Thursday, March 19, 2009

Gonzo Lawmakers - Day 32

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 32

* I'm running behind! But we are going to take a great leap forward. This entry is from last night's program. Tonight's program will be a virtual live Gonzo. Now that should be fun.

* Looks like everyone's in place.

* Top Story - poison peanuts. We get the background of all the nastiness down in Blakely. Rep. Tom McCall, who looks eerily like Ag Commish Tommy Irvin which makes this very weird, explains in the future it will be a felony if a plant doesn't reveal its has contaminated food. I think we can all agree this is a good thing.

* Senate passed the House bill to save HOPE by making the funding triggers more flexible. Steve Thompson certainly is getting a lot of face time this session. Doug Stoner's gonna get jealous. They passed a couple of more House bills. I'm sure they were important but not very interesting.

* Jerry Keen is urging the passage off resolution to let Congress know we're agin certain things they haven't actually done. It's like Back To The Future without the Delorean! Seriously though, this is dealing with abortion issues and that can only mean one thing - Welcome To Uncle Bobby's Ride To Crazy Town! Franklin of course opposes his own party's resolution because it's not harsh enough. He wants to throw members of Congress in jail if they pass something he deems unconstitutional. WHEEEEEE! He then with a straight face starts a question "are we going to embarass this House..." WHEEEEE!

* Uh-oh, the Guv's transportation bill might be in trouble. Time to swing over to Hogwarts to have Valerie fill us in. The main item is SB 200 relegates the current DOT to maintenance only so the question of the day is what the hell do they do with the current DOT Board? And here's the sticking point - the scoundrels have finally figured out they would no longer have a say in who sits on the new board. Took them long enough. Lord God, they've already tacked on six amendments! This thing is doomed.

* Now the bill that will not die - seatbelts in pickup trucks. The thing is stuck in committee in the House and will not see the light of day. That's got the normally "low-key" Sen. Don Thomas "fired up".

* Budget talks and they are talking about furloughing teachers. Talk about your canary in a coal mine. I can't remember teachers ever being furloughed. Now this is interesting, PAGE is agin it but the GAE thinks it's an acceptable compromise. We live in strange times, bubba.

* Oh the House is always good for funky props. Rep. Alisha Morgan used popsicle sticks with illnesses printed on them by students to demonstrate the need for school nurses. One of them said "hit on the head with a jump rope".

* Minoo!

* It's the bill which I thought already existed - allows 11th and 12th graders to attend college or vo tech and high school at the same time. I doubt this will get much opposition. The only question is does this affect HOPE and apparently it doesn't since the young'uns are technically still in high school.

* Leadership interview series - Don Balfour - he's the Senate Rules Committee Chair. I thought we were getting Tommie Williams. He's talking about how they decided what gets through crossover day. Meanwhile a clerk or a janitor is rolling something behind him and it sounds like a Marta train is passing. Oh goody! Dave is asking him about SB 31 - Pay Now Nuke Later. I bet we've heard this answer before. Yep. Same answer we heard 30 days ago.

* Tiana's in the studio! She's going to talk about testing prisoners for HIV-AIDS. I hope they clear up what exactly happens with the info. A little confusion about whether they were going to the tape or if she was going to continue. No biggie. Funding is the issue with this bill (ain't it with all of em?) so it's headed to sub-committee.

* John Douglas wants to get a resolution against President Obama's plan to require veterans to use private insurance. Obama's already backed off on this so let's move on.

* But wait! There's more! Rep. Brian Thomas, he who looks young enough to be a paperboy, took issue with what happened after Rep. Melvin Everson's fiery speech on the issue yesterday. It got a standing ovation which is apparently against the House rules. Frankly, his analogy with Walter Reed didn't make a lick of sense but he ultimately gets out that apparently there's two sets of rules for behavior in the House. This draws applause (from Democrats no doubt) and boos (from Republicans no doubt) which leads Speaker Richardson to say "would you like for me to gavel that down? I didn't think so". Speaker Richardson then scribbles something. I think Rep. Thomas just went on the naughty list! And writers everywhere rejoice at the brief glimmer of the return of Mr. Speaker Good Copy.

* Millilou was honored by the General Assembly.

* I really need to find a clip of that Brian Thomas / Speaker throwdown because it was 10 kinds of awesome. But for now, that's a wrap.

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