The Sunday sales bill is dead. But there’s still time to save the American light bulb

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.

He said:

“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.

He continued:

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

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119 comments Add your comment

DJ Sniper

February 17th, 2011
1:49 pm

This state and its politics are a freaking joke.

Pathetic

February 17th, 2011
1:50 pm

Georgia’s state level democracy is a model of dysfunction and hypocrisy. Just remember this tea party folk – the GA Republican Party could care a flying flip about local control – they want a big government to regulate what you can do on any given Sunday. Because the Georgia Republican Party clearly knows better than us poor little common folk. What a joke.

And, once again, the legislature chooses to focus on issues that affect Georgian Jobs. First billboards, now lightbulbs. Why would any company want to relocate to Georgia when our elected officials are ding bats.

Donaldo

February 17th, 2011
1:52 pm

Whatever happened to separation of church & state. GA practices selective violation of its citizens civil rights under the Constitution. Oh well, we did not need the extra tax revenues………feeling hijacked.

Marty

February 17th, 2011
1:54 pm

What wussies! This is just unbelieveable knowing the overwhelming support of Sunday alcohol sales was there. Simply a bunch of redneck f**ks.

Cutty

February 17th, 2011
1:57 pm

No Marty, what pu$$ie$!!!

E-Roll

February 17th, 2011
1:57 pm

So if their is not a majority of REPUBLICANS in this committee that are in favor of the bill then it can not go to the full Senate for a vote?

Never mind the fact that just about all Democrats will vote for the bill because the vast majority of cities would like the choice of Sunday sales. As a life long Georgian I have to say that my state is so times so backwards that it is sad.

Our Senators are trying to hide their up or down vote behind a caucus vote in a committee because they do not want to face the moral minority, well I say that everyone that has held the right for the voters to choice should be voted out but since none of them are from my district we need to replace the entire Senate leadership that would let this happen for now the 4th year in a row that I acn think of.

Happy Day!

February 17th, 2011
2:00 pm

The drunkards lose again! Double dose of ossified liver tonight!

deegee

February 17th, 2011
2:00 pm

Chip Rogers and Barry Loudermilk are probably stockpiling incandescent bulbs in anticipation of some incandescent ban that they foresee in the future. In 2018 or whenever you will have to go to Chip Rogers if you want to buy an incandescent bulb.

findog

February 17th, 2011
2:00 pm

The General Assembly cannot vote on taxes unless it is blessed by Grover Norquist.
They cannot vote on self determination for sale of legal products unless the Baptist Convention allows it.
Do we really need them?
They do not even have to have open votes for legislation now it is all handled in their secret caucus votes.
Where are the open government lawyers when you need them?

Preacherskid

February 17th, 2011
2:02 pm

The religious and restaraunt lobbies got to them. The religious wackos don’t want you doing anything tha offends their religious views and the restaraunt and liquor store lobby doesn’t want the competition from the supermarkets and convenience stores on alcohol sales.

Al Kaholik

February 17th, 2011
2:03 pm

If you believe Georgia’s law prohibiting booze peddling on Sunday is unconstitutional, why don’t you sue the State? That is, if you can sober up and stagger from one sort of bar to another sort.

GaBlue

February 17th, 2011
2:05 pm

booklover

February 17th, 2011
2:06 pm

Lightbulbs? Seriously? Can the legislature get my students some new d*mn textbooks? We’re three years past the date when we were supposed to get new ones, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that they are falling apart.

Sell liquor on Sundays, collect the tax revenue that is now going to Florida, some SC cities, and Uncle Sam–the feds allow liquor to be sold on military bases on Sunday. Down here in Savannah, the local businesses are losing a lot of revenue and we’re losing tax revenue because of this law.

Sell liquor on Sundays, and buy my students some new d*mn textbooks. The priorities of this state are so corrupt.

the nanny state

February 17th, 2011
2:06 pm

al kaholik: 70% of LDA (legal drinking age) adults consume alcohol. are you insinuating that they are all drunks? i think thou doth protest too much

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jim Galloway, Chad Johnson. Chad Johnson said: Sometimes this state just sucks! //RT @politicalinsidr: The Sunday sales bill is dead. http://tinyurl.com/4zybv6h [...]

