Feb 7, 2014
Georgia General Assembly Week in Review: Feb.3rd - Feb.7th
The Georgia General Assembly re-convened for the fourth week of the 2014 Session. This week, Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice, Hugh Thompson delivered the State of the Judiciary message to both the House and Senate. Chief Justice Thompson’s emphasis was of the need for more access to legal representation for Georgia’s indigent population.
Georgia legislators also became the first in the Nation to call for a Convention of States to consider monetary restraints against overspending. The resolution passed the senate, however the Constitution requires at least 34 states to petition on the same matter in order to call a convention.
Opponents to Common Core flooded the Capitol this week, but were quickly rebutted by the business community, who announced a new coalition formed to support the standards. The Georgia Chamber of Commerce formulated the diverse group, Better Standards For a Better Georgia, which includes a variety of business and education groups. Monday marks the 20th day of the 40 day session, which is expected to adjourn around the middle of March.
Other news from around the State:
Legislators were able to test out the new Google Glass wearable computers last Thursday. Google and representatives are pushing this new product as a way to propel new laws that would prohibit the use of the technology while driving. Google’s representative stated that “anti-texting laws haven’t succeeded in reducing accidents because now drivers take their eyes off of the road longer because they hold their cellphones lower to keep from being caught.” With the implementation of the new google glass wearable computers Georgia drivers would be able to completely hands free and help make the roads safer.
Although the new Gun Bill is support by some of the state’s top lawmakers, some of the state’s top religious leaders strongly oppose the thought of allowing firearms is places of worship. One group that is in support of the Gun Bill is GeorgiaCarry.org. They argues that 2010 law, which prohibits guns in places of worship, violates the first amendment. Instead, they're calling to allow individual churches to make the decision for themselves. Religious leader’s rebuttal is that if guns were allowed, people would not be able to focus on "spiritual activities," the Atlanta Journal-Constitution explains.
Senator Tommie Williams is rallying for legislators to pass a bill this year that would require private health insurance companies in Georgia to cover treatment for autism. Gov. Nathan Deal is also a strong supporter of this notion and allocated $2.4 million for treatment funding for coverage of autism in the State Employee Health Plan.