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Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia

Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
ATLANTA (AP) - After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. The laws are among a small number of major bills that become law with the new year. Others include rules requiring all new day care employees to undergo more exhaustive background checks, as well as a requirement that schools provide information about concussion risks to parents. While the ethics laws set the first state limits on how much a lobbyist can spend, there remain considerable loopholes and questions about how it will all be enforced. Under the new laws, lobbyists will not be able to spend more than $75 at a time. Previously, lobbyists could spend as much as they wanted as long as it was noted on disclosure reports filed with the state. (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Rep Epps, Senator Tolleson to visit with Cochran constituents

Rep Epps, Senator Tolleson to visit with Cochran constituents

Representative Bubber Epps and Senator Ross Tolleson will be at the Cochran-Bleckley Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday to speak with constituents and hear feedback before the 2014 legislative session.

They'll be available on December 18th at 9 a.m. in the Chamber of Commerce's auditorium.

Central Georgia Election Roundup

Central Georgians take to the polls Tuesday in more than 60 races in which mayors and city council members will be elected and Sunday alcohol sales questions will be answered in some areas.

Some voters in the Tuesday elections will also decide special purpose local option sales tax questions.

The following is a list of Central Georgia cities and counties hosting elections.

-Warner Robins

In Brief: How a Shutdown Could Affect You

Even if you're not a federal employee, a partial government shutdown could affect you in many ways.

Here are some examples:

- Head Start grants that expire on Oct. 1 would not be renewed.
- 94 percent of U.S. Department of Education employees would be furloughed.
- School grants and loans, such as Pell grants and direct student loans would "continue as normal," officials say, but payment of money could be delayed.
- Colleges and schools that receive federal funding would also experience delays.

Federal loans
- A government shutdown would freeze all federal loans.
- Businesses and home buyers would not be able to take out loans.

Social Security
- Payments would continue but could be delayed, and the administration would continue taking payment applications.
- Medicare and Medicaid services would continue.

Sen. Ross Tolleson Recognized by American Conservative Union

Sen. Ross Tolleson Recognized by American Conservative Union

The American Conservative Union recognized Sen. Ross Tolleson (R-Perry) for his strong support of bills based on conservative principles during the 2013 legislation session. He was named a recipient of the group's Conservative Award on August 13 at a reception held at the Georgia World Congress Center.

“I’m honored to receive this award from the American Conservative Union, an organization that supports our basic rights as Americans,” said Sen. Tolleson.  “Our country was developed on the ideals of individual liberty and freedom and I remain dedicated to upholding these privileges during my time in the legislature.”

Video: Dodge Co. Airport Authority Meeting Highlights

Video: Dodge Co. Airport Authority Meeting Highlights

The Heart of Georgia Regional Airport Authority held a special called meeting. The meeting was planned and announced last week at the regularly scheduled meeting. Last week's meeting came on the heels of the Development Authority removing Eddie Driggers and Jack Burnham as their delegates to the Airport Authority. Driggers served as the Chairman of the Airport Authority prior to the action.

The meeting was called to order by Vice-Chairman John Clements. Member Terry Niblett led the board in prayer.

The first order of business was to elect a new Chairman to replace Eddie Driggers. Bobby Slye questioned the legality of the removal of Driggers and Burnham. Steve Greer spoke about the necessity to move forward regardless,  since waiting on a ruling of some sort would only put the Authority further behind on handling current business.

Senator Tolleson Earns A+ Rating from Georgia Chamber

Senator Tolleson Earns A+ Rating from Georgia Chamber


State Senator Ross Tolleson (R-Perry) received the highest rating of an A+ given on the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Scorecard.  The Chamber’s legislative scorecard recognizes legislators that were most supportive of the business community during the 2013 Legislative Session.

“The Georgia Chamber is a prestigious organization that works year round for the betterment of business in our state,” said Sen. Tolleson.  “It is an honor to receive this rating and I will continue to support legislation that protects the rights and privileges of Georgia workers and businesses.”