Here’s a look at what’s trending today in Georgia politics.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue last week defended his decision to delay implementing nutritional requirements on public school lunches put into place by President Barack Obama’s administration. The former Georgia governor announced in May he would give schools more time to lower the amount of sodium in foods and to increase whole-grain food servings in lunch offerings. In addition to the delay in cutting salt and adding whole-grains, Perdue’s decision would allowed flavored milk with 1 percent fat back onto the menu. When asked why he supported delaying the changes, Perdue said it was because “Hungry children cannot learn. … Food that’s thrown in the trash cannot nourish any child, and frankly that trash can doesn’t need any nourishment.”
2. A renewed Johnny Isakson on health care’s ‘individual mandate’
According to Sen. Johnny Isakson, (R-Georgia), getting rid of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, “ain’t going to happen.” As senators return from the July 4 recess to work on a bill to repeal and replace the ACA – or Obamacare – Isakson said what needs to be done is to get rid of the current individual mandate and define a new one because, “We’ve got to make sure we have everybody in the system and paying. That’s the biggest hitch. We would have had a deal two weeks ago if [Senate leadership], the insurance industry and the administration could figure out that one problem.” The individual mandate in the ACA requires most Americans to obtain and maintain health insurance or pay a tax penalty. Some people qualify for an exemption from this mandate.
According to a recent Sentencing Project report, more than 2,300 juveniles are serving life without parole sentences, and another 7,300 have “virtual” life sentences – or sentences that are not life sentences, but ones that would run longer than a typical human lifespan. Four states – California, Texas, New York and Georgia – account for 63 percent of juveniles sentenced to life without parole or “virtual” life sentences.
4. Georgia Hispanic voter turnout growing
More than 50 percent of Georgia’s registered Hispanic voters took part in last November’s election, according to a report from the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials. Of that number, 73 percent of register Hispanic women voted. Almost 48 percent of registered Hispanic voters turned out nationally in the 2016 election. President Donald Trump received around 29 percent of the Hispanic vote nationwide. There are 291,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Georgia, according to the Pew Center — the 14th largest Hispanic statewide eligible voter population nationally.
5. Georgia’s GOP congressmen vote in lockstep with Trump
Trump has the support of Georgia’s Republican congressmen. The state's 10 Republican representatives and two Republican senators voted in line with the president’s position 98.8 percent of the time according to FiveThirtyEight.com. Those results are compiled from votes on more than three dozen bills in the past six months.
6. A Tale Of Two Staceys: Georgia Governor’s Race Highlights Democratic Party Divisions
The Huffington Post has profiled two candidates in Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial election. The race between Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evens, both Democrats, may be the next Georgia political story to garner national attention. If Abrams, above, who is the Georgia House Minority Leader, were to win, she would be the country’s first African-American governor. Evans,pictured below, is a lawyer in Smyrna.