June 16, 2024 5:41 pm
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New regulations target transportation emissions in Georgia

The implementation of new federal clean-truck standards in Georgia, starting in 2027, is poised to enhance air quality and public health, targeting the state’s largest source of greenhouse-gas emissions. Bridget Murphy Brown, a public health advocate and Georgia registered nurse, emphasizes the positive impact on vulnerable communities living near major transportation routes, while urging further collaborative efforts to address the health implications of emissions and promote a healthier environment for future generations.

Georgia Supreme Court justices appear skeptical of Athens DA’s claim of open records exemption

In an upcoming ruling, Georgia’s Supreme Court will weigh in on a claim brought by Athens-Clarke District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez, arguing that top prosecutors are exempt from the state’s open records laws. The case involves assertions that the trial court overlooked a constitutional provision in denying Gonzalez’s motion to dismiss an open records complaint, mirroring similar immunity arguments made by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in a separate case related to the 2020 presidential election interference.

Georgia first lady makes pitch for people struggling to call 988 suicide prevention hotline

First Lady Marty Kemp of Georgia is actively championing the promotion of the new national suicide prevention hotline, 988, aiming to combat the stigma surrounding mental health care. At a recent panel discussion, she emphasized the importance of raising awareness about 988, particularly in light of the challenges brought on by the pandemic and the need to support individuals in crisis.

Lawmaker mothers with children in tow are still few in numbers but bring often missing perspective

The Georgia Capitol is experiencing a transformation as more women take office, leading to notable changes such as the installation of a lactation pod, the recognition of an official “baby of the House,” and the creation of a makeshift nursery. However, despite these strides, the representation of women in Georgia’s Legislature remains disproportionately low compared to the state’s population, and women lawmakers with young children are still a rarity, highlighting the ongoing challenges faced by working mothers in politics.

Though noncitizens can vote in few local elections, GOP goes big to make it illegal

Amidst ongoing debates over election integrity, Republican lawmakers are intensifying efforts to prevent non-U.S. citizens from voting, proposing state constitutional amendments and new laws for stricter citizenship verification at the polls. Critics argue these measures stoke anti-immigration sentiment and baseless fears of widespread voter fraud, merely to energize the GOP base ahead of the upcoming presidential election.

Georgia takes aim at mental health care shortages with new legislation

Georgia is intensifying efforts to tackle its mental health care challenges with new legislation designed to increase the availability of mental health professionals across the state. Representative Sharon Cooper emphasizes the state’s commitment to equalizing access to mental health services, particularly in rural areas, by offering loan repayment incentives to providers working in underserved regions.

New EPA rules target Georgia legacy coal-ash ponds

The Environmental Protection Agency has implemented a new rule tightening regulations on coal ash disposal, addressing millions of tons of toxic waste that were previously unregulated and often ended up in unlined ponds and landfills. This significant regulatory step is part of a broader initiative to curb pollutants from power plants and represents a major victory for environmental health, according to Dori Jaffe of the Sierra Club.

Kemp signs bill into law forcing sheriffs to enforce federal immigration law

Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia signed a contentious new law on May 1, 2024, mandating that law enforcement agencies notify federal authorities about the arrest of undocumented immigrants, with penalties including loss of state funding and criminal charges for non-compliance. Critics argue the law targets Georgia’s Hispanic community disproportionately and contrasts sharply with previous state efforts towards criminal justice reform.

Public Invited to Contribute to Cherokee County’s Greenways and Trails Master Plan

Cherokee County invites its residents to actively participate in shaping the future of local transportation and recreation through the Greenways and Trails Master Plan. This initiative reflects Cherokee County’s commitment to creating a cohesive and comprehensive trails network that caters to both recreational and alternative transportation needs, emphasizing community involvement in the planning process.

Disability advocates join efforts to halt Atlanta’s ‘Cop City’

When then-Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced plans for a new law enforcement training complex in Dekalb County’s Weelaunee Forest, it sparked widespread opposition under the “Stop Cop City” banner, particularly among disability justice activists who argue the project would disproportionately harm disabled individuals. Nearly three years later, despite ongoing construction of what will be the nation’s largest police training facility, community resistance continues to underscore concerns about the environmental impact, the potential for increased police militarization, and the specific vulnerabilities of the disabled community.