Columbus, GA
86°
Clear
6:32 am8:48 pm EDT
SatSunMon
97°F / 73°F
95°F / 75°F
93°F / 72°F

Georgia public colleges to expand admissions testing requirements for fall 2026

Georgia colleges are reverting to requiring standardized test scores for all new applicants, signaling a shift from pandemic-era policies. Beginning in fall 2026, institutions including Augusta University, The University of Georgia, and Georgia Tech will mandate SAT or ACT scores, a decision unanimously approved by the Georgia Board of Regents.

More than 300,000 Georgia kids lose health coverage post-COVID

In the wake of the pandemic’s conclusion, over 300,000 children have lost coverage under Medicaid and Peach Care for Kids, with Georgia ranking third in the nation for such disenrollments. Judy Fitzgerald of Voices for Georgia’s Children emphasizes that many lost coverage due to procedural issues rather than ineligibility, urging for simplified enrollment processes and presumptive eligibility to ensure vulnerable children have timely access to healthcare services and avoid potential developmental setbacks.

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.

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.

Bill to regulate hemp products in Georgia awaits governor’s signature while some hope for veto

A bill regulating hemp products in Georgia, which mandates testing and restricts sales to those 21 and older, awaits Governor Brian Kemp’s decision. While proponents see it as a necessary step for consumer protection, critics argue it allows the sale of potentially harmful derivatives like Delta-8, without adequately safeguarding consumers.

State utility regulators approve Georgia Power plan to use fossil fuels to power data centers

In a decisive 4-1 vote, the Georgia Public Service Commission approved Georgia Power’s controversial plans to expand energy generation through a mix of fossil fuels and renewable sources, amid criticisms for not prioritizing cleaner energy options. The plan involves constructing natural gas and oil generators and solar battery facilities to cater to rising industrial demands, despite warnings about the long-term environmental and economic impacts of relying on volatile fossil fuel prices.

Georgia child welfare agency defensive after Ossoff Senate panel reports neglect and exploitation

The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services is critiqued in a U.S. Senate report for not adequately protecting children from abuse, contributing to child deaths and injuries through mismanagement. Senator Jon Ossoff emphasizes the need to protect the most vulnerable children from abuse and human trafficking, highlighting the serious and distressing findings of the investigation.

Republican state lawmakers revise Georgia election rules in time for 2024 campaign season

Georgia’s 2024 legislative session concluded with the passing of contentious election rules that could reshape voter eligibility and ballot security, amidst debates on enhancing voter confidence versus appeasing unfounded election fraud claims. The new regulations, expected to be signed into law, introduce measures like a watermark on paper ballots and criteria for mass voter challenges, fueling concerns about their impact on voter accessibility and the integrity of the election process.

If the Okefenokee isn’t worth saving, what is?

In this opinion piece by Dink Nesmith for the Georgia Recorder, the focus is on the heated debate surrounding the proposed mining near the Okefenokee Swamp by Twin Pines Minerals, where financial interests clash with environmental preservation. Nesmith criticizes the influence of monetary interests on Georgia’s decision-makers and expresses concern over the potential ecological impact on this irreplaceable natural gem, urging for the protection of the swamp over economic gains.

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.