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Politics

Calls Come for Independent Redistricting

The state legislature will wrap up the special redistricting session this week. Watchdog groups say the process has been somewhat more transparent this time. But the groups are still pushing for an independent redistricting commission.

Ga. Senators Hold Joint Town Hall

Georgia's U.S. senators were split on the debt ceiling vote, but they've spent most of this month showing a united front in a series of town halls they held across the state. Sen. Johnny Isakson and Sen. Saxby Chambliss stopped at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton on Monday and spoke to a crowd of at least 100 people about jobs and the economy.

Voting Rights Act Debate Rages On

Gov. Nathan Deal has signed off on state House and Senate redistricting maps. And the congressional maps will likely head his way this week. But debate continues on the maps, and it hinges on interpretations of the federal Voting Rights Act.

Ethics Commission Selects New Leader

The lobbyist for Georgia's public defender system has been named to lead the state's ethics commission. Holly LaBerge, of Senoia, was selected on Friday as executive secretary of the panel that handles campaign finance complaints and oversees lobbyists.

Transportation Vote in Limbo

Gov. Nathan Deal says there’s not enough time during the special session to tackle a regional transportation tax vote. Lawmakers could reconsider the issue in January but that looks unlikely.

House OKs Congressional Maps

The Republican-controlled state House approved new congressional district maps Thursday. Democrats say the maps are part of a systematic plan to isolate minority voters. But Republicans insist they are following federal laws designed to protect minority voters.

Transportation Vote Shift On Hold

Facing tea party opposition, Governor Nathan Deal has abandoned for now plans to shift a public vote on a one penny transportation tax hike until the November 2012 general election. By late Wednesday legislative leaders said they hadn't yet reached a deal.

Draft Congressional Maps Head to House Vote

A key House committee approved draft congressional maps Wednesday. The proposal will keep an air force base near Valdosta in the first congressional district. The draft maps now head to the full House for a vote.

Food Stamp Use Up 42%

Dwindling jobs and the lingering economic slowdown have led to a big jump in the number of Georgians on food stamps. US Agriculture Department officials say, there are now 1.8 million people receiving food stamps in the state, a 42% rise from two years ago. Those numbers leave out people eligible for but not using the benefit.

House Agrees To Ethics Sanctions

The House has voted to punish members who fail to pay ethics fine by banning them from participating on committees. House Majority Leader Larry O'Neal said it is designed to so that lawmakers can "sanction our own folks."

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