State Senate Bills I Find Interesting (SB69 – SB84)

Conclusions:

SB69: SUPPORT
SB70: SUPPORT
SB71: SUPPORT
SB72: SUPPORT
SB73: OPPOSE
SB74: OPPOSE
SB75: SUPPORT
SB76: SUPPORT
SB77: OPPOSE
SB78: SUPPORT
SB79: OPPOSE
SB80: OPPOSE
SB81: OPPOSE
SB82: OPPOSE
SB83: OPPOSE
SB84: OPPOSE

SB69 would expand the definition for sexual exploitation of children to encompass ANY adult that allows, permits, encourages, or requires a child to engage in prostitution or sexually explicit conduct with the intent of producing any form of visual or print media depicting said conduct. The current law only allows for the child’s parent or caretaker to be charged with this offense. This one is a no-brainer y’all. Pass it ASAP!

SB69: SUPPORT

SB70 requires special reporting of certain campaign contributions, specifically relating to any business (or person involved with said business) that has had, has sought, or is seeking a contract with the agency for whose head the candidate is running. This goes back two years prior to the time of the contribution. Only problem I have with this bill is that the fine is capped at the amount of the contribution or the amount of the contract, whichever is larger. Nonetheless, it is a good step in the right direction, and I support it.

SB70: SUPPORT

SB71 basically says that if you are too impaired by drugs/alcohol/etc to drive in this state, you are too impaired to hunt in this state. There goes the other distraction for many males I know on weekends in the fall other than football! Seriously though, I can support this measure is as much as I can support drunk driving laws. Which means that while they may be a necessary evil, I want STRICT regulations on exactly what the legal system can do to prosecute. Because it simplifies the legal code, I SUPPORT this measure, with reservations regarding procedure.

SB71: SUPPORT

SB72 is basically a procedural bill that says that any rules and regulations the Board of Natural Resources had as of Jan 1, 2009 carry the full force of law. While I am not a fan of un-elected bodies being able to create law in general and criminal law in particular, that issue is beyond the scope of this bill. Based upon the scope of this bill, there is nothing there to oppose, and therefore it has my support.

SB72: SUPPORT

SB73 is good and bad. On the plus side, it allows for more judges to issue warrants for the arrest of peace officers, law enforcement officers, teachers, and school administrators. On the minus side, the CHIEF Superior Court Judge is the only Superior Court judge allowed to issue such warrants, but said Chief may authorize a magistrate court judge to do so for periods of up to one year. (Which is where the plus side of this bill comes in. As you can see, it has a caveat.) Personally, I’m going to say this is a bad thing, as it condenses the power of the judiciary into one person, at least as far as this particular issue is concerned.

SB73: OPPOSE

SB74 would prohibit anyone under the age of 21 from working at an adult entertainment establishment. I’m going to oppose this on SEVERAL grounds. First is that it unnecessarily limits private contract between consenting adults. Second, it discriminates against women with its provisions regarding nudity. Third, on principle the drinking age and voting age should be the same, meaning that there should be no special forms of adulthood. You either are an adult or are not. If an 18 yr old is not an adult, they should not vote and this law is perfectly valid in protecting minors. If, however, an 18 yo is an adult, they should have every privilege that currently only adults 21 and over have. Government is not meant to protect people – particularly adults – from their own stupidity.

SB74: OPPOSE

SB75, cosponsored by SWGA’s Sen. George Hooks(D-Americus) and Sen. John Bulloch(R-Ochlocknee), allows property owners who charge people 16yo or older that want to come onto the property for hunting/fishing/’agritourism’ to be immune from civil liability so long as the appropriate warning (language of which is provided in bill) is posted. The exception here being that the warning is posted at the main point of entry of the property and that the owner’s conduct doesn’t constitute gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct. It appears to be a fairly straightforward bill to me. Property owners should not have to be responsible for the stupidity of those who happen to be on their property.

SB75: SUPPORT

SB76 appears to remove a regulation on worker’s comp insurer that orders them to report their costs annually. On its surface, it appears to be a good thing, as it removes government regulation of private enterprises. But since it deals with insurance, I’ll allow for the likelihood that I am completely wrong on this. For now, however, I SUPPORT on the grounds that deregulation is a good thing.

SB76: SUPPORT

SB77 would allow any municipal corporation with more than 1,500 combined firefighters and police officers to pass an additional 1% sales tax to provide police officer and firefighters’ salaries. I’m assuming this only applies to Atlanta, but I could be wrong. I am against this measure on the grounds that the taxpayers should not be forced to come up with any additional monies until all government waste – including programs and duties which are not within the valid scope of government – is completely eliminated.

SB77: OPPOSE

SB78 deals with providing a method for voluntary and timely investigation and remediation of environmentally hazardous spills. The pessimist (and realist) in me wants to be suspicious of any program that allows companies to voluntarily investigate and clean up spills on the grounds that such investigations and clean ups will more often be ‘cover’ ups rather than ‘clean’ ups. The libertarian and optimist in me wants to be able to trust these companies with the incredible responsibilities and allow them the freedom to conduct business as they see fit. On this bill, I’m going to combine the two and say that minimal regulation is a necessary evil, and this appears to be a solid plan.

SB78: SUPPORT

SB79 would allow any federal, state, or local governmental entity or agency the ability to look at any reports regarding child abuse/neglect it deems necessary in order to further protect the child. While I am in full favor of government protecting children from legitimate abuse, I cannot support this measure due to its allowing of so many people to view such private data. If an agency really needs that information, show probable cause and get a judge to sign off on it.

SB79: OPPOSE

SB80 is typical knee jerk political reaction to something currently being incessantly reported in the media. In this case, Sens. John Bullock(R-Ochlocknee), John Crosby(R-Americus), and George Hooks(D-Americus) are all cosponsors of this bill that is a reaction to the current salmonella outbreak resulting from a plant here in SWGA. I don’t deny that this outbreak is bad, nor do I claim that the plant should not be held accountable for its actions. What I oppose is government issuing further limitations on everyone because of the mistakes of one. Prosecute this plant to the fullest extent of the law, and bring any civil actions against it you possibly can. That is what the courts are there for. This bill is completely unnecessary public pandering.

I will allow that if someone brings a convincing public safety of food argument, I may be convinced to change my position, but for now, I oppose.

SB80: OPPOSE

SB81 would appear to allow a juror with a conflict of interest in a particular matter to still be seated in a jury. The particular matter and conflict in question is when an electric membership corporation or cooperative is a party to the case and the potential juror is a member of said corporation or cooperative. Because jurors should be completely impartial to the case at hand, I must oppose this measure.

SB81: OPPOSE

SB82 would require metal recyclers to add to the logs they already are required to keep a detailed description of the metal (rather than simply ‘description of the metal’ that current law states), a datetime stamped picture of the metal, the name of the protographer, a specific physical description, such as ‘wire, tubing, extrusions, or castings, automotive part, or farm equipment‘. Italics is language added to current law by this bill. Furthermore, to complete the sale the seller would have to certify (not simply state) that he has the lawful right to sell and dispose of the metal. Further required of the seller is both a fingerprint and a photocopy or scanned image of the driver’s license or other photo ID. The bill goes on to ban the sale if said photo ID is not provided. Finally, the bill adds three more provisions: 1) that beginning July 1, 2009, the recyclers will begin transmitting all data to the local sheriff’s office within 5 days of the transaction; 2) that minors are only allowed to sell aluminum beverage or food cans; and 3) recyclers cannot accept city or county owned sewer or water manhole covers. My issue here revolves around privacy and the fact that this bill would make recyclers responsible for law enforcement. There is precisely zero reason to get a fingerprint, and even the requirement of getting a copy of the driver’s license gives employees of these recyclers access to sensitive private information, allowing yet ANOTHER possibility of identity theft due to government regulation. Furthermore, these regulations represent unnecessary government intrusion into private contract and unnecessary government regulation of business. If metal theft is indeed as big a problem as this bill makes it out to be – and I have no doubt that it is a very serious issue – then police need to do a better job of monitoring this activity themselves without pushing their jobs off on recyclers.

SB82: OPPOSE

SB83 would raise the amount of the homestead exemption to $4K this year, and beginning next year would raise it by the cost of living index each year, with the exception of any year where the cost of living index goes down. Without appropriate spending cuts, however, this exemption is simply bad fiscal policy. Government simply cannot spend more and more money while at the same time generating less and less. If an individual did this, he would be quickly heading towards bankruptcy court, and yet government expects to get off scot free? For this reason, I must strenuously oppose what is sure to be a popular measure.

SB83: OPPOSE

SB84 asserts State power over local School Boards in multiple ways. Perhaps the most egregious of these is to provide that if a local system loses its accredidation (which is done by private agencies), the Governor will have the power to disolve this board, undoing the will of the local community, and replacing it with people pf his choice that would otherwise be qualified to serve on this board. The deposed board members would have to appeal their removal to… the Governor. Because of its flagrant abuse of state power, I must oppose this bill most strenuously. It is not the duty of the State to protect local voters from themselves. If they choose incompetent or immoral leaders, they must be allowed to suffer the consequences of their decisions until such a time as they take it upon themselves to change their leaders. Again, it is NOT the State’s duty to do this for them.

SB84: OPPOSE

Advertisements

One Response

  1. […] SB69: SUPPORT SB70: SUPPORT SB71: SUPPORT SB72: SUPPORT SB73: OPPOSE SB74: OPPOSE SB75: SUPPORT SB76: SUPPORT SB77: OPPOSE SB78: SUPPORT SB79: OPPOSE SB80: OPPOSE SB81: OPPOSE SB82: OPPOSE SB83: OPPOSE SB84: OPPOSE SB69 would expand the definition for sexual exploitation of children to encompass ANY adult that allows, permits, encourages, or requires a child to engage in prostitution or sexually explicit conduct with the intent of producing any form of visual or print media depicting said conduct. The current law only allows for the child’s parent or caretaker to be charged with this offense. This one is a no-brainer y’all. Pass it ASAP! […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: