Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Chief Justice of Georgia Supreme Court

Atlanta, September 4, 2018 – Harold D. Melton was sworn in Tuesday morning, Sept. 4, as the 32nd Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia. His wife, Kim, was at his side as he took the oath from former Chief Justice P. Harris Hines in the House Chamber of the State Capitol.

Harold D. Melton New Chief Justice Georgia

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue introduced Chief Justice Melton prior to the swearing-in. Also sworn in Tuesday was David E. Nahmias as the new Presiding Justice, who stands in for the Chief Justice when necessary. As governor, Secretary Perdue appointed both justices to the state’s highest court.

A number of dignitaries attended Tuesday’s investiture, including seven of the nine living Chief Justices and four current or former Attorneys General.

SAFE Commission to Meet in Columbia County on August 30

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp and State Representative Barry Fleming will co-chair the Secure, Accessible, & Fair Elections (SAFE) Commission’s second meeting on August 30, 2018 at the Columbia County Exhibition Center in Grovetown. Yesterday, the state published a Request for Information for vendors on options to replace Georgia’s current voting machines, electronic poll book system, election management software, precinct scanners and tabulators, and election night reporting website.

At this meeting, commission members will review vendor responses to the state’s Request for Information (RFI) issued on August 8. Responses are due by August 24. Commission members will engage in panel discussions and host vendor demonstrations. There will be a public comment portion at the end of the day. A court reporter will transcribe the proceedings.

WHO: Co-chairs Brian Kemp and Barry Fleming; members of the SAFE Commission; support staff; and interested citizens
WHAT: SAFE Commission’s second meeting
WHEN: Thursday, August 30, 2018 from 9 AM to 5 PM
WHERE: Columbia County Exhibition Center, 212 Partnership Drive
Grovetown, GA 30813

Parking is available on a first come, first served basis next to the facility. All members of the public are invited to attend.

Brian Kemp has been Secretary of State since January 2010. Among the office’s wide-ranging responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting secure, accessible, and fair elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities, charities, and professional license holders. For more information about the office, go to www.sos.ga.gov

Rep. Graves Supports Funding for President Trump’s Border Wall

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) today voted for and the House Appropriations Committee passed the fiscal year 2019 Homeland Security Appropriations bill, annual legislation that funds the Department of Homeland Security.

“Building off the $1.6 billion down-payment we made last year, this bill includes another $5 billion to continue construction of the border wall, which is a key part of President Trump’s plan to secure the border,” said Rep. Graves. “It also increases funding for ICE – which liberal Democrats want to abolish – and makes important investments in cybersecurity. This bill will help keep the homeland safe and secure.”

The bill provides a total of $58.1 billion for the Department of Homeland Security. Below is a list of the bill’s highlights:

Border Security and Enforcement

  • Provides $5 billion for construction of more than 200 miles of new barriers to fill gaps in the southern border.
  • Strengthens Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by providing an additional $327.6 million to combat illegal immigration, human trafficking, child exploitation and drug smuggling.
    • Funds will help hire more than 400 additional ICE officers and staff.
  • Includes $17.8 billion in funding for Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an increase of $3.8 billion.
    • Supports an additional 375 new CBP officers.
  • Provides $132 million for the E-Verify Program to verify the identities of job applicants.

Counterdrug and Opioid Prevention

  • Contains $125.9 million to support the fight against the opioid epidemic and stop the flow of illegal drugs.
    • Includes funding specifically for opioid detection at international mail and express consignment facilities.
  • Provides $223 million to improve drug interdiction capabilities for CBP, including initiating efforts towards achieving 100 percent scanning of all vehicles, cargo and pedestrians coming through land ports of entry by 2025.

Coast Guard

  • Provides $9.3 billion for the U.S. Coast Guard, including operations from Brunswick and Tybee Island Stations as well as Air Station Savannah in Georgia.
  • Includes procurement funding for a HC-130J long range surveillance aircraft, which is manufactured in Marietta.
  • Includes a 2.6 percent pay raise for Coast Guard servicemembers.
  • Provides $1.4 billion for the replacement of aging vessels, aircraft and facilities.

Aviation Security

  • Includes $7.3 billion for TSA, which fully funds aviation security operations.
  • Does NOT include an increase in TSA passenger fees.

U.S. Secret Service

  • Contains $2.2 billion for the U.S. Secret Service, which is an increase of $160.7 million.
  • Supports the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and increases funding for cybercrime investigations.

Cybersecurity

  • Addresses cyber threats, including to our election infrastructure, by including $1.9 billion for the National Protection and Program Directorate.
  • Provides $1.2 billion to secure, monitor and detect cyberattacks against the federal government and the nation’s critical infrastructure.

Disaster Recovery 

  • Contains $7.2 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) to pay for ongoing, long-term recovery operations for past disasters and to fund projects needed for future disasters; this will help with disasters like Hurricane Irma, which impacted a number of states in 2017, including Georgia.
  • Supports FEMA’s disaster response and recovery efforts by providing $3.4 billion.
  • Includes $700 million for firefighter assistance grants.