[Fwd: RLC 2007 Legislative Session Wrap-up]
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Subject: RLC 2007 Legislative Session Wrap-up Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2007 18:29:23 -0400 (EDT) From: Republican Liberty Caucus of Georgia <chris@...>
I wanted to update the membership on the 2007 Legislative session which adjourned Sine Die on Friday. Lost in the drama over the budget, vetoed tax cuts, and a possible constitutional crisis, were several good bills which passed and some bad ones which were killed.
This year the RLC Legislative Committee took a position on 10 bills.
- Support SB 10 - Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Act This bill passed the House and Senate in the final few hours of the session.
- Oppose SB 155 - Mandatory HPV Vaccines for girls entering the 6th grade The RLC opposed this bill because it was a violation of a family's privacy, and because the nature of the human papillomarvirus is not a widespread threat to public health. This bill was withdrawn by its sponsor.
- Oppose SB 43 - The "Guns in parking lot" bill The RLC opposed SB 43 on the grounds that is violated an employers right to decide what materials may be brought onto their property. This poorly thought out bill pitted Gun Rights against Property Rights, and the Legislative Committee sided with Property Rights. This bill failed to pass in either its original form or as an attachment to House Bill 89.
- Oppose SB 28 - Insuring Georgia's Families Act This bill was an attempt to address the issues with employer and government provided health care. However it contained an anti-liberty provision that would _mandate_ individuals buy insurance and authorized the state to garnish wages if said individuals did not. It is for this reason we opposed SB 28, which was never heard in committee.
- Support HB 107 - Franchise Fee reform House Bill 107 will impose greater transparency, breaking out the cost of government in the bills consumers receive each month. It will also impose fairness in taxation. Consumers will not be forced to pay the fees and taxes imposed upon a utility by political jurisdictions in which they do not reside and have no vote. This bill passed both houses and is pending the Governor's signature.
- Support SB 12 - Zero Based Budgeting. This bill would require that once every four years, each department's spending be reset to zero, and that the entire budget for that department must be reviewed and approved by the General Assembly - not just the new spending. This will lead to cutting wasteful or unnecessary line items saving the taxpayers' money. This bill passed the Senate but was not addressed by the House.
- Support SB 26/137 - Sunday Sales The RLC feels that the restrictions on the sale of alcohol on Sunday are a violation of an individual's right to transact business as there is no compelling public safety reason to keep this ban in place. The free market aspects of SB137 are clear and passage of this measure should be a no-brainer for a party that believes in the free market.
- Support SB 5 - Delay implementation of the REAL ID Act. This bill would have delayed Georgia's implementation of the Real ID act until such time as the US Department of Homeland Security addressed several dangerous privacy issues with the bill. SB 5 was attached to a house bill regarding driver license fees, but that amendment failed to pass the house and the Senate chose to remove the language from the House bill.
- Support HB 269 - Commuter Rail Referendum This bill would have required a public referendum before a county or municipality could obligate its citizens to subsidize unprofitable commuter rail projects. This bill was not heard in committee
- Support HB 66 - The elimination of the State Income Tax This bill was not heard in committee
As you have probably read in the news, the Governor vetoed the House/Senate compromise supplemental budget which contained a 142 million dollar property tax cut. At this time we don't know when the Governor will call the General Assembly back into session. We will keep you informed.
I want to thank the RLC Legislative Committee for reviewing these bills and helping us draft our position statements. The 2007 RLC Legislative Committee consisted of Todd Pull, Clint Murphy, Walter White, David Suddoth, Jason Pye, Josh Ondich, Robbie Honerkamp, and myself.
Again, thanks for your support.
Republican Liberty Caucus of Georgia.
Chris Farris chris at gopliberty dot org Chairman 404 806 1403 Republican Liberty Caucus of Georgia http://www.gopliberty.org