Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gonzo Lawmakers - Day 22

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.

Day 22

* We return to another three day week. I can only hope we get some coverage of Bobby Franklin's latest craziness. Seriously. Click the link. You've got to read it to believe it.

* We're going to get some Michael Thurmond today. For the record, I worked in the Georgia Department of Labor for nine years - the majority in Unemployment Insurance, so take your get-ready pill, Ethel.

* I think Dave got a haircut since last week.

* Commissioner Thurmond is the top story. Commissioner Thurmond is urging that we take the federal stimulus money for Unemployment Insurance. Instead of repeating myself, I urge you to follow this link to understand why the strings attached matter. Governor spokesman Bert Brantley (who I've yet to see in a tie. And Republicans were whining about Obama not wearing a jacket) says Perdue wants to focus on the Medicaid money we're about to receive because it doesn't have strings attached.

* Tort reform. Whoa! The first one failed to make it out of committee! Blow Joshua Blow! This was the one that granted immunity to the pharmas if their drug passed FDA review. They tried to narrow it down to just immunity for punitive damages but still couldn't get it passed. My goodness. It's hard to imagine this one going down so easily. Hand me a hanky. I feel faint.

* First live shot. Same old position. I miss our brief foray into the Senate chamber already.

* Valerie's going to talk about the transportation restructuring. Begin countdown to shot of the Connector. That was quick. It was the background of the first graphic. The bill is Senate Bill 200 and it combines GRTA (Greater Regional Transportation Authority) and SRTA (State Road and Tollway Authority).

* Ooooooo shot of the airport! But they got the tape reversed and DELTA is spelled ATLED. We should cut them some slack. GPB is new to product placement.

* Rep. Bobby Parham who was just elected to the DOT board invokes the ghost of Talmadge. Now that's some serious mojo.

* MARTA bills. The Let Them Eat Cake bill (allows food and beverages to be sold at MARTA stations). It passed. The second bill is some technical mess to clean up some tax arcana. But it gives Doug Stoner a little more face time. It also passed.

* Sen. Chip Pearson wants to prohibit "sanctuary cities". Since we don't have any and there is no chance we'll ever have any, he wants to prohibit something that doesn't exist. As Emmanuel Jones points out, it's a solution looking for a problem.

* Can someone check Rep. Brian Thomas (D-Lilburn) ID? What is the age requirement for the House? They are debating giving a tax credit to people who donate to private scholarships. Just what we need - more complexity in the tax code. Rep. Earl Ehrhart (R-Once Sent Me A Get Well Email) sponsored the bill and as usual is pulling no punches in defending it.

* Regulations on gasoline blending got an hour's debate in the Senate today. Oh, the things they discuss. Feeling a little libertarian yet? There's Earnest Dan Weber! He's being quite demonstrative and the camera shot can barely contain his prodigious frame. And it can't. One lanky hand just darted completely out of the shot.

* The fluid of cadavers?! Oh, this bill allows the use of bodily fluids and blood to train body searching dogs. I assume they have to obtain permission first?

* Vote in the poll!

* How will the stimulus affect the children. Won't anyone think of the children!

* Brittany is in studio again. We must be back to drawing straws for the live shot at the Capitol. Or is Brittany being groomed to move up to anchor? Things that make you go hmmm.

* I have to say the Children & Youth Committee looks like its meetings are relegated to the living room of a double-wide. Nice faux wood paneling!

* Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce supports school board reform. Will anyone who opposes this please step forward? Thought so. Oh wait! Stepping forward is the Georgia School Board Association. Instead of a removal, they want school board members to face a special election. That might make sense except I'm pretty sure special elections cost money. I'm also pretty sure given recent school board track records (cough Clayton County cough), the result would be the same.

* Ugh. Union card check. I don't want to get into this yet but someone should explain federal vs. state jurisdiction to Sen. Eric Johnson. And he's standing next to a building lobbyist as he makes his statement. Pardon me as I pause to shower.

* SB 31! Why is this so late in the broadcast? It's only the hottest thing right now and apparently the House Republicans are feeling some serious heat from it. It passed out of committee. I cannot wait for this floor fight. If there will be a floor fight. The Democrats are strangely silent on this matter.

* Minoo! And she's in studio too! What the hey? I guess tossing mics to each other for the single live shot at the Capitol finally got too aggravating.

* It's our annual English only bill. Driver's licenses test this time. Really. 40 days is far too many.

* School nurses were at the Capitol again. Trying to save their jobs again. They were on the Capitol steps this time - with signs and....drums. Pass the patchouli.

* A glitch free but entertaining Lawmakers. But we need more Bobby Franklin. For now, that's a wrap.


Anonymous said...

SB22 and 23 passed out of committee thanks to the Hawks swooping in to do the bidding.

Rob Teilhet tried, without avail to point out that this will likely end up in court-golf claps all around.

Amber Rhea said...

Ooooooo shot of the airport! But they got the tape reversed and DELTA is spelled ATLED.