Committee to Study Future of Georgia Commission on Family Violence

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The Georgia Commission on Family Violence set up a governance committee Friday in the midst of ongoing questions about where in state government the agency belongs.
In its 2010 session, the state legislature attached the 37-member commission’s budget to the Administrative Office of the Courts within the judicial branch, and there is strong support for having it remain there. But there are also those—reportedly including Gov. Sonny Perdue—who would like to see it come under the Governor’s Office for Children and Families in the executive branch.  The possibility of moving the agency raises questions about its future, as JJIE.org reported Thursday.
At the commission’s quarterly meeting, chairwoman Peggy Walker, a Douglas County juvenile court judge, asked members to volunteer for the new governance committee which will study the benefits and drawbacks to moving the agency, and look at how other states handle similar agencies.
The committee will be headed by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Shawn LaGrua and will include Pardons and Paroles board member James Donald,  Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Fox, majority whip Rep. Edward Lindsey (R-Atlanta), Henry County Solicitor General Charles Spanos and Robert Thornton, criminal services director of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, which includes representatives of several other agencies and councils.
The full commission will consider the committee’s recommendation and determine whether to  pass it on to the state legislature, which has the final say-so.
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Gayle White is a freelance reporter who spent 36 years at the Atlanta Journal Constitution, covering politics, religion, health and courts.

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