Legislative Notebook: Georgia’s state wildflower clarified

March 4, 2013 

The native azaleas starting to bloom across the state are likely to be the official state wildflower before they wither away later this spring, replacing the non-specific “azalea” for that title.

“There’s a difference between the azalea and the native azalea,” said state Rep. Debbie Buckner, D-Junction City, who is the bill’s sponsor. Native azaleas are sometimes called wild honeysuckles and are shrubs native to Georgia’s forests. The state House of Representatives unanimously passed House Bill 297, which now heads to the Senate.

The state flower, the Cherokee rose, remains unchanged.

Lawmakers start on Bibb board amendments

Bibb County’s lawmakers have filed a measure that will carry some minor changes to Macon and Bibb boards and authorities.

House Bill 514 will be edited in the coming days to get those bodies legally ready for consolidation. The rules governing entities such as the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority refer to both the Macon mayor and the Bibb County Commission chairman -- a pair of offices that will disappear when the governments merge. After consolidation, Macon-Bibb County’s chief executive will be mayor of the entire county.

House agrees to fingerprints

New day care center employees will need to get a fingerprint-based nationwide background check under House Bill 350, passed unanimously by the state House. The sponsor is state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon.

-- Maggie Lee

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