ATLANTA -- A new committee made up of as many as a dozen people would be put in charge of finding something to do with Milledgeville’s Central State Hospital under a new bill in the state House of Representatives.
Between seven and 11 members of the Central State Hospital Local Redevelopment Authority would be named by the Milledgeville mayor and approved by City Council. The governor would name one additional person. Staff from other state agencies would sit on the authority but without voting power.
The entire campus is more than 2 miles long and once was home to more than 12,000 patients. It has been closing slowly since 2010; only a handful of programs remain open. House Bill 815, by state Rep. Rusty Kidd, I-Milledgeville, is not yet scheduled for a hearing.
Stamp ’em if you got ’em
So-called “little cigars” will have to bear a Georgia tax stamp just like cigars and cigarettes under a new bipartisan bill in the state Legislature. House Bill 826 mandates the stamp and sets a tax for a pack of 20 of the small cigarette-sized, often flavored, smokes at 37 cents, the same rate as cigarettes.
It also ups the penalty for trying to evade the tax on any smokes by bringing them in from out of state. Now it’s a misdemeanor no matter the amount. The new bill would make it a felony to smuggle into Georgia 2,000 or more cigarettes or little cigars.
There is no hearing date set for the bill so far. It’s authored by state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, and also signed by state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta.
-- Compiled by Maggie Lee