Bills! We Have Bills!

Rep. Allen Peake of Macon is interviewed about House Bill 1 as Sen. Josh McKoon explains Senate Bill 6 to the press on Monday.  Photo: Jon Richards
Rep. Allen Peake of Macon is interviewed about House Bill 1 as Sen. Josh McKoon explains Senate Bill 6 to the press on Monday. Photo: Jon Richards
Even though the start of the legislative session is two months away, the Georgia House and Senate clerks opened their doors on Monday and began accepting bills to be considered by the legislature in 2016. You can see the list of House prefiles here, and Senate prefiles here.

House Bill 1 is the 2015 version of the Haleigh’s Hope Act, the bill sponsored by Rep. Allen Peake that would allow the use of medical marijuana. While at present, the bill is incomplete, Rep. Peake told us that it will be more encompassing than the version that failed to pass in the final days of the 2014 session. Not only has the scope of the bill been broadened to include illnesses other than childhood seizures, but it incorporates some lessons learned in other states over the last year. Over at the Macon Telegraph, Maggie Lee has a good history of the bill, and what it might cover.

On the Senate side of the capitol, Sen. Josh McKoon has introduced the Georgia Road Safety and Drivers License Integrity Act, which appears to be the 2015 effort to control the effects of illegal immigration. Jeremy Redmon of the AJC has the story on what could be a controversial piece of legislation.

Republican state Sen. Joshua McKoon of Columbus on Monday filed Senate Bill 6, which would block state licenses for people who have received work permits and deportation deferrals through the federal deferred action program.

McKoon described his legislation as a pre-emptive strike now that President Barack Obama is reportedly preparing to expand the deferred action program. Obama has pledged to act unilaterally by the end of this year now that immigration overhaul legislation remains stalled in Congress.

McKoon cites the possibility of people who could receive a driver’s license because of loosened restrictions on illegal aliens improperly voting as one of the reasons for his bill. Immigration attorney Charles Kuck is not amused, however. He’s quoted in the AJC article saying, “At the end of the day, if Georgia wants to be known as an anti-immigration state, Josh McKoon should keep talking.”

While McKoon’s bill was the only one prefiled from the Senate, there were several additional House bills put into the hopper. House Bill 2 and accompanying House Resolution 1, sponsored by Harry Geisinger, would provide for a constitutional amendment legalizing pari-mutuel betting on horse racing. House Bill 3 could be called the Todd Gurley Bill. It’s Barry Fleming’s legislation that would impose sanctions on people encouraging student athletes to break the law. Geisinger also filed two other pieces of legislation, one having to do with drones, and the other with inter-basin transfers of water.


  1. xdog says:

    Rep. Geisinger has, let’s say, some very catholic interests, but I do wonder about his judgement. Legalized parimutuel betting is a dream but if it makes him happy he should go for it. His drone bill looks to be a solution in search of a problem. His inter-basin water transfer bill is really scary; it would make it OK to pump from stream to stream across watersheds as long as the originating flow is big enough, as he defines it. Bad science if he thinks that can happen without long-term harm and very expensive and disruptive to implement but I guess he feels he has to keep Atlanta safe for more strip malls.

  2. FranInAtlanta says:

    Not allowing driver’s licenses for anyone who might drive is ridiculous. I don’t mind if they put NON-CITIZEN on it in all caps, but let’s make sure those on the roads know the rules.

  3. newby says:

    Good for Senator Josh McKoon. He is looking out for the voters and citizens. That is exactly what they hired him to do when they voted for him. Illegals should not be afforded the same privileges as citizens. Obama is overstepping his office in giving them legal status without a vote by Congress.

  4. George Chidi says:

    The drone bill has a few points that might be worth pursuing — restricting drone operations near an airport being one of them.

    The rest of this is largely either unconstitutional or absurd.

    So, I can take pictures of people or property while standing on a city street, or from a tall building … but not from a drone that’s more than eight feet above the ground. That’s a tall, cold glass of nope about ten seconds after it gets in front of a judge. Drones are fine for gas and electricity companies (hooray for utilities lobbyists!) and for real estate companies (hooray for real estate lobbyists!) and for motion pictures (hooray for movie industry lobbyists!) but not for Joe YouTuber looking to do the same thing/ Again — legal fail.

    Current trespassing, harassment and privacy law covers all the bases necessary to prevent absurd drone uses. Passing this bill as it is would be a middle finger to every aeronautics engineering student at Georgia Tech and every graduate working in Marietta.

    Also — very important — UPS is working on delivery drones. Don’t mess with UPS.

  5. ricstewart says:

    Senator McKoon,
    Will you pledge to reimburse the state of Georgia for the tax dollars that will be spent to defend your bill in court against lawsuits?

    • newby says:

      Why should he do that? Would you say the same about the voter ID law? Senator McKoon is looking out for the citizens of Georgia which is more than I can say for the President who appears to be looking out for citizens of other countries who have no vested stake in America. The President is going to cause more illegals to cross our border and he will make things even worse of the American worker. He will be giving an order to law enforcement to ignore our laws and not to enforce the law of this land. I thought he raised his hand and swore to uphold them himself. Seems he lied again.

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