Senator Chip Rogers has been kind enough to stop by and respond to some of the criticisms (and hate) directed at him and SB 43. I certainly appreciate his willingness to do so. He writes:
I am aware that SB 43 has caused concern for those who value an individual’s right to property and those who believe the 2nd Amendment speaks to a right “that shall not be infringed”. I count myself as a member of each group.
The language in SB 43 is not intended to violate a person’s right to property. The bill strictly pertains to the policy established between an “employer” and an “employee”.
Additionally, this measure does not speak to “property” but rather “premises”.
It is my intention that this bill not interfere with the right of a property owner to prohibit firearms on his or her property.
The “employer” may or may not be the property owner. This is why the bill refers only to the employment “policy” or “rule”.
It is also important to remember this bill only prohibits such an employment policy for a “public access” parking area.
The measure intends to prohibit “employers” from establishing an employment policy, which would effectively allow firearms in a public access parking lot for everyone except the “employee” who has it locked in a private vehicle.
Again, SB 43 would not infringe on the right of a property owner (even if that person were the employer) to ban all firearms from his or her property.
I will also address this issue of using a House Bill for Senate legislation.
Recent budget issues between the two bodies have resulted in a lockdown against Senate bills moving through the House. Consequently, almost every House bill currently being considered by the Senate will have a Senate bill attached to it if it is in the same Code section.
HB 89 has been mentioned as a vehicle for SB 43 only because of the Code section. This is not a unique situation. Previously my legislation seeking to outlaw dog fighting was attached to Representative Bearden’s bill regarding companion dogs. I asked Representative Bearden whether he approved of the language and committed to removing it if he objects.
I have great respect for Representative Bearden and would not agree to any changes he believes may jeopardize HB 89. I have personally given him this assurance.
I have never asked any of my colleagues to support SB 43. I fully trust their judgment and realize that people with whom I agree on almost every issue may disagree on this issue.
Here, Senator Rogers added:
I apologize if my post suggested SB 43 was being held “Hostage” in the House. The bill did not pass the Senate, as it was never brought to the floor for a vote. I support the Lt. Governor on the decision not to bring this to the floor on crossover day.
Furthermore, I support the Lt. Governor’s decision on whether to move forward with the language contained in SB 43 at any point in the future. If he believes it is inappropriate, I will steadfastly stand by that decision.
The suggestion to add SB 43 language to HB 89 was brought to my attention along with a corresponding list of House bills and Code sections for almost every Senate measure I introduced. It is my understanding every GOP Senator was given access to a similar list.
Finally, the characterization of any bill being held “Hostage” by the House is not necessarily accurate. My colleagues in the House operate in good faith and in the best interests of Georgia. I am confident we will soon see an end to this budget negotiation along with any slow down in legislative action.
Thanks Senator. While I am not in favor of S.B. 43, I appreciate your willingness to keep this debate civil and I’d encourage those who want to respond to Senator Rogers to do the same.