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Ga. Capitol roundup: Arbery case has lawmakers close to reform of citizen’s arrest law

Ahmaud Arbery
Ahmaud Arbery(WRDW)
Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 12:00 PM EDT
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ATLANTA - Georgia’s Senate has voted 52-1 for a bill to overhaul the state’s citizen’s arrest law.

The move comes more than a year after a Black man with ties to the CSRA, Ahmaud Arbery, was fatally shot after a pursuit by armed white men in Glynn County.

The bill would generally bar bystanders and witnesses from making arrests.

It now goes back to the House because senators amended the measure to allow more business owners to detain suspected thieves.

Supporters say Arbery’s fatal shooting last year showed the need for change.

Two of the three men charged with murder in Arbery’s death had said they were attempting a citizen’s arrest, suspecting a burglary.

Prosecutors say Arbery stole nothing and was out jogging when the men pursued him.

His family is from the Augusta area, and he is buried near Waynesboro.

Ballot access rule for third parties is ruled unconstitutional

ATLANTA - A federal judge has ruled that Georgia’s requirements for third-party candidates seeking to run for congressional seats are unconstitutional.

A 1943 state law requires third-party candidates to submit a petition signed by at least 5% of registered voters, a bar no third-party candidate in Georgia has ever met, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May on Monday ruled that the law is “overbroad” and shuts out third-party candidates.

Senate approves $3,000-a-year credit for some teaching posts

ATLANTA - Some Georgia teachers who agree to work in certain rural or low performing schools could get an extra $3,000 a year for five years under a bill advancing in the state Senate.

The Senate on Monday voted 50-0 for House Bill 32. It would create a tax credit for up to 1,000 teachers who agree to begin work in targeted districts. If teachers didn’t incur $3,000 in state income tax liability, the state would send a check for the remaining amount. The measure goes back to the House.

The state Department of Education would designate 100 schools where full-time teachers would qualify.

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