Georgia Senate Signs Off on Fiscal 2023 Budget

Georgia State Capitol

The Georgia Senate has signed off on a fiscal year 2023 state budget that increases spending by 10.8% over last year.

The Senate voted 56-0 in favor of an amended House Bill 911, a more than $30 billion spending plan that includes pay raises for many state employees and largely returns spending to pre-COVID-19-pandemic spending levels.

The budget proposal includes pay raises for certified teachers and other school workers, including nutrition workers, bus drivers and school nurses. It also increases funding for law enforcement, including for the Georgia Department of Public Safety to hire state troopers and expand crisis intervention training for officers across the Peach State.

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Georgia Senate Approves Bill to Ban Teaching ‘Divisive Concepts’

Bo Hatchett

Georgia teachers would be banned from teaching “divisive concepts” in the classroom under legislation signed off on by the Georgia Senate.

Senators voted, 34-20, in favor of Senate Bill 377. The legislation now heads to the state House, where lawmakers previously passed similar legislation, House Bill 1084.

The bill outlines nine “divisive concepts,” including that one “race or ethnicity is inherently superior to another race or ethnicity” and that an “individual’s moral character is inherently determined by his or her race, skin color, or ethnicity.”

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Raphael Warnock Campaign Nervous About Herschel Walker’s Chances in Georgia

Campaign staff for Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) have sent their followers several emails calling Georgia “the number one battleground” and saying “Democrats’ chances of defending our razor-thin majority hinge on keeping Georgia blue.”

Warnock’s campaign staff frequently cited the name of Herschel Walker. Walker, a Republican, filed paperwork in August to run for Warnock’s seat. The election is next year. Former President Donald Trump endorsed Walker in September.

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Georgia Senate Committee Learns Private-Sector Workers’ Retirement Savings Low

According to data presented Friday to the Senate Retirement Security for Georgians Study Committee, about half of Peach State residents—and Americans generally—aren’t saving enough for retirement.

Jessica Eckman, a senior legislative representative with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), told the committee that about 50 percent of U.S. households are at risk of accumulating insufficient retirement savings, up from 31 percent three decades earlier.

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Georgia Senate Passes Measure Blocking Local Efforts to Reduce Police Funding

A bill that bans counties and municipalities in Georgia from reducing their police department budgets by more than 5% has passed the Georgia Senate and will be sent back to the House.

Sen. Randy Robertson, R-Cataula, a law enforcement veteran, said the legislation, House Bill 286, is a response to local efforts to “defund the police.”

“I think everyone sees the things that are going on around our country right now related to law enforcement, and what this does is just guarantee the citizens of any community that they’re not caught up in the politics that revolves around policing and offers protection,” said Robertson, who sponsored the bill.

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Two Election Integrity Bills Headed Towards Georgia Senate Floor

Woman voting at booth

Two bills to help ensure election integrity in Georgia are one step closer to the Republican-controlled Senate floor, according to Tuesday reports. 

“Senate subcommittee votes 3-2 to end at-will absentee voting in Georgia, making it only available to those over 75, a doctor’s note or out of town. SB71 advances to full committee,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Mark Niesse said on Twitter. 

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PJ Media Founder Roger Simon Talks Georgia and the Senate Runoff

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the founder of PJ Media Roger Simon to the studio to discuss Georgia’s Governor Kemp, Dominion voting machines, and the fate of the Senate’s runoff election.

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During Georgia Senate Hearing, Giuliani Team Shows Video of Suitcases Filled With Ballots Processed After Counting Supposedly Ended

The election was a sham, and there is “overwhelming proof of fraud,” Rudy Giuliani said Thursday in the second of two hearings at the Georgia Senate, and his team showed a damning video of suitcases stuffed with ballots processed once counting was supposedly finished.

The Senate Government Oversight Committee held the first hearing of the day to “evaluate the election process to ensure the integrity of Georgia’s voting process,” 11 Alive reported.

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