While 2023 wasn’t an election year in Georgia, politics was front and center throughout the last 12 months.
From January street protests of the proposed Atlanta Police Training Center derided by critics as “Cop City” to the General Assembly redrawing Georgia’s congressional and legislative maps in December under a federal court order, various forms of politics were playing out during the year.
Here’s a look at the top Georgia stories of 2023:
Jan. 9 – The Georgia Bulldogs trounce Texas Christian University 65-7 to win their second consecutive college football national championship.
Jan. 18 – Activist Manuel Esteban Paez Teran, 26, is shot and killed by police during a “clearing operation” at the wooded area that is the site of the proposed Atlanta Police Training Center. A Georgia State Patrol officer is shot and seriously wounded in the same incident.
April 28 – The first dispensaries for selling low-THC cannabis oil to eligible patients open in Macon and Marietta, one day after the agency in charge of Georgia’s medical cannabis program grants the first dispensing licenses to two companies that already have been awarded manufacturing licenses.
July 1 – Georgia Pathways, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s limited Medicaid expansion initiative, begins covering residents between the ages of 19 and 64 with household incomes up to 100% of the Federal Poverty Level. The program is plagued initially by low enrollment as Democrats continue to call for a full expansion of Medicaid coverage in Georgia.
July 31 – The first of two new nuclear reactors being built at Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle goes into commercial operation. The second of the new reactors is due to begin operating by the end of March.
Aug. 14 – Former President Donald Trump is indicted in Fulton County on racketeering charges accusing the Republican of trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia that saw Joe Biden become the first Democrat to carry the Peach State since 1992.
Aug. 30 – Hurricane Idalia strikes South Georgia as a Category 1 storm, downing trees and powerlines and flooding local roads and highways. One fatality is reported when a tree falls on a vehicle in Lowndes County, one of the hardest-hit areas.
Nov. 16 – Atlanta is awarded the 2025 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, two years after the city loses the game in protest of the General Assembly’s passage of an election law adding new restrictions critics attacked as voter suppression.
Nov. 19 – Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter dies at age 96 at her home in Plains two days after entering hospice care. She was married to former President Jimmy Carter for 77 years.
Dec. 7 – The General Assembly adopts a new congressional map for Georgia, two days after approving new legislative maps. Kemp ordered the special session after a federal judge ruled maps the legislature’s Republican majorities had approved in 2021 violate the Voting Rights Act.
Dave Williams writes for Capitol Beat News Service