On February 19, 1953, Governor Herman Talmadge signed legislation creating the Georgia State Literature Commission to investigate and refer for prosecution anyone selling obscene materials. In 2014, the Washington Post wrote about the State Literature Commission.
Georgia created the nation’s first censorship board.
The vote was unanimous. The Georgia State Assembly approved House Bill 247 on Feb. 19, 1953, with no dissent, establishing the Georgia Literature Commission. Despite being born into controversy, it lived on for 20 years surviving legal and legislative challenges until the administration of then-Gov. Jimmy Carter defanged it, setting off its slow death.
After years of support, then-Gov. Jimmy Carter cut the commission’s annual appropriation by about 20 percent in 1971, while simultaneously fighting a public battle against pornography. His administration then implemented zero-based budgeting, in which each governmental organization had to justify itself, which had become increasingly hard to do for the commission.
On February 19, 2014, Elana Meyers (now Elana Meyers Taylor) won the Silver Medal in bobsled in the Sochi Olympics. Last week, Meyers Taylor won the overall World Cup for women’s bobsledding. This tremendous athlete is from Douglasville, Georgia and her father Eddie Meyers was a standout running back at the Naval Academy who served six years in the Navy and signed with the Atlanta Falcons after his service.
Under the Gold Dome Today
SENATE COMMITTEE MEETINGS
2:00 PM RULES – UPON ADJOURNMENT 450 CAP
1:00 PM AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS 125 CAP
1:00 PM Public Safety General Welfare Subcommittee 122 CAP
1:00 PM REGULATED INDUSTRIES AND UTILITIES 310 CLOB
2:00 PM PUBLIC SAFETY 125 CAP
2:00 PM EDUCATION AND YOUTH 307 CLOB
2:00 PM INSURANCE AND LABOR – CANCELED 450 CAP
3:00 PM HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES 450 CAP
3:00 PM VETERANS, MILITARY, AND HOMELAND SECURITY – CANCELED 125 CAP
3:00 PM SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY – CANCELED 310 CLOB
4:00 PM FINANCE -CANCELED MEZZ
HOUSE COMMITTEE MEETINGS
8:00 AM JUVENILE JUSTICE 406 CLOB
8:00 AM W&M Ad Valorem Tax 133 CAP
8:30 AM W&M Sales Tax Sub 133 CAP
9:00 AM RULES 341 CAP
12:30 PM REGULATED INDUSTRIES 506 CLOB
SENATE RULES CALENDAR
SB 370 – Superior Courts; sponsor of training requirements; change provisions (RET – Martin)
HB 757 – Domestic Relations; religious officials shall not be required to perform marriage ceremonies in violation of their legal right; provide (RULES – Kirk)
HOUSE RULES CALENDAR
Modified Open Rule
HB 751 General appropriations; State Fiscal Year July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017 (Substitute)(App-Ralston-7th)
Modified Structured Rule
HB 579 Motor vehicles; operation of certain vehicles upon highways when used in connection with agricultural pursuits; provide (Substitute) (A&CA-McCall-33rd)
HB 886 Pharmacy licenses; employing mails or common carriers to sell, distribute, and deliver prescription drugs; revise a provision (Substitute) (H&HS-Cooper-43rd)
HB 902 Hospitals and related institutions; educational information on influenza disease to residents of assisted living communities; provide (H&HS-Dempsey-13th)
The Georgia State Senate will today take up House Bill 757, the Pastor Protection Act originally by State Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville), into which have been transplanted the core of Sen. Greg Kirk’s First Amendment Defense Act. Call it a shotgun marriage, perhaps, or at least an arranged marriage.
The powerful Senate Rules committee on Tuesday added that language to a bill unanimously approved by the House last week allowing religious officials to decline performing same-sex marriage ceremonies. The move combines two of the eight bills introduced this year seeking legal exemptions for opponents of same-sex marriage after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling effectively legalized the unions.
The bill protecting pastors, however, received little opposition on its way to a House vote. Gay rights advocates though harshly criticized the broader Senate bill, known as the “First Amendment Defense Act,” shielding adoption agencies, schools and other organizations from penalty for opposing same-sex marriage.
Georgia’s business community also remains leery of any bill that could prompt boycott threats Indiana received in 2015 following passage of a different religious measure. In a joint statement Tuesday, officials with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce said they worked with senators to “help improve the bill.”
Senate Republicans said during Tuesday’s hearing that the measure would protect any view of legal marriage, including same-sex marriage. The bill goes on to specifically state those views may include “the belief that marriage should only be between a man and a woman or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a union.” No other opinion of marriage is included in the bill’s language.
Greg Bluestein of the AJC writes that this could help put the Religious Liberty issues to bed – whether the two parts of the bill will sleep in the same bed or separate beds remains to be seen. Or the House could strip the FADA language out and send it to sleep on the couch.
If there’s Senate sign-off, there’s talk there may be a rush to send it back to the House today for final approval – perhaps allowing the Legislature to dispose of a highly controversial issue before the weekend.
One possible reason for the push: A crush of local GOP precincts hold meetings across the state on Saturday, and this could give Republican lawmakers some red meat to take home to the conservative activists who make up the party’s base.
That’s a quaint idea.
The main item on the House calendar today is the State Budget that will take effect on July 1, 2016.
In two cases, the information we shared via one of the Presidential campaigns was incorrect. Here is corrected information for those two counties:
Henry County Precinct Mass Meeting, Saturday, February 20, 2016.
Registration Starts at 9 am. Registration ends at 10 am.
Locust Grove Recreation Center, 10 Cleveland Street, Locust Grove, GA 30248
The mass precinct meeting is where we organize our County GOP from the grassroots up. If you want to be involved and are interested in learning about how to build the Republican Party in your community, please be sure you join us on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at the Locust Grove Recreation Center.
Registration starts at 9:00AM and will end promptly at 10:00AM. Any registered voter who lives in Henry County and believes in the principles of the Republican Party is free to attend!
Fayette County Precinct Caucus (Mass Meeting) on Feb 20m 2016 at 10:00AM at Heritage Christian Church, 2130 Redwine Road, Fayetteville to elect delegates to the county convention.
Doors open at 9:00AM for registration; anyone NOT in the registration line by 10:00AM may only be seated as a guest. On-hand staff can confirm which precinct you are in, or you can do it yourself here!
If you have any questions about your Precinct Mass Meetings tomorrow, please contact your local county party for correct information.
Peach State Presidential Politics
The Marco Rubio campaign has announced additional events in Georgia:
In addition to the office openings we noted yesterday, Kasich is holding a pair of events on Tuesday.
Donald J. Trump
The Trump Atlanta Towers may never have taken off, but this photo was sent to us of the Corey smokestack by the Georgia State Capitol. It’s huge.
In case you don’t already have your free tickets to Sunday’s Trumpapalooza at the World Congress Center, click here.