2020 Legislative Session

John Bazemore / AP

Friday on Political Rewind, President Donald Trump is threatening to deny federal funds to the state of Michigan because of the promotion of absentee ballots in 2020’s elections.

The president, as well as many Republicans in the state of Georgia, say voting by mail is too vulnerable to fraud.

Ron Harris / AP

Friday on Political Rewind, national attention turned to Georgia this month as video of the February shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery went viral, drawing widespread anger.

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr has now requested state and federal investigation into the handling of the case. He joins us on today’s show to discuss the latest.

Shyann Swanson

Wednesday on Political Rewind, could the tragic story of Ahmaud Arbery spur action on the part of Georgia’s elected officials?

And now that a new district attorney is at the helm, the case’s fourth, what can we expect as proceedings continue?

We spoke to attorney Chris Stewart, one of the lawyers representing the Arbery family and Georgia Public Broadcasting reporter Emily Jones.

Sam Bermas-Dawes / GPB News

Tuesday on Political Rewind, there are many uncertainties as the pandemic continues. One eventuality is certain, however; the state budget will be hit hard.

The cost of the response, in addition to decreased tax revenue from the lockdown, could sprain an already strained bottom line for the state government. What is the plan for officials? 

We discussed the budget today with Terry England (R-Auburn), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Tony Gutierrez / AP

Monday on Political Rewind, developments in the case of Ahmaud Arbery over the weekend. State Attorney General Chris Carr formally requested the Department of Justice investigate the handling of the Arbery case.

We discussed the latest with former Attorney General Sam Olens and DeKalbCounty CEO Michael Thurmond.

Sam Bermas-Dawes / GPB News

Thursday on Political Rewind, a metric that gives fresh perspective on how to view Gov. Brian Kemp’s decision to reopen the state: the number of new people infected by each person infected by COVID-19. 

That number went down during shelter-in-place orders in Georgia.

How do the experts expect this rate to change now that restrictions have been partially lifted?

John Bazemore / AP

Wednesday on Political Rewind, the coronavirus pandemic is complicating an already arduous budget in Georgia.

The continuing cost of the state response, in addition to a loss of revenue and economic activity, has led Gov. Brian Kemp to last week call for significant cuts to all state agencies. 

Sam Bermas-Dawes

Monday on Political Rewind, we discussed the upcoming 2020 elections, and how campaigns are handling the shelter-in-place conditions found across the state and the country.

Nearly 830,000 people have applied for absentee ballots for the 2020 combined primary so far. That represents a huge increase in applications over 2016’s primary, and reflects efforts by officials and the public to avoid the spread of coronavirus from in-person voting.

Ron Harris / AP

Thursday on Political Rewind, the governor says his decision to reopen the state is driven by data.

What will be the consequences of Georgians going out and attempting to resume life as normal? We’ll ask two public health experts for their opinions.

David Goldman / AP

Today on Political Rewind, Georgia agriculture takes a hit from the coronavirus. Farmers face concerns over exposure to the virus and uncertain retailers cutting demand.

We heard from Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black on how the ongoing public health crisis is affecting the state’s farming businesses.

Today on Political Rewind, reports that medical facilities are not releasing enough information on coronavirus. What information is missing, and what does this mean for the public?

And, voting by mail is now a crucial but contentious tool for residents to participate in upcoming elections. What’s the latest on this form of voting?


Friday on Political Rewind, the restaurant and hospitality industry is being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic in Georgia and across the nation.

How are owners, managers and staff operating in this environment, and how are customers adjusting to take-out or delivery orders instead of in-house dining? 

Morry Gash / AP

Wednesday on Political Rewind, statewide elections in Wisconsin last night provide an interesting case study of elections under lockdown. How did the public health crisis surrounding COVID-19 impact elections there, and what can that tell us about Georgia’s upcoming elections just a month away? 

Our panel of political analysts looked at turnout numbers and the record number of issued absentee ballots in that state.

Sam Bermas-Dawes / GPB News

Elected officials at the county and municipal levels are struggling to find ways to respond to an unfolding public health crisis. Where many other states have issued statewide lockdowns, Gov. Brian Kemp has made it clear he wants to allow local leaders to make decisions on this kind of policy for themselves.

Monday on Political Rewind, we’re joined by Mayor Bo Dorough of Albany, to discuss the ongoing public health crisis from the perspective of his town in Dougherty county.

Over the weekend, reports showed Albany had the fourth-highest rate of infection per capita among cities in the world. Hospital officials there said Sunday they received 125 positive coronavirus test results in just 24 hours.

Mike Stewart / AP

Thursday on Political Rewind, Gov. Brian Kemp is preparing for a 8 p.m. live televised town hall meeting on the coronavirus that will be carried by TV and radio stations across the state.

Among other things, the governor is expected to address an extension of his order closing Georgia schools and colleges. And, the surge of COVID-19 cases in Albany continues to test that community’s resources.

Chris Phan / Wikimedia

Wednesday on Political Rewind, in a move to encourage voting by mail in the May 19 primary, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Tuesday that all active registered voters in Georgia will receive an absentee ballot request form in the mail.

According to the Secretary of State’s office, around 5% of Georgia voters opted to vote by mail In the 2016 and 2018 November elections.

DXR / Wikimedia

Tuesday on Political Rewind, Gov. Brian Kemp ordered bars and nightclubs to close and restricted gatherings of more than 10 people in his latest effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus in Georgia. However, he rejected calls to shutter restaurants or to issue a shelter in place order for the state.

And, our panel discussed how the state’s budget and economy being shaped by this public health emergency. 

John Bazemore / AP

A look at the latest news on coronavirus in Georgia this Monday on Political Rewind.

We have entered a crucial time where immediate action is needed in order to halt the worst potential scenarios from COVID-19 crisis, top public health researchers say.

Antti Yrjönen / Wikimedia

Friday on Political Rewind, a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Georgia as COVID-19 spreads to hotspots outside metro Atlanta. News out of Albany in southwest Georgia is particularly worrying as cases grow there.

Are there enough health care resources in rural areas to keep people safe?

Santeri Viinamäki / Wikimedia

Thursday on Political Rewind, we’re joined by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. We discussed his decision to postpone the presidential preference primary by two months, and whether he thinks concerns over coronavirus might mandate other changes.

Donna Lowry / GPB News

Wednesday on Political Rewind, Gov. Brian Kemp has signed a mid-year budget funding the state through June that includes $100 million earmarked for fighting the coronavirus.

An additional $5 million is to go to support for rural hospitals as they contend with the disease.

GPB News

On Thursday afternoon's Special Edition of Political Rewind, we spoke about the governor's response to coronavirus in Georgia. How is the state responding and what do state legislature think of the measures taken so far?

How will this impact the legislature on this busy crossover day? We'll have our Lawmaker's team live on the show. 

Senior Airman Lauren Douglas / U.S. Air Force

Thursday morning on Political Rewind, President Trump’s 30-day travel ban is predicted to hit Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which is the state’s largest employer.

And, Crossover Day sees legislation sent from its original chamber to the opposite side of the General Assembly. This an annual process that ranges in dates of March.

Matt Rourke / AP

Wednesday on Political Rewind, former Vice President Joe Biden took a commanding lead in the race to the White House after a string of victories last night in key primary states, including Michigan.

The Democratic front-runner has picked up a new wave of endorsements from Georgia elected officials including former Gov. Roy Barnes and ex-U.S. Rep. Buddy Darden. They join early endorsements for Biden from other prominent state Democrats Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Friday on Political Rewind, President Trump says he is considering naming Georgia Congressman Doug Collins permanent director of national intelligence. The move would end what is becoming a nasty campaign battle between Collins and Sen. Kelly Loeffler as they position themselves for the November special Senate election.

In an interview with Political Rewind just hours before the president’s comments, Collins signaled he would likely choose the Senate race over an administration position.

Jeff Amy / AP

Thursday on Political Rewind, the Georgia House voted yesterday on a midyear budget differing significantly from the proposal submitted by Gov. Brian Kemp.

The altered budget, passed by a 126-to-46 vote, maintains funding for services that state representatives deemed too important to cut, including funds for food inspectors in the Department of Agriculture, accountability courts and mental health services.

What do we see happening next in this budget battle?

DXR / Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday on Political Rewind, legislators in the Georgia House are set to vote on a mid-year budget rejecting many previously proposed cuts to health services, accountability courts and more.

What could this mean for the relationship between the governor and legislative leaders? 


Monday on Political Rewind, formal meetings in the legislature were put on hold last week as agency heads and legislative leaders discussed Gov. Brian Kemp's proposed budget cuts. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Ariel Hart discussed the impacts on Georgia health issues.

And, in other health news, the federal government is signaling it is likely to approve the governor's waiver designed to lower insurance premiums through government subsidies. The proposal would assist insurance companies in paying for medical bills for Georgians with insurance plans from the Affordable Care Act's exchanges. 

David Ralston in 2016

Georgia lawmakers have been in session for only 12 days, but they're taking another break to examine the budget.