Legislative Notebook: Bill would change age, residency requirements for WR council

February 11, 2013 

Anyone too young to drink alcohol legally would no longer be able to join Warner Robins City Council under a new bill coming from state House Majority Leader Larry O’Neal, R-Bonaire.

The legislation raises the age to run for council from 18 to 21 and from 21 to 23 for mayor. It also requires candidates to have lived in the city a year and in their council district for six months. O’Neal’s bill is at council’s request, which decided on the changes earlier this month.

House vote pending on Bibb nonpartisan elections

Bibb County representatives are expected to wrestle with local legislation Tuesday, with a House floor vote scheduled on a set of bills that turn Macon-Bibb consolidated government offices from partisan to nonpartisan contests.

By making the offices nonpartisan, the votes are also shifted back from November general elections to July primaries.

Augusta-Richmond County, already a consolidated government, went through a similar fight last year in the Legislature that ended in the very contested passage of nonpartisan elections. The Department of Justice, which must vet all voting changes in Georgia, was not convinced that the Augusta-Ricnmond change is fair to voters in the majority-black jurisdiction, and threw it out.

Like in Augusta-Richmond, Bibb’s Republicans are for the change, Democrats are against. The Justice Department said Augusta-Richmond’s plan diluted the voting strength of blacks.

-- Maggie Lee

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