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Governor vetoes tax breaks for data centers, homestead exemption bump and higher ed assistance

Georgia is actively addressing its mental health care deficiencies by enacting new legislation designed to bolster provider availability across the state, particularly in underserved areas. Representative Sharon Cooper emphasized the urgency of enhancing access to mental health services, given the state’s significant provider shortages and the historical underinvestment in mental health care.

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.

VP stops by Atlanta in latest courting of Georgia voters by Biden administration officials

Vice President Kamala Harris visited Georgia to promote the administration’s economic achievements and underscored the historic growth in Black-owned small businesses and wealth among American families. During her speech, she highlighted “The Stitch,” a project to heal the divisions caused by past urban infrastructure policies, as part of a broader commitment to reconnecting and empowering minority communities.

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.

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.

Spoiler alert: Third party candidates aim to give Georgia voters alternatives to Biden and Trump

Jill Stein from the Green Party and Karina Garcia of the Party of Socialism and Liberation, both third-party candidates, participated in a forum in Atlanta, emphasizing their policy agreements on issues like the Israel-Palestine conflict and social funding. While they both announced their respective parties would be on Georgia’s ballot in November, upcoming changes in the state’s election laws could affect their and other third-party candidates’ ability to appear on the ballot.

Emory Hillandale Hospital’s Upgrades

In a significant enhancement to healthcare services in DeKalb County, Emory Hillandale Hospital has unveiled expansive upgrades, demonstrating a remarkable utilization of federal and county funds. Thanks to a substantial $12 million allocation from the American Rescue Plan, championed by DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond and other local leaders, the hospital has made critical advancements …

Georgia governor signs school voucher bill to provide $6,500 toward private tuition

Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia signed multiple education bills, including a controversial voucher program allowing parents to use $6,500 in state funds for private schooling or homeschooling of children from low-performing schools. Critics argue this diverts essential resources from public schools and lacks sufficient oversight, while proponents claim it offers necessary educational choices and opportunities.