Today is the last day of the Georgia legislature, and I am ever the optimistic populist. So if you are watching from home, or from the galleries and have a bit of confusion about what’s going on, I thought it might be helpful to have your own copy of the Rules.
Click on the links above and you will find the rules governing the chambers. The Senate Rules are online at legis.ga.gov, but the House Rules were updated back in 2013 and never made it back online. With the gracious assistance of a transparency-loving House member, I scanned and copied the above for your reading pleasure/assistance before you head to sleep.
While these are the Rules governing the chambers, it would also be helpful to note that the House’s parliamentary procedure most closely follows the American version of Robert’s Rules of Order and the Senate more closely follows Mason’s Rules of Parliamentary Procedure. I’m a fan of Robert’s, but Mason’s was explicitly designed for state legislatures.
Here’s NCSL’s take on the differences.
Now the key portions to pay attention to are terms like “germane”, “engrossment”, and paying attention to which floor votes are performed by a show of hands. These procedures are what make the action on the floor more interesting and volatile. Transparency is not the populace’s friend on Sine Die, and so I would encourage all Georgians to come out after work to watch the floors, if you want to really know what happens.
Want real time floor notes? Twitter is your friend.
House Floor Notes
You can also get feedback from individuals and media on legislation by following #gapol on Twitter.
Happy Sine Die, all!
It seems that Mike Griffin has finally pissed off Baptists other than just me. Even the white patent shoe wearing, floppy-Bible-toting stock get irritated when you compare them to a totalitarian.
Aaron Gould Shenin of the AJC quotes members from the floor in his post, identifying his comparison of lawmakers to Hitler as beyond the pale. There are many more Baptists than those quoted at the Capitol, many who have long considered Griffin to be Satan incarnate, but I am rather glad to invite others to the party. All are welcome at this table!
On the matter of being Baptist: I have been and cannot imagine myself to ever separate from the title of Baptist, no matter how many Mike Griffins, Jerry Falwells, or Westboro Baptists there may be. In addition to that preference, I also have always loved my scotch neat, I rarely miss a chance to break it down on the dance floor, have been and will forever be solidly pro-choice, and as for my card playing abilities? My middle school girl friends can vouch for the repercussions of our serious games of five card draw.
If you are of the misconceived notion that Baptists are unilaterally characterized by the opposite of the above mentioned actions, I am here to tell you Baptist is a big, broad tent that welcomes sinners of all stripes. Like all Christians, we believe devoutly in the salvation of our souls given mercifully and unconditionally by God. There are some who believe in the sacrificial atonement of sins in the death of Jesus the Christ, and there are some who do not. Yet Baptists go further beyond the belief of merciful salvation and are somewhat unique in our deeply held convictions around full immersion baptism and regarding a term called congregational polity, where every church is self-governed, autonomous from the fold as a whole, and independent. Quakers, Puritans, and many of the congregational churches created in the American colonies were cut from this cloth. Unitarian Universalists, some synagogues, and mosques employ a version of this as well, but Baptists are often the denomination to be identified with this in mainstream Protestantism.
For this reason alone I have deeply held convictions against ANYONE saying they represent all Baptists. We are organized differently for this VERY reason. So for Mr. Griffin to assert he speaks for “us” is to be not only challenging to comprehend, it is organizationally impossible. Continue reading “Mike Griffin: The Baptist Who Will Call You Hitler at the Liquor Store”
Legislative session will begin next week. It is my second favorite time of year. Clearly it’s no one’s first; but a strong second in a heated primary, if you will. Football season is my favorite time of year. Some may love Christmas, others Halloween, but my favorite time in Georgia is the fall in which every self-respecting Southerner picks a team and joins their friends and family in heated rivalry for a few months. It’s a second religion here, and I’m certain the rules are written somewhere in Leviticus, right next to church starting at 11am sharp.
