— Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, a Republican, recovered some of the powers he lost to dissident Republicans. The chamber elected GOP Sen. David Shafer as president pro tempore, a victory for a faction of GOP lawmakers who sought to end a leadership feud that had politically sidelined Cagle. The Republican caucus earlier elected Sen. Ronnie Chance as its majority leader.
— Former State Sen. Chip Rogers raised eyebrows late last year when he abruptly resigned from his post after winning re-election. The Woodstock Republican announced that he would be taking an on-air job with Georgia Public Broadcasting. Turns out, the job change comes with a big raise. Rogers will make $150,000 at GPB. His Senate salary was about $17,000, not including per diem, travel and other expense reimbursement.
"A lobbyist could give a 99-dollar gift five times or however many times in the same day. Now that's a loophole of enormous proportion," said Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, who voted against the Senate rule banning lawmakers from accepting gifts worth more than $100.
The House Appropriations Committee starts its review Tuesday of the $40.8 billion budget that Gov. Nathan Deal submitted Thursday. Deal will address the committee Tuesday before the state's economist gives his annual outlook for Georgia's economy.