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Technical schools may be forced to make layoffs
A drop in funding may lead to the state’s 34 technical schools laying off faculty members and shutting down programs. Funding for the schools is based on enrollment, which has dropped at some of the schools for the past two years following a decade of steady growth.
Sen. John Wiles, R-Kennesaw, said he doesn’t want to see cutbacks because the technical school system plays a critical role in training people in the state for jobs.
“I am going to be looking for more money for them,” said Wiles, head of the higher education subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Source: Macon Telegraph

A different approach
When tough immigration laws made a grand entrance through the Capitol’s front door in Atlanta last year, plenty of protesters were on the building’s steps to meet them.
This year isn’t so showy. Lawmakers are thinking smaller and making progress by moving legislation through that takes peripheral but well placed aim at immigration-related issues. That has the bills’ opponents rolling their eyes again, evidently still oblivious to the “illegal” part of illegal immigration. Jerry Gonzales, of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, calls this year’s round of measures “sneakier.”
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Legislature looks at plan to create townships
Georgia doesn’t actually have towns — it has cities and counties as the only recognized forms of government.
A new bill would create townships, a smaller form of local government with less authority than cities. Following the lead of newly formed cities like Sandy Springs and Milton in north Fulton County, communities from Big Canoe in the north Georgia mountains to Sea Island on the coast now are considering incorporating.
Sixty-three percent of the state’s citizens live in unincorporated areas outside of cities, according to the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at UGA.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Proposed legislation gives companies dibs on UGA-research
Rep. Mike Cheokas has introduced legislation that would require UGA officials to give Georgia companies the first right of refusal to market products developed by state-funded university researchers.
“If state funds are being used for state research, any products or services they develop and wish to market, we want them to look at Georgia companies first,” said Rep. Cheokas. “Our purpose is to put Georgians to work.”
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Sunday alcohol sales should be left to voters
At last count, there were four — that’s right, four — separate bills in the state legislature addressing the issue of establishing a constitutional amendment that would allow voters across the state to decide whether they want to allow Sunday store sales of alcohol in their communities.
The latest, House Bill 468, sponsored by Rep. Roger Williams, R-Dalton, was introduced in the House late last week. The bill would allow communities to decide whether to allow the sale of beer, wine and liquor in stores between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays. The House bill differs from bills that have stalled in the state Senate in that it would limit Sunday sales to the hours between times of Sunday worship for many Christian congregations.”
Source: Athens Banner Herald
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