The two seasons are not so unlike one another. My love of college football is because of the intense drama on the field in a strategically played game that has an extremely diverse mix of talent…Unless you’re Alabama, of course. Then you just mark your calendar with bowl rings and trophies. The legislative session is similar in that there is strategy of sorts, lots of drama and high spirits, and the talent is as diverse as the power. Freshmen legislators may rise up on the rungs quickly in popular opinion even if their bills go nowhere and the mighty three are typically protected and lead from behind as much as any star quarterback. There is also occasional Tebowing on the sidelines for dramatic effect and ingratiating oneself to the social conservative base.
However, the rumors of success and predictions for which way the score will go are as varied as the talent in the second string draft. Yet, I will try my hand at a few suspicions I have and we shall all see where the rumors of session will fall. Continue reading “Session: My Second Favorite Time of Year”
I have had the pleasure of travelling around the Southland a bit lately. Although I reside in the city of Atlanta, my favorite spot to get away is ALWAYS in the mountains-Georgia or North Carolina; does NOT matter. Wherever the pine trees are in abundance and the paved roads are not is where I wish to be. Cooler temperatures and rolling landscapes abound and the elevation of certain points allows me to indulge and get lost metaphorically in my own thoughts. However, I recently became actually lost-as in could not find my path back to the beginning of the trail. It’s a very different feeling when one is truly lost- the disorientation, the heat of the midday sun beating down, and my body already tired from the hike I had originally set out on, never expecting to cover this many miles or take THAT much time.
Clearly I made it back, but as I was climbing over hills and dodging the brambles in my unorthodox path, I thought much of how this could have been prevented. Where were the colored blazes marking the path? Why have the trails not been tended so that the vegetation did not cover my previous steps? I walked back over the same path many times in hopes of finding the switchback I missed, or the small bridge I had crossed. The path was there, I had simply forgotten its image and location. And in my foolhardy arrogance, I had not adequately prepared for if something went wrong.
One would never have believed I hiked 40 miles on the Appalachian Trail a few years ago and am a regular hiker who enjoys backcountry camping. Bless MY heart.
In more than a decade of Georgia politics, I’ve had the pleasure of sitting at tables of power that others may not have with both the House and the Senate. I have watched the paths of policy and party emerge from a grassroots level to the fall of some mighty grasstops under Lt. Governor Taylor and Speaker Richardson. I have been impressed with the larger vision of the present Governor and the efforts of the sitting legislative members to initiate justice reform, a transportation plan and now educational reform. I’ve watched the rabbit holes of RFRA and the Guns Everywhere bill send the legislature in strange meandering paths so that I’m left wondering where are our markers? What will be the footprints we leave for others to follow? More importantly, if Georgia wishes to move forward, what tools will we employ to blaze new paths? Continue reading “Georgia: Trailblazer or Perennially Lost?”
Some months ago, I took great pride in being blocked on Facebook by a member of the Tea Party. It was amusing to me as I had not only worked with this person before, but she also prides herself on being the voice of “grassroots” conservatism in Georgia (whatever that means), which tends to vocalize a lot of dissent. For so many, they can dish it out yet cannot take it. From my experience in politics in the peach state, people can call themselves anything nowadays and with a mic loud enough, others will believe them. Uninformed assertions are more welcome than humble questions. Yet for successful navigation of policy, business, and most human interactions a little nuance goes a long way.
“Nuance” is a word of French origin (but don’t hold that against it), coming from the infinitive of “nuer”, or “to shade”, referring to the slight shades of gray that are the embodiment of nuance- both literal and figuratively policy-wise. So as we embark on the campaign cycle across Georgia, the black and white contrast between candidates will be hotly purported as a means of each candidate to differentiate him/herself from the other. The otherwise gray-areas of difference between stances taken on transportation, RFRA, same-sex marriage, and the Opportunity School District will help sculpt the images of candidates in vibrant litmus-test tinged hues as office seekers assert they are the “true” conservative/progressive/believer/liberty lover/tax payer champion/ethics guru/patriot.
Take your pick.
This is somewhat amusing as we exist in an area of the country where the term “bless your heart” can mean so many different things. There’s very few things more Southern than nuance.
Yankees don’t understand that the Southern way of talking is a language of nuance. What we can do in the South is we can take a word and change it just a little bit and make it mean something altogether different.~ Lewis Grizzard
Continue reading “Nuance in the John Wayne Era of Politics”