State Senate Bills I Find Interesting (SB 251 – SB 265)

Conclusions:
SB 251: OPPOSE
SB 252: OPPOSE
SB 253: SUPPORT
SB 254: OPPOSE
SB 255: OPPOSE
SB 256: SUPPORT
SB 257: SUPPORT
SB 258: SUPPORT
SB 259: SUPPORT
SB 260: OPPOSE
SB 261: SUPPORT
SB 262: SUPPORT
SB 263: SUPPORT
SB 264: SUPPORT
SB 265: OPPOSE

SB 251 adds to the expenses the government can collect on delinquent or defaulting taxpayers any ‘title examination expenses, certified mail expenses, attorney’s fees, or other such necessary research expense’. I must OPPOSE this measure as simply a money grab on the part of the government, with people that in some cases are already having a hard enough time paying their bills caught up in the middle of it.

SB 251: OPPOSE

SB 252 would allow the State to regulate the practice of Polysomnographic medicine. For those like me who had no idea what ‘polysomnographic’ medicine is, it is the treatment of sleep/wake disorders. My long standing objection to any State involvement in healthcare is well noted on this blog, as is my similarly long standing objection to government regulation of private practices. Because of these reasons, I must OPPOSE this measure.

SB 252: OPPOSE

SB 253 adds a definition of ‘indoors’ to the fireworks law. This really is no-nonsense stuff, and my objection here is to the base law, not this particular measure. Therefore I SUPPORT this measure, even though I object to the law it is based on.

SB 253: SUPPORT

SB 254 extends the powers of the State Properties Commission to allow it to charge and collect commissions and fees and to allow it to ‘locate administrative space for use by state agencies and enter into rental agreements’ for said space. It also strips the power of the Department of Labor to handle its own property needs.

And while I am in favor of neither expanding government power nor inhibiting the efficiency of government agencies – which I believe the Department of Labor clause would do – those aren’t even the parts of this bill that truly kill it for me. What kills this bill for me is that it would allow the State Properties Commission to enter into no-bid contracts for a period of TEN years rather than the single year that it is currently allowed to do so. No-bid contracting is a practice that should be abolished, not encouraged.

SB 254: OPPOSE

SB 255 would force people convicted of a wide variety of crimes to wear a GPS monitoring device for either two years or the entire period of probation or parole, whichever is shorter. These people would be forced to sign a waiver of all privacy rights, and would have to pay for the honor of being tracked 24/7. I see we’re getting back to the days of putting a bullet in the criminals’ brain and charging the family for the bullet! The crimes included in this bill are:

  • murder or felony murder under OCGA 16-5-1
  • voluntary manslaughter under OCGA 16-5-2
  • aggravated assault under OCGA 16-5-21
  • aggravated battery under OCGA 16-5-24
  • kidnapping under OCGA 16-5-40
  • False imprisonment under OCGA 16-5-41
  • human trafficking for labor or sex under OCGA 16-5-46
  • cruelty to children under OCGA 16-5-70
  • allowing a child to be present near the manufacture or possession of meth under OCGA 16-5-73
  • stalking under OCGA 16-5-90
  • aggravated stalking under 16-5-91
  • any felony sex offense under OCGA 16-6
  • burglary under OCGA 16-7-1
  • any felony arson offense under OCGA 16-7-60 through 16-7-64
  • anything to do with a destructive device under 16-7-82
  • robbery under 16-8-40
  • armed robbery under 16-8-41
  • attempted murder or threatening of witnesses under OCGA 16-10-32
  • bail jumping under OCGA 16-10-51
  • escape under OCGA 16-10-52
  • sexual exploitation of a child under OCGA 16-12-100
  • any felony drug charge involving trafficking, manufacturing, distributing, or possession with intent to distribute under OCGA 16-13
  • any felony gang offense under OCGA 16-15

Because the government does not have the right to monitor the whereabouts of citizens under any circumstances, I must most strenuously OPPOSE this measure. Indeed, this ranks as one of the worst – if not the absolute worst – bills I have so far seen this Session.

SB 255: OPPOSE

SB 256 is a local bill that the City of Milledgeville asked for to allow them to have an 8% excise tax. While I object to the notion that a city should have to ask the State for this authority, as I believe the local government should be the strongest level of government a person encounters, I have no real reason to oppose this measure as it is, and therefore I SUPPORT it.

