Valdosta Daily Times

Top News

March 16, 2012

2012 Ga. Legislative session update

VALDOSTA — 'Go Build Georgia' educational session Monday at Wiregrass Tech

 

An educational session for local high school students about the new "Go Build Georgia" program will be held Monday, March 19, at 6:30 p.m. in the Brooks Hall Conference Center at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, 4089 Val Tech Road, Valdosta.

 

Gov. Nathan Deal and the Governor's Office of Workforce Development recently launched Go Build Georgia as a statewide program highlighting the need and opportunity for skilled craft labor in Georgia. America's highly skilled labor workforce is aging, and there are not enough young people entering the industry to replace those retiring. With 16,500 available positions in the skilled trades in 2012, there is an abundance of opportunities for Georgia students, businesses, and educators.

 

A core component of Go Build Georgia is educating young people and all Georgians about the wage, lifestyle, and employment benefits in the skilled labor trades. With this goal in mind, the Governor's Office of Workforce Development is conducting a 13-stop tour, providing information to high school students throughout the state.

 

For more information or to RSVP for the event, contact Brett Lacy at blacy@georgia.gov. For more information on Go Build Georgia, visit www.gobuildgeorgia.com.

 

Criminal Justice Reform

 

The recommendations of a Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform, appointed last year by Gov. Nathan Deal, have resulted in the introduction of HB 1176, a bipartisan proposal that seeks to find a balance between ensuring public safety and reducing Georgia's prison system costs, which have risen dramatically along with the inmate population, which has more than doubled in the past 20 years. The state spends more than $1 billion a year to incarcerate more than 56,000 inmates.  Included in the measure are provisions that would:

Give judges more sentencing discretion for nonviolent offenses.

Raise the threshold for suspects charged with certain felonies.

Revise sentencing guidelines for burglary, shoplifting, forgery, marijuana possession, and other offenses.

Expand the use of drug and mental health courts, which offer alternative sentencing for certain offenders, and add more community-based treatment centers for low-level offenders.

Gov. Deal explained the reasoning behind handling nonviolent offenders differently from hardened criminals this way: "We have to decide who we're scared of and who we're just mad at. This is not a 'get out of jail free' card. If you commit a violent crime in Georgia, you're going to prison, and we have more cells to keep you there for as long as needed."  HB 1176 is being reviewed by the Special Joint Committee on Criminal Justice Reform.

 

Supplemental Budget

 

The House and Senate gave final approval this week to HB 741, the amended budget for the remainder of fiscal year 2012, which ends June 30. Totaling $18.5 billion, the plan now goes to Gov. Deal for his signature.

 

Final Passage

 

The House also agreed with Senate changes on two measures, sending those bills to the governor's desk. They include HB 48, which would change certain provisions regarding the Freeport exemption process, and HB 477, which would change the license renewal period for insurance agents from every year to every two years.

 

Other Senate bills approved by the House and sent to the governor include:

SB 300, which would require proper labeling for bottles containing sugar cane or sorghum syrup.

SB 309, which would grant special hunting permits for big game or alligators to terminally ill children under the age of 21. The measure would waive some rules on weapons, antler restrictions, and hunter education requirements, although the young person would have to be supervised by a licensed adult hunter.

SB 343, which would designate the state accounting officer as the official comptroller general of Georgia, a position previously held by the state insurance commissioner.

Text Only
Top News
  • Palestinian rivals to try again for unity deal

    Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah agreed Wednesday to form a unity government and hold new elections — a potentially historic step toward mending the rift that has split their people between two sets of rulers for seven years.

    April 24, 2014

  • Obama administration weighs clemency for inmates jailed for 10 years

    The Obama administration is encouraging many nonviolent federal prisoners to apply for early release — and expecting thousands to take up the offer.

    April 24, 2014

  • Earns Facebook_Stew.jpg Facebook 1Q results soar; CFO to step down

    Facebook’s earnings nearly tripled and revenue grew sharply in the first quarter, surpassing Wall Street’s expectations thanks to an 82 percent increase in advertising revenue.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Georgia Gun Bill_Stew.jpg Gun carry rights expanded in Ga. under new law

    Criticized by one group as the “guns everywhere” bill, Georgia took a big step Wednesday toward expanding where licensed carriers can take their weapons, with the governor signing a law that allows them in bars without restriction and in some churches, schools and government buildings under certain circumstances.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clemson Spring Game F_Stew.jpg Clemson’s Swinney won’t change after complaint

    Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Wednesday he wouldn’t change procedures after the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s letter of complaint expressing concerns about the football program’s connection to the coach’s Christian religion.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Today in History

    In 1800, Congress approved a bill establishing the Library of Congress.

    April 24, 2014

  • Michigan affirmative ban is OK, Supreme Court says

    A state’s voters are free to outlaw the use of race as a factor in college admissions, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a blow to affirmative action that also laid bare tensions among the justices about a continuing need for programs that address racial inequality in America.

    April 23, 2014

  • ‘Piles and piles’ of bodies in South Sudan slaughter

    Gunmen who targeted both children and the elderly left “piles and piles” of bodies — many of those in a mosque — in a provincial capital in South Sudan, the U.N.’s top humanitarian official in the country said Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Obama_Stew.jpg Obama views mudslide scene

    Swooping over a terrain of great sadness and death, President Barack Obama took an aerial tour Tuesday of the place where more than three dozen people perished in a mudslide last month, then mourned privately with those who lost loved ones in the destruction.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wall Street_Stew.jpg Earnings and corporate deals lift U.S. stocks

    Corporate deals and some solid earnings reports propelled the stock market to its sixth straight gain Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results