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!
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” →
I have recently had the joy of attending a number of forums, meetings, discussions, and roundtables regarding policy in Georgia. I recognize a lot of folks may not enjoy these, but I definitely do. I like to build consensus, I like having multiple voices heard, new ideas vetted, and innovative solutions considered. I attend these sort of events to learn, sometimes to share, and most importantly to connect in an area of interest I have, both for the benefit of my clients and (my aspiration) for the benefit of my state.
Unfortunately, I also attend meetings that could have been handled in an email, attend forums that are a waste of time, and discussions that are more echo chambers than actual conversation. As a result, I thought it might be helpful for me to identify for others what makes a compelling, interesting, and well organized meeting or forum. Consider this your free #protip.
Continue reading “#Protip” →
This past week I had a flat tire, unexpectedly. I was rushing out the door to a meeting and as I turned the corner, saw very plainly that the tire was not a slow leak, but an all-out flat. Curses were said, patience tried, then I moved on. Being undeterred, I decided to take Über- my go-to for any event where I avoid driving. At the end of the day, I had very different drivers, all with a story to tell, all with an interesting perspective, and all who had strong feelings about their commitment to something large than themselves. Some had children which motivated them, others did not. Yet all felt compelled to do something- to go beyond the basic and I was left feeling that these were my kind of people. It was an eye opening experience for me, and I hope it will be interesting for you as well.
First off, I do not typically talk casually about what I do. For a long time I used to tell people I encountered and was certain I would not meet again I was a secretary or an events planner. I did this because whenever I say I work in politics, people always want my opinion. Or, more accurately they wish for me to affirm their opinion as right because I am (in their eyes at the moment) some subject matter expert. I’m not, and I tire of this easily. It was especially difficult in my early twenties at bars in Buckhead when the boys buying drinks wanted to talk about the latest Presidential election or to impress me with their lack of knowledge of foreign policy. But those are posts for another type of blog; just know that I do not bring up what I do in conversation unless I am asked directly and I try to offer the most basic explanation possible before switching the conversation back to them. It saves us all some headaches. Trust me.
My first driver was a fellow Jeep driver, so I felt some level of connection to him with this. We spent the first part of my thirty minute ride discussing Jeeps and other makes and models we had driven and considered driving. I learned he was a musician and did some video production as a primary job with Über as his back-up. Cool. Made me think of all the film productions going on here in Georgia and I silently thanked the tax credits that have encouraged that sector’s growth. The driver then asked me what I did and my answer seemed to engage him far more intensely than I had expected. This could go south, quickly.
…But it didn’t. Continue reading “Über: Disrupting More Than Just Transportation” →
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” →