WABE's Week In Review: Georgia lawmakers make moves on education, guns and mental healthcare

Georgia House members applaud after they voted 166-0 for final passage of a sweeping mental health bill on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 at the state capitol in Atlanta. House Speaker Savid Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, spearheaded House Bill 1013 after years of study (AP Photo/Jeff Amy)

Sweeping reforms to Georgia’s mental health system will soon be law.

On Wednesday, the General Assembly passed a massive bipartisan package to bolster mental health care and substance abuse treatment in Georgia. The state is currently ranked among the worst in the country for access to mental health.

“Few of you will ever cast a vote as consequential as your vote to pass house bill 1013,” said House Speaker David Ralston this term, who wiped away tears as he presided over the final passage. “And today it was you who gave hope to many Georgians.”

Inside Georgia 2020 election…

FILE – In this Nov. 4, 2018, file photo, Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp, left, walks with President Donald Trump as Trump arrives for a rally in Macon , Ga. Kemp defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

New details continue to emerge regarding the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.

WABE’s Lisa Rayam talks with Atlanta Journal-Constitution politics reporter Greg Bluestein about his new book, “Flipped: How Georgia Turned Purple and Broke the Monopoly on Republican Power.”

Airport workers get a raise…

Airport workers protest for higher wages outside the Delta Air Lines terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in November 2021. (Photo credit: Airport Workers United)

For the last three Atlanta mayoral administrations, contract workers who clean Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport have been calling for higher wages.

After 13 years of mostly workers of color pushing, picketing and eventually threatening to strike for above poverty wages, airport cleaners will get a minimum of $12 to $15 dollars an hour. That’s up from a minimum of $8.50, according to the Service Employees International Union.

Also in this episode…

–Martha Dalton explores legislation in Georgia that will make it easier for parents to get books banned in schools.

–Christopher Alston has more on lawmakers moving forward with allowing handguns to be carried in public without a permit.

–Jess Mador looks more at what parity means for mental healthcare in Georgia.

–Emily Wu Pearson has more on what Ukrainians in Georgia are doing to those suffering during the war in their homeland.

–Emil Moffatt has this week’s podcast WABE Tech Cast, where he talks with legendary filmmaker Ken Burns.