We are close to finding out what happens when President Donald Trump meets a hand-harvested Vidalia onion. Or a blueberry bush. Or a field of carrots. Six years ago, the Legislature passed House Bill 87, an effort aimed at discouraging illegal immigrants in Georgia. It did just that. And Georgia farmers quickly saw their crops rot in the fields. A University of Georgia study identified a shortage of 5,244 farm laborers and $74.9 million in losses from seven crops. If you are in this country without the proper papers, you are likely to be even more skittish than you were in 2011. Something is coming,Read More →

Updated at 3:20 p.m.: Democratic leaders picked a political veteran with ties to the party’s establishment as a new face of the resistance to Donald Trump at a party meeting Saturday in Atlanta, charging former U.S. labor secretary Tom Perez with turning the explosive protests against the president into election gains. Perez becomes the first Latino chairman of the party, just as the new Trump administration begins to implement the Republican president’s promise to build a wall on the nation’s southern border with Mexico, and to step up the deportation the millions of illegal immigrants already here. Perez won on a second ballot with 235Read More →

Donald Trump supporters are staging the first round in a wave of conservative rallies in Atlanta on Monday to push back against the explosive protests and town hall meetings by the president’s critics. Georgia tea party guru Debbie Dooley is helping to organize the “Spirit of America” events across the nation, which she said are open to anyone supporting Trump in his efforts to “bring back manufacturing jobs to America, put the security of our nation ahead of political correctness” and other staples of the president’s campaign rhetoric. The event will be at the Liberty Plaza – across the street from the statehouse – atRead More →

Back in 2009, Mary Norwood and Kasim Reed were locked in a tight runoff to become the next mayor of Atlanta. In the final ballot round, Norwood trailed Reed by a mere 700 votes. One of the reasons: The Georgia Democratic party had weighed in on Reed’s side, spending at least $165,000 attacking Norwood as a closet Republican. The Atlanta city councilwoman is determined that the same label won’t sink her in 2017. While members of the Democratic National Committee, including Mayor Reed, were casting ballots in the tight race for chairman, Norwood dropped in for a little schmoozing. We provide the proof above. InRead More →

Donald Trump hosted 46 of the nation’s governors at the annual Governor’s Ball at the White House on Sunday night. One of the four state leaders missing from the first major social event of the Trump administration: Gov. Nathan Deal. The Georgia Republican, who supported Trump after he locked up the GOP nomination, has largely spurned events in Washington since resigning from Congress in 2010 to run for governor. And the four-day confab organized by the National Governors Association is no different. Deal joined the association after his election but opted out of the group in 2012, citing the annual $300,000 dues. The governor “optedRead More →

The House and Senate are in at 10 a.m., although the bills on the floor are really only the appetizer for work being done in committee later today. The Senate will consider four bills including Senate Bill 121, which would codifies an emergency rule by Gov. Nathan Deal expanding access to an anti-opioid overdose drug called naloxone and let pharmacists dispense the drug over the counter. At 1 p.m. in room 307 CLOB, the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee may — or may not — take up state Sen. Brandon Beach’s “Destination Resort” casino bill (SB 79), depending on whether an arm or twoRead More →