ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia state lawmakers could see their pay cut by 11% under a proposal advancing in the state Senate. Senators voted 43-3 on Tuesday to pass House Bill 1094, sending it back to the House for more debate. The bill would cut lawmakers’ yearly salary of more than $17,000 by 11% in the budget year beginning July 1. Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan’s pay of nearly $92,000 a year would be cut by 14%. Lawmakers say they want to give up part of their pay to show they are sharing in suffering. State agencies, K-12 schools, universities and others are likely to face 10% budget cuts after tax revenue fell during the coronavirus pandemic.
ATLANTA (AP) – Rayshard Brooks has been mourned at the Atlanta church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once preached. The private funeral for the black man who was shot by a white police officer was held Tuesday at Ebenezer Baptist Church. The pastor called Brooks a “high-profile casualty in the struggle for justice.” Brooks and officers struggled outside a restaurant on June 12. An officer shot him in the back after Brooks fired a Taser in his direction while running away. King’s daughter, the Rev. Bernice King, said Brooks death “will not be in vain because justice will roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.”
ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia’s legislature on Tuesday passed hate crimes legislation deemed essential by state leaders, sending the measure to Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk. The price Republicans exacted for moving that legislation forward was simultaneous passage of a bill that would mandate penalties for crimes targeting police and other first responders. The action comes after Senate Republicans had added police as a protected class to the hate crimes legislation last week, but then moved those protections to a separate bill in a deal between the parties. Kemp’s office said in a statement that he’ll sign the hate crimes bill, pending a legal review.
ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia lawmakers are advancing a proposed state constitutional amendment that would let members meet electronically or away from the state Capitol during a pandemic or disaster. The House voted 151-6 on Tuesday for Senate Resolution 19. It goes back to the Senate for more debate. The measure would require voters statewide to decide on the changes in a referendum. The amendment would let the General Assembly choose another place or electronic means of meeting as long as lawmakers and the general public can see and hear any meetings. House Majority Leader Jon Burns tells House members the current COVID-19 pandemic has proved the need for more flexibility.