Senate votes to take two-week break

Spring Break is upon us.

The Senate today introduced a resolution  - sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore Tommie Williams (R-Lyons) and Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) – calling for a break from the legislative session until March 8.

Senators voted 35-17 to halt the session.

Lawmakers will spend the time working with Gov. Sonny Perdue to resolve the 2011 budget.

The people of Georgia sent us here to do our job and do it quickly,” Rogers said. “Doing it right is going to take a little more time. This is not a vacation, time off or a moment to relax. This is a very serious job and we will be working to that end everyday between now and March 8.”

Steve Thompson (D-Marietta) wondered if the wrong message was being sent by taking such a long break. Rogers countered that he wondered if two weeks is enough time.

While the Senators were voting to take a break, they would also pass the amended $17.4 billion mid-year budget.

Today marks the 20th day of the legislative session, the exact midway point. The House is scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. today.

26 comments Add your comment

d

February 18th, 2010
12:16 pm

Why not? It takes a lot of work to pass a microchip bill, make it mandatory to install low flowing toliets, take off after 90 minutes of session on Friday before the Super Bowl, debate on allowing guns on college campuses and many other fine bills. Twenty days wasted on pure crap. No one is thinking outside the box. The only good thing I have read is that they are going after business scafflaws. God help us-I mean this really. I know that I WILL NOT VOTE FOR ANYONE WITH AN (I) behind their name. I think that is what God is telling me.

Insanity, Stop the Insanity

February 18th, 2010
12:33 pm

Get the hell out of town now. The people of Georgia can’t stand the GA politcians stealing their money. Get out before they can figure out another way to increase our taxes. Go now.

Cutty

February 18th, 2010
12:59 pm

Seems our esteemed legislators are on welfare- as they are collecting a check for doing nothing.

Tyler Durden

February 18th, 2010
1:57 pm

Nothing surprising here. The GOP runs GA, and no one will hold them accountable for anything. I’m only surprised they didn’t also vote themselves a raise and a free weekend on one of Sonny’s sweetheart deal hunting preserves.

General Sherman

February 18th, 2010
2:05 pm

Hell just take off the rest of the year.You do not return phone calls,e-mails and so out of touch with the people that put you in office,What can you really say that you have done in twenty days except praise pants on the ground and praise scientology. I cannot hear you.So read my lips(kiss my grits).

[...] here:  Senate votes to take two-week break | Gold Dome Live tags: college-campuses, debate-on-allowing, fine, follow-the-footsteps, footsteps, friday, [...]

Wally

February 18th, 2010
2:50 pm

You ain’t seen nothin yet! Guess why no furlough days for teachers and state employees? Salaries willw be cut 5 to ten percent across the board. That way, the state gets to keep the money AND teachers and state employees get to work the days. At least with furloughs they got some time off for their loss of pay. This government has raided every trust fund and spent all reserves. Last year they said the state didn’t need a $500M employ health benefit trust fund. Now they say $500M short so they’re increasing premiums by 10% for all state employees. It’s plain to see why they need a 2 week recess – it’s getting harder and harder to find money just lying around.

Sunday Liquor Salesman

February 18th, 2010
2:52 pm

Where are the Tea Partiers? Oh yeah, they only complain when democrats are in charge.

Audrey in Georgia

February 18th, 2010
2:56 pm

Republicans motto in Washington: “vote yes for me and I will vote no for you.”
Republicans motto in Georgia: “this work is too hard, let’s take a break for 2 weeks, maybe we will
have an answer when we get back and maybe we won’t.”

middler and so tired of all the rhetoric :

February 18th, 2010
3:19 pm

Are they going to take this break pro bono to share the pain of the furloughed workers and teachers?

Guv'ner Sunny Pardue

February 18th, 2010
3:33 pm

What is all the fuss about? No worries, this very short little two-week break is just a preview for the REAL vacation that comes at the end of March. As a matter of fact, I’m on already on vacation and have been there since 2002 (I got an eight-year headstart!)….Anybody up for hunting or fishing in Middle Georgia. BTW, don’t forget to GO FISH Georgia!

professional skeptic

February 18th, 2010
5:42 pm

d
February 18th, 2010
12:16 pm

Amen to that.

