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.
* Everyone present and accounted for.
* First half of the daily double: Transportation. T-SPLOST passes the Senate. This is the regional version.
* Whoa! Something weird just happened. The whole picture dimmed. Don't know if it's my DVR or a new gremlin. American Idol certainly looked fine.
* More weirdness! Tape skip! And the picture cleared back up. I think we had some bad tape there.
* SB13 allows prosecutors to seek Life Without Parole from the get go. Passed unanimously and that's a good thing.
* First live shot. Same spot.
* Bill to allow students to leave school as early as 11th grade to attend college. They would get credit at both simultaneously. I thought we had this already. I'm pretty sure my sister did it a long time ago. Maybe this expands it somehow. Still. Sounds good.
* Sen. Fort is back with the "Fair Lending Act". This time they are using the mortgage meltdown as leverage. The Republicans counter with penalties for late deed filing and allowing leasees to stay in a foreclosed home for 60 days. We're going to see some chimera come out of all this.
* Now we're on to tweaking bankruptcy law. This is all quite depressing. Democrats want to increase the homestead exemption in the bankruptcy law.
* Brittany Evans is in studio! They must be down to drawing straws to see who gets the one live shot at the Capitol. Doubling the homestead passed the Finance Committe and now heads to Rules. However, the county commissioners aren't happy because they know this means less money in their till which will force all the difficult decisions on to their laps.
* Wait! We're back to the Capitol! But the same shot. And I'm just guessing here but based on the difference in the angle of the camera, Tiana Fernandez is quite a bit shorter than the other reporters. Maybe that's why Brittany got shuffled off to the studio.
* It's the Annual Let's Make Seatbelt Use In Pickup Trucks Mandatory bill. Each year, we pass on some federal money because we don't have this requirement. If you want to know why I could care less email me or make the request in a comment.
* Leadership Series: Tonight it's House Majority Leader Jerry Keen and he's going to talk about, what else - transportation.
* He advocates the House version of a statewide plan - shocking. Now on to the budget. The budget originates in the House don't ya know. The challenge is really going to be the Amended Budget instead of the "Big" budget. Maybe it's time for a refresher on the difference in those two boogers. You let me know if you want it.
* Sen. Brown (D-As Seen On TV) defends Sen. Seth Harp's resolution to merge HBCU's with majority white colleges. He wants to make sure people understand Harp's motives are not insidious. He also points out Emmanuel Jones is helping craft a revised version to clear up some things.
I'm going to take a moment to editorialize on this one. When I first heard of this thing, I thought it was easily one of the stupidest moves ever. Seriously, we're building God forsaken boat ramps and the Republicans want to close HBCU's before cutting anything else? This is the priority? So, I have been shocked by the tepid response of some African American leaders and I've slowly come to realize that maybe this isn't that big of a deal. I still think it plays into the hands of the goblins of myth and small thought, but if the people who actually have some skin in the game seem to think it might be okay, so be it. We'll just have to see how the revisions play.
* Sen. Gail Buckner wants to introduce a Code of Ethics for school boards. Given what happened in Clayton County? The question is really why the hell didn't we have this already?
* The only House bill today was about allowing private sources to donate to some medical board. I honestly don't know who this is for because Rep. Channel mumbled it. Not much to say here but he clearly said "gin up" a couple of times and "gin up" is a great saying.
* Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, a really sweet lady about whom I'll someday share a story, wants to put limits on coal mining. Coal mining? We mine coal in Georgia? Even if we do, Rep. Oliver represents Decatur. Are they strip mining somewhere near Ponce? Wait a minute. It also puts a moratorium on new Coal plants for the next 5 years. There's the poison pill.
* Stricter regulation on day care. Every adult worker has to get finger-printed. That should stir up some tin hats.
* It was Firefighter's Recognition Day. Which can only mean an appearance by State Fire Commissioner John Oxendine. He's also a candidate for Governor don't ya know. Clever.
* Don't forget the State of Judiciary tomorrow at 10:30.
* There was another curious absence tonight. But we don't want to get into guessing games, so for now, that's a wrap!