Mark Niesse

Georgia government reporter

Mark Niesse covers Georgia government. He previously covered DeKalb government and Atlanta schools. Before coming to the AJC, he worked for The Associated Press and The Daily Report.

Latest from Mark Niesse

Georgia Senate approves adoption bill despite governor’s concerns
 The Georgia Senate passed a bill Thursday designed to unite more children with adopted families, moving forward despite Gov. Nathan Deal’s objections to legislative add-ons. Senators voted 40-13 for the adoption legislation, House Bill 159, which would make it easier and faster to adopt children and place more of the state&rsquo...

Posted: 2 hours ago

The Georgia Senate passed a bill Thursday designed to unite more children with adopted families, moving forward despite Gov. Nathan Deal’s objections to legislative add-ons. Senators voted 40-13 for the adoption legislation, House Bill 159, which would make it easier and faster to adopt children and place more of the state&rsquo...
Georgians have to wait for income tax refunds
 Georgia income tax refunds might not be issued until more than 90 days after returns are filed this year as the state guards against the threat of tax fraud. The Georgia Department of Revenue blocked more than $212 million in fraudulently filed refund requests last year. Meanwhile, the IRS is warning of an ongoing email scam in which people...

Posted: 10 hours ago

Georgia income tax refunds might not be issued until more than 90 days after returns are filed this year as the state guards against the threat of tax fraud. The Georgia Department of Revenue blocked more than $212 million in fraudulently filed refund requests last year. Meanwhile, the IRS is warning of an ongoing email scam in which people...
AJC poll: Georgians back medical marijuana expansion
 More Georgia voters than ever support changing state law to allow harvesting and distribution of medical marijuana, according to a poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Over three-quarters of those surveyed said Georgia’s medical marijuana program should be expanded, an increase from previous years. This year’s AJC...

Posted: a day ago

More Georgia voters than ever support changing state law to allow harvesting and distribution of medical marijuana, according to a poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Over three-quarters of those surveyed said Georgia’s medical marijuana program should be expanded, an increase from previous years. This year’s AJC...
Religious groups renew effort for greater protections in Georgia
 Pastors and faith-based groups are pushing for a “religious liberty” bill to be approved this year, arguing it wouldn’t result in discrimination or hurt the economy of Georgia, which is bidding to become Amazon’s second headquarters. They said during a press conference in the state Capitol on Tuesday that...

Posted: 2 days ago

Pastors and faith-based groups are pushing for a “religious liberty” bill to be approved this year, arguing it wouldn’t result in discrimination or hurt the economy of Georgia, which is bidding to become Amazon’s second headquarters. They said during a press conference in the state Capitol on Tuesday that...
Elderly kept in ‘dungeons’ in alleged Georgia Medicaid fraud scheme
 Three people have been arrested on allegations that they confined 14 elderly or disabled adults in middle Georgia residences, denying them food and stealing their government benefit payments, law enforcement officials said Tuesday. Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said the defendants participated in “an organized web...

Posted: 2 days ago

Three people have been arrested on allegations that they confined 14 elderly or disabled adults in middle Georgia residences, denying them food and stealing their government benefit payments, law enforcement officials said Tuesday. Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said the defendants participated in “an organized web...
4 candidates join race for south Georgia House seat
 Three Republicans and a Democrat are running in a Feb. 13 special election for a state House seat representing a district on the Georgia-Florida border. The candidates are competing to replace former Rep. Amy Carter, R-Valdosta, who resigned from House District 175 in November to take a position with the Technical College...

Posted: 2 days ago

Three Republicans and a Democrat are running in a Feb. 13 special election for a state House seat representing a district on the Georgia-Florida border. The candidates are competing to replace former Rep. Amy Carter, R-Valdosta, who resigned from House District 175 in November to take a position with the Technical College...
AJC poll: Georgians support enticing Amazon to the state
 Georgians strongly support giving incentives worth more than $1 billion to Amazon if the company brings tens of thousands of jobs to the state, according to a new poll conducted for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The public’s support bolsters the state’s bid to land Amazon’s second headquarters, which could employ 50...

Posted: 5 days ago

Georgians strongly support giving incentives worth more than $1 billion to Amazon if the company brings tens of thousands of jobs to the state, according to a new poll conducted for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The public’s support bolsters the state’s bid to land Amazon’s second headquarters, which could employ 50...
Georgia Legislature settles disagreement over short-term schedule
 The state Senate resolved an impasse Thursday over when the Georgia General Assembly will hold legislative sessions, agreeing on a short-term schedule after meeting four days this week. The General Assembly set a calendar for the first 11 business days of its 40-day legislative session, avoiding the possibility of a legislative session on...

Posted: 7 days ago

The state Senate resolved an impasse Thursday over when the Georgia General Assembly will hold legislative sessions, agreeing on a short-term schedule after meeting four days this week. The General Assembly set a calendar for the first 11 business days of its 40-day legislative session, avoiding the possibility of a legislative session on...
Georgia Legislature Today: State of the State 2018
 The Georgia General Assembly at a glance for Thursday, Day 4 of the 2018 legislative session: Last address: Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal delivers his final State of the State address in the chamber of the state House of Representatives at 11 a.m. on Thursday. Budget: The governor will propose the state’s $26 billion budget, which...

Posted: 8 days ago

The Georgia General Assembly at a glance for Thursday, Day 4 of the 2018 legislative session: Last address: Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal delivers his final State of the State address in the chamber of the state House of Representatives at 11 a.m. on Thursday. Budget: The governor will propose the state’s $26 billion budget, which...
Religious language dropped from Georgia adoption bill
 A bill to make adoptions in Georgia faster and easier passed a state Senate committee Wednesday, without controversial “religious liberty” provisions that stalled the legislation last year. But senators changed the adoption legislation, House Bill 159, in other ways that could hurt its chances of becoming law. The amended version...

Posted: 8 days ago

A bill to make adoptions in Georgia faster and easier passed a state Senate committee Wednesday, without controversial “religious liberty” provisions that stalled the legislation last year. But senators changed the adoption legislation, House Bill 159, in other ways that could hurt its chances of becoming law. The amended version...
Republicans retain 2 seats in Georgia Legislature in special elections
 Republicans Brian Strickland and Geoffrey Cauble won special elections Tuesday to represent Henry County in the Georgia Senate and House. They defeated three candidates each, winning a majority of the vote and avoiding a runoff, according to unofficial election results. Strickland, an attorney who resigned from his House seat to run for the...

Posted: 8 days ago

Republicans Brian Strickland and Geoffrey Cauble won special elections Tuesday to represent Henry County in the Georgia Senate and House. They defeated three candidates each, winning a majority of the vote and avoiding a runoff, according to unofficial election results. Strickland, an attorney who resigned from his House seat to run for the...





Mark Niesse

Georgia government reporter

Mark Niesse covers Georgia government. He previously covered DeKalb government and Atlanta schools. Before coming to the AJC, he worked for The Associated Press and The Daily Report.

Latest from Mark Niesse

Georgia Senate approves adoption bill despite governor’s concerns
 The Georgia Senate passed a bill Thursday designed to unite more children with adopted families, moving forward despite Gov. Nathan Deal’s objections to legislative add-ons. Senators voted 40-13 for the adoption legislation, House Bill 159, which would make it easier and faster to adopt children and place more of the state&rsquo...

Posted: 2 hours ago

The Georgia Senate passed a bill Thursday designed to unite more children with adopted families, moving forward despite Gov. Nathan Deal’s objections to legislative add-ons. Senators voted 40-13 for the adoption legislation, House Bill 159, which would make it easier and faster to adopt children and place more of the state&rsquo...
Georgians have to wait for income tax refunds
 Georgia income tax refunds might not be issued until more than 90 days after returns are filed this year as the state guards against the threat of tax fraud. The Georgia Department of Revenue blocked more than $212 million in fraudulently filed refund requests last year. Meanwhile, the IRS is warning of an ongoing email scam in which people...

Posted: 10 hours ago

Georgia income tax refunds might not be issued until more than 90 days after returns are filed this year as the state guards against the threat of tax fraud. The Georgia Department of Revenue blocked more than $212 million in fraudulently filed refund requests last year. Meanwhile, the IRS is warning of an ongoing email scam in which people...
AJC poll: Georgians back medical marijuana expansion
 More Georgia voters than ever support changing state law to allow harvesting and distribution of medical marijuana, according to a poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Over three-quarters of those surveyed said Georgia’s medical marijuana program should be expanded, an increase from previous years. This year’s AJC...

Posted: a day ago

More Georgia voters than ever support changing state law to allow harvesting and distribution of medical marijuana, according to a poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Over three-quarters of those surveyed said Georgia’s medical marijuana program should be expanded, an increase from previous years. This year’s AJC...
Religious groups renew effort for greater protections in Georgia
 Pastors and faith-based groups are pushing for a “religious liberty” bill to be approved this year, arguing it wouldn’t result in discrimination or hurt the economy of Georgia, which is bidding to become Amazon’s second headquarters. They said during a press conference in the state Capitol on Tuesday that...

Posted: 2 days ago

Pastors and faith-based groups are pushing for a “religious liberty” bill to be approved this year, arguing it wouldn’t result in discrimination or hurt the economy of Georgia, which is bidding to become Amazon’s second headquarters. They said during a press conference in the state Capitol on Tuesday that...
Elderly kept in ‘dungeons’ in alleged Georgia Medicaid fraud scheme
 Three people have been arrested on allegations that they confined 14 elderly or disabled adults in middle Georgia residences, denying them food and stealing their government benefit payments, law enforcement officials said Tuesday. Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said the defendants participated in “an organized web...

Posted: 2 days ago

Three people have been arrested on allegations that they confined 14 elderly or disabled adults in middle Georgia residences, denying them food and stealing their government benefit payments, law enforcement officials said Tuesday. Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said the defendants participated in “an organized web...
4 candidates join race for south Georgia House seat
 Three Republicans and a Democrat are running in a Feb. 13 special election for a state House seat representing a district on the Georgia-Florida border. The candidates are competing to replace former Rep. Amy Carter, R-Valdosta, who resigned from House District 175 in November to take a position with the Technical College...

Posted: 2 days ago

Three Republicans and a Democrat are running in a Feb. 13 special election for a state House seat representing a district on the Georgia-Florida border. The candidates are competing to replace former Rep. Amy Carter, R-Valdosta, who resigned from House District 175 in November to take a position with the Technical College...
AJC poll: Georgians support enticing Amazon to the state
 Georgians strongly support giving incentives worth more than $1 billion to Amazon if the company brings tens of thousands of jobs to the state, according to a new poll conducted for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The public’s support bolsters the state’s bid to land Amazon’s second headquarters, which could employ 50...

Posted: 5 days ago

Georgians strongly support giving incentives worth more than $1 billion to Amazon if the company brings tens of thousands of jobs to the state, according to a new poll conducted for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The public’s support bolsters the state’s bid to land Amazon’s second headquarters, which could employ 50...
Georgia Legislature settles disagreement over short-term schedule
 The state Senate resolved an impasse Thursday over when the Georgia General Assembly will hold legislative sessions, agreeing on a short-term schedule after meeting four days this week. The General Assembly set a calendar for the first 11 business days of its 40-day legislative session, avoiding the possibility of a legislative session on...

Posted: 7 days ago

The state Senate resolved an impasse Thursday over when the Georgia General Assembly will hold legislative sessions, agreeing on a short-term schedule after meeting four days this week. The General Assembly set a calendar for the first 11 business days of its 40-day legislative session, avoiding the possibility of a legislative session on...
Georgia Legislature Today: State of the State 2018
 The Georgia General Assembly at a glance for Thursday, Day 4 of the 2018 legislative session: Last address: Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal delivers his final State of the State address in the chamber of the state House of Representatives at 11 a.m. on Thursday. Budget: The governor will propose the state’s $26 billion budget, which...

