Senate Democrats balk at hospital bed tax

On Monday, the Capitol was churning with news that House legislation containing the hospital bed tax had hit a glitch in the Senate.

Wrote Walter Jones with Morris News Service:

The Senate Finance Committee merged the House version of Perdue’s hospital tax with another bill nicknamed the JOBS Act that has a package of tax breaks for businesses. The committee also sweetened some of the tax breaks to resemble a version of the JOBS Act that Perdue vetoed last year.

The committee announced its 8 a.m. meeting Monday, when legislators were in recess, and said the agenda would be disclosed later. Only two Democrats serve on the committee, and witnesses say neither was present.

Senate staffers say the changes were needed to win enough votes for passage. The hospital tax isn’t popular with either party.

“We had to do some minor, technical amendments,” Senate President Pro Tem Tommie Williams told reporters Tuesday after the committee meeting.

The real problem is that Senate Democrats, for now, are telling Senate Republicans that they’re not on board with a $169 million tax increase in an election year. Which would force Senate Republicans to shoulder the dangerous load by themselves.

“They can still pass it. They don’t need us – they’ve got 33 votes in the Senate. They only need 29,” said state Sen. Doug Stoner (D-Smyrna). “We’re not committed to passing it or opposing it. We haven’t been brought into the discussion, either.”

That is the sound of the first move at a negotiating table.

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16 comments Add your comment

Karl Marx

March 31st, 2010
12:33 pm

You dummycrats could have a big stick for the November elections if you oppose the hospital tax. However you want to increase every other tax so you still may not have any advantage for elections..

Cutty

March 31st, 2010
12:33 pm

So republicans want to tax the sick and give more tax breaks to businesses. All the while, the three big issues of this session, education, transportation, and the budget seem to get no serious face time. There are less than 10 days left in the session people. If there was a legitimate democrat party in this state, republicans would be handing them the November elections on a silver platter.

Things Are Heating Up — Peach Pundit

March 31st, 2010
12:40 pm

[...] friction has started. On Monday Senate Democrats said “No Thanks” to a Republican measure to increase hospital [...]

Rob Vinson

March 31st, 2010
12:53 pm

It’s a mess. Why can’t theses clowns at the statehouse get anything accomplished? I’ll be glad when the session’s over. I personally am tired of the ineptness.

Downtowner

March 31st, 2010
1:04 pm

“They don’t need us – they’ve got 33 votes in the Senate. They only need 29,” said state Sen. Doug Stoner (D-Smyrna). “We’re not committed to passing it or opposing it. We haven’t been brought into the discussion, either.”

The key sentence here– “We haven’t been brought into the discussion, either.” Exactly. No bipartisanship (as usual with the Republicans), so why should the Democrats play along and vote for this tax when it can pass without them?

And why don’t both parties vote for a cigarette tax, anyway??

tv_racin_fan

March 31st, 2010
1:16 pm

Donwtowner says: “The key sentence here– “We haven’t been brought into the discussion, either.” Exactly. No bipartisanship (as usual with the Republicans), so why should the Democrats play along and vote for this tax when it can pass without them?”

Gee have you looked at what is going on in the FEDERAL GOVT? You think the federal GOVT is any different than the individual state govts? Everytime one party or the other has enough votes to pass bills without the other you get this same mess. If you think that democrats are any better than the republicans you only need go back and see what the democrats said about recess appointments under President Bush, go back and see what democrats said about the use of reconciliation. The two parties are different wings on the same bird and the sooner people learn the sooner we can actually do something about the mess we call the United States of America.

Monroe Burbank

March 31st, 2010
1:19 pm

I guess this forever dispels the argument that only Democrats raise taxes.

John

March 31st, 2010
1:28 pm

Cutty,

It is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove ALL DOUBT

Cutty

March 31st, 2010
3:01 pm

John- Its nice to quote things, even when they have no relevancy to the subject at hand.

Road Scholar

March 31st, 2010
3:46 pm

Tax breaks for businesses… again! Two words…BUDGET DEFICIT! or is it Brains Deficit? How are these business tax breaks doing for ya’?

Junior Samples

March 31st, 2010
4:09 pm

The issue regarding the hospital bed tax is simple. The sick have no lobbyists. Sure, the hospitals got on board. They’re just passing the costs to their patients.

georgiadawg70

March 31st, 2010
4:26 pm

tax brakes for business incourrages business to leave the high tax states run by democrates and move to Ga. That means more jobs and more tax payers, dumb ass.

pete

March 31st, 2010
4:41 pm

You know it the very problems we are trying to fix.The grand old pu.pa facist Purdue will try to undermine health care for everyone in georgia.Vote this bunch out.

Just the Facts

March 31st, 2010
4:59 pm

Has any audio or video evidence of tea party members saying racial slurs at house representatives been found yet. That is a big NO. You know why? Because it was a lie. The Democrats are trying to paint the Republican party as racists. Sounds like they are getting desperate. By no means am I condoning such an act, however, flat out lying and manipulating people is just as bad. Just because a person does not agree with a politician’s views or opinion doesn’t mean they are a racist. Somebody needs to tell John Lewis that.

Just the Facts, NOT !

March 31st, 2010
5:35 pm

Let’s get one thing understood, Just the Facts. Do you think that as long as one does not use racial slurs, one can’t be racist ? Is that your rationalization mechanism ? Pathetic.

Einsteindawg

March 31st, 2010
5:37 pm

I’m with you Ron…what a bunch of incompetent wannabees. Our state would be better off without a Governor and a rag tag bunch of lawyers, doctors, insurance salesmen, and 3rd generation newspaper owners. Just outsource the real business to Haliburton or Bectel, and let a homecoming queen do the ceremonial stuff like ribbon-cutting, flag waving, etc. Spend-o-crat or Do-nothing-publican, they are all the same. In fact, why not just eliminate the Ga income tax and tack on an extra 3% or 4% to our sales tax…that would eliminate a lot of waste and actually have a net gain in revenue (besides making it easier to do business in Georgia). I hate to say it but Lester Maddox was head and shoulders above the last three Governors. Anyway, just my humble opinion….Peace.