Jennifer

February 18th, 2010
6:54 pm

Hey, I’m in favor of their leaving early……Hell, I wish they would take a PERMANENT vacation! When they are in session, they must be catching up on NAP time……otherwise, how do they explain passing SR 998 on February 8, 2010? This resolution, was sneaked through by Donzella James of College Park, Horacena Tate of Atlanta, and Valencia Seay of Riverdale.

http://blogs.ajc.com/political-insider-jim-galloway/2010/02/17/your-morning-jolt-senators-praise-scientology-volunteers/
Excerpt:

This may come as a surprise to some, but your Republican-controlled state Senate – usually known for catering to the concerns of conservative Christians – last week issued a sincere commendation to the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Corps.

green green

February 18th, 2010
8:00 pm

Uh, not all of them even work on the budget. Not even most of them. Part-aaayyyyee Time!!

Newter Gingrich

February 18th, 2010
9:50 pm

I think the break is about 50 weeks too short.

The less time the GOP spends passing senseless bills on microchips or legislation to allow concealed weapons everywhere, the better for the rest of us.

Make that 15,000 weeks too short.

Santa

February 19th, 2010
2:13 pm

I am still curious after reading the Microchip Consent Act. Before this act, was it legal for someone to implant me with a microchip against my will? I am looking for the need for this law.

d

February 19th, 2010
2:54 pm

It’s sad, but I think this is one of the most hilarous General Assemblies I have seen in my lifetime. I thought some under Tom Murphy was funny. Boy, did we as voters, really vote for these people. How can Lousiana have a bigger revenue than us. 24 billion this year and less population than us. It is funny how we are entrusting our budget with the people who covered up affairs under the Dome, erased our surplus, destroyed our public schools, never dealt with traffic issues and never really cared to, passed dumb laws, try to make sweet tea the state drink, allowed until this year women in skimpy clothing to influence bills for lobbist, claim thier against any new taxes but allowed by property tax to go up and hiking my Georgia Power Bill to fund a Nuclear Reactor that the Federal Government is giving money to and raising unversities fees, refused to by Oaky Woods for a reserve, allow the governor to take a retroactive tax break, contemplating on a hospital tax, voted for Georgia’s Go Fish program, allowed the state to pay for unecessary testing for schools for several years, raid the hope grant, allowing the President of UGA to live off campus and keep up the House on campus for millions of dollars, allowed the governor not to put his companies in a blind trust, came up with the stupid solution for our water troubles by using low flowing toliet bowls, allowed uncollected scafflaws for several years and when asked the Department of revenue acted like it was no big deal, build a 9,000,000 horse playpen in Perry, while allowing the Ga patrol, teachers and many other state workers to be furloughed, honoring people at the Gold Dome at tax payers expense, did nothing to prevent FORD from leaving, tried to raid the teachers’ retirement fund, made an ethics commission that has no real power, destroyed the math curriculum in public schools, protected legislature who goes off with strippers and the list goes on and on. BOY do I feel good about November. If anyone thinks that delaying the budget for two weeks for a better revenue picture in March is going to help out the Budget writers, they are crazy. Nothing will come out of this two week delay except old ideas that doesn’t work. Chop away, legislatures, come November, I will viote against you, no matter who you are. My one vote may not mean much, but it means a lot to me. To the bloggers who fuss about typos, ITS a D*** blog

Wally

February 19th, 2010
11:25 pm

HEAR! HEAR! I do love a good rant. Of these matters there are few who know and few who care. But just wait til it comes time for renewal of teachers’ contracts and they’re blindsided with a 10 per cent cut in salary. Now there’s a voting bloc for you. It was they who put Roy the Boy out of the governor’s mansion. And let’s not forget state employees who will also be facing pay cuts. Have you noticed what DeKalb and McDuffie Counties have in common lately? Teacher layoffs – that’s what. Hey – do we REALLY need 11 paid holidays per year anyway? And what about all that dead expense in state prisons? How would YOU like to get up every morning and have 60,000 hungry mouths to feed? Ain’t it time to downsize the prison system?

