Day 3: More Organizational Activity
by Sally FitzGerald on 1/16/2013

This was another quiet day.  Each house took up administrative items.  No legislation has proceeded far enough to be able to debate on the floor.  The House has yet to publish their committee list.  Until we know who is chairing a committee, we can’t find out where they have a desk.  Many chairmen have their office with space allocated to that committee.  When those people are placed, then the Speaker knows where the empty offices are and he can slot people into the spaces.  And don’t forget seniority.  Those who have been there the longest get to request the best offices, preferably in the CAP or near the elevators in LOB.  In the meantime, people don’t have a place to leave their coats.

 

Tomorrow the governor will present his state of the state and budget address at 11 a.m. to a joint session of the legislature.  You can watch on GPB, on your computer, or wait for the Lawmakers show at 7 p.m. on PBS.  What we do know is that all agencies are asked to reduce their budgets by 3%, except for QBE to local schools.  If there are any new initiatives, one knows it won’t be because there is new money – it will be paid for with these funds freed up after the cuts.

 

Friday, the legislature is in recess.  Monday is the MLK holiday.  Tuesday through Thursday are joint committee hearings on the budgets now available.  The next legislative day is January 28.

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In COMMITTEE

 

HEALTH  --  kids get sick

 

SB 24  Bethel – 54   DO PASS in S.Regulated Industries & Utilities

The hospital ‘bed tax’, which expires this year, will be considered for renewal for four more years by the Department of Community Health rather than the legislature.  An example of how a tax becomes a fee.  Only an elected body can levy a tax.  This money is used to leverage federal funds, bringing additional money back into the state which is sent to those hospitals treating lots of Medicaid patients.  Without it, it is feared that many rural hospitals will be closed.

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NEW LEGISLATION

 

CHILDREN – PTA is about all children

 

HR 2  Waites – 60   H.Judiciary Non-Civil

Urges Congress to increase penalties for offenders involved in illegal human trafficking and to provide greater assistance to women and children victims of these crimes.

 

SR 20  James – 35    S.Health & Human Services

Urges all physicians to include screening for autism spectrum disorders during well baby visits before the child is 18 months old.

 

GUN CONTROL  --  guns kill and maim

 

SB 33  James – 35   S.Judiciary Non-Civil

Anyone in possession of an assault weapon or an oversized magazine with intent to sell shall be guilty of a felony.  Possession of two assault weapons or oversized magazines shall create a presumption of intent to sell.

 

SB 34  James – 35   S.Judiciary Non-Civil

Mentally incompetents or addicted persons shall not possess a weapon nor can anyone sell them a weapon.

 

HIGHER EDUCATION  -- our youth enter these institutions

 

HB 54  Evans – 42   H.Higher Education

HOPE grant eligibility will be decreased to a GPA of 2.0, from the current requirement of GPA of 3.0.

 

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Sally FitzGerald

sallyfitz@bellsouth.net

Education Policy, GPTA

everychild.onevoice

www.georgiapta.org   Capitol Watch