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Greetings, Georgia.

It's Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023.

President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Atlanta this weekend ahead of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday.

Gov. Brian Kemp will be traveling, as well — to Davos, Switzerland, to speak at the World Economic Forum next week. Watch Kemp's inauguration for his second term live today at 9:30 a.m. on GPB.

Under the Gold Dome, state Rep. Michelle Au, a practicing anesthesiologist, is filing a bill this legislative session to increase the tax on tobacco products in Georgia. The state has the second lowest tax — just 37 cents per pack of cigarettes — in the nation.

Read on for Georgia Today.



✭ Tax cuts, tackling housing issues and touting new investment: Georgia leaders share 2023 vision

Gov. Brian Kemp speaks about the economy in McDonough July 29, 2022. (Megan Varner / AP)

As Gov. Brian Kemp took the stage at the Georgia Chamber's annual "Eggs & Issues" breakfast Wednesday, the song "We Are The Champions" accompanied a montage of University of Georgia's national college football championship victory this week. But the second-term governor had other reasons to celebrate, too.

Local, state and federal partners had just announced that solar manufacturer Qcells was making a massive $2.5 billion expansion into its Georgia operations. Already the largest solar manufacturer in the Western Hemisphere, Qcells is bringing an estimated 2,500 new jobs, the country's largest-ever investment in solar manufacturing and growing the state's prominence in the renewable energy sector.

Kemp told the crowded ballroom of movers and shakers in the business and political worlds that he would work the next four years to continue bringing major investments to the state — especially rural Georgia — by championing conservative economic policies that have helped make the state attractive for industries and employees to flock here in recent years.

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Georgia lawmakers plan to ease path to occupational license for workers with criminal records

The Georgia Justice Project looks to propose a measure to reduce some criminal barriers to professions that require licensing, such as nursing. (Unsplash)

Dozens of job opportunities might open up for people with criminal records if a legislative push successfully removes barriers for professional licenses that are required for one out of every seven jobs in Georgia.

Georgia Justice Project’s criminal justice reform efforts are targeting the occupational licensing process that prospective employees must go through to work as an engineer, teacher, barber, nurse, truck driver and in many other fields. This week state lawmakers began a new legislative session in which they could take up a planned bill that includes details hashed out in meetings by a task force led by state Sen. Brian Strickland, a McDonough Republican, and Butler Democratic state Rep. Patty Bentley.

An occupational board grants licenses to hundreds of thousands of Georgians who meet standards based on education and prior experience, passing certification exams, and passing background checks.

Many people are unaware that they have a chance to successfully win an appeal of licensing board denial or don’t have the resources to go through that process.

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  • Flight departures across the U.S. were halted for two hours Wednesday morning after the FAA system for alerting pilots and airports of real-time hazards went dark, frustrating thousands of travelers. A damaged file may have caused the outage.
  • State gasoline and diesel taxes made their return in Georgia on Wednesday. The state resumes collecting a tax on gasoline of 29.1 cents per gallon and tax on diesel of 32.6 cents per gallon from wholesalers.


 Broadway in Atlanta expects a busy 2023 and 2024


If you're a fan of the stage, the lights, and the buzz of the Great White Way, here's some good news:

Touring Broadway productions will be making their way through Atlanta in the upcoming season, and fans of theater have a lot to look forward to. Big buzz productions like Beetlejuice and MJ: The Musical, Aladdin and Hamilton will all be coming to the Peach State in 2023 and 2024.

Here are dates for a few of the upcoming productions:
  • MJ: Oct. 24 through Oct. 29
  • The Wiz: Nov. 14 through Nov. 19
  • Aladdin: Jan. 9, 2024 through Jan. 14, 2024

Gov. Kemp is being sworn in for his second term today. (File)

Tune into GPB Radio and at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. for Political Rewind.

Today's guests:  AJC's Kevin Riley joins us for a half-hour show before Gov. Brian Kemp's inauguration; then at 2 p.m., WRBL's Chuck Williams, Clark-Atlanta University's Tammy Greer, Rick Dent and GPB's Stephen Fowler.

Friday: New York Times theater critic Jesse Green on Mary Rodgers' autobiography, Shy.

Check out our Political Rewind podcast:

Listen to the latest Political Rewind podcast.

NPR's Tiny Desk Seeks Big Talent

Got a big dream of playing NPR's Tiny Desk concerts? 

Send us a video of you playing one song behind a desk of your choosing. If you win, you'll get to play your very own Tiny Desk concert and go on tour with NPR Music.

Are you eligible?

Only eligible entries can win the contest. Does your entry have what it takes? We’ve got a quick and easy way to help you find out!

Entries open Feb. 7, 2023!
Click here for rules, FAQs and more information on how to submit your video.

Georgia Today is written by Sarah Rose and Kristi York Wooten and edited by Khari Sampson.
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