Last week, on the crucial Crossover Day, SB 350 passed the Senate with a comfortable 49-to-4 margin.
The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Don Balfour, R-Snellville, merely calls on the judicial system to restore firearms used in crimes to their innocent owners – a stolen pistol used in a robbery, for instance.
More important was what the bill did not contain – an amendment that would give employees the right to keep firearms in their locked cars in employee parking lots. Four years ago, Balfour led the pro-business fight on the issue, but he has recently converted to the opinion championed by the National Rifle Association.
But apparently not enough of his friends felt the same way. Posted on this NRA website is an attack on Senate GOP leaders:
Every effort was made to work with each interested party and organization that had a vested interest in this bill and was willing to come to the table. The NRA made some changes on the drafted amendment to try to address some concerns.
Unfortunately, Senate Leadership — more specifically state Senate President Pro Tempore Tommie Williams and state Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers — worked against the NRA’s efforts behind the scenes and helped persuade their colleagues in the Republican Senate caucus that the NRA’s employee protection legislation was too divisive of an issue and it was apparently more important to side with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Association of Realtors than to uphold the rights of law-abiding gun owners throughout the state.
For the record, this is precisely why many argue that you need a statewide-elected lieutenant governor with some control over the chamber – to take the heat for decisions like this one.
Advocates of enforcing Georgia’s sales tax on Internet purchases have been pointing to states that have approved similar legislation. They won’t be pointing to Arizona, which last week rejected the idea. From the Associated Press:
PHOENIX — Amazon.com will not be required to start collecting sales tax on purchases made by Arizona residents after the state Senate on Thursday soundly rejected a proposal that supporters argued was essential to protect local employers.
…The bill didn’t identify Amazon by name, but the legislation was widely viewed as targeted toward the Seattle-based company. The failed plan would have classified Amazon as an in-state retailer for tax purposes because a subsidiary has distribution centers in Arizona.
Amazon contends it doesn’t have to collect sales tax on sales to Arizonans because the parent company doesn’t have a physical presence in the state. And a lobbyist for the online retailer testified during a committee hearing that the bill would violate the Arizona Constitution’s prohibition on bills targeting specific individuals or companies.
Lauren McDonald III, son of state Public Service Commission member Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, has killed talk that he might run against state Sen. Jack Murphy, R-Cumming, by deciding to run for Forsyth County sheriff instead.
Lauren McDonald III is currently the county coroner. From the Forsyth News:
“The current sheriff has served a purpose, but now it is time to seize the opportunity for a wave of new ideas,” said McDonald, 43. “An opportunity for a fresh set of eyes to take a look at the way the business of the office operates and make a positive change happen within and outside of the sheriff’s office.”
[Incumbent Ted] Paxton has said he plans to seek a fourth term but has not officially launched his campaign.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider