Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 26, 2014

26
Feb

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 26, 2014

On February 26, 1877, Governor Alfred Colquitt signed legislation calling a June 1877 election of delegates to a state Constitutional Convention to be held in July of that year.

Johnny Cash was born on February 26, 1932.

Under the Gold Dome Today

Georgia Right to Life issued a Pro-Life action alert asking members and Pro-Life Georgians to contact Lt. Governor Casey Cagle today:

It appears Senate Bill 98, which will ban taxpayer funding for abortion coverage through the Obamacare federal insurance exchanges and from state employee insurance plans, is STALLED in Georgia Senate Rules Committee! Georgia is the ONLY state in the southeast (SEE MAP) that has NOT taken advantage of the provisions in the Obama healthcare law that ALLOWS states to opt out of abortion coverage! Also, Georgians are not in favor of their tax dollars being used for abortion coverage under the state employee health benefit plans. Governor Deal helped prevent this coverage last summer, but more must be done to ensure future administrations do not reverse his executive measure.

YOUR IMMEDIATE ACTION IS NEEDED!

PLEASE CONTACT LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR CASEY CAGLE AND ASK HIM TO ALLOW SB 98 TO MOVE OUT OF THE SENATE RULES COMMITTEE ON TO THE SENATE FLOOR FOR A VOTE BEFORE THE 30TH DAY OF THE LEGISLATURE, WHICH IS MONDAY MARCH THE 3RD!

Politely and respectfully ask that the Lieutenant  Governor to use his influence to move this pro-life bill!

Be sure to contact Lt. Gov. Cagle’s via email, phone (404-656-5030), Facebook, or via Twitter (@CaseyCagle). If you use social media in addition to calling and emailing, be sure to use hashtag #SB98!

Thank you in advance for your prompt action. Your action today could same precious lives for tomorrow!

SENATE MEETING CALENDAR

TBD RULES UPON ADJOURNMENT 450 CAP
1:00 PM REGULATED INDUSTRIES & UTILITIES – CANCELLED
1:00 PM STATE & LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS 310 CLOB
2:00 PM HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES – CANCELLED
2:00 PM TRANSPORTATION – CANCELLED
3:00 PM JUDICIARY – CANCELLED

SENATE RULES CALENDAR

SB 93: Wildlife; authorize the use of suppressors on hunting firearms under certain circumstances (NR&E – 31st)

SB 270: Lakeside, City of; DeKalb County; incorporate (Substitute) (SLGO(G)-40th)

SB 282: Georgia Child Support Commission; enact provisions; relating to child support and enforcement of child support orders (JUDY-52nd)

SB 331: Superior Court; provide additional judge of the Waycross Judicial Circuit (JUDY-7th)

SB 363: Miscellaneous Liens; create a contractor’s cause of action for unpaid work (Substitute) (B&FI-37th)

SB 364: Juvenile Code; revise and correct errors or omissions (JUDYNC-23rd)

SB 365: Fair Business Practices Act; enact offender reentry reforms as recommended by the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform (JUDYNC-23rd)

SB 372: HOPE Scholarship; require local school systems to calculate; provide grade point average; eligibility (ED&Y-29th)

SB 374: “Urban Redevelopment Law”; revise terminology from “slums” to “pockets of blight” (SLGO(G)-46th)

SB 386: Civil Practice; prohibit public disclosure; social security numbers, taxpayers identification numbers; court documents (Substitute) (JUDY-56th)

SR 70: U.S. Congress; urged to adopt/submit to the states a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution (RULES-32nd)

SR 875: Property Tax Digest Impact on Education Funding; create Joint Study Committee (ED&Y-4th)

HB 979: Education; provide for membership of certain boards in the event local legislation is not passed during 2014 regular session of General Assembly conforming size of boards to requirements of law; provisions (Substitute) (SLGO(G)-10th) Jacobs-80th

HOUSE MEETING CALENDAR

TBD FLOOR SESSION (LD 29) HOUSE CHAMBER- 10:00am
7:00 AM Fleming Subcommittee of Judiciary Civil 606 CLOB
8:00 AM ENERGY, UTILITIES & TELECOMMUNICATIONS 406 CLOB
9:00 AM RULES 34 CAP
1:00 PM JUDICIARY NON-CIVIL 132 CAP
2:00 PM STATE PROPERTIES 403 CAP
3:00 PM HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES 406 CLOB
3:00 PM EDUCATION 606 CLOB
3:00 PM HUMAN RELATIONS & AGING 515 CLOB

HOUSE RULES CALENDAR

Modified Open Rule
HB 405 Elementary and secondary education; members of governing boards of nonprofit organizations which are charter petitioners and charter schools to participate in governance training; require (Substitute)(Ed-Mayo-84th)

HB 549 Water pollution; establish water emergency response procedures(Substitute)(NR&E-Burns-159th)

HB 601 Judges of the Probate Courts Retirement Fund of Georgia; define certain terms; provisions(Substitute)(Ret-Maxwell-17th)

HB 828 Insurance; solicitation, release, or sale of automobile accident information; prohibit (Ins-Mabra-63rd)

HB 886 Elementary and secondary education; local board of education and eachcharter school shall hold at least two public hearings on proposed budget; provide (Substitute)(Ed-Caldwell-20th)

HB 887 Tobacco products; manufacturers and importers; remove certain bondingrequirements (RegI-Houston-170th)

Modified Structured Rule
HB 88 Licenses; Class E and Class F drivers’ license free of charge to qualified volunteer firefighters; provide (Substitute)(MotV-Shaw-176th)

HB 459 Speed restrictions; impeding traffic flow and minimum speed in left-hand lanes; modify provisions (Substitute) (MotV-Hitchens-161st)

HB 777 Watercraft; suspension of privileges to operate a vessel for violations of vessel laws of this state and other states; provisions (Substitute) (JudyNC-Powell-32nd)

HB 788 Ad valorem tax; property owned by University System of Georgia operated by third party; provide exemption (Substitute) (W&M-Riley-50th) (AM# 34 0631)

HB 810 HOPE; home study students regarding scores on standardized college admission test; revise requirements (Substitute)(App-Chandler-105th)

HB 878 Motor vehicles; certain fees included in liens upon abandoned vehicles;
provide (MotV-Powell-32nd)

HB 881 Special license plates; Grady Health Foundation; provide (MotV-Epps-144th)

HB 891 Elections; period for advance voting prior to municipal primary or election; change (GAff-Fleming-121st) (AM# 28 1300)

HB 897 Elementary and secondary education; update and clarify provisions; repeal
obsolete provisions (Substitute) (Ed-Dudgeon-25th) (AM # 33 1392)

HB 899 Unlicensed personal care homes; criminal penalties for owning or operating; provide (Substitute) (H&HS-Cooper-43rd)

HB 908 Tire disposal restrictions; extend sunset date for tire fees (NR&E-Riley-50th)

HB 923 Journey Ann Cowart Act; enact (JuvJ-Coomer-14th)

HB 957 Georgia Brownfield Act; enact (Substitute) (NR&E-Williams-119th)

HB 998 Medical scholarships; revise provisions relating to scholarships and loans (Substitute) (H&HS-Hatchett-150th)

Structured Rule
HB 153 Local option sales tax; taxes to be imposed at a rate of less that 1 percent; allow (Substitute) (W&M-Carson-46th)

HB 918 Revenue and taxation; define terms “Internal Revenue Code” and Internal Revenue Code of 1986″; provisions (Substitute) (W&M-Peake-141st)

Yesterday under the Gold Dome

Ava’s Law passed the Senate yesterday and will require insurance coverage up to $50,000 per year for behavioral health treatment and require payment for other treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

House Resolution 486, which would put on the ballot a Constitutional Amendment to allow the creation of independent school districts for new municipalities created on or after January 1, 2005, is dead for the Session, as the bill’s primary sponsor, State Rep. Tom Taylor (R-Dunwoody) learned that not enough votes were available to pass it by the required two-thirds majority.

Taylor said he was disappointed but he was pleased the measure was approved in two committees. He said he understands that much more work needs to be done with individual legislators.

The independent school district idea is wildly popular in Dunwoody because of the dysfunctional nature of the DeKalb school system that nearly cost it accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

But across the state and on metro Atlanta school boards, the idea of fragmenting large school districts or cherry-picking to carve out areas is feared. That Taylor had limited the idea to Georgia’s new cities individually or in combination, he said, hadn’t been widely understood.

“We’ll do our homework for the next year,” he said, “and bring it around again, hopefully to a much better reception.”

The powerful House speaker pro tempore, Jan Jones (R-Alpharetta), put a positive spin on Monday’s development.

