Report from the Dome, Day 6

Yesterday a sea of red shirts converged at the Capitol as a group of Georgia’s most right wing conservatives gathered in support of Representative Bobby Franklin’s controversial House Bill 1. Among various findings of fact, HB 1 establishes that any abortion performed in the State of Georgia shall be punishable as felony murder by no less that death or life in prison under the felony murder rule in OCGA 16-5-1. I believe every child’s life begins at conception, and as such, that child has the rights prescribed to every other living and breathing human being in our state I’m probably about as pragmatically pro – life as they come. However, I’m quite sure this isn’t the most expedient way to go about it. Conservatives didn’t lose this battle in a day, and they sure won’t win it back in one. It’s not going to sit well with most modern conservatives, most of whom hold a personal philosophy that has exceptions for the life of the mother, rape, incest, or some combination of the above.

Not only has the House stated it’s intention to go into session each Tuesday at 3:00 PM, the rumor’s now being circulated that the General Assembly will convene now for 16 work days in a row, breaking only for Saturday and Sunday Jan. 27/28, and Super Bowl weekend. If that’s true, by my count, that will bring us to Saturday, February 10, and Legislative Day 20, leaving just 10 business days until cross – over day. Several members commented to me just yesterday about their expectation for things this session to move unusually fast, and it would seem that at least some of the Assembly leadership have the same idea.

On another hot topic, House Majority Leader Jerry Keen said the House probably won’t act on the local control…er, Sunday beer sales issue until the Senate acts first or the House has time to talk it over with Governor Perdue. Almost as if in response, Senate Regulated Industries chairman David Shafer has authored a resolution creating a study committee to study the issue.

Stay tuned for trauma networks, elections law, and insuring all of Georgia…