Ga. political notebook: Ag department could oversee 4-H program

By Todd DeFeo / (c) 2010

ATLANTA – The state’s 4-H program would be administered by the Department of Agriculture, not the Board of Regents under a bill filed by state Rep. Tom Knox, R-Cumming.

“Agriculture is a key part of our state’s economy and the 4-H program gives one of our state’s most precious resources, our children, the opportunity to get involved with this industry at an early age,” Knox said in a statement. “4-H positively impacts our youth all over Georgia and gives them the tools to be successful in life.”

House Resolution 1590 comes after the University of Georgia threatened to lay off 94 County 4-H agents and close all 4-H facilities across the state, including Rock Eagle. The House and Senate must pass the bill with 2/3 majorities before it heads to the voters.

House passes tax collection bill

The state House this week overwhelmingly passed a bill aimed at ensuring state businesses collect and remit sales tax revenues in accordance with the law.

“This legislation puts into place a common sense mechanism that matches state and local tax information to ensure businesses are complying with the law,” Rep. David Knight, R-Griffin, said in a news release about HB 1093. “If everyone paid their fare share, we could all pay less.”

The legislation, which now heads to the senate, allows local governments to send information the city gathers in its business license application to the Department of Revenue, which will cross reference the information with state records to see if a particular business is complying with state and local sales tax requirements, officials say.

Mullis: Blue Alert Passes the Senate

A bill that would establish a state “Blue Alert” system to help capture fugitives who kill or injure law enforcement officials has passed the state Senate.

The State Blue Alert System has four criteria that must be met before it can be activated. Among the requirements, the law enforcement agency investigating the crime must deem the fugitive poses a “serious” threat to the public and law enforcement officials.

Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, introduced SB 397 on behalf of the Georgia Fraternal Order of Police.

“Georgia’s law enforcement personnel are our first line of defense when it comes to public safety,” Mullis said in a news release. “When a peace officer is injured or killed, we must do all we can to apprehend the criminal immediately.”

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