Ga. budget bill passes; Ga. gun law proposal; UGA student’s cause of death

*Georgia’s midyear budget is now on the governor’s desk. Both the state House and Senate passed the spending plan Monday by a large margin, making way for many financial increases proposed by Governor Kemp earlier this year. The nearly 40-billion-dollar budget includes a late addition of renovations to the state Capitol and the construction of a new legislative office building. State tax collections have been down, but around 16-billion-dollars is available in rainy day funds and undesignated reserves.  

*Some Georgia lawmakers hope the passing of the Pediatric Health Safe Storage Act will help protect kids from accidental shootings.  The bill requires families with children under 18 to store loaded firearms in a locked container or to use a trigger lock to make the firearm temporarily inoperable. The bill would punish guardians who do not follow the law if a child discharges the firearm and causes death or serious bodily injury. There are exceptions such as using the gun for sport with adult supervision, if the child steals the gun in a robbery, or if the child shot someone in lawful self-defense.  

*More details have come out regarding last Thursday’s murder of Augusta University nursing student Laken Riley on the UGA campus. The Athens-Clarke County Coroner’s Office and Morgue has released the preliminary cause of death, saying the 22-year old Riley died from blunt force trauma to the head.