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Making the Tough Call

Making the Tough Call

Making the Tough Call

By Commissioner Jeff Rader

Cagle raises $18K in off-election year

Cagle raises $18K in off-election year

ATLANTA -- Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has more than $208,000 in the bank for a possible re-election bid in 2014.

A report Cagle filed with state officials Friday showed the Gainesville Republican has raised a little more than $18,000 in the first six months of 2011, a non-election year when fundraising is typically sluggish.

He already had $344,262 left over from last year's successful bid for a second term as the state's No. 2.

Finance reports detailing campaign contributions and expenditures were due with the state ethics commission by Friday night.

Cagle trailed at least one other top Republican in the Senate, where he presides. House Rules Committee Chairman Don Balfour of Snellville raked in $137,000 for the first six months of the year. He has more than $174,000 in the bank.

(The Associated Press)

Georgia appeals ruling on immigration law

Georgia appeals ruling on immigration law

ATLANTA -- A spokeswoman for the state attorney general says the state has filed a notice of appeal of a federal judge's ruling that blocked parts of the state's law cracking down on illegal immigration from taking effect.

Spokeswoman Lauren Kane says the notice was filed Tuesday with the U.S. District Court in Atlanta, but has not yet been filed with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The office will file court papers outlining the state's objections to last week's ruling.

The decision from federal Judge Thomas Thrash granted a request filed by civil liberties groups to block two sections of the law from taking effect until a lawsuit challenging the law's constitutionality has been resolved.

Other parts of the law, passed by the Georgia Legislature this year, took effect Friday.

Goodwill receives $5.7 million grant to help those in need

Goodwill receives $5.7 million grant to help those in need

ATLANTA -- Good news is coming for many Georgians who are struggling to find jobs.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis recently announced that Goodwill of North Georgia will receive $5,724,222 to help people with barriers to employment, namely ex-offenders and low-income non-custodial parents, obtain the skills they need to find work.

The funds will go toward an Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration program, which offers temporary paid work experiences to more than 3,500 people nationwide. The program improves participants' employability, earnings and opportunities for advancement, not to mention their self-sufficiency and long-term success in the workforce.

"This grant provides needed support to individuals who face significant obstacles to employment," Solis said.

Immigrant contributions to the U.S. Economy



A new SBA Office of Advocacy sponsored report by Robert W. Fairlie examines the contributions of immigrants to the U.S. economy. Some of its findings are:

    Immigrants are nearly 30 percent more likely to start a business than are nonimmigrants, and they represent 16.7 percent of all new business owners in the United States.

    Immigrant business owners make significant contributions to business income, generating $67 billion of the $577 billion in U.S. business income, as estimated from 2000 U.S. Census data. They generate nearly one-quarter of all business income in California—nearly $20 billion—and nearly one-fifth of business income in New York, Florida, and New Jersey.

    Nearly 30 percent of all business owners in California are immigrants, compared with about 12.5 percent of the population of U.S. business owners.

Feds crack down on prescription drug trafficking

Feds crack down on prescription drug trafficking

ATLANTA -- A federal grand jury in Atlanta has charged a total of 13 defendants from two states with illegally trafficking in oxycodone and other prescription drugs.

The two cases arise out of intensified efforts to address Georgia's growing problem with prescription drug abuse.

"Prescription drug abuse is our nation's fastest-growing segment of illegal drug use, causing significantly more overdose deaths than cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin combined," said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.

In the first incident, 11 Georgia residents were charged with conspiring to forge oxycodone prescriptions and sell the illegally obtained tablets.

Commissioner receives go-ahead to create DeKalb Film Commission

Commissioner receives go-ahead to create DeKalb Film Commission

DeKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson recently received unanimous approval by his peers to launch the DeKalb Film Commission.

The DeKalb Film Commission will serve as the county's single point of contact for anyone interested in filming in DeKalb.

"DeKalb County has been named by the Georgia Film Industry as a Georgia Camera Ready County, and we are looking to embellish this designation," Watson said. "Strengthening DeKalb County's ties to the film industry will provide an economic development tool and potentially increase the county's tax revenues."

Read more about Camera Ready Communities in Georgia

The film industry had an economic impact of over $1 billion in Georgia in 2010.