Monday, February 7, 2011

[HumanRightsAtlanta] TODAY and TUESDAY legislative hearings on AZ copycat laws in GA

There are 2 important hearings TODAY AND TOMORROW at the state Capitol.  Tonight, many of us will be gathering to hash out a strategy that enables us to decide which hearings are most important to have people at in large numbers, because we know we cant pack each and every one.  BUT if you can make it today and/or tomorrow, our presence will make a strong statement to the legislators.  
Media coverage of last Friday's hearing confirmed that our overflowing presence made a difference -- and a clear statement that Georgians will NOT tolerate this hate-filled legislation.

Details on the hearings are below -- SB40 and HB87 are both AZ Copycat laws that MUST be defeated!

SB 40 - Monday is 2:30 pm , room 450 Capitol (this is a large room) Sub-Committee of Senate Judiciary
HB 87 - Tuesday, 9:30 am - noon, room 132 Capitol, public comment

Yes, as many people who can attend should pack the room Monday, even if there is no public testimony as we now expect. I believe this will be one of the fairest conducted meetings there will be. The Chairman is not a lock-step ideologue.
The sub-committee will likely do as was done in the first hearing of HB 87, have Murphy present SB 40 and take sub-committee questions. In addition, there may be other members of the full committee that decide to attend and question. I will see Crosby in the morning as soon as he gets there to confirm his plans. Someone has to bring stickers for this hearing too.
This Senate sub-committee (and the full committee) is much better than the House. 
Sen. John Crosby R-Tifton 
Sen. Sen. Jason Carter D-Atlanta
Sen. Vincent Fort D-Atlanta
Sen. Josh McKoon R-Columbus
Sen. Jesse Stones R-Waynesboro
Crosby is a retired judge and our BEST chance in the Senate to get a Republican to talk reality. He is not lock-step. And the meeting we had last week with farmers was in his district and they are working on him. He helped us last year write a Resolution urging Congress to enact Comprehensive Immigration Reform. He have not always gotten his vote, but he has been open and fair.
Carter and Fort are solid supporters. McKoon and Stone are anti's, but brand new so we have to work them hard. 
So if you counted, that's 2 to 2, with Crosby the tie-breaker. 
But (there is always a but) three things could happen:
1- Crosby could not vote and pass the bill onto the full committee without a recommendation
2- Crosby could be a good soldier, suggest revisions during the meeting and then vote to send it on (reserving the right to vote no in the future) THIS I THINK IS MOST LIKELY.
3- He could vote no, and the committee Chairman would likely replace him. Even if he voted no, the full-committee could still resurrect and do a Committee Substitute.
The full Judiciary Committee is one of the better committees to work overall, so glad it didn't go to Public Safety! More about the other members Mon. night.
Yes, the strong turnout for Tuesday is also imperative. The press thinks the House bill will move first and they will cover the new version of Ramsey's closely. (We won't see it until late Monday, or maybe not even until they meet Tuesday.
Larry Pellegrini

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