This, not that: Sine Die edition

 

state-capitol

(Note: I’ve added an update about how each item turned out.) Most of this year’s highest-profile bills, from transportation to education to the budget, cleared the Legislature before today’s session finale. Here are some others that, in legislator-ese, deserve a “do pass” recommendation — and some that don’t.

Do pass the substitute to House Bill 17: The “Hidden Predator Act” allows an adult to sue a person who may have molested, raped or committed another sexual crime against the plaintiff when he/she was a minor. This has the potential to bring a measure of justice for people who have suffered horribly.

It also had the potential, initially, to open wide the door to jackpot justice against companies, churches and other entities the defendants might have worked or volunteered for when the crime was committed. The Senate’s version of the bill made the minimum changes needed to limit suits to truly negligent entities. The bill shouldn’t move forward without them. (Update: The substitute was adopted.)

Do pass the substitute to Senate Bill 4: This legislation sets a number of parameters for very large (10,000 acres) redevelopment projects involving “surface transportation.” It’s nicknamed the “Beltline Bill” after the only current project that qualifies.

The House substitute addresses a problem that arose with the Atlanta Streetcar, requiring government to bear the costs of any necessary utility relocations. That’s the right thing to do, rather than forcing private firms to pay for part of the project against their will. (Update: I haven’t seen a copy of the final text, but the two sides reportedly reached an amicable compromise.)

Do pass the substitute to SB 63: The “Beer Jobs Bill” would allow craft brewers and distilleries to sell some of their wares to folks visiting their facilities, rather than only through the three-tier system of wholesalers and retailers. This measure is long overdue, chiefly because the wholesalers and retailers — and the politicians to whom they contribute large sums of campaign funds — have resisted change. That needs to stop today. (Update: The bill, while not what brewers originally wanted, passed.)

Do not pass HB 439: Imagine a state program to subsidize the investments Mark Cuban makes on “Shark Tank,” without the state profiting, and you have a sense of what the “Georgia New Markets Jobs Act” would do. The bill would funnel money via insurance tax breaks to firms that ultimately lend money to small businesses in low-income and rural areas.

But oversight is scant, and a similar federal program has long been blasted as wasteful crony capitalism by conservatives such as Sen. Tom Coburn. Georgia has rejected similar bills in the past; this version is too similar to them to merit a better fate. (Update: Unfortunately, this bill passed.)

Do not pass SB 129: What? I’m now opposing the “Georgia Religious Freedom Restoration Act” after supporting it for more than a year?!?

Even before the hysteria that invaded Indiana after that state passed a similar bill, it was clear GOP leaders in Georgia were loath to pass a “clean” version of the bill. While well-intentioned, anti-discrimination amendments to the bill were so broad as to allow all sorts of future mischief unrelated to what we’d recognize as discrimination. Better to come back in 2016 with a well-vetted, broadly accepted plan to address genuine concerns without codifying a blueprint for undermining religious liberty. (Update: While I wish I hadn’t had to take this position, the bill was indeed shelved until next year.)

Four out of five ain’t bad.

Reader Comments 0

25 comments
stogiefogey
stogiefogey

A year from now the gay wedding cake trauma will have been forgotten and some other cause du jour will captivate the attention of our legislators. Hopefully we've seen the last of the SB 129-type ideas. 

JamVet
JamVet

Progress!

The “Beer Jobs Bill” would allow craft brewers and distilleries to sell some of their wares to folks visiting their facilities, rather than only through the three-tier system of wholesalers and retailers. This measure is long overdue, chiefly because the wholesalers and retailers — and the politicians to whom they contribute large sums of campaign funds — have resisted change. That needs to stop today.

MHSmith
MHSmith

@JamVet


For the libs that always want a case citation of government regulatory over-reach to protect corporate profits"^^^^^^^"


^^^^^^^^^^"point in case!"^^^^^^^^^^^^^


Every government regulation on the books needs a review by the legislators, state and federal, to find just cause for keeping it on the books. If its' purpose is to protect profits and prohibit competition in the marketplace it should be repealed. If all any regulation does in reality is to grow the size and scope of government bureaucracy it should be repealed.  


Every new regulation some bureaucrat writes should go before the Congress or state's Assembly for approval before it can be enforced as law.      

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

If you haven't read it, Ann Coulter's new column on the RFRA, "Hands up don't discriminate" is worth your time, just to see how incredibly many instances of over amped, over hyped liberal outrage we have had to suffer through, that were based solely on inaccurate or false information. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@RafeHollister Yet just today Georgia florists stated they would not serve Gay customers if the bill passed.


I know in your and Ann's world this type of bigotry doesn't exist. But it does.


Ill say for the millionth time. When the majority ( Christians ) start crying they are being persecuted its usually the other way around. They are upset they cant persecute others.


There is already a million dollar mega church on just about every street corner in Georgia while the schools crumble to the ground. We already have Religious freedoms in this country. And more importantly the freedom FROM religion. Its why the Pilgrims came here don't ya know. 





Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@RafeHollister BTW i read her column.


Its her usual hysterical drivel. And she even managed to work Bill Clinton in there.


Bonus points Ann !!!!


Anyone who would take that column seriously should seek psychiatric help immediately.


And by immediately I mean today.

IReportYouWhine#1
IReportYouWhine#1

Is there a convenient chart available that one could use to track which groups have a grievance with which bills?


It's getting kinda hard to follow.

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

You can't give rights to one group that you took from another.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

I'm in agreement with Kyle on the "dos" and "do nots".

There was a time when I would have said go with HB 17 regardless, but with all the recent false allegations of sexual assault, I'm inclined to agree with Kyle.

Jackpot justice is a strong motivation with some, justice be damned.

MHSmith
MHSmith

HB 17 hopefully will not prohibit or "limit the scope" civil  legal action against churches, businesses or other organizations from the maximum civil suits can award to victims of sex crime where it is proven the leadership or management know of, hid or aided and abetted in any way the predator.  


In short, by way of example:  Priest molesting children cover-up by those in the church who knowingly said nothing. 


IN such case Kyle, there is "NO JACKPOT LARGE ENOUGH TO SERVE JUSTICE!"

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@MHSmith The current version sets a standard of preponderance of the evidence (i.e. 51% chance) for gross negligence. That should cover the types of actions you mention without, one hopes, opening the door to all manner of trial-lawyer mischief.

MarkVV
MarkVV

Georgia bill SB 129 should be killed and buried. If in the future there is any demonstrated widespread effort to prevent exercise of religion, a law can be tailored for that purpose, a law which would protect true exercise of religion, rather than the right of some religious people to curtail the choices of legal behavior of others.

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

"without codifying a blueprint for undermining religious liberty"


If it's at the expense of gays, that people expect "religious liberty", then that is NOT "religious liberty", that's just bigotry. 


A better bill, with protections for those who would be discriminated against, can be done.  But the way supporters kept on repeating "religious liberty" vs. "erotic liberty", I do not expect them to have an easy time of it. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

The Religious Freedom Bills are dead now


You wont see them again.


Money talked loud and clear in Indiana.



RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@HeadleyLamar So, the guy who said Netanyahu was going to "lose big time" is giving us another fateful prediction "You wont see them again".  haha.  You are going to wind up as big an authority as Crazy Uncle Joe Biden.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@RafeHollister @HeadleyLamar So, the guy who said Netanyahu was going to "lose big time"


The pols were wrong that is for sure.


He and his way of thinking ARE going to lose. Whether at the polls or because of the irresponsibles stances he took to get reelected. 

332-206
332-206

@RafeHollister @HeadleyLamar

So the guy who said we need a new President and Congress to stop the growth of government is the Fact Finder.

You're going to wind up as big an authority as US Senator Ted Cruz.

332-206
332-206

SB 129: Really interesting to see where sentiments are next session. "Broadly accepted"? That would be a remarkable achievement. But with 2016 electioneering dominating, just don't see it. 

332-206
332-206

@Kyle_Wingfield @332-206

Watch to see if tourism and business interests were given extra incentive by the $5 bed tax and other swipes from this session

GeorgiaRedNeck
GeorgiaRedNeck

@332-206 "Broadly accepted". It would take intelligence, understanding and compassion from a GOP dominated legislature. Is that possible?

PudHead
PudHead

I say we pass no more laws until they go through all the laws that don’t apply anymore and remove them from the law books….