Today is Day 30 of the 40 day Georgia Legislative calendar. It is also known as “crossover day”. Any bill that wants for eventual consideration as law must pass one chamber (either the House or the Senate) by midnight to be moved along. Otherwise, it’s a dead bill and won’t be looked at until next year (if then).
In the last few years, I’ve gleefully followed some of the legislation that was put forth in the House and the Senate. This year, I haven’t been doing that very much, and haven’t blogged about it at all due to other time pressures. I’ve made the decision this year that the time to talk about the important bills is after tonight for two reasons:
Any bill that’s made it through both the House and Senate before now was going to pass no matter what. Controversial bills don’t do this.
Anything that hasn’t made it through crossover day isn’t worthy of my time this year. I’m not a paid political observer and other things have been on my mind.
So, tomorrow begins the real fun in the legislature. As far as I’m aware, there aren’t any explosive bills on the docket similar to the immigration legislation two years ago or the T-SPLOST transportation tax. There are a few ones of interest though. I’ll be blogging about the ones I think are important or interesting over the next few days.
PS. Just because a bill isn’t passed by crossover day doesn’t necessarily mean it’s gone for good. The rule stipulates that amendments can be added to legislation that is dealing with the same Georgia Code section. So if there’s a bill that’s made it through crossover that deals with Section 40 (motor vehicles), and my bill about requiring taxes on SUV magnet ribbons didn’t make it, I can try and slap that language onto the aforementioned bill that did. I couldn’t amend a bill that dealt with Section 17 (Criminal Procedure) because it’s not a relevant code section.
PPS. A private comment queried whether the taxation of SUV magnet ribbons would fall under Section 40, or Section 48 (Revenue and Taxation). That would depend entirely on how I worded the bill. If both Section 40 and Section 48 were represented in the post-crossover days, I could amend either, but if my bill were crafted for Section 40, it would have to be re-written for Section 48 and that might be difficult to do in the time allotted.