew; and his nephews, Cal, Matthew, and Stuart, for whom he is an experienced pumpkin carver and the official distributor of presents found under the tree on Christmas morning; and

WHEREAS, Jon Richards is an accomplished businessman, having sold several enterprises in the emerging tech world to allow for an early and comfortable retirement; and Continue reading “A Resolution Honoring Jon Richards”

Cove’s Law to be Considered Today in the Senate

The Senate is set to consider Cove’s Law (HB241) today. The legislation seeks to provide an option, but not a mandate, for parents to screen their newborn for Krabbe Disease at a cost to the parents of between $3-5.

The proposed legislation is named after Cove Marie Ellis. She was diagnosed with Krabbe Disease in February, 2016 at the age of 7 months. Her parents discovered after her diagnosis that the disease could have possibly been treated at birth if a screening had been performed. The most common treatment is to transplant stem-cells from cord blood to the newborn.

Krabbe disease is the same disease that took the life of eight year old Hunter Kelly, the son of Football Hall of Famer and former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly.  According to an article at ESPN, Krabbe Disease is “an inherited degenerative disorder of the central and peripheral nervous systems. The disease hinders development of the myelin sheath, a fatty covering that protects the brain’s nerve fibers.” This leads to the deterioration of the brain and nerves and eventually death.

The House previously passed the bill unanimously, but it has not come without detractors. Georgia Health News reports that some doctors are concerned that testing is not at the level it needs to be and there is the possibility of false positives. Further, some experts are concerned with the fact that some children do not survive the transplant treatment.

According to the Georgia Health News article, Dr. William Wilcox,  a professor of human genetics at the Emory University School of Medicine, stated:

“Everyone wants to do the right thing for kids. The testing is being pushed with the wrong information. They’re doing real harm. When there is better testing and treatment, we will support screening for all babies.”

Emory expressed in a statement that they are capable of performing the testing on newborns and desire to do so. The bill would allow for other testing laboratories located in Georgia to perform the test if licensed and authorized to do so. Out-of-state laboratories would have to be approved by The Department of Community Health.

Guest Post – Optometrists in Favor of SB 153

The Georgia House is scheduled to take up Senate Bill 153 tomorrow, Friday, March 24. The bill would allow licensed optometrists in Georgia to use specific injections to treat eye diseases and conditions for their patients.

Dr. Benjamin Casella, President of the Georgia Optometric Association, has provided the following guest post in support of the legislation.

Headline: Georgia Lawmakers Can Easily Increase Access to Eye Care Services

Georgia lawmakers have the opportunity this session to increase consumer access to needed eye care services and enable highly-skilled medical professionals to use the patient care techniques they were trained to provide.

SB 153 (Brass, Mullis) would enable Georgia to join with the 15 other states, including neighboring Tennessee, that authorize doctors of optometry to perform limited injections to areas near the eye.

As the training for doctors of optometry continues to increase to keep up with advancing technology, it is essential for state law to keep up as well. SB 153 makes that possible.

While those opposed to the legislation prefer to deal in alarmist statements, your readers may be interested to know that in nearby Tennessee, which has allowed doctors of optometry to perform injections for 20 years, leaders of the Southern College of Optometry, which has trained doctors of optometry from 47 states, including those practicing in Georgia, say every graduate of SCO since 1995 has received injections training.

Continue reading “Guest Post – Optometrists in Favor of SB 153”

Hill Jabs Back at Gray in #GA6

I ain’t even gonna comment, except to say if you want to vote in the GA-6 Special Election, the deadline is today to register. Here is Judson Hill’s latest, unedited press release about Bob Gray:

Clearing up the ‘Gray matters’
Political swamp creature denies his own social media posts

The campaign of Judson Hill today politely informed politician Bob Gray that he should move out of the swamp before draining it.

Responding to evidence that he posted anti-Trump materials on his Facebook page, including a sign a with “Nope” written under Trump’s image, during last year’s general election, Gray proved his bona fides as a political Swamp Creature.

“He never owned, purchased, or displayed any such sign,” a Gray campaign spokesperson said, obviously hoping that a critical mass of 6th District voters have never used Facebook and don’t realize you can post an image of a sign that you don’t physically own.”


