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Senator Burt Jones' update from the Capitol

Senator Burt Jones' update from the Capitol

We have officially passed the halfway mark of the 2014 Legislative Session.  We have only 14 legislative days left, and are well on our way to Crossover Day – the last day a bill can pass to the opposite chamber. Any bill that does not receive a passing vote in its original chamber cannot move on in the legislative process. The calendar has been finalized and Sine Die, meaning the last legislative day, will be Thursday, March 20th.  With Crossover Day set for March 3, the General Assembly remains busy preparing the Fiscal Year 2015 General Budget and passing legislation.

Ficklin wins $525 court costs in election fight

Ficklin wins $525 court costs in election fight

A Superior Court judge denied the request for attorney fees and expenses involved in the lawsuit that challenged the outcome of the District 2 seat on the new Macon Bibb consolidated government.

But in his ruling, Judge Stephen E. Boswell awarded $525 in court costs to losing candidate Henry Ficklin.

Last year, Ficklin and Larry Schlesinger both ran for the District 2 seat on the new Bibb County Commission. Both men are former Macon city council members. Schlesinger won by 26 votes.

Peach County woman to challenge Rep. Bishop

Peach County woman to challenge Rep. Bishop

A Houston County woman plans to run for Sanford Bishop's 2nd Congressional District seat, according to a news release.

Vivian Childs plans to announce her candidacy Monday in Byron, her release says.

She is "one of a very few African-American women in Georgia who has chosen to run as a Republican," according to her campaign.

The district includes most of Bibb county, Peach, Crawford, Dooly, Macon and Taylor counties .

Her news release does not indicate whether Childs has moved into the district. We could not reach her campaign for comment.

She is the daughter of a 28-year Navy veteran and the wife of a retired Air Force colonel, Henry Childs.

According to her personal website,Childs is a minister and runs a business that does publishing, tutoring, mentoring and GED prep.

Governor Deal proposes $42B budget, more education funding

Governor Deal proposes $42B budget, more education funding

A $42.3 billion budget plan from Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal would increase spending on education as the economy slowly recovers from a deep recession.

State lawmakers discuss medical marijuana at start of legislative legislation

Ficklin, Schlesinger face off in District 2 again

Ficklin, Schlesinger face off in District 2 again

For the third time in four months, people in Macon's District 2 will vote on a county commission race.

Today, voters in the district are expected to settle a runoff between Henry Ficklin and Laurence Schlesinger, both former Macon city council members.

Schlesinger topped the voting in a September vote that eliminated a third candidate, Paul Bronson.

Then Schlesinger also apparently won an October runoff against Ficklin by 26 votes.

Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia

Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
ATLANTA (AP) - After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. The laws are among a small number of major bills that become law with the new year. Others include rules requiring all new day care employees to undergo more exhaustive background checks, as well as a requirement that schools provide information about concussion risks to parents. While the ethics laws set the first state limits on how much a lobbyist can spend, there remain considerable loopholes and questions about how it will all be enforced. Under the new laws, lobbyists will not be able to spend more than $75 at a time. Previously, lobbyists could spend as much as they wanted as long as it was noted on disclosure reports filed with the state. (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.