Georgia did get a hate crimes law as Gov. Brian Kemp added his signature to the bill Friday, surrounded by a bipartisan group of state lawmakers.
The law strengthens penalties for those who commit crimes against someone because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, mental and physical disabilities, among other identities. It also requires law enforcement to file reports of any such crimes, so that the state can begin tracking them.
The bill, H.B. 426, progressed quickly after national attention on Ahmaud Arbery’s murder. It had stalled in a Senate committee for more than a year after narrowly passing the House last year.
Coronavirus numbers are on the rise in Georgia, and so are hospitalizations, but Gov. Brian Kemp said he will not impose any mandatory mask-wearing or other containment measures yet.
This week we found out that most new cases are among younger Georgians. Health reporter Sam Whitehead talked to experts about what statistics they’re looking at to find what the virus is doing.
Emma Hurt reported how the lockdown of long-term care facilities due to the pandemic makes it hard for advocates and officials to make sure the industry has enough oversight.
And schools are starting to unveil their teaching plans amidst a pandemic. This week we heard how Cobb and Clayton County plan to minimize exposure to COVID-19 while making sure kids learn.
And Atlanta’s tree ordinance overhaul is still in the works. Environment reporter Molly Samuel reported on a city planning meeting where officials tried to figure out how to protect Atlanta’s trees.