Keeping reading after the break.
Continue reading “Hill Jabs Back at Gray in #GA6”

Bob Gray on Recent zPolitics / Clout Research #GA6 Poll

Republican Bob Gray issued a press release after an exclusive poll was released by zPolitics and Clout Research. The poll shows Gray sitting in third place at 15.6% behind Democrat Jon Ossoff (40.9%) and Republican Karen Handel (16.1%). The rest of the poll can be seen at the zPolitics link above.

Tyler Jacobs, Gray’s Campaign Manager:

“This poll corroborates the trends we’re seeing on the ground and in the earlier polls – conservatives are rallying around Bob as Handel fades. This is despite Handel having built name ID by being on the ballot 8 times in the last two decades. Bob Gray is the only Republican candidate who can energize the Trump base and turn out conservatives in the runoff election.”

Bob Gray added: “We’re working for it, we’re earning it, and it’s paying off!”

The press release also included Erick Erickson’s response to Club for Growth endorsing Gray over Judson Hill:

“The biggest issue for me here is that Judson Hill didn’t get the endorsement of the Club for Growth. You would think that he would be the guy who would do it. Instead, they went with Gray. I know this from the Club for Growth guys – they’ve felt like all along that Gray was the guy closest to them on the issues.”

Judson Hill Calls Out Bob Gray and Dan Moody in #GA6 Race

From a press release (with some added emphasis) from the Judson Hill campaign entitled “Judson Hill calls on City Councilman Bob Gray to immediately address the late breaking ‘False Prophet’ charge:

Judson Hill has called on City Councilman Bob Gray to immediately address the late breaking ‘False Prophet’ charge and, with certifiable documentation, prove it untrue. View AJC Article here.

“The Republicans cannot afford to lose this seat to the liberal Democrat Ossoff by putting forward a fatally flawed candidate, who now appears to have not only been lying throughout the campaign about not being a politician, but has been lying about his support for Donald Trump in an effort to try and further his political career… like only a hypocritical politician would,” Judson said.

Gray has centered his campaign thus far around being a “willing partner” and loyal supporter of President Trump. However, pictures recently surfaced of an anti-Trump sign in Gray’s yard during the 2016 election. A Facebook post from late February of 2016 has also surfaced in which Gray announces his support for Senator Rubio and denounces Trump’s qualifications, referring to him as the “GOP Obama.

We also cannot resort to sophomoric, insulting ads like those by Dan Moody, in which he hangs a string of pearls around an elephant’s neck insinuating the beast is symbolic of Karen Handel,” Judson said. Judson recalls when Moody’s media consultant hung pearls around a crying baby after Handel’s failed Senate race to insinuate the same.

“Republicans have too much at stake to allow their campaigns to stoop to these sort of lies and attacks, typical of a politician,” Judson said. “We must stay focused on the real task here, which is keeping the 6th District out of the hands of a liberal Democrat and keeping it in the hands of a trusted conservative.”

Dan Moody’s Media Consultant’s Karen Handel In Pearls Ads:

David Perdue Campaign Ad

Dan Moody Campaign Ad

Help Our Political Friends Fight Childhood Cancer

Two of GeorgiaPol’s friends will be shaving their heads Saturday afternoon to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to help fight childhood cancer. Can you join in their efforts by donating to the cause?

John Vestal Donation Link and event details

Rich Sullivan Donation Link and event details

Rich:

“I’m shaving my head to raise money for childhood cancer research! Did you know that kids’ cancers are different from adult cancers? It’s true. And childhood cancer research is extremely underfunded. So I decided to do something about it by raising money for cures.

Now I need your help! Will you make a donation? Every dollar makes a difference for the thousands of infants, children, teens, and young adults fighting childhood cancers.”

John:

“I can’t believe this will be my TENTH head-shaving for St. Baldrick’s and the fight against childhood cancers!

It was February 2007 and I saw the announcement that the Georgia Tech baseball team was going to have a “head-shaving” event to raise money for a charity called The St. Baldrick’s Foundation. I had never heard of this organization, but fighting childhood cancers was definitely a great cause so I used the online communities I frequented to help the team meet…and greatly surpass!…their goals! I was so impressed by the St. Baldrick’s mission and fundraising model that the following year, 2008, I found and joined a head-shaving event near my home and raised over $7,000 with the support of many of the same folks who had answered the call the year before!

