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Lt. Gov. Jones hopes sports betting, school vouchers succeed in session’s final stretch

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ATLANTA – With less than two weeks remaining in this year’s General Assembly session, Lt. Gov. Burt Jones has morphed from a lighting-rod political figure to a& de facto& life coach for anxious lawmakers. “Everything’s gonna be alright” is the advice Republican Jones is handing out as the legislative session hits the final stretch.& & As lieutenant governor, Jones presides over the state Senate, wielding his heavy gavel from the dais overlooking the chamber where he spent a decade as a senator representing Jackson and central Georgia.& & & “I don’t think there’s one piece of legislation out there that the state of the Republic depends on — other than the budget,” the new lieutenant governor said of his approach to the frenetic final days of the session.& & Speaking of the budget, Jones is pleased about across-the-board $2,000 pay raises for state employees as well a property tax rebate drawn from Georgia’s historic budget surplus.& & And he’s applying his equanimous approach to a sports betting measure making its way through the legislature.& & It’s a proposal Jones supports personally but, even if it doesn’t pass, “the following day will still come,” he said.& & Sports betting — after...