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Gingrey opposes Boehner's debt reduction plan

Gingrey opposes Boehner's debt reduction plan

WASHINGTON -- A House vote on Speaker John Boehner's debt reduction plan is expected Thursday, but not all Republicans are on board.

RELATED: How the debt ceiling crisis could hit consumers

MORE: Tell your lawmakers how you feel 

Georgia Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-11th District) says Congress needs to get the job done, but it needs to be done the right way.  

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.

Senate Majority Leader creates policy group

Senate Majority Leader creates policy group

ATLANTA -- Georgia Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) has created a special policy group that will help research and craft legislation based on the best ideas from other states and the "Solution Summits" currently being held around Georgia.

"Finding the best ideas for Georgia is a year-long process," Rogers said. "We are committed to working directly with Georgia citizens and our counterparts in other states to identify the most beneficial policy ideas. It is important that we as a Senate take a proactive, not reactive approach to policy."

The group is comprised of Rogers and four other senators:

* Jim Butterworth (R-Cornelia)
* Bill Hamrick (R-Carrollton)
* Josh McKoon (R-Columbus)
* Mitch Seabaugh (R-Sharpsburg)

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.