Brunswick News. March 8, 2022.

Editorial: Escaping the police should always be a criminal offense

House Bill 1216 is a perfect example of how lax the laws have become. A fourth conviction — a fourth, mind you — for fleeing Georgia police would be a felony under this new legislation.

Not a first, second, or third conviction for attempted escape from the police, but a fourth would escalate to felony felony. Until a person reaches No. 4, the charge remains a high and aggravated offense.

A first offense should be a criminal offense. A fleeing driver puts everyone in the speeding vehicle’s path in serious jeopardy, let alone his own and those of the pursuing cops.

Despite this, the measure made it through the State House by a vote of 95 to 62. Now it goes to the Senate.

Suspects trying to evade police in car chases that often exceed 100 miles per hour are fairly common. And now the citizens know why. Not much punishment awaits them if or when they are caught. why not play

The facts cited by the law’s supporters are indeed disturbing. As of April 2021, Soldiers from the Georgia State Patrol have been involved in more than 500 activities in Metro Atlanta alone.

Then there’s the rest of the state. Police in the Golden Isles are seeing more than their fair share of it. Just recently, a manhunt that began in Camden County ended in a death in Glynn County.

A person who tries and fails twice to evade peace officers and gets a slap on the wrists from the justice system probably thinks nothing of trying a third and fourth time. And every time an escape attempt is made, every time the speed reaches excessive speeds, lives are at stake. innocent lives.

No road is closed to them. This includes quiet residential streets.

What shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it does, is that members of the Georgia General Assembly are willing to give a person leading police in high-speed chases three chances to kill or maim a pedestrian, motorist or police officer before breaking the law add a pinch of strength.

Valdosta Daily Times. March 9, 2022.

Editorial: Time to eye wage increase

With inflation affecting multiple sectors, it’s time for the state of Georgia to introduce a decent minimum wage.

The federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is not a living wage.

While congressional Democrats have been pushing for a hike to $15 for some time, there’s no reason to think US lawmakers will find anywhere near enough votes to pass their ambitious agenda.

Soaring inflation once again highlights income inequality in a way that makes it clear that the vast majority of wage earners are not benefiting from the improving economy.

If workers aren’t making enough money to pay for childcare, transportation, and housing, what are they supposed to do?

Wage inequality disproportionately affects communities of color, but it’s naïve to think that low wages don’t have a significant impact on the overall economy. During the pandemic, labor shortages, particularly in the catering and hospitality sectors, have merely highlighted a long-standing problem. It’s just that it’s now affecting communities that previously weren’t personally impacted by the minimum wage.

When the minimum wage isn’t a living wage, workers face very difficult choices, but that doesn’t mean people are shiftless, lazy, or just want to live on public unemployment benefits.

A clear example of how low wages affect everyday working life can be seen in the childcare industry.

Even before the pandemic and economic shutdown, the average wage for a childcare worker in our state was about $19,822 per year, or $9.53 per hour, according to the National Association for Education of Young Children. As a result, day care centers have long been caught in a vicious cycle of losing staff to higher-paying jobs and some of the facilities have been closed during the pandemic. As a result, many working mothers have had to resign from their jobs. It’s all a vicious circle.

A flat minimum wage of $15 an hour may not be the answer.

There are some areas of the nation where even $15 an hour would not suffice.

There are of course many places where less than $15 an hour would make a significant difference. For example, an increase from $7.25 to $12 would improve the lives of workers in the South tangibly.

Georgia legislators—both conservative and progressive—should give this issue serious thought. It directly affects the people in their neighborhoods. Republicans must not allow Democrats to be the Living Wage Party.

Who knows if or when federal lawmakers, which are at a standstill, will even take up the minimum wage.

More than 25 states across the country have minimum wages above the federal $7.25 and our general assembly must follow suit and do this for the people of Georgia.

Raising the minimum wage shouldn’t be a matter for either Republicans or Democrats.

It’s spot on.

END