“Tom did a tremendous job in moving this Constitutional Amendment forward,” she said. “Getting HR 486 out of subcommittee and the full Education Committee with one hearing each is real progress. This is most definitely a heavy lift to accomplish. As Pro Tem, I am still fighting to get Milton County, and this is even more significant because of statewide implications. In the end, there were not enough votes to ensure passage, but I am urging Tom to bring this back next session where I look forward to working with him to get it passed.”

Three points I would make here – all my personal opinion. First, Constitutional Amendments should generally be a long-term project to ensure that the consequences, both intended and unintended, are fully understood and vetted. Second, opening the Amendment up in the future to municipalities not newly-created might allow supporters to find some support in places not currently considered likely. The high rate of support for the Charter School Amendment in some predominantly African-American areas might point to a way to find support for this bill outside the new cities. Third, the school systems of the state and their employees are arguably the largest, most geographically distributed lobbying force in favor of strengthening the existing school systems. If you want to change the status quo, you probably have to either get them on your side or somehow neutralize their power.

Yesterday, the State Senate passed SB 167, commonly referred to as an anti-Common Core bill. From the Marietta Daily Journal:

Republican lawmakers indulged their conservative wing Tuesday by opposing national education standards, though the watered-down legislation does nothing to change the standards at the heart of the controversy.

State Sen. William Ligon Jr. (R-Brunswick) initially proposed harsher legislation that mandated Georgia abandon a national plank of educational standards in math and English instruction. Those standards, called the Common Core, have been adopted by most states and set benchmarks for what students should learn. The state Senate voted 34-16 to adopt a scaled-back version of the law.

“It is important that we recognize Georgia’s constitutional right to determine what will be taught in our classrooms,” Ligon said.

In a political compromise, critics of the Common Core standards got legislation that takes a symbolic swipe at the system without fundamentally changing state policy. As a practical matter, Georgia adopted the standards in 2010 and local educators have spent time and money building new curriculum around them. State lawmakers heard as much when they spoke with teacher before the start of the legislative session.

“They got an earful from a lot of educators saying, ‘Listen, don’t yank the rug out from under us because there’s a political tussle going on,’” said Tim Callahan, a spokesman for the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, a teachers’ lobbying group.
The legislation technically bans state officials from adopting standards prescribed by the federal government or other organizations going forward. It will have no effect on the 2010 decision by Georgia’s Board of Education to make the Common Core standards as the state’s own. And the U.S. government never required that states use the standards, though it did encourage their development and adoption.

Campaigns and Elections

Congressman Paul Broun has released his first television ad in the Republican Primary for United States Senate. No word on whether, when or how much money will be used to buy airtime for the ad.

Georgia State Senator Buddy Carter has also released his first ad in the race for Congress in the First District. From Roll Call:

State Sen. Buddy Carter, one of more than a half-dozen Republicans running for Georgia’s open 1st District, will go up on television Tuesday with an ad touting his opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

“As a pharmacist practicing for over 30 years, I’ve seen a lot of changes in health care, and I still maintain we have the greatest health care system in the world,” Carter says in the 30-second spot. “But Obamacare’s a train wreck, and it has to go. In Congress, I’ll continue my pursuit to get rid of it.”

Carter is the first candidate on air in this district, based in Savannah, Ga.. The seat is open this cycle because Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., is running for Senate.

The ad will air on cable through the district, and is backed by a small $25,000 buy, according to two sources with knowledge of media buys in Georgia.

 

Ashley Bell, former Hall County Commissioner, has thrown his hat into the ring for State School Superintendent. From the Gainesville Times:

“We think we bring to this race a perspective of being a leader in our local charter schools and having run a youth leadership organization in our public schools for eight years successfully,” Bell, 33, said. “Along with having had experience as a local elected official, we think we have the right combination of experience at the right time for this office.”
The state superintendent seat is being vacated by John Barge, who is campaigning in the Republican gubernatorial primary against Gov. Nathan Deal.
“The superintendent’s office has to work in partnership with the governor and the Department of Education,” Bell said. “What I can do is help the office be more transparent with parents.”
“What I want to focus on is, yes, let’s make our classrooms stronger and better environments for education,” he said. “I think that is a three-pronged approach. You’ve got to have parental involvement. You’ve got to have quality, well-paid teachers. And then you’ve got to have student responsibility.”

Click here to visit his website, where you will find no mention of Common Core.

Comments ( 0 )