SB142 would increase the penalties for convictions of family violence as well as establish the Georgia Family Violence Offender Registry, and while I was ambivalent on the first part, it is the second part that kills this bill for me. We already see the abuses of the Sex Offender Registry, why would we create one for people that do nothing more than get drunk and get into a fist fight with their spouse one time? Not only is it increased government intrusion into private lives, it is also another additional expenditure. Government needs to be shrunk, not enhanced!
SB143 does two things, one good and one bad. The good thing is that code section 50-14-1 of OCGA is changed to note that the period of time you have to contest an action in violation of this section does not begin until the minutes of the meeting has been made public. Meaning that if the meeting was Monday night, but the minutes aren’t released until Friday afternoon, the time limit on your ability to contest the actions of the meeting doesn’t begin until Friday afternoon, rather than Monday night.
The bad thing that SB143 does is that it allows agencies to close meetings where they are discussing buying real estate so long as they don’t make an official decision in the closed meeting. This is VERY bad – and kills the bill for me – because anything can happen in that closed meeting and the public will have no knowledge of it. There needs to be MORE sunshine in government, not less, and because of this, I must OPPOSE this bill.
SB144 would remove the requirement that a person seeking an insurance agent’s license must first be employed by an insurance agency. This would make it much easier to start a small insurance business contracting with various insurance agencies. In other words, you might buy your insurance from Bob’s Insurance Agency and have each of your different policies through a different provider, rather than having to deal with Bob’s Allstate Insurance Agency and only have access to Allstate Insurance.
Because it removes government intrusion into private business, I SUPPORT this measure.
SB145 would be known as the ‘Reed Act’, and it would limit who people can marry or even live with if they wish to have custody of their kids from previous relationships. Because GA law makes no distinction between ‘offender’ and ‘predator’, this will cause thousands of existing families to break up and will serve as even more double jeopardy for those who have already served their sentence. Because it is a flagrant violation of the right to pursuit of happiness, I MUST most strenuously OPPOSE this measure.
SB146 would force the Department of Community Health to contract with a single administrator for dental services. This violates the right of contract of those whom the Department of Community Services serves by forcing them to use only certain dentists who work with the chosen administrator. It also violates the free market by forcing dentists to do as the chosen administrator says or lose DCS clients. In other words, this is even more government intervention into private medical decisions, and as such must be OPPOSEd.
SB147 is some kind of energy legislation. Honestly, it was too complex for me to follow, so I fall back on my default position of OPPOSE. Again, if someone can explain this bill to me, I will be happy to listen to them and make a further determination upon new knowledge. For now, however, I must OPPOSE.
SB148 appears to allow for the review of whether state regulatory bodies are still needed in light of business climate changes and if not, allows for their sunset. Because this bill has the potential to allow for less state regulation and does not add any state regulation, I SUPPORT this measure.
SB149 appears to eliminate one regulatory body and place its powers under the Secretary of State. Honestly, I’m ambivalent on this one. But because I don’t have a ‘no opinion’ option in my commentary, I’m going to come down on OPPOSE because it doesn’t remove any government regulation of private contract AND it condenses the regulatory decision into one person who is also charged with many other duties – the Secretary of State – rather than a commission dealing exclusively with these issues.
SB150 would remove State regulation of ‘junk’ dealers. Because it removes government regulation of private enterprise, it has my SUPPORT.
SB151 would give victims of crimes much more latitude in speaking against the perpetrator of the crime at the sentencing phase of the trial and at any parole hearings. It basically changes language indicating the court ‘may’ hear the victims’ testimony to note that the court ‘shall’ hear the victims’ testimony. This bill also changes much of the language regarding the inmate during a parole hearing from ‘person’ to ‘inmate’. One key to note here is that this simply allows the victims of the crime more opportunity to get things off their chest. It doesn’t order the court or the parole board to give in to whatever the victim is saying about the convicted. Because it allows justice to be served more effectively, I SUPPORT this measure.
SB152, sponsored by SWGA’s Sen. John Bulloch, would create an Agricultural Commodity Commission for Ornamental Plants. While I’m not too sure what this would do, and normally I would OPPOSE this due to not understanding it and/ or because it creates another governmental entity, it is the other thing that this bill does that warrants SUPPORT:
It establishes that at some point prior to April 30, 2011 and every three years after that, each of the commissions created in code section 2-8-23, including the Agricultural Commodity Commission for Ornamental Plants, balloting must be done to determine whether these entities should continue to exist. The one thing I’m not sure of here is whether there is a difference between balloting and voting, and who and where said balloting is to occur.
Because it establishes a sunset on the entity it is attempting to create as well as other entities, I SUPPORT this bill.
SB153 would allow people with disabilities to park in more than one space in a ‘normal’ area of the parking lot if all handicap spaces are full. Because it both infringes on private property rights as well as extends the ‘rights’ of a popular group, I must OPPOSE this bill.
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