A daily recap of the Georgia Public Broadcasting show "Lawmakers". The show airs weekdays at 7:00pm with a replay at 5:30am the following weekday.
*A brief note. Sources tell me the herd of gremlins plaguing the show are due to changes in studio locations. Essentially, they are doing simulcasts from the Capitol and the 14th Street studios and all without a live truck. Those of you in the "bidness" will understand the difficulty of that challenge. Now on with the show!
* Audio - check. David and Nwandi - check. But everyone's wearing black. Some sort of ritualistic dress to ward off the evil spirits?
* Transportation. This is the second big egg after the Budget. Chair Vance Smith is talking about a statewide SPLOST (that's fancy talk for sales tax) for transportation. The disbursement would then be based on population in the 30 largest cities. I'd like to see the numbers on this. Some of the smaller burgs might only be able to hire an extra crossing guard.
* Sonny wants to tax hospitals to make up for a Medicade shortfall. It seems odd to tax the very institutions involved in the shortfall. Sounds a little like voodoo. Richard Sepulvado (also wearing black, I hope somebody didn't die!) is trying to explain this stuff and its making my head spin. Something to do with the Feds and reimbursements. Apparently if we don't raise this bit we could lose a larger amount from the Feds. Only in government.
* Rep. Ron Stephens is back on his tobacco tax. According to him its a cure-all for many a budget woe. I need to research how many times they've raised this particular tax. I seem to recall its happened before. Or maybe that was the Feds. Oh hell, where's Sepulvado. My head's spinning again.
* Rep. Roger Bruce wants to guarantee parents can take one day off work a year for school functions without losing their jobs. Yeah, that has a chance in Hades of passing. And if Rep. Bruce sounds familiar, he's the guy who also wants casino gambling. And yes, the combination is as odd as it sounds.
* Week In Review time! We're finally getting to see the Lost Tapes of The Eggs and Issues Breakfast! I'll take this time to reflect on the first week of "Gonzo Lawmakers". Okay. Done.
* They're already taking a recess?! What's next? Cookies and juice followed by a nap? Actually next week is the budget briefings. You can watch that meat grinder online and when it starts I'll provide a link.
* Resolution to apologize for slavery. A similar one failed in 2007. We need to start a checklist before each session starts. Bobby Franklin's HB 1, tobacco tax, apologize for slavery...
* More Eggs and Issues Basement Tapes! How long until we see Casey? Sonny's up first and we have good b-roll of the Chamber's fine china. These guys really don't know what to do with their hands with a clear podium. Makes you wonder what goes on when its not a clear podium.
* Casey Time!
* Back to Sonny and the State of the State.
* The Southeastern Diesel Collaborative gave some award to Coke. What the hell does diesel have to do with Coke? And why is something that sounds like a trucker convention giving out awards? Apparently Coke has done something to reduce emissions. That joke just writes itself, doesn't it.
* Sen. Emmanuel Jones is asking that a portion of the auto bailout go to minority auto dealers. State invading the Federal playground - Democrat style.
* A choir from Florida is singing. They're here for King Weekend so hold the snark.
* Rep. Doug Collins was sworn in today. He couldn't participate Monday because he was serving in Iraq. Welcome back Rep. Collins and thank you for your service. Dude, also passed the bar while he was overseas! My lord, sir. The General Assembly's going to seem like a picnic!
* That's a wrap. Lawmakers will take a break over the next week and so will Gonzo Lawmakers. Back to the usual nonsense for now.