This morning, Gov. Nathan Deal will issue a list of rejected bills from the recent session of the Legislature.
Among those receiving a veto will be HB 456, the so-called “sunset” bill that would have created a legislative advisory to “review and evaluate state agencies’ productivity, efficiency and responsiveness.” The measure also would have created a mechanism for the General Assembly to abolish state agencies.
Deal spokesman Brian Robinson said the bill would have created an expensive redundancy. “In order to fulfill its goal this committee would have to meet year round” – constantly drawing a per diem for expenses, he said. “We don’t need to add another layer of government.”
Deal will sign a zero-based budgeting bill, which accomplishes the same mission, Robinson said. “It goes through the budget line through line, evaluating programs that have outlived their usefulness.”
Robinson said there were also constitutional, separation-of-power concerns about the bill, because it would assign what are essentially executive duties to the legislative branch.
Tea party and other conservative groups have ordered up a last-minute push to encourage the governor to rethink his decision before it becomes public – and final. They say that as a candidate, the governor made a private pledge to support the sunset measure.
“This is a campaign promise that he made,” said Bill Hudson of the Conservative Leadership Coalition. “I wasn’t in the room, but there were a whole slew of people who were.”
Over at Channel 2 Action News, Richard Belcher has a look at airport concession contractors who are having trouble claiming that they qualify as disadvantaged businesses:
Some paragraphs just bear repeating, including these from my AJC colleague David Wickert, about a court action filed by ex-Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charles Bannister over his botched DUI arrest:
In a federal lawsuit filed this week against Sheriff Butch Conway claiming the arrest was politically motivated, Bannister also says Conway and his wife, State Court Judge Carla Brown, steered a county contract to a probation company partly owned by [prominent developer Wayne] Mason.
Moreover, in the suit he claims he was approached by Mason shortly after taking office in 2005. The suit says Mason “made it clear, explicitly, that if Bannister would use his position as commission chairman to Mason’s advantage, Bannister would be made wealthy.”
Such incendiary claims, leveled in a lawsuit aimed at someone else, did not sit well with Mason.
“Those allegations are a complete falsehood from an individual who left public office to avoid prosecution for perjury before a special grand jury,” Mason e-mailed when asked for a response by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider