Columbus, GA
73°
Rain Shower
6:47 am8:45 pm EDT
MonTueWed
88°F / 73°F
91°F / 73°F
90°F / 73°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.

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.

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.

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.