Georgia Legislative Activity past Crossover Day

The legislation below is what I’ve found interesting and has survived crossover day. There is other stuff out there that didn’t survive, but I’m going to leave that alone. For now, here’s the legislation in chamber and number order (with one exception).

HR 4 – We Want Tennessee!

This one is interesting. If you weren’t aware, the boundary between Tennessee and Georgia was set by Congress as the 35th line of latitude. Unfortunately, a surveyor mismarked the boundary in 1818 and Tennessee got approximately 60 square miles of extra land out of the bargain. Why this is important is:

  1. The Tennessee River is just north of the GA/TN line
  2. Georgia wants water
  3. The law is on Georgia’s side if it were to come to a dispute
  4. The 35th parallel hasn’t moved, and a bad survey doesn’t displace Congress’ authority
  5. Georgia is willing to settle

All we want is a teeny tiny bit of land and we’ll drop all our problems. It’s just 1.5 square miles. And it happens to include a portion of the Tennessee River.

HB 34 – Geothermal Heat Pumps

This bill was sponsored by my very own state rep. (Don Parsons) and expands the definition of “heat pump” that can receive income tax credits. My understanding is that this would allow for larger commercial systems to receive the tax credit. I have no real opinion on this. Seems like a good idea if it sufficiently encourages renewable heating/cooling systems.

HB 50 – Registered Nurse Fraudulence?

This bill seems entirely devoted to enforcing the rules requiring Nurses to be licensed by the state. I didn’t realize we had an epidemic of un-licensed practitioners here. I am aware that the backlog with the Secretary of State for verifying the immigration or citizenship status of licensed Nurses is rather long. Blame that one on the immigration bill from a few years ago.

HB 60 – Don’t Kill Judges

This bill allows for judges to carry guns whenever and wherever they want.

HB 99 – BEER!

This bill increases the amount of Malt Beverage that you are allowed to brew at home, per year. It does other things regarding home brew and competitions. Basically, this is good for hobbyist brewers. Support!

HB 124 – Sunday Sales

This bill seems to be prohibiting municipalities from calling multiple elections to query the populace about whether they want Sunday Sales. I guess the theory here would be that you could keep calling elections until eventually you got a “No” vote and, POOF, no more Sunday sales. This bill prevents that. It also redefines “retailer”. Exciting, I know.

HB 142 & HB 143 – Lobbyist Gift Ban

I’ll be honest, I haven’t read these but what I’m told is this: There is a complete 100% ban on lobbyist gifts to individual legislators. However there are exceptions. To quote my source: “…[E]ntertaining an entire committee or subcommittee is still allowed, as are receptions open to all members or to the public and tickets to athletic events at University System institutions, [so] long as every legislator is invited.” So you can’t take out Senator Gooch to the Braves, but you could take his entire committee.

HB 146 – Arrest Warrants by Video

This allows for Judges to issue arrest warrants by video conference. The only stipulation is that they have to be within the state. Interesting. I guess this is a move to telecommuting? Seriously, I’m making a guess this is to speed up the warrants process so that a Judge doesn’t have to be physically present to get the thing done. That’s probably a good thing. I am, of course, basing my opinion on my extensive knowledge of jurisprudence gained from watching Law and Order.

HB 150 – Arrest Photograph Removal from Websites

If you read this bill, it seems like it’s the pet bill of a powerful person who got arrested and their mug shot was posted online. Interesting.

SB 11 – Georgia Geospacial Agency

This bill would provide for some centralization and auditing of the geospatial data being produced and managed by the hundreds of different agencies who do so. As someone who fools with GIS and mapping, I can tell you that while there’s a lot of info out there, getting it and using it can be a pain in the butt.

SR 371 – Constitutional Amendment for a Balanced Budget

The Senate passed this. I think they passed it last year too. Here’s the text:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA that this body hereby applies again to Congress, under the provisions of Article V of the Constitution of the United States, for the calling of a convention for proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States and recommends that the convention be limited to consideration and proposal of an amendment requiring that in the absence of a national emergency the total of all federal appropriations made by the Congress for any fiscal year may not exceed the total of all estimated federal revenues for that fiscal year.

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