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.
* This show hasn't even started and we already have weirdness. I have no recording of the 7:00pm broadcast. No problem. There's the 5:30 rebroadcast. But there isn't. It's not on the schedule. Did they get pre-empted by some Barney/Ken Burns/Antiques Roadshow emergency? Was it an internet only broadcast? We will find out shortly as I strain my aged eyes to see the internet version.
* "Live from Atlanta" - ahem, I think not!
* Perdue announced the 2010 budget (2010! It's like we're living in the future!) will have a 1.6 billion cut. That's a lot. The stimulating will cover about 1.1 billion. Whew.
* First live shot and they've moved again! They're still on the balcony but the background is different and with the lits dimmed it looks a bit like Hogwarts.
* The House passed their version of the transportation bill - it has the statewide TSPLOST. It also has a list of projects. I bet four-laning Ga-133 is on it. Steve Davis (R-Just Loves The Hudson Bride Exit) opposes Dubose Porter's amendment to shift some of the gas tax to this project. It passed anyway. By a huge margin. Everyone got their ducks in a row on this one.
* Pat Gardner wants to give MARTA some flexibility on how it uses its budget. Currently it rigidly requires 50% for operations and 50% for capital improvements. That does seem a bit odd. There's a dude from Sandy Springs actually making sense about the transit system! M-O-O-N, that spells crazy, laws yes. He wants to charge by the distance traveled (which is what DC does) and that makes a helluva lot of sense.
* Senate bill to require proof of citizenship to register to vote. I predict we will get a Democrat talking about a solution in search of a problem. This is voter id all over again. Steve Thompson brings up the it's about "the poor, the old, the infirm" thing. Wouldn't old people have already registered? (shot of earnest Dan Weber with his hand over his mouth). It passed 34-20. Sounds like a party line vote.
* Sen. John Douglas! Please bring the crazy so I won't have to write an open letter like Travis Fain did to the Speaker. Lord help! Not only was he not crazy but he was making sense too! I better start writing.
* House defeats the seat belt in pickup truck bill. In other news, water still wet. But this is interesting. Parliamentary nerds take note - apprently instead of killing the nasty little thing in committee, they mucked around with it to the point even the sponsor said it's unrecognizable. Smooth.
* Next live shot and Brittany's going to talk about Legislators who've been vewwy, vewwy bad about not paying taxes. Sen. Eric Johnson wants to take them to the woodshed. He wants to make it an ethics violation. Now Sen. Robert Brown, who we found out today is one of the delinquents, is theorizing tough economic times may be to blame. I'm betting he gave this interview before that news tidbit broke. You spin me right round, baby, right round. Brittany says none of the names have been released. Not true Brittany!
* The supplemental budget passed the Senate committee.
* Tuition's going up at the colleges. The University System Chancellor also said furloughs are possible. If'n you remember wayyyyyy back to the first week of the session, he originally vowed this would never happen. The ever tightening belt is squeezing harder.
* The Hall of Fames are about to plead to stay open. The scream you heard from the direction of Newton County was probably Jason Pye. We get a report from the Macon radio affiliate. WABE listeners cover your ears and quietly hum Chopin. Requisite shot of the Music Hall of Fame - complete with a B-52s dress. The legistlature is discussing making Macon fund the museum. Macon's mayor is shockingly against this plan.
* Ron Stephens Cigarette Tax is stalled in committee - which of course brings some advocacy group up to 'Lanter to whine. It was the Christians this time. Something called the Faith United Against Tobacco. Not kidding. One of them is quoting Corinthians. Not kidding. It's the "body is a temple" part. Next they could transition to Faith United Against Twinkies and not even change the acronym.
* More advocates. This time it's the animal lovers. It's about the taste of anti-freeze. Really. I think someone at the Capitol has been huffing the anti-freeze. Rep Tommy Benton (R-Loves Animals) wants to mandate anti-freeze not taste so sweet thus avoid tempting kitties and puppies into licking themselves to death. Someone also want to protect pets from being collateral damage in domestic violence. My goodness but this was a weird day.
* Georgia Rides To The Capitol. Lots of people with bikes. Pleas for bike paths. At least it wasn't one of those god-awful Critical Mass things. I try to curb my enthusiasm for violence but those things cause my heart to fill with lust for billy clubs and tear gas.
* That's a wrap for the first internet only Gonzo Lawmakers. Please GOD get it back on my TV tomorrow.