Crossover Day Comes, Senate Takes on Mean Spirit

Posted March 4, 2016 12:00 AM by Jimmy Stokes    

Later in this newsletter there is a listing of the bills that survived Crossover Day and remain active in the 2016 General Assembly.  Monday saw routine action on education related bills (there was only one bill considered in the House) but in the Senate the kindred spirit turned mean.  Led by Sen. Josh McKoon the Senate modified or adopted several bills that either openly confronted the LGBT community and/or ethnic minorities.  The Senate passed SB 6 which requires a special driver’s permit for undocumented aliens who may be here on waiver or by other means that cannot be used as an ID and if used as an ID is a misdemeanor.  They are also required to have a separate state issued ID.  The debate was emotional and pointed.  Senate bill 389 which would provide temporary assistance for needy families was adopted after numerous amendments designed to reduce the strength of the bill.    Senate bill 675 also passed 39-14 after heated debate and creates a constitutional amendment to make English the official language of Georgia even though there is a current statute mandating such.  Sen. McKoon spoke on the bill and indicated he wanted everyone to know how the Senate stood on English as the only acceptable language in Georgia.  Many of the bills passed with votes approximating 37-16, strict party lines.  Had I not being watching it I would not believe it when Sen. Tommie Williams of Lyons who is retiring at the end of this session, said, “We have a problem in this chamber in that some of our members don’t like brown people.”   It was that kind of day.  Hopefully emotions will return to an even keel soon. If you have questions about specific bills do not hesitate to email me at jstokes@gael.org or call me at 770-601-3798.

Topics: Crossover Day


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