Georgia Today_ State of emergency, Georgia’s housing disaster, foster care youngsters dwelling in lodges

Orlando Montoya: Welcome to the Georgia In the present day podcast from GPB Information. In the present day is Friday, Jan. 27, and in for Peter Biello, I am Orlando Montoya. On right now’s episode, the governor has issued a state of emergency in response to violent protests final weekend in Atlanta. The president of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce says we’re dealing with a housing disaster. And Georgia foster care officers have positioned greater than 400 kids in lodges over the previous six months as a result of they could not discover acceptable placements for them. These tales and extra arising on this version of Georgia In the present day.

Orlando Montoya: The Georgia NAACP and state legislation enforcement companies are bracing for the discharge of a video displaying police brutality in Memphis. The demise of Tyre Nichols prompted homicide costs towards the officers who beat him. It additionally got here days after the officer-involved taking pictures of an environmental activist in metro Atlanta’s DeKalb County. Columbus activists are planning an indication this afternoon, citing final week’s taking pictures. A morning assertion from the FBI says the company is working with companions statewide to leverage intelligence and assets to make sure public security. Gov. Brian Kemp yesterday declared a 15-day state of emergency, permitting him to name up the Nationwide Guard if wanted.

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Orlando Montoya: Georgia Energy has been given a allow by state regulators to start long-term storage of the poisonous materials left over from burning coal to make electrical energy at certainly one of its shuttered energy crops. GPB’s Grant Blankenship explains.

Grant Blankenship: Plant Department on Lake Sinclair between Eatonton and Milledgeville stop burning coal when it was retired eight years in the past after some 50 years of operation. The allow granted by the Georgia Environmental Safety Division describes how Georgia Energy will retailer coal ash from these many years. It runs in accordance with a rule printed final yr by the Federal Environmental Safety Company, which forbids storing coal ash in direct contact with groundwater. The Plant Department coal ash landfill can have a drain system to siphon off groundwater beneath a liner separating ash from soil plus a seal up prime. Georgia Energy continues to be pursuing coal ash storage in unlined landfills, operating afoul of the EPA rule at 5 of its extra huge websites, together with at Plant Shearer in Monroe County, the biggest coal-fired energy plant within the nation. For GPB Information, I am Grant Blankenship in Macon.

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Orlando Montoya: Gov. Brian Kemp has permitted the issuing of 1 / 4 billion {dollars} in bonds to finance loans to construct new housing for low and center earnings residents. The order signed earlier this week places the give attention to housing affordability as firms like Hyundai, Rivian, SK Battery and QCells are investing billions of {dollars} on Georgia manufacturing crops that can appeal to new residents. Georgia Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Chris Clark says there’s a housing disaster within the state.

Chris Clark: I talked to a enterprise chief yesterday. His son moved again dwelling, obtained married. His spouse’s a instructor. He stated, Chris, there is no home in our entire city for below $600,000. The place on this planet are younger {couples} imagined to reside? And so we do have a disaster. And I feel there are three issues that we should be . One is how do you assist younger women and men save to allow them to get entry to these homes. And so some states are performing some progressive issues there. And so how can we assist younger women and men? No. 2 is how do you cut back the regulatory burden? I admire what Governor Kemp stated within the state of the state about serving to fund website readiness in communities the place we now have these tasks to get housing began that jumpstarts the builders. However the different a part of this, too, and fairly frankly, it is on me and also you, this NIMBYism that claims “I solely desire a three-acre home constructed. in my neighborhood, I desire a golf course.” That is unrealistic for younger women and men and is unrealistic for seniors. And so in a approach, there’s an financial case to be made right here. However this can be a ethical challenge, too. We all know when women and men can purchase their very own dwelling, they will transfer out of poverty, they will have generational prosperity. But when we stack it towards them and there is no out there workforce housing out there there, I imply, we’re simply taking pictures ourselves within the foot and we’re hurting the following era. I learn an article final week that known as millennials the “Roommate Technology” and say that they had been very fearful that they’ll by no means be capable to transfer out of their dad and mom basement and by no means be capable to reside on their very own. We should not be happy with that. And so we’re working with Chairman Washburn and a broad coalition of builders, Habitat for Humanity, legislators, companions — to develop methods and concepts and hopefully have some actual sturdy insurance policies this session to leap begin this. However we’re not going to resolve it in a yr. However notably, we now have these essential areas. We’ve got to start out now in order that we will be readyto go, notably the place these crops are going to be constructed out within the subsequent 4 years. We have time to construct the kind of housing that we want in these communities.