Preacherskid

February 17th, 2011
2:11 pm

It’s very uncomfortable the way they handled this. I don’t like politicians being able to secretly squash legislation in some caucus. Not happy at all with this. I like my representative. Ed Setzler, he’s a nice guy but he’s going to hear about this as will John Wiles.

jarvis

February 17th, 2011
2:11 pm

So how doe we get a list of who voted against giving the People a right to choose?

If they won’t publish one, I guess we’ll just have to get rid of them all.

You don’t get to vote on things in public office without making them public. There are consequences to actions.

pb

February 17th, 2011
2:14 pm

Doesn’t surprise me what these jerks in State Senate would do. Although this is not the most important issue in front of the GA Legislature, it is something that should have been given to local people to vote on a long time ago. Incomprehensible that this is still illegal on Sundays. I love Georgia, but sometimes we are backwards in what we do.

DagnyT

February 17th, 2011
2:16 pm

From a Republican- this is embarrassing. I move to ban the sale of lottery tickets and cigarettes on Sundays. It makes just about as much sense.

Marty

February 17th, 2011
2:16 pm

Hey Al, the larger point here is that you have a secret meeting of a few that dictate what can be voted on. And this places too much power among a select few. Is this how we want our state government to represent the people?

Southern Voice

February 17th, 2011
2:19 pm

All right–how do we find out who is to blame for this? Has anyone at all come out and said in public that they would not support the bill? They should be held accountable for their stance.

Preacherskid

February 17th, 2011
2:22 pm

Southern Voice

February 17th, 2011
2:19 pm
All right–how do we find out who is to blame for this? Has anyone at all come out and said in public that they would not support the bill? They should be held accountable for their stance

You won’t be able to. The Senate caucus is held privately and they don’t have to publish who voted which way.

DJ Sniper

February 17th, 2011
2:27 pm

Preacherskid, you are so right. The religious groups and liquor store lobbies entered into an unholy union to keep this thing from happening, and people wonder why Georgia is such a joke to the rest of the country. If this was some other issue that the religious groups supported, you can best believe that the public would have been able to vote on it.

artyc99

February 17th, 2011
2:27 pm

post the names who want liquor banned so when elections come up
we can ban them from office.

Preacherskid

February 17th, 2011
2:31 pm

artyc99

February 17th, 2011
2:27 pm

There won’t be a list. You’ll never know who voted for or against because it was done in a Senate caucus it’s private and will not be published to the public.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

February 17th, 2011
2:33 pm

How about a citizens’ group that would raise money to have a law firm make a constitutional challenge to the Sunday sales law? If the ban is based on purely secular reasons, the state would have to show a rational basis for prohibiting Sunday sales. Might be hard for the state to defend when alcohol is sold 6 days a week from retail outlets and 7 days a week in restaurants.

GaBlue

February 17th, 2011
2:36 pm

This is not new and it’s not just a liquor thing. Do a search on “Hawk system georgia legislature” to learn more about the great lengths the powers in this state go to, to concentrate and retain power among the very few, and deny the people of this state meaningful representation. (While feathering their own nests, of course. EFF yours. You don’t matter.)

This is possible (it’s EASY!!) because MOST people do not pay attention to a single thing they do, and most could not even name their rep or senator under the Gold Dome, let alone who he’s aligned with or what he votes for. So the headline grabs them for a minute or two. “What? We STILL can’t buy beer on Sunday? Gosh, that seems silly.” But that’s as far as it goes.

Apathy = NON-representative government.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jim Galloway, Grayson Daughters, Wise_Diva, Going Green, RD and others. RD said: RT @politicalinsidr: The Sunday sales bill is dead. But there’s still time to save the American light bulb http://bit.ly/hiPVOf [...]

deegee

February 17th, 2011
2:40 pm

In my neck of the woods, they won’t have any serious opposition in the next election so what good does it do to know who is for it and against it? The candidates in my district typically run the gamut from John Birch to Joe McCarthy.

Preacherskid

February 17th, 2011
2:41 pm

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

February 17th, 2011
2:33 pm
How about a citizens’ group that would raise money to have a law firm make a constitutional challenge to the Sunday sales law? If the ban is based on purely secular reasons, the state would have to show a rational basis for prohibiting Sunday sales. Might be hard for the state to defend when alcohol is sold 6 days a week from retail outlets and 7 days a week in restaurants

I admire your passion but we shouldn’t have to do this. If enough people raise enough hell to their Senators and Reps they should do the work for us.

Knowitall

February 17th, 2011
2:43 pm

What a bunch of yellow-bellied weenies! I’m so disgusted by the so-called Christian right I could spit! I’m a Christian and a republican and I enjoy wine with my meals. Who are they to tell me that’s immoral??!! The jerks!

Knowitall

February 17th, 2011
2:48 pm

There’s no difference in the so called “moral majority” having the gall to tell the rest of us what we should and should not drink on Sunday and making it against the law and the radical Muslims having laws against moral issues like painting their toenails red!

Last Man Standing

February 17th, 2011
2:48 pm

Blog, blog and then blog again. Wear your fingers down typing but it is all for nought. The Sunday alcohol sales legislation is DRT, not to be confused with DOA. It is “Dead Right There”. If you truly feel that the ban on package sales of alcohol on Sundays is unconstitutional, file suit! I do believe that y’all have worn this topic of conversation out. The only thing you can do if you insist on blogging about it is to repeat again and again what has already been said. Action speaks much louder than words: FILE THE SUIT!

ATF

February 17th, 2011
2:51 pm

The real problem here is the caucus vote taken to determine which bills are taken to the floor for a vote. It isn’t just those who voted against taking the liquor bill to the floor – the problem is the procedure.

I am so glad Georgia jobs producing incandescent light bulbs will be protected. I don’t know how to search how many jobs that might be, but good. Does anyone know? 10, 50, 100, 1000? And, do we need to worry about this being in conflict with federal law and how much it would cost to defend it in court if the feds sue?

Now, lets get on to some more job protection, job creation stuff. How about really funding education? Given all the tax cuts and spending cuts in education at the state level, have we cut enough waste that we can now say the waste is gone and we can raise taxes and start paying for education that is not wasteful?

When and how will we know? I mean, sooner or later we have to stop cutting taxes and programs. Sooner or later we really will get to the point that what is being cut matters. Are we there yet?

Preacherskid

February 17th, 2011
2:51 pm

Knowitall

February 17th, 2011
2:48 pm

I grew up in the Baptist denomination. I remember that in some of these churches they used to argue about whether or not to put padding on the benches, carpet on the floor or allow air conditioning in the church because that’s just too worldly and modern. In some churches they wouldn’t allow any music that involved an instrument other than an acoustic guitar or piano. Because drums and electric guitars was too secular.

The men totally dominated the majority of the women. No women wearing pants or “too much” makeup.

Just a bizarre mentality.

Last Man Standing

February 17th, 2011
2:51 pm

P.S. Maybe Ol’ Roy Barnes will give you a ‘deal’ on filing suit against the state. After all, he has done it many times.

Thomas

February 17th, 2011
2:55 pm

Up or Down vote was all I was asking, so we can see in daylight who voted which way but it seems that a majority of wimps have determined the outcome before a formal vote is ever taken. Our Legislative process is corrupt!

Preacherskid

February 17th, 2011
2:58 pm

Last Man Standing

February 17th, 2011
2:51 pm
P.S. Maybe Ol’ Roy Barnes will give you a ‘deal’ on filing suit against the state. After all, he has done it many times.

It would seem logical. I mean how can blue laws be constitutional?

GaBlue

February 17th, 2011
2:59 pm

Our legislative process IS corrupt, but that’s okay with Last Man Standing. He wants us to pump more cash into the pockets of LAWYERS! Woooo! Yeah, that’s the ticket! Tie up the court system because our legislators refuse to actually represent us. Thanks LMS! (By the way, to whom are you going to bill this hour?)

yokel

February 17th, 2011
3:00 pm

As long as they aren’t being sold on Sundays, Georgians SHOULD be able to manufature incandescent light bulbs! How else can the legislature and the PSC justify Georgia Power’s charging the public for unbuilt increased nuclear generation capacity, if we don’t keep using more juice? And for pete’s sake, bring back DDT production, damn-it!

Preacherskid

February 17th, 2011
3:01 pm

GaBlue

February 17th, 2011
2:59 pm

I agree with you that this should be something our representatives handle for us. I think we really need to let them hear how unhappy we are about this.

I’ve already written to my Senator and Representative.

Big E

February 17th, 2011
3:04 pm

These are the no good hypocrites and liars you voted for in november.THANKS!

