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”
The holiday season is drawing to a close, and soon the legislative session for the Georgia General Assembly will be upon us. As the state closes out its year, we look to the future and what promise or plague our policy makers will bestow upon us. I have spent an unhealthy amount of time this season pondering the fate of Georgia, as if I have any real means of addressing it. I have not blogged in some time, as I have had little hope that the politics of the day are bearing anything other than strange fruit. It is hard, even for an eternal optimist in these days of constant rain to see the silver lining. Across the red hills, I see a lot of barriers that not only exist, but are perpetuated without real cognizance of their consequence.
Along with the temperature, I see the passion of Georgia’s people heating up like a kiln. Many of us in the political sphere refer to this time as “the calm before the storm” of legislative session. We spend time with our families, count our blessings, and prepare ourselves for the battle of will in government. Under the surface though, there is something simmering here and in the nation that Presidential candidate Donald Trump and the Black Lives Matter movement have accentuated and possibly exploited.
It is widely assumed that the upcoming session will be brief and not much policy other than education passed. Incumbents need time to raise money and campaign in their districts. This abbreviated session may be a mixed bag of course, addressing a big problem, yet not the only one the state faces. I am grateful to see the QBE funding formula finally addressed (as the last time was almost before my birth), yet I cannot shake the very real feeling I have had for the last five years or so.
The General Assembly is thinking too small. Continue reading “Red Clay and the Challenge of Equality: To Be Mired In or Molded”
Yesterday the AP released a review of the Governor’s staff raises. Last Thursday through the weekend, the Governor flew twelve General Assembly members and members of the press corp. out to New Orleans. Meanwhile, the General Assembly has proposed cutting teacher’s pensions, and raising our taxes for transportation.
Protip: Don’t do this all at once.
This is my eleventh legislative session, and while I have so much faith in Georgia’s future and confidence in the talent growing from this red clay, the leadership seems to be horribly out of touch with the basics of tact and honest brokering. It has led me to question, “Is this legislative session to become a lesson in what NOT to do?” Continue reading “Raises, Roads, and Retirement: What Not To Do”