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.
* We're back on track and I have a feeling we're going to be hearing about the budget.
* Nwandi's back! YAY! And we get to talk to Tom Crawford! YAY!
* Chip Rogers is floating layoffs and fee increases. Republicans for fee increases. You can smell the desperation in the air.
* Jerry Keen says we haven't looked at fees in 15 years. He wants to charge grocery stores for their inspections. It only costs $82 dollars to file a lawsuit. I think even libertarians might agree that's too cheap. Imagine what it could do to cut down on frivolous lawsuits!
* February revenue numbers are in. They are down 10% from last February. We're screwed.
* Project Tom Crawford! Striped shirt with a patterned tie again. I give. At least it's not striped on top of checks this time. Less wobbly on the TeeVee. It's eerie seeing the Capitol so quiet behind Tom.
* Tom says not only is the 2011 budget going to be $1 billion short but the 2010 budget still needs $200 million cut. This is going to get awful.
* The Education Civil War continues. Last week, Seth Harp wanted to raise tuition by 77% . That raised the ire of many. Harp is not happy about it and he's fire-breathing from the Senate well. He even takes a few shots at his own party leaders - Governor Perdue. If this is the opening salvo, it will get much bloodier.
* In the House, Austin Scott is also taking shots at the Guv. Calling him a tax and spender. Pretty much called him a Democrat.
* Scowling House clerks! The streak continues!
* The House wants to renew the hotel tax in Atlanta. It's earmarked to support the Georgia Dome. And it's Republicans arguing for it. The extension of a tax! Strange times, bubba.
* Fees. Fees. Fees. It's all about fees. More action in the Senate about bringing them up to date. I remember when driver's license went from $4.50 to $15.00. It almost caused a revolt.
* Sen. Valencia Seay (D-Land of A Thousand Democrats) wants a requirement to teach first aid in secondary schools. Sen. John Douglas (R-Crazyland) says it's fine but doesn't need to be codified. Sen. Steve Thompson (D-Strange Hair) points out we already require health classes. The thing eventually passed.
* House approved the Governor's school board governance bill. It allows the governor to swoop in an take out school board members where the system loses accreditation. It can only happen after the state Board of Education holds are hearing and recommends the action.
* Child prostitution bill. This should be good. So good, we have Valarie at Hogwarts. Opponents say the measure, which changes the offense to "unruly children", say it decriminalizes prostitution. I didn't see their pile of stones, but I'm sure they are nearby. A Fulton prosecutor argues for the bill and not hauling children off to jail for crimes where they can't even consent. So much for the law and order crowd.
* Hustler has filed open records request to get the pictures of that poor hiker girl that was killed last year. Yep, Larry Flynt is still the most vile man on the planet. Speaker Ralston is dead set against and is trying to pass a bill which will prevent these types of request. They should research what happened in Florida after Dale Earnhardt's death. But it won't cover the Hustler situation. To which the Speaker says they are welcome to sue the State. I'm pretty sure Flynt has heard those words before.
* Black History Moment. We're getting it now because of the recess. And there's Keocia! She's not really missing. Profile of Coretta Scott King. Coretta was a country girl. Didn't know that.
* Ban on texting while driving passed Senate committee. Ban on eating Whoppers while driving must be on the way. Hearing old dudes talk about texting is pretty funny.
* Hearing on raising the cigarette tax. And there's Tom Baxter! It's standing room only for this committee meeting and all the beautiful people are there.
* We've got a roving camera! It's slowly swinging away from Nwandi and there's Ricky looking a little stunned. Camera intern must have dozed off. Or seen a rat. Whiplash back to Nwandi.
* International Women's Day. I suppose this counts as our protest of the day. And there's Nan Orrock! Of course Lawmaker's identifies here as Gail Buckner of Morrow. It's easy to get your liberals confused.
* Lawmakers Flashback! It's also Women's History Month. So, naturally we get to see an old dude - Denmark Groover. But he's honoring the first woman who served in the General Assembly - Viola Ross Napier. She served in the 20s which is pretty amazing.
* Susan points out there still not enough women in the Legislature. SNAP!
* Ricky Bevington and her BOOK OF DOOM! A hunter killed a forestry employee in middlle Georgia. He thought he was a coyote. Tax breaks are helping movies move to Georgia. Great. More liberals. Short segment tonight. Just not enough bad news to go around.
* Tomorrow! More protests! More Porter! But for now, that's a wrap!