Ghostrider

February 17th, 2011
3:06 pm

What a Redneck State we live in, the laughing stock of the entire country. This is why I HATE Politicans, all they are good for is putting their hands in our pockets, they say what you want to hear to get voted in and once in they do nothing. I think all Politicians are without a doubt a bunch of spineless, worthless POS’s. This also includes all you idiot Holy Rollers…..gotta go..Time for a Cold Beer..and it’s only 3:05 in the afternoon….how bout that you useless Holy Roller D!ckheads…

Preacherskid

February 17th, 2011
3:06 pm

Tracking a Bill Through The General Assembly

IDEA
Legislator sees need for a new law or changes in existing law and decides to introduce a bill.

DRAFTING
Legislator goes to Office of Legislative Counsel. There, attorney advises legislator on legal issues and drafts bill.

INTRODUCTION AND FIRST READING
Legislator files bill with the Clerk of the House or Secretary of the Senate. On legislative day after filing, bill is formally introduced. In chamber, bill’s title is read during period of first readings. Immediately after first reading, presiding officer assigns bill to a standing committee.

SECOND READING
In the House only, on next legislative day, Clerk reads bill’s title (second reading) in chamber, although actual bill is now in committee. In Senate, second reading comes after bill is reported favorably from committee.

COMMITTEE ACTION
Bill considered by committee. Author and other legislators may testify. If controversial, public hearings may be held. Final Committee action reported in a written report. Committee options are:

Recommend Bill or Resolution Do Pass;
Recommend Do NOT Pass;
Recommend Do Pass with changes (amendments or substitutes);
Hold Bill.
THIRD READING AND PASSAGE
Clerk or Secretary prepares a General Calendar of bills favorably reported from committee.

Legislation which was second read the day before is placed on a calendar in numeric order for floor action prior to the the Rules Committee meeting to choose bills for consideration.
After a certain point, set by rule, the Rules Committee meets and prepares a Rules Calendar for the next day’s floor consideration from bills on General Calendar.
The presiding officer calls up bills from the Rules Calendar for floor action in order as they appear on this calendar.
Once presiding officer calls bill up from Rules Calendar, Clerk or Secretary reads bill’s title (third reading). Bill is now ready for floor debate, amendments, and voting. After debate, main question is called and members vote. if bill is approved by majority of total membership of that house , it is sent to the other house.

TRANSMITTAL TO OTHER CHAMBER
Bill is passed if:

If second chamber passes bill, it is returned to chamber where bill was introduced.
If first chamber rejects changes and second chamber insists, a conference committee may be appointed. Committee report is accepted by both chambers.
Bill is enrolled and sent to the Governor (if requested). Otherwise, all enrolled bills sent to Governor following adjournment sine die.

GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE/VETO
Governor may sign bill or do nothing, and bill becomes law. Governor may veto bill, which requires two-thirds of members of each house to override.

ACT
Act and other laws enacted at the session are printed in the Georgia Laws series. Also, act is incorporated into the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. Act becomes effective the following July 1, unless a different effective date is provided in act.

Preacherskid

February 17th, 2011
3:07 pm

I don’t see anything in my previous post about holding a secret caucus to decide the fate of a bill.

Knowitall

February 17th, 2011
3:08 pm

Preacherskid
Yes that’s bizarre! However, I don’t have aproblem with churchs having any kind of rules and regulations they want. as long as I’m not forced to join!

No Dog in this Hunt

February 17th, 2011
3:10 pm

Who runs the republican caucus? Maybe they should explain who voted which way so we don’t have to vote out all current republicans.

ahhkee

February 17th, 2011
3:10 pm

What a bunch of cowards. Once again, The so-called Rebumlicans, are bowing down to the theocrats and letting them dictate on what we can and cannot do on Sunday. This is no different that what Radical Islam wants to do to the West..telling us how we can live under Sharia law!!!!

Allen

February 17th, 2011
3:14 pm

Why not go ahead and mandate that we all go to church on Sunday?

sboucher

February 17th, 2011
3:15 pm

It’s very easy to know who voted for Big Government controlling our lives and inserting religion into our laws: REPUBLICANS.

Next election day, remember that it was REPUBLICANS who met in secret and REPUBLICANS who once again ignored what the majority of people in the state want.

They talk a lot about smaller government and fewer regulations, but when it comes down to it, REPUBLICANS are the ones who are trying to run our lives, and tell us what we can, or cannot, do.

Remember that next election day.