Sherman

February 22nd, 2010
8:00 am

Well said d! Of course the list does go on and on. I think Ga. citizens would be shocked if they really knew what the Guv was allowing/approving the budget to actually be spent on.

Hmmm…maybe they can auction off that Kia that was given as a gift to Sonny. :)

disgusted

February 22nd, 2010
10:07 am

Wally – maybe you misspoke, but in case you didn’t, you are incorrect when you say “guess why no furloughs for teachers and state employees” – teachers and state employees were furloughed last year, and we have already been told we’ll be furloughed again beginning in April. I haven’t heard anything about pay cuts, but without having received what used to be a very small annual cost of living increase in three years, an increase in health insurance, many of us do feel that as a form of pay cut – with the cost of food, gas and housing all skyrocketing, bringing home less income for three years in a row is getting hard to manage.

I’m grateful to have a job – I read yesterday that many currently unemployed people will be out of work for YEARS! Which is why I think one of the greatest failures of the Legislators and the city of Atlanta was losing out on stimulus money for improving public transportation. From what I understand of it, Georgia lost out because they couldn’t responsibly show what they did with monies received before for transportation. Meanwhile, Florida cleaned up big time in stimulus funds that will create real jobs.

Which speaks in general to what most people here are saying – we’re being represented by people who appear to be asleep at the wheel. Vote, baby vote when the time comes – we need a clean slate in Georgia politics.

d

February 22nd, 2010
12:31 pm

Please if I am wrong about this information correct me. Uncollected taxes estimated 250,000,000 per year for the last seven years is 1,750,000,000, UN-necessary testing from education 21,000,000 for about seven years equals 147,000,000. Go Fish program just for 2008 19,000,000. AM I wrong about this figures? Really if I am let me know. I am just going by what I can find out over the net. Now we are making less than Lousiana and we are the tenth most populated state. Am I suppose to set back and wait for them to tell me they will fix it? I am so disgusted and everyone I have talked to is also.

d

February 22nd, 2010
8:35 pm

Oh yeah, I forgot one more thing-the state legislators allowed the Guv to kick out veterans out of their home in Milledgeville because of lack of money, but we could find money for 19,000,000 for the d*** Go Fish program. WOW—-I tell you what, the General Assembly and the Guv has made their Lobbyist proud.

Wally

February 22nd, 2010
8:39 pm

OK, hold my feet to the fire. I didn’t exactly misspeak about the no furlough days. I just didn’t waste my breath restating what everyone should know – I was speaking of the 2011 fiscal year budget. That said, you can’t expect the polititions to continue with workarounds like furlough days do you? It’s a bureaucratic and employee relations headache. It’ll be SO much easier to simply cut salaries across the board an amount commensurate to the amount saved by, say, 10 or so furlough days. Just pay attention to what happens when it’s time to renew teachers’ contracts. But you can’t complain. Like you said – you’re lucky just to have a job, which you are to quit at any time the way they see it. Are you aware of just how many thousands of people are incarcerated in state prisons who are eligible for parole and that hundreds of millions of dollars are wasted keeping harmless old men and women in prison? It’s the old south Georgia jobs program. I’m sure you understand that you can’t justify running all those prisons unless they’re all full of prisoners, don’t you? Anyway, I thought I might throw that little tidbit in considering that’s where the money is right now.

Wally

February 22nd, 2010
11:25 pm

I really should learn to proofread my own writing before I send it. I meant to say that you are FREE to quit your job at any time. It IS a free country, isn’t it?

disgusted

February 23rd, 2010
3:14 pm

It used to be a free country – I suppose now it depends on what your definition of free is. I completely agree with you on the prison system. As to being free to quit my job, yes I am. I’m also free to blow my brains out, which would make almost as much sense as quitting ANY job in this economy. The folks at the dome know this. So we’ll see more furlough days. I don’t see pay cuts in the mix. That won’t bring in nearly as much money as hiking taxes on beer, liquor, gas, groceries and cigarettes will.

tc

February 24th, 2010
12:52 pm

i think we need an iq test to become a legislator……or maybe we do and it cannot exceed 90