Saturday, March 06, 2010

Gonzo Lawmakers - Day 18

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 still in the time warp. Tonight's show is from 2-16-10. But even though we're behind we haven't missed much. The guys and gals from the hill have been cloistered in budget meeting for the last two weeks. Time to catch up.

* There's our old friend the orange juicer. And there's Susan and...Valerie?. Nwandi has the night off and Valerie has been summoned from Hogwarts to fill in.

* 2010 amended budget passed. This gets us to June 30. Unfortunately, it does not get us past that point and the resulting revenue nightmare is the reason for the current recess.

* Everyone wants to improve tax collection. We're down to looking for pennies in the couch.

* We're dipping into the rainy day fund and it's still not enough. Sen. Jack Hill wants to increase this fund during better times to better weather the desperate times.

* Chyron sars "LOST Revenue". How appropriate. LOST is local option sales tax. The house is trying to pass a bill that will end contentious revenue negotiations following the census. The counties and cities apparently tend to have a knock down drag out about how to divide the money based on the new population shifts. It got vetoed last year. Because it didn't contain a "doomsday clause". Awesome. If the two sides can't reach an agreement, the tax simply goes away! That'll get 'em moving.

* Dude from the transportation department has the snappiest pink tie I've ever seen. Dick Williams would be so proud. They're trying to increase the cap on "design build" projects. These are projects that are worked start to finish by private companies (think the fifth runway at the airport). It's all very byzantine but the bottom line is it will allow us to get more stimulus funds.

* There's our plug for Delta! And a shot of the downtown connector! It's a Lawmaker exacta!

* Rewriting the trust code? That's about as exciting as watching mules graze.

* Oh there's a pet trust! Awesome! You can now leave money to Fifi!

* Scowling House clerks. The streak continues!

* Better sunshine laws for local governments. If they have a budget of over $1 million, they must post their budget and audits onlin yearly. Citizens can contrast and compare their government with nearby systems. Good bill.

* Senate appears to have been doing housekeeping. The Senators look bored. Wish they'd catch one napping. Seriously. They're talking about utility contracting.

* Little League Softball champions from Warner Robins! They're so cute.

* Some firefighter pension bill. Susan got a little gleam in her eyes.

* Leadership series. House Majority Leader Jerry Keen. The amended budget won't completely pass until they see February revenue numbers. If it's bad they will have to cut more. It's gonna be bad and they're going to have to cut more. More about collections. Once again, we're looking under the sofa cushions.

* I think I just saw General Larry "Pants On The Ground" Platt walk behind Keen. He's everywhere!

* The more they talk about the budget shortfall, the more Keen looks like he wants to vomit. We can't touch Medicaid because if we reduce it we have to send the money back! That leaves education. Oh, it's going to get ugly. We're either going to have to increase classroom size or more furloughs. If they are even hinting at laying off teachers, we are in deep doo.

* The yearly gun bill. Mitch Seabaugh wants to expand where you can pack heat. It includes college campuses and the Regents are agin it. Seabaugh is saying he's made compromises and the college folks didn't even aknowledge it. No one's happy down there these days.

* A bill that would allow gun owners to have their pieces in their cars when they drive to the airport. It's a good bill but of course a Democrat is imagining all kinds of nightmare scenarios about people "snapping" or some garbage.

* Lawmaker flashback! Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. This ought to be interesting. My god is that Calvin Smyre? It is! He's so young! This is in 1984. And he had quite a head of hair. This is a very technical bill. It only passed after they removed the Governor's power to declare days of fasting and prayer as holidays or some other Old Testament wandering in the desert mess. Can't they ever just do something right?

* Susan is talking about how handsome Smyre was then. And now. Rowwwwrr.

* It's the Mitch Seabaugh show! He's talking about the bonuses for lottery officials. Bring more transperancy and oversight in the bonus process.

* Protests of the day was about the death penalty. They want a one year moriatorium. Yeah, that ain't gonna happen. But of curse we get Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Land of Outrage). He's calling them "latter day crucifixtions". Fort never pulls a punch. And Stephanie Benefield. And Nan Orrock. It's the liberal trifecta!

* Rick Bevington and her book of doom! Southern Company is getting $8 billion from the Feds to build nuclear power plants. Ricky seems confused. Possibly because she's delivering good news. 80 new jobs coming to Gordon County. Ricky might start weeping. Stray cats are a problem in Athens. I always knew that Brian Setzer was trouble.

* Quick wrap up. Gals ran out of time. Time to move on to tomorrow. That's a wrap!

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