Posted: 8 days ago

The Georgia General Assembly at a glance for Thursday, Day 4 of the 2018 legislative session: Last address: Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal delivers his final State of the State address in the chamber of the state House of Representatives at 11 a.m. on Thursday. Budget: The governor will propose the state’s $26 billion budget, which...
Religious language dropped from Georgia adoption bill
 A bill to make adoptions in Georgia faster and easier passed a state Senate committee Wednesday, without controversial “religious liberty” provisions that stalled the legislation last year. But senators changed the adoption legislation, House Bill 159, in other ways that could hurt its chances of becoming law. The amended version...

Posted: 8 days ago

A bill to make adoptions in Georgia faster and easier passed a state Senate committee Wednesday, without controversial “religious liberty” provisions that stalled the legislation last year. But senators changed the adoption legislation, House Bill 159, in other ways that could hurt its chances of becoming law. The amended version...
Republicans retain 2 seats in Georgia Legislature in special elections
 Republicans Brian Strickland and Geoffrey Cauble won special elections Tuesday to represent Henry County in the Georgia Senate and House. They defeated three candidates each, winning a majority of the vote and avoiding a runoff, according to unofficial election results. Strickland, an attorney who resigned from his House seat to run for the...

Posted: 8 days ago

Republicans Brian Strickland and Geoffrey Cauble won special elections Tuesday to represent Henry County in the Georgia Senate and House. They defeated three candidates each, winning a majority of the vote and avoiding a runoff, according to unofficial election results. Strickland, an attorney who resigned from his House seat to run for the...





Mark Niesse

Georgia government reporter

Mark Niesse covers Georgia government. He previously covered DeKalb government and Atlanta schools. Before coming to the AJC, he worked for The Associated Press and The Daily Report.

Latest from Mark Niesse

Georgia Senate approves adoption bill despite governor’s concerns
 The Georgia Senate passed a bill Thursday designed to unite more children with adopted families, moving forward despite Gov. Nathan Deal’s objections to legislative add-ons. Senators voted 40-13 for the adoption legislation, House Bill 159, which would make it easier and faster to adopt children and place more of the state&rsquo...

Posted: 2 hours ago

The Georgia Senate passed a bill Thursday designed to unite more children with adopted families, moving forward despite Gov. Nathan Deal’s objections to legislative add-ons. Senators voted 40-13 for the adoption legislation, House Bill 159, which would make it easier and faster to adopt children and place more of the state&rsquo...
Georgians have to wait for income tax refunds
 Georgia income tax refunds might not be issued until more than 90 days after returns are filed this year as the state guards against the threat of tax fraud. The Georgia Department of Revenue blocked more than $212 million in fraudulently filed refund requests last year. Meanwhile, the IRS is warning of an ongoing email scam in which people...

Posted: 10 hours ago

Georgia income tax refunds might not be issued until more than 90 days after returns are filed this year as the state guards against the threat of tax fraud. The Georgia Department of Revenue blocked more than $212 million in fraudulently filed refund requests last year. Meanwhile, the IRS is warning of an ongoing email scam in which people...
AJC poll: Georgians back medical marijuana expansion
 More Georgia voters than ever support changing state law to allow harvesting and distribution of medical marijuana, according to a poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Over three-quarters of those surveyed said Georgia’s medical marijuana program should be expanded, an increase from previous years. This year’s AJC...

Posted: a day ago

More Georgia voters than ever support changing state law to allow harvesting and distribution of medical marijuana, according to a poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Over three-quarters of those surveyed said Georgia’s medical marijuana program should be expanded, an increase from previous years. This year’s AJC...
Religious groups renew effort for greater protections in Georgia
 Pastors and faith-based groups are pushing for a “religious liberty” bill to be approved this year, arguing it wouldn’t result in discrimination or hurt the economy of Georgia, which is bidding to become Amazon’s second headquarters. They said during a press conference in the state Capitol on Tuesday that...

Posted: 2 days ago

Pastors and faith-based groups are pushing for a “religious liberty” bill to be approved this year, arguing it wouldn’t result in discrimination or hurt the economy of Georgia, which is bidding to become Amazon’s second headquarters. They said during a press conference in the state Capitol on Tuesday that...
Elderly kept in ‘dungeons’ in alleged Georgia Medicaid fraud scheme
 Three people have been arrested on allegations that they confined 14 elderly or disabled adults in middle Georgia residences, denying them food and stealing their government benefit payments, law enforcement officials said Tuesday. Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said the defendants participated in “an organized web...

