The two major bills intended to combat illegal immigration in Georgia are undergoing major revisions. State Rep. Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City, is to unveil his changes to HB 87 today.
The state’s business and agricultural forces have mounted intense campaigns against both measures. Revisions unveiled Wednesday by state Sen. Jack Murphy, R-Cumming, to his bill, SB 40, showed that the lobbying appears to have had its effect.
Sen. Jack Murphy’s Senate Bill 40 no longer includes penalties for certain private businesses that do not use the federal E-Verify program. That program seeks to verify newly hired employees are eligible to work in the United States.
He said he would also amend the bill to exempt businesses with four or fewer employees from a requirement to use E-Verify. His original bill exempted only businesses that participate in federal guest worker programs. An exemption is still in place in the new bill for businesses that hire temporary agricultural workers through the federal H-2A visa program.
In SB 40′S original language, businesses that failed to verify a prospective hire’s residency status through E-Verify were subject to a written reprimand on the first offense, and fines up to $10,000 thereafter, plus the loss of their business licenses.
During a visit to Augusta, Gov. Nathan Deal refused to be drawn into shouting match with his South Carolina counterpart over funding for the dredging of the Port of Savannah. From Walter Jones with Morris News Service:
“I’m not going to get in any war of words with anybody,” [Deal said.] “We don’t need that. We need to work together.”
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has said since her inauguration two months ago that she aims to use her influence to block the deepening as a way to thwart Georgia’s economic dominance over her state…..
Deal expressed chagrin over Haley’s attitude. Roughly 40 percent of the workers at the Savannah port live in her state, he said.
Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., has been named in a seven-way tie for most conservative member of the U.S. Senate by the National Journal. He’s right there with John Barrasso, R-Wyo., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Jim DeMint, R-S.C., John McCain, R-Ariz., Jim Risch, R-Idaho, and John Thune, R-S.D.
No Georgians made it onto the NJ’s list of top 10 conservative House members.
U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, whose district includes the the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology, says he intends to use his new clout in the House to tackle the fictions of climate change.
Broun, who became chairman of the Science, Space and Technology Committee’s subcommittee on investigation and oversight when Republicans took control of the House last month, said he plans to use hearings to show that manmade climate change is not settled science.
“We’re going to get all voices heard about the science of climate,” Broun said. “Right now the (Obama) administration turns a blind ear and eye to opposing views.”
….Broun said in 2009 that “the idea of human-induced global climate change is one of the greatest hoaxes perpetrated out of the scientific community.” He accused Democrats and scientists who support the theory of politicizing and suppressing data, but said Tuesday he is keeping an open mind.
“What I see from this administration is utilizing global warming to try to promote a political agenda,” Broun said. “I’m a scientist. I’m a physician. I believe we need to look at it on a scientific basis. I don’t know for certain, but we need to get the science out to the public so that all voices can be heard.”
Nate Silver of the New York Times today takes the recent Gallup poll on Barack Obama’s job approval and ponders what the president’s strong showing in the South might mean for 2012:
The most intriguing possibility is probably Georgia, where Mr. Obama’s approval rating was 45.5 percent in 2010 — just slightly below the national average. Compare Georgia, for instance, to Missouri: Mr. Obama lost the former by 5.2 percentage points in 2008, and the latter by 0.1 point.
But Mr. Obama’s campaign heavily targeted Missouri, which it did not do for Georgia; that may have been worth several points. And Mr. Obama’s approval rating is now higher in Georgia than it is in Missouri. Depending on the identity of the Republican nominee and his or her geographic strengths, Georgia might be the better target for Mr. Obama.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider