Sunday, February 6, 2011

More Mental Health Notes

The Telegraph has this AJC story about the new money in the DBHDD budget to help fund the transition to care in the community setting.

Over in Rome, The News-Tribune has this story about a petition to delay the closing of Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital that is circulating around the community. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't remember any effort like this when they shuttered Central State Hospital.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Regional Planning Commissions Preparing for Budget Cuts

The Calhoun Times has an interesting story quoting the executive director of the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission on the budget cuts about to befall Georgia's extra-governmental regional economic development agencies.
There are 12 state regional commissions that assist local governments by providing knowledge and expertise on any number of local issues from planning, economic development, transportation, information technology and human services. Locally, the Middle Georgia Regional Commission has provided empirical data on Milledgeville's perceived parking problem, assisted in the creation of the community's Opportunity Zone Tax Credits and provides ongoing assistance to local officials working to bring new jobs to Baldwin County.
As Georgia continues to tighten its belt to make weather the continuing economic decline, it should take care not to cut off circulation to the legs that will be vital to getting the state back on its feet when recovery begins.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ballot Reform? Already?

I heard about this on GPB this morning, but had to go to the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia to link to the AJC to get the full story.
It appears that some legislators, seemingly from smaller and more populous areas, agree that seven weeks of early voting might be a little excessive and may pose problems in smaller counties teetering over an abyss of red ink.
From the AJC:
“There was a concern with the seven weeks of early voting that the cost to hold the voting for that period was excessive for some counties, particularly the smaller counties," said Rep. Mark Hamilton, R-Cumming, chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee, where the bill will be assigned. “And sometimes candidates listed at the beginning of the seven weeks dropped out of the race later on, so people felt like they had wasted their vote.”

But some elections officials and advocates, including the League of Women Voters of Georgia, are concerned that the shortened time period would decrease access to the polls for voters unable to cast ballots during the proposed three weeks.

“It is more important that Georgians have more access to the polls and more opportunities to participate in their government rather than less,” said Tracey-Ann Nelson, executive director for the state LWV branch.

In a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Secretary of State Brian Kemp said he will review the legislation and work to protect the interests of voters in a cost-effective manner.
Read HB 92 for yourself here.