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Critics pan Georgia Power fossil fuel plans ahead of state PSC hearing

During a hearing, a Georgia Power representative urged the Public Service Commission to support a stipulated agreement that offers financial protection for ratepayers, despite criticisms that the company’s plans are unrealistic and could increase its carbon footprint. Critics argue that replacing the expanded use of fossil fuels with more renewable energy in the plan could prevent significant environmental impacts.

Georgia to strengthen property owners’ rights against squatters

Georgia lawmakers have passed the Squatters Reform Act, aiming to shift the legal treatment of illegal occupancy from a civil to a criminal matter, enabling property owners to more swiftly remove unauthorized occupants. The legislation, which awaits Governor Brian Kemp’s signature, mandates squatters to produce valid occupancy documentation within three days or face criminal trespass charges, streamlining the process for property owners to reclaim their rights.

An 1873 law banned the mailing of boxing photos. Could it block abortion pills too?

In a recent spotlight, the 1873 Comstock Act, originally intended to ban the mailing of “obscene” materials, has surged into the abortion debate spotlight following comments by Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, hinting its potential to obstruct the mailing of abortion medication. Despite its dormant status, legal and medical experts weigh the act’s enforceability against modern medical practices and terminology, while some Congressional Democrats seek its repeal to prevent its use as a tool to restrict abortion access, showcasing a complex intersection of historical laws and contemporary rights issues.

Trump plans Atlanta fundraiser this month as Georgia GOP 2020 campaign allies plan to share stage

Former President Donald Trump is planning a return to Georgia for a high-cost fundraiser luncheon in Atlanta, joined by notable supporters such as former U.S. senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, amid the intensifying presidential campaign. This event is part of a broader strategy to bridge the financial gap with the Biden campaign, which currently holds a significant fundraising lead ahead of the November election.

Georgia Legislature approves coverage to help first responders cope with job-related PTSD treatment

The Ashley Wilson Act, named for Gwinnett police sergeant Ashley Wilson, passed unanimously in the Georgia House of Representatives, aiming to provide supplemental health insurance for first responders diagnosed with PTSD due to on-the-job experiences. This landmark legislation, celebrated for its potential to significantly aid in the recovery and support of traumatized first responders, reflects a broader recognition of PTSD’s serious impact on public safety personnel, promising financial and treatment support beginning January 1, 2025.

U.S. Supreme Court justices seem skeptical of limits on access to abortion medication

In a pivotal case before the U.S. Supreme Court concerning the access to medication abortion in the United States, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar defended the safety and efficacy of mifepristone, arguing against the necessity of reinstating pre-2016 restrictions and highlighting existing federal conscience protections for healthcare providers opposed to participating in abortions. The case, which involves changes made by the FDA to mifepristone’s usage guidelines, saw justices expressing skepticism over the arguments presented by anti-abortion groups, with a decision expected to significantly impact abortion access and potentially reverberate through the upcoming political campaigns.

FAFSA delays pose challenges for Georgia college-bound students

Students across Georgia are facing delays in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process, particularly challenging due to its late January rollout and additional complications for mixed-status families. Despite these setbacks, the Department of Education has implemented fixes for major issues, and officials, including MorraLee Keller of the National College Attainment Network, urge students not to give up on securing financial aid for college.

School social media ban multiplies censorship

The “Protecting Georgia’s Children on Social Media Act of 2024” proposed by Georgia lawmakers seeks to ban all social media access within schools, raising significant concerns over censorship and infringement on students’ First Amendment rights. Critics argue that such a blanket restriction not only limits educational and expressive opportunities but also challenges established U.S. Supreme Court precedents protecting students’ rights to information and free speech.

Experts: New EPA air pollution standards a win for public health

The Environmental Protection Agency’s new air pollution standards aimed at reducing tailpipe pollution from cars and light/medium vehicles for models years 2027 through 2032 are expected to trigger a significant shift towards hybrid and electric vehicles, aligning with the Biden administration’s goal for a 60% emission reduction from new vehicles by 2030. These measures are not only anticipated to prevent over 7 billion tons of carbon emissions but also to save the nation $13 billion in healthcare costs due to improved air quality, despite expected legal challenges from the fossil fuel industry.