When you think how much lip service has been paid to education issues over the years, it’s striking how many of the interested parties have been caught flat-footed this year, when our schools really became big news.
The legislative year hasn’t ended yet in a lot of states, and the evidence isn’t overwhelming. But based at least on the reduction in material they’ve provided late-night monologues, lawmakers around the country seem to be going about their business with significantly less posturing this election year.
Eleven of the nation’s 100 fastest-growing counties are in Georgia, the latest Census estimate shows. Seven of them are in Atlanta’s distant suburbs or the mountains, and two are close to Athens – which the AARP has cited as one of the best retirement cities for three consecutive years.
The State Road and Tollway Authority is to distribute the $100 million in state funding for transit. It’s not clear who will serve on the SRTA board that will make the decision and, the last time SRTA divided transit money, nearly two-thirds of the money went to metro Atlanta.
The state Legislature closed its business this year without authorizing a BeltLine idea to raise some $100 million via a new tax on commercial and multifamily residential properties near the trail. But they did approve Atlanta votes on property taxes and extending a sewer sales tax.
The political persona Zell Miller shaped through years of trial and error emphasized the parts that he shared with the broadest swath of what he thought of as his people. But he was more complicated than that.
A state House panel has approved a bill that supporters say is a fairly narrow proposal to help federal immigration agents eject bad guys from the country. But critics say the bill will have dire consequences.
“I can tell you, the money that has been spent on the Atlanta BeltLine needs help. It’s not going to get completed without this, I don’t see how it’s going to happen,” said state Rep. Chad Nimmer, R-Blackshear, asking a state Senate committee to approve his bill.
By Guest Columnist KLAUS VAN DEN BERG, a consultant with CITYperformance
The Atlanta Civic Center, a mega-venue that sports a 4,600-seat auditorium and a separate exhibition hall on a 19-acre site in the Old Fourth Ward, was sold to the Atlanta Housing Authority in late 2017. Former Mayor Kasim Reed, who had already sold significant land parcels to developers, closed the Civic Center deal without requiring the development of a new vision for the site that does justice to its historic significance. The sale itself proceeded mostly outside of public view after the collapse of a deal with a private developer.
By Guest Columnist SHANE JACKSON, president of Jackson Healthcare of Alpharetta
Warren Buffet, one of the most successful businessmen in U.S. history, has called the soaring cost of healthcare a “tapeworm” on the American economy. He and two other Wall Street giants, Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan, have announced a joint venture in an attempt to dramatically reduce the inflationary pressure on healthcare delivery.
Chances are you’ve read at least a little about the President’s father, Fred Trump. But the story of his grandfather, Freidrich, sheds a more interesting light on one of the main preoccupations of the Trump presidency.
By Guest Columnist BRIAN GIST, a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center
For years, the idea of a comprehensive regional transit system in metro Atlanta seemed unattainable. It’s hard to even imagine taking a train from Decatur to SunTrust Park, or from Duluth to Atlanta’s airport.
Former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has secured what may be his first board appointment since leaving office. Reed was named to the advisory board of a non-partisan institute founded at the University of Chicago by a former advisor to President Obama.
The giant red cardboard letters spelling the word “moms” stood out in the gray Atlanta drizzle Wednesday, held up between the state Capitol and more than one thousand people rallying outside, demanding that the lawmakers inside tighten up gun laws.
Out of all the schools that have been shot up in this country, what was it about this one that has caused the reaction to differ from those in the past? The answer has to do with location, bandwith, and South Florida attitude.
Metro Atlanta residents are likely to see three changes fairly soon if state lawmakers vote for a hybrid of the two transit bills pending at the Capitol: MARTA vehicles and property may be rebranded; a new 50-cent tax could be applied to each trip in cab, limo or shared ride; and there may be a push for a sales tax in South Cobb County to provide a train, trolley or dedicated bus line to the Braves ballpark and nearby destinations.
By Guest Columnist MELITA EASTERS, executive director and founding chair of Georgia’s WIN List
Record numbers of progressive Georgia women candidates, backed by hundreds who have volunteered to support them, are part of a headline-grabbing and magazine-cover-inspiring national wave of newly emboldened activists who plan to qualify for elected office over the coming weeks.
Atlanta state lawmakers are working on a bill to phase in property tax assessments slowly, help protect residents with a bigger homestead exemption, but also force the Fulton County tax assessor’s office to value properties correctly.