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Politics

Racially Divided Council Nominates Manager

Savannah is expected to get its first African-American city manager after a bitter, months-long fight. The search for a new city manager intensified racial divisions as white and black council members exchanged bitter accusations that spun out into the community. One black council member said that a racially-divided vote would be "the nuclear option."

HOPE Bill Moving Under Gold Dome

A sweeping overhaul of the state's lottery-funded HOPE scholarship has rapidly cleared two hurdles in the Georgia Legislature. The House Appropriations Committee approved the bill 60-2 Thursday morning soon after the higher education subcomittee signed off on it.

Locals Push For 911 Fees

Cities and counties are losing millions in fees intended to boost 911 call centers. Now, there's a legislative push to get that money back into local coffers. At issue are fees from sales of prepaid cell phones and packages of minutes bought to restock those phones. The extra $1.50 charge is supposed to go to technology upgrades for emergency call centers. But in recent years, money from those fees has gone into the state’s general fund during tough budget times.

Lawmaker: Bill Not About Harbor Deepening

A bill in the state Senate would make it easier for private companies to invest money in river infrastructure. State Sen. Ross Tolleson (R-Perry) is sponsoring the measure because he says local officials need flexibility in getting financing for reservoirs. He says the bill is aimed at new water infrastructure and not the Savannah harbor deepening project, for which state officials are urgently seeking funds.

Gov. Deal Announces HOPE Fix

Governor Nathan Deal wants top-performing Georgia high school students to receive free tuition at public colleges. Deal on Tuesday outlined sweeping changes he is proposing to the state's lottery-funded HOPE scholarship, which is struggling financially.

EPD Okays Harbor Deepening, With Caveats

Georgia environmental regulators are making their approval of the Savannah harbor deepening project contingent on 15 conditions. The massive port expansion has angered environmental groups who worry about the project's long-term effects on the coastal estuary. The conditions were aimed at addressing the concerns.

Bill Pushes to Stop GA 400 Toll

State Senator Jon Albers of Roswell wants to stop the toll at Georgia 400.

Talks Loom For Local Option Sales Taxes

When the Census numbers come out in April, Georgia cities won't just have federal and state tax dollars at stake. Some cities are concerned they might lose local dollars as well. That's because cities will have to renegotiate with counties for local option sales tax funds. And since those funds are generally split based on population, declining cities could lose yet another funding source.

Sherrod To Accept Courage Award

A state senator is honoring Shirley Sherrod, the former Agriculture Department official who was forced to resign her position after being falsely accused of making racist comments.

Bill Would Allow Public-Private Reservoirs

Gov. Nathan Deal's administration or local governments could contract with private partners to build reservoirs and other water projects in Georgia under legislation

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