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Lawmakers, docs debate oversight for kids’ meds

February 10, 2012 --

Georgia’s foster children are being over-medicated, often to sedate them or control their behavior rather than treat a medical condition, a new study confirms. The question is: What should Georgia do about it? State legislators are considering oversight that would include written standards for dosages and independent reviews of prescriptions twice a year. But some child psychiatrists, worried about second-guessing and potentially lengthy delays in treatment, object to pre-authorization of certain medications and a requirement that children 14 and older give their informed consent.

Ethics panel braces for suit over failing to enforce law

Ethics panel braces for suit over failing to enforce law
May 4, 2011 --

Washington avoided a government shutdown last month, but ethics enforcers in Georgia soon will face the prospect of shutting down their key function — enforcing ethics laws. In fact, members of the State Campaign Finance Commission are already planning their legal defense in case someone sues them for failing to do their job.

Legislative ethics panel: Complainants must have firsthand knowledge

Legislative ethics panel: Complainants must have firsthand knowledge
December 20, 2010 --

The Joint Legislative Ethics Committee has rejected a complaint about a possible conflict between a lawmaker’s public duties and private work. A spokesman said the panel will not consider complaints based solely on news articles, in this case my recent piece on a $40,000 contract between Rep. Earl Ehrhart’s consulting business and an advocacy group seeking public funding for the arts. That standard makes it next to impossible for citizens to get the committee to investigate a lawmaker’s conduct.

Who could say ‘no’ to more jobs for Georgia?

Who could say 'no' to more jobs for Georgia?
October 31, 2010 --

Just as the National Lampoon twisted arms in 1973, state lawmakers are asking voters Tuesday to amend the state Constitution to bring jobs to Georgia. When they ask that way, who could say no? Evidently, lawmakers fretted that Georgians could. The legislative history shows they tweaked and prodded the ballot question for Amendment 1 until limitations on competition, which are generally barred by the Georgia Constitution, now appear to make the state more competitive.

Unopposed legislators collect $530K in 2nd quarter

July 15, 2010 --

More than 90 state lawmakers — and one newcomer — collected $530,000 in campaign contributions this spring even though they will coast to election in November without a fight,an analysis of campaign records shows. More than half of that cash flowed to just 10 of them.

Opinion: Education $$$ cut again again despite record unemployment

Opinion: Education $$$ cut again again despite record unemployment
May 31, 2010 --

Thousands of Georgia teachers and other school workers — nurses, cafeteria supervisors, bus drivers and custodians — are losing their jobs due to another round of budget cuts. Salary cuts and furloughs are the new normal. Communities across Georgia are taking a big hit from the cuts. As one economist put it, “It is folly not to recognize the impact on the broader economic recovery.” Sarah Beth Gehl presents a few solutions to the school budget crisis.

Fulton judge orders state to hire lawyers for indigents

Fulton judge orders state to hire lawyers for indigents
February 23, 2010 --

A judge Tuesday gave Gov. Sonny Perdue 30 days to hire attorneys for convicted felons who have gone as long as three years without them. The state is constitutionally required to provide the lawyers even if the responsible agency, the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council, doesn’t have the cash to do so, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry W. Baxter ruled.

Feb. 20

February 20, 2010 --

Athens Navy school commander ousted over response to party Audit: Security Bank’s failure tied to risky loan unit Advocates: Consumers lack voice at PSC as big utility rate cases loom Macon TV station denies staging story of River Edge medical records An endless free feast fuels state lawmakers

TitleMax gave $192K to pols; no disclosure

TitleMax gave $192K to pols; no disclosure
May 19, 2009 --

By JIM WALLS May 9, 2009 — One of the state’s largest title pawn companies poured $192,000 into Georgia political campaigns, primarily those of state lawmakers, in 2007 and 2008. Nobody really knew that during the 2008 election season, though. Nor was it public knowledge during the 2009 legislative session (which preserved the status quo […]