SB 256: SUPPORT

SB 257 would allow people who elect to participate in the Regents Retirement Plan to switch to the Teachers Retirement System at will. Current state law makes an election to participate in the Regents Plan irrevocable. Because this change allows for more individual freedom, I SUPPORT this measure. For those concerned about government involvement in retirement, note here that in this case, the government is acting in its capacity as an employer, making its involvement in retirement completely legitimate.

SB 257: SUPPORT

SB 258 is local legislation relating to the voting powers of the Mayor of Snellville on the Snellville City Council. My objection here is, once again, that State government should have no authority over local government other than to protect individual rights, but on the actual issue of the bill I have no objection, and therefore I SUPPORT this bill.

SB 258: SUPPORT

SB 259would allow the University System of Georgia to rehire back retired nursing instructors who have been retired for at least one year without affecting the retiree’s retirement benefits. This cuts both ways,as while the retiree would still be considered ‘retired’ as far as benefits go, the new service would not be counted for additional retirement benefits. For example, if a person retired with 25 years of service and came back under this bill for another 5 years, the person’s benefits would still be locked in at 25 years of service rather than the 30 that were actually worked.

I see this as more of an employment policy rather than a ‘governmental’ one, so even though I strongly object to government involvement in education, on the subject of this bill I have nothing to object to and therefore I SUPPORT this bill.

SB 259: SUPPORT

SB 260 would allow any full time employee of a public school to elect to participate in the Teachers Retirement System. I’m going to object to this on the grounds that all public school employees are not teachers and therefore either only teachers should be allowed to participate in this system or its name should be changed. Yes, it is more of an ’employer’ law rather than a ‘governmental’ one, but on this one there are grounds to object, even though it is an employer law, and therefore I OPPOSE this measure.

SB 260: OPPOSE

SB 261 allows the citizens of St. Mary’s to vote on a local homestead tax exemption. Because it is essentially local legislation and because it allows citizens the opportunity to decide for themselves an issue that directly affects them, I SUPPORT this measure.

SB 261: SUPPORT

SB 262 would authorize a waiver of up to five hours on the continuing education requirements of dentists who volunteer for a at least 20 hours in a variety of public and private non profit and not for profit organizations in each renewal cycle beginning after the 2008-2009 renewal. I object to the fact that a) dentists are licensed to begin with, b) that they have to renew this license every so often, and c) that continuing education is part of this renewal process.

That said, I’m torn on this bill. On the one hand, credit should be given for each hour volunteered. On the other, this is a voluntary decision for the dentist, and it at least reduces the amount of ‘class’ time needed for renewal. As any of us who have been through similar ‘classes’ in our own professions know, most of the time these are loads of bull crap anyway, and we would learn far more from being out in the field doing our jobs to begin with. And therefore the idea of trading volunteer hours for any amount of class time reduction is a very good thing.

So overall, I believe I will come down in SUPPORT of this bill.

SB 262: SUPPORT

SB 263 is local legislation regarding the judge of the Probate Court of Rockdale County. As such, I have no problems with it and therefore SUPPORT this measure.

SB 263: SUPPORT

SB 264 is local legislation regarding the clerk of the Superior and Magistrate Courts of Jasper County. Again, as such, I have no problems with it and therefore SUPPORT this measure.

SB 264: SUPPORT

SB 265 is local legislation, but this one I do have objections to. This bill creates the ‘Public Facilities Authority of the City of Milledgeville and Baldwin County’, which would be a state-controlled organization directly affecting the citizens of Milledgeville and Baldwin County. Particularly disturbing, and why I must strenuously OPPOSE this measure, is the following clause:

the members of the authority may make findings or determinations that the exercise of its powers as proposed will promote the public good and general welfare, and assist public bodies in providing facilities, equipment, and services in the county, and such findings or determinations, if made, shall be conclusive and binding and shall not be subject to review

emphasis mine

SB 265: OPPOSE

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One Response

  1. […] I Find Interesting (SB 251 – SB 265) Written by Jeff on March 26, 2009 – 4:16 am Conclusions: SB 251: OPPOSE SB 252: OPPOSE SB 253: SUPPORT SB 254: OPPOSE SB 255: OPPOSE SB 256: SUPPORT SB 257: […]

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