Orlando Montoya: Clark says workforce housing is second solely to workforce availability in Georgia’s potential to draw new companies. Kemp’s order permitted bonds for the Georgia Housing and Finance Authority.

Orlando Montoya: Georgia foster care officers have positioned greater than 400 kids in lodges over the previous six months as a result of they could not discover acceptable placements for them. That is in accordance with Division of Household and Kids’s Companies care coordinator Audrey Brannen, who advised state lawmakers Wednesday that the issue is partly because of a damaged well being care system.

Audrey Brannen: We’re right here to guard kids from their caregivers who could also be maltreating them. We’re right here to supply assets to stop maltreatment, and we can’t try this when so a lot of our assets, each employees and monetary, try to plug the holes in our well being care system. It is like utilizing your index finger to cease the leak within the Titanic. With me right now is my colleague Brian Patterson, who leads a brand new staff designated to evaluate and signify any youth in foster care is being denied medical companies. We’ve got a staff of individuals now, all specialists making an attempt to navigate this method, and we’re failing. Me, I do that for a dwelling. I’ve executed this for 25 years. I am an skilled. I am additionally a clinician. I can not navigate it. So this isn’t a DFACS challenge. It is a system challenge.

Orlando Montoya: At funds hearings final week, Division of Human Companies Commissioner Candice Brose stated she was, quote, “hell bent” on ending the apply that some have known as the hoteling of foster kids.

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Orlando Montoya: Throughout these funds hearings final week, varied state departments made their case for funding priorities. GPB Sofi Gratas has extra on among the well being care associated proposals.

Sofi Gratas: Appropriations for the state’s 4 main well being departments subsequent fiscal yr embrace over $7 billion for psychological and behavioral well being companies and an expanded HIV prevention program, amongst others. However a prime concern this yr is the unwinding of a pandemic-era federal coverage that is stored folks on Medicaid and is about to run out in April. The Division of Neighborhood Well being will work with the Division of Human Companies to reevaluate over 2 million adults and children in Georgia via subsequent yr. Greater than half one million are estimated to lose Medicaid protection within the course of. $8.4 million can be made out there to fund extra caseworkers and administrative help for unwinding. DHS says their employees will seemingly see caseloads go up greater than 200%. Commissioner Candace Broce additionally teased laws to finish so-called hoteling for foster kids.

Commissioner Candace Broce: You can’t make progress in your foster care instances if you’re supervising a high-needs little one within the workplace or a lodge room.

Sofi Gratas: In the meantime, Division of Public Well being lead Kathleen Toomey plans to give attention to ladies and youngsters.

Kathleen Toomey: We’re making an attempt to coordinate a response throughout all companies to handle maternal and youngsters’s wants.

Sofi Gratas: Up to now, there aren’t any extra appropriations particularly for maternal mortality. For GPB Information, I am Sofi Gratas.

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Orlando Montoya: Republicans within the Georgia Senate introduced yesterday their agenda for this yr’s legislative session. Their objectives embrace reducing state earnings tax charges and enhancing studying instruction for younger public faculty college students. Additionally they voiced help for Gov. Brian Kemp’s plan to spend $1 billion on state earnings tax rebates and $1.1 billion on property tax rebates for owners.

Orlando Montoya: The Savannah Faculty of Artwork and Design is partnering with the world’s largest supplier {of professional} companies to present college students new alternatives for actual world expertise. GPB’s Benjamin Payne studies.

Benjamin Payne: The constructing that after housed Georgia’s oldest hospital, Candler Hospital, is now known as Deloitte Foundry. That is the place the Savannah Faculty of Artwork and Design, generally often called SCAD, is launching a number of new initiatives with London-based Deloitte by which college students can collaborate on actual world tasks with the worldwide consulting agency and their purchasers. Paul Stonick is an administrator at SCAD.

Paul Stonick: We’ll have new studios, new alternatives for college students to be recruited, and a brand new alternative for college students to essentially dig into new varieties of applied sciences, whether or not it is immersive actuality, blockchain, NFT, and it offers them a possibility to essentially perceive what the long run seems like and actually present Deloitte a possibility to increase their pondering of their creativity and innovation.

Benjamin Payne: SCAD’s partnership with Deloitte started informally in 2019, however the brand new Deloitte Foundry marks what the college calls a brand new chapter. For GPB Information, I am Benjamin Payne in Savannah.

Orlando Montoya: And that is it for right now’s version of Georgia In the present day. If you have not but hit “subscribe” on this podcast. Take a second proper now and preserve us present in your podcast feed. And in case you obtained suggestions, we might love to listen to it. Electronic mail us at

I am Orlando Montoya. We’ll see you subsequent week.

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