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Local News

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.

Rural counties rely on prisons to provide firefighters who work for free

In rural Georgia, incarcerated individuals trained as firefighters and emergency responders are frequently called upon to tackle various emergencies, a practice that began in 1963 and has expanded significantly over the decades. Despite providing crucial support in under-resourced areas, this program faces criticism for potentially exploiting the incarcerated and impacting the job market for professional firefighters.

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.

Georgia Senate OKs bill to loosen limits on health care facilities, but talks ongoing

The Georgia Senate’s approval of a proposal to relax healthcare business regulations sets the stage for contentious negotiations, as Democrats vow to oppose it unless it includes full Medicaid expansion. While Republicans push forward, concerns linger among GOP lawmakers, highlighting the ongoing debate over healthcare access in the state.

Restricting farm property ownership by ‘foreign adversary’ a step backwards for Georgia

With legislation that conflates national security with xenophobia, Georgia’s House Bill 1093 (folded March 12 into Senate Bill 132) and Senate Bill 420 would restrict certain individuals’ and businesses’ ability from owning, renting, or otherwise holding real property throughout Georgia. While many immigrant groups would be harmed with these bills’ passage, proponents openly target people and businesses from China.