Now it’s 2017 and I’m about to get my head shaved for the TENTH straight year! Some of my wonderful friends started going bald with me several years ago, and we became Team Spider Monkey! With your support, TSM’s all-time funds raised for St. Baldrick’s should pass $200,000 this year!

A few years ago, somebody asked me how long I was going to keep doing this. I committed to myself that I was going to make it at LEAST to 10 years! Well…here we are!

If I can reach my 2017 fundraising goal of $5,000, I will commit to KEEP ON’ SHAVIN’ past this year! PLEASE support this great charity…no donation too small (*or* too large!)

Thank you!!”

Rep. Hank Johnson Introduces Two Reasonable Bills

While Rep. Hank Johnson (D, GA-4) is often the butt of many jokes, he has already introduced two bills this session that could have a positive impact on Georgia and U.S. citizens: the Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act of 2017 and the Arbitration Fairness Act.

The Mobile Workforce Simplification Act of 2017 is a re-introduction of a bill that passed the U.S. House in 2016. The bill would provide “that an employee’s earnings remain subject to full tax in the state of his or her residence. An employee would only be subject to another state’s income taxes if he or she works there more than 30 days per calendar year.”

I have personally seen the complications of working for a multi-state contractor. While the 30 day limit would not help many of our employees, it will help those that only occasionally work in other neighboring states.

The Arbitration Fairness Act seeks to “eliminate forced arbitration clauses in employment, consumer, civil rights and antitrust cases.”

Rep. Johnson:

“Forced arbitration closes the courthouse doors to Americans wishing to seek justice for a variety of civil claims, including sexual harassment and workplace discrimination. These arbitration clauses are often unwittingly entered into by consumers when they sign everyday contracts such as cell phone, car rental, credit card, and nursing home agreements to name a few. Forced arbitration undermines fundamental rights and protections guaranteed by the Constitution, federal and state law. Contrary to popular belief, arbitration decisions are final, binding, non-appealable, and strongly in favor of corporations. The result is a secretive and rigged process that prevents citizens from exercising their fundamental 7th Amendment right to a trial by jury.”

GA Congressmen on the American Health Care Act

Rep. Rick Allen (R, GA-12) shared his thoughts on the recently introduced American Health Care Act, which can be read HERE.

“From the beginning, I have always said my goal is to restore patient-centered, cost-effective and market-driven solutions to our health care system. Standing by this goal, the introduction of the American Health Care Act is the next big and needed step in the repeal and replacement process. I look forward to reviewing this bill and working with my colleagues as they markup the first draft to produce a final product that will rescue Americans and American families from the binds of our failing health care system. Americans deserve better than Obamacare—plain and simple.”

Statements from Rep. Bishop and Rep. Collins can be seen after the break. Continue reading “GA Congressmen on the American Health Care Act”

February Tax Revenues Down Slightly in Georgia

An announcement made yesterday by Gov. Nathan Deal stated that Georgia’s net tax collections for February, 2017 totaled almost $1.17 billion, a decrease of about $70 million (-5.6%) from February, 2016. This brings the net tax revenue collections to $14.23 billion for the current 2017 -18 fiscal year, which is up $498.4 million (3.6%) from last year.

The difference between Feb., 2016 and Feb., 2017 is chiefly due to an increase of tax refunds and lower tax payments. A $65.4 million (13.8%) increase was seen in individual income tax refunds and a decrease of $6.5 million (-0.7%) in individual income tax withholding payments. Corporate tax refunds were up approximately $32.6 million (265.8%), while corporate income tax return payments were down nearly $17 million (-95.3%).

The following is a breakdown of the February, 2017 revenues in comparison to February, 2016:

Description Amount Collected Change From Feb., 2016 % Change
Individual income taxes $451.9 million -$58.1 million -11.4%
Gross Sales & Use Tax $812 million $35.3 million 4.6%
Net Sales & Use Tax $420.8 million $38.5 million 10.1%
Corporate income taxes -$23.3 million -$55.8 million -171.9%
Motor Fuel Taxes $138.7 million $2.6 million 1.9%

A copy of the February, 2017 financial report can be seen at the Governor’s website.