Posted: 2 days ago

Three people have been arrested on allegations that they confined 14 elderly or disabled adults in middle Georgia residences, denying them food and stealing their government benefit payments, law enforcement officials said Tuesday. Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said the defendants participated in “an organized web...
4 candidates join race for south Georgia House seat
 Three Republicans and a Democrat are running in a Feb. 13 special election for a state House seat representing a district on the Georgia-Florida border. The candidates are competing to replace former Rep. Amy Carter, R-Valdosta, who resigned from House District 175 in November to take a position with the Technical College...

Posted: 2 days ago

Three Republicans and a Democrat are running in a Feb. 13 special election for a state House seat representing a district on the Georgia-Florida border. The candidates are competing to replace former Rep. Amy Carter, R-Valdosta, who resigned from House District 175 in November to take a position with the Technical College...
AJC poll: Georgians support enticing Amazon to the state
 Georgians strongly support giving incentives worth more than $1 billion to Amazon if the company brings tens of thousands of jobs to the state, according to a new poll conducted for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The public’s support bolsters the state’s bid to land Amazon’s second headquarters, which could employ 50...

Posted: 5 days ago

Georgians strongly support giving incentives worth more than $1 billion to Amazon if the company brings tens of thousands of jobs to the state, according to a new poll conducted for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The public’s support bolsters the state’s bid to land Amazon’s second headquarters, which could employ 50...
Georgia Legislature settles disagreement over short-term schedule
 The state Senate resolved an impasse Thursday over when the Georgia General Assembly will hold legislative sessions, agreeing on a short-term schedule after meeting four days this week. The General Assembly set a calendar for the first 11 business days of its 40-day legislative session, avoiding the possibility of a legislative session on...

Posted: 7 days ago

The state Senate resolved an impasse Thursday over when the Georgia General Assembly will hold legislative sessions, agreeing on a short-term schedule after meeting four days this week. The General Assembly set a calendar for the first 11 business days of its 40-day legislative session, avoiding the possibility of a legislative session on...
Georgia Legislature Today: State of the State 2018
 The Georgia General Assembly at a glance for Thursday, Day 4 of the 2018 legislative session: Last address: Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal delivers his final State of the State address in the chamber of the state House of Representatives at 11 a.m. on Thursday. Budget: The governor will propose the state’s $26 billion budget, which...

Posted: 8 days ago

The Georgia General Assembly at a glance for Thursday, Day 4 of the 2018 legislative session: Last address: Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal delivers his final State of the State address in the chamber of the state House of Representatives at 11 a.m. on Thursday. Budget: The governor will propose the state’s $26 billion budget, which...
Religious language dropped from Georgia adoption bill
 A bill to make adoptions in Georgia faster and easier passed a state Senate committee Wednesday, without controversial “religious liberty” provisions that stalled the legislation last year. But senators changed the adoption legislation, House Bill 159, in other ways that could hurt its chances of becoming law. The amended version...

Posted: 8 days ago

A bill to make adoptions in Georgia faster and easier passed a state Senate committee Wednesday, without controversial “religious liberty” provisions that stalled the legislation last year. But senators changed the adoption legislation, House Bill 159, in other ways that could hurt its chances of becoming law. The amended version...
Republicans retain 2 seats in Georgia Legislature in special elections
 Republicans Brian Strickland and Geoffrey Cauble won special elections Tuesday to represent Henry County in the Georgia Senate and House. They defeated three candidates each, winning a majority of the vote and avoiding a runoff, according to unofficial election results. Strickland, an attorney who resigned from his House seat to run for the...

Posted: 8 days ago

Republicans Brian Strickland and Geoffrey Cauble won special elections Tuesday to represent Henry County in the Georgia Senate and House. They defeated three candidates each, winning a majority of the vote and avoiding a runoff, according to unofficial election results. Strickland, an attorney who resigned from his House seat to run for the...