SB113 amends code section 47-2-96(j) to change the deadline from 2003 to 2010. I’m not sure what this effectively does, but since I don’t remember anything catastrophic happening within the last 6 yrs or so, I don’t see a reason to oppose this bill.
SB114 makes it easier for military kids to enroll in GA schools. With all that we are adding due to the most recent round of BRAC (Base Reallocation And Closure, DoD’s version of redistricting), this is a good thing. I don’t see any unnecessary regulatory burden, nor any unfunded mandates, so there is nothing to negate my initial support, and therefore this is my final position.
SB115 appears to say that you don’t have to have your license on you when you are driving, so long as you don’t mind showing it to the court if you get a ticket. (In other words, the cop can still write a ticket, but now you can have it dropped by going to court and showing the court your valid license.) I say this is a good thing, as it at least allows the individual to choose when to have their license on them. Still not ideal, but better than current and arguably the best we can realistically hope for.
SB116 would force the Office of Planning and Budget to prepare a report detailing what kind of revenue could be generated by repealing the various tax exemptions and credits whenever the Governor excercises his line-item veto power to reserve or withhold funds the Legislature has approved. SWGA’s Sen. George Hooks (D-Americus) is one of the cosponsors of it, and while it adds to the duties of the Office of Planning and Budget, I honestly think this is a very good thing. At least with this report, the Governor will know immediately what kind of funds could be generated simply by leveling the tax playing field.
However, my enthusiasm for this idea notwithstanding, I must also point out that if the State would minimize its footprint in the individual’s life (cut spending), such tax increases would not be necessary.
Even with the caveat however, maximal information to make a decision is ALWAYS a good tool to have at the Governor’s disposal, and I SUPPORT this bill.
SB117 would force the Department of Economic Development to create a ‘Made in Georgia’ website to inform the public about any product that has been made at least 50% in Georgia. I’m going to side with more information in the hands of the public to simply inform – not advise – them about various businesses that may have local ties is a good thing, and because of this I will SUPPORT this bill.
SB118 basically says that you can’t serve on a county board of tax assessors if you worked for that board within the past year, and that you can’t work for the board until a year after you stop serving on it. I’m going to OPPOSE this measure as ineffective, because just because a year has passed between you doing two things does not mean you don’t have any conflict of interest, it just means that any conflict of interest that exists is likely to be out of the public’s mind.
SB119, cosponsored by SWGA’s Sen. Freddie Powell-Sims (D-Albany), would prohibit excess campaign money generated by one candidate from being directly given to another candidate. (It can still be given to any national, state, or local committee of any political party, which could then donate it to the other candidate.) I’m going to oppose this one on the grounds that once you give a person a sum of money, that money is theirs and you have no claim on it. If they choose to use that money to fund something else, it is their prerogative. If you don’t like it, don’t give them any more money.
SB120 would remove the restrictions on how MARTA spends the tax money it generates. To my mind, this would thus allow the organization to potentially become more efficient, but knowing what I do about it from when I lived in North GA, I doubt this will actually happen. Nevertheless, because it removes state regulations and allows the potential for efficiency outside of the control of the General Assembly, I SUPPORT this bill.
SB121 would increase the standard a jury would have to meet to return a verdict of guilty but mentally retarded. It specifically says ‘by a preponderance of the evidence’ that the defendant is mentally retarded, rather than simply that the defendant is mentally retarded. This seems to make the defense attorney’s job more difficult, but I think it would allow justice to more accurately be served. The standard for guilt remains ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’, this bill would simply force the defense to prove mental retardation if they can’t establish reasonable doubt, rather than simply claim it. Because I believe justice will be more accurately served with this proposal, I SUPPORT this bill.
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