While a scrum of TV, radio and print reporters waited outside a Senate office door for the formal pronouncement that the Sunday sales bill was dead, the AJC’s Christopher Quinn was getting a bit of analysis from the deposed ruler of the chamber.
Said Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle:
”This is Majority Leader Chip Rogers’ bill – which he co-authored, and made certain commitments. So it’s a little surprising and somewhat different course of action than has been taken in years past.
“Usually you have a committee process by which bills are passed through, and then after they passed, they go to a rules committee.
“Having a caucus vote determining what bills come the floor and what bills do not actually to my knowledge has not been done in the past. So this is a little bit of a change in the procedure with the Senate, and the minority party is pretty much shut out of the process.”
Now, a little background here. First, many senators blame Cagle for the eruption over Sunday sales. It was he who assigned SB 10 not to its usual cemetery in Sen. David Shafer’s regulated industry committee, but to a committee that oversees legislation affecting local governments.
Secondly, when Cagle was in charge, the process was not an unsullied one. And many bills were likewise stuck in the Senate Rules Committee for mysterious and unseen reasons.
That said, if you’re Rules Chairman Don Balfour, R-Snellville, you have to be wondering why you exist today.
Chip Rogers, the second signer on the Sunday sales bill, came out to give his account of events after Cagle had left the scene.
“There’s just not the support to move forward. And it really was a decisive answer of, no we’re not going to move forward.”
Rogers would not describe the margin, but he hinted that some senators had switched their positions.
If there just isn’t the support, there’s no need to continue to dwell on it. And were moving on to much more important issues – education, HOPE scholarship, balancing the budget and creating jobs.
“This is how we handle every single bill. The debate was made, the discussion was had – which is a thorough and deliberate process. I know some people were frustrated that we didn’t move quicker. But we took our time. Everybody had their opportunity. Everybody had a chance to go back and listen to their constituents – which I think is the most important thing.”
Rogers didn’t seem to think there was much of a chance that the issue would rise up again this session:
”The feeling I get is that people are prepared to move on to a lot more important issues. They don’t have a sense of wanting to revisit this again.”
Now on to more important things. Like jobs, and the HOPE scholarship, and the protection of light bulbs.
You haven’t heard about the light bulbs?
SB 61 would defend Georgia’s right – under the Tenth Amendment, Ninth Amendment and the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution — to produce light bulbs in whatever fashion it so chooses, no matter what the federal government says.
From the bill:
”Notwithstanding any other law, a person may possess, use, manufacture, purchase, install, transport, sell, or internationally export an incandescent light bulb that is manufactured commercially or privately in this state if the light bulb is not exported to another state.
“This Code section applies to an incandescent light bulb that is manufactured in this state from basic materials and that can be manufactured without the inclusion of any significant parts imported from another state. The importation into this state of any generic or insignificant part that has other manufacturing or consumer product applications or any basic materials does not subject the incandescent light bulb to federal regulation.”
Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, is the first signature on the bill. Rogers is the second.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider