Just before wrapping up an afternoon calendar meeting of the House Rules Committee, which again failed to move SB 469 to the floor, Chairman John Meadows addressed his members.
“I love you all dearly,” he said. “But I don’t want to see you again today.”
As the Calhoun Republican walked out, I asked him whether we would see SB 469 before adjournment. This is the measure that began as an anti-union slap by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. It banned picketing at private dwellings by labor organizations – and required union members to annually approve the dues check-off on their paychecks.
Earlier this week, Wendell Willard, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, engineered an amendment to SB 469 so that it bans demonstrations at all private residences for any reason. You can’t just single out one kind of speech to ban, Willard said. In other words, protesters for such causes as abortion, neighborhood blight – take your pick – have now been wrapped into the argument.
That may amount to a poison pill.
So what did Meadows say about SB 469’s future? “That’s the speaker’s call,” he said. It won’t move unless David Ralston gives the word, Meadows said.
Union folk who have populated the Capitol today are antsy. They fear the anti-picketing language will be stripped away, and the dues check-off portion of the bill will shoot through both chambers.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider