Around Georgia: Bibb to test metal detectors for school security

Superintendent: Tryout is to determine ‘if that is the direction we can and should go in’

Grappling with how to make their schools safer, the Bibb County school system is launching a pilot program to check out the benefits of metal detectors. The pilot will be conducted at Westside High School, Superintendent Curtis Jones announced this week.”The pilot is intended to help us truly learn what the advantages and disadvantages are, and if that is a direction we can and should go in,” Jones said in a statement to The Telegraph/macon.com.

Democrat running for state House from Forsyth County supports Medicaid expansion

Anita Tucker, a former Forsyth County school board member and Democratic candidate for the state House, told The Forsyth County News she advocates expansion of Medicaid in Georgia. “I think it is a horrible way for legislators to treat their constituents, the people that elected them,” Tucker said of the GOP majority’s stance against Medicaid expansion. “They’re not expanding Medicaid so people can get the help they need.” She also differs with the GOP majority on other issues, such as firearms laws, she told the newspaper. “We’re trying to make it easier instead of harder, and I think that is the wrong direction for Georgia,” Tucker said. She’s the sole Democrat running in state House District 25. She’ll face the winner of the Republican primary between one-term incumbent Todd Jones and challenger Steven Grambergs in November.

Legislation would expand the size of the Rockdale County Commission

A bill moving through the Georgia General Assembly would allow Rockdale County voters to decide in November whether to increase the County Commission’s size from three to five members. Senate Bill 264, approved by the state Senate on March 9, also would require that four of the commissioners run by district. Currently, the county is run by two county commissioners and a chairman, all of whom run countywide, The Rockdale-Newton Citizen reports. Under the proposed legislation, only the chairman would run countywide. Another change would make County Commission elections nonpartisan, meaning candidates would not have to declare a political party affiliation. The 2018 legislative session is scheduled to end March 29, and the bill would have to pass the state House by that date for a referendum to be held this year. SB 264 was introduced in 2017 by former state Sen. Rick Jeffares, R-McDonough, now a candidate for lieutenant governor.

Paper commends giving voters right to decide Sunday booze issue

An editorial in The Valdosta Times applauds state lawmakers’ decision to allow communities to decide whether to bring out the booze an hour and a half earlier on Sundays. The measure, dubbed the “Brunch Bill,” has cleared the General Assembly and gone to the desk of the governor. It would allow restaurants to start popping the cork on Sundays at 11 a.m., instead of 12:30 p.m. as current law requires, provided local voters approve. Proponents of the measure say allowing the sale of a drink earlier in the day could boost sales by $100 million annually, sending about $11 million in new tax revenue to the state and local governments. Opponents say the measure further erodes the short window of time in Georgia when people cannot buy a drink. The editorial states: “Our support for the measure to allow referendums is not an endorsement of allowing establishments to sell diners a drink on Sunday mornings. Rather, we believe communities should have the right to decide what they want to be.”

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