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AG says decision near on issues
Olens WEB
Georgias Attorney General Sam Olens reviewed some of the topics his office is tackling during a meeting Friday. - photo by Jim Dean

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens touched on a variety of issues Friday during a visit with the Forsyth County Bar Association.

Among the topics was the ongoing legal battle between Georgia, Alabama and Florida over water distribution that affects Lake Lanier.

Olens said he believed the issue would not come before the Supreme Court.

“It’s not a national issue, so they probably won’t take it up,” he said.

He also noted that that he and Gov. Nathan Deal have “a good rapport” with the current governors and attorney generals of the other states.

“I think we’re in good shape to be able to resolve this within a year or 18 months,” he told about 75 members of the bar association during their monthly meeting at Tam’s Backstage Restaurant.

Olens, a resident of Cobb County, also touched briefly on House Bill 87, which concerns Georgia’s immigration laws.

The state was sued over the legislation.

He said he expected to hear a decision in that matter from the 11th Circuit Court by the end of June or July.

In addition, he praised local attorney Ken Jarrard, who helped write House Bill 397, which revises laws on open meetings and open records to include technology such as e-mails and teleconferencing.

“We wanted to give the common person a law in English that’s black and white,” Olens said. “It’s not perfect, but I think we did a good job.”

Olens also briefly discussed his participation in the Supreme Court’s hearings on Obamacare last week.

He said one of his main concerns with the plan is the expansion of Medicaid.

“I don’t know of any doctors who are taking new Medicaid patients, so I don’t know what we’ll do with even more of them,” he said.

Olens also took a few questions from the audience, including one concerning e-mails in regards to open records requests.

“I don’t care whether it’s from your personal e-mail account or your government account, if you’re talking government business [through e-mail], then that does fall under open records,” Olens said.

He added that he had heard of some county and municipal governments around the state taking votes via e-mail, something he said would be a major infraction.

“If we see e-mails where they’re counting votes, they will be brought to court,” he said.