Your daily jolt: A state Senate under new management

In the minutes surrounding the passage of Senate Bill 24, Gov. Nathan Deal’s solution to the “bed tax” dilemma, the sharp-eyed could – through the door leading to President pro tem David Shafer’s office – spot a giddy state Sen. Jeff Mullis dancing through the anteroom, arms in the air.

That’s how happy the new leaders of the state Senate were on Thursday, following passage of the Hospital Medicaid Financing Program Act. The bill, which now will receive the same railed treatment in the House, solves the sticky problem of legislative approval for a continued levy on hospitals by shoving the issue behind the executive curtain of the state Department of Community Health.

In fact, the contrast with Senate passage of the original “bed tax” in 2010 couldn’t be starker. Three years ago, GOP senators tortured themselves over the issue for three months. The caucus split, and two Republicans lost chairmanships when they refused to go along – despite furious arm-twisting.

On Thursday, the official spin was that the no-muss, no-fuss, 49-6 passage of the hospital tax/fee bill was a sign of a chamber under new management – by Shafer, Majority Leader Ronnie Chance, and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.

“SB 24’s large-vote victory was because of a New Senate Leadership Team that leads!” texted Mullis, chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, texted last night. The roll-call vote isn’t yet available on the Senate’s website, but among the “yes” votes were state Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, who voted against the measure in committee, and state Sen. Judson Hill, R-Marietta. Hill was one of those who had his chairmanship stripped from him when he opposed the measure three years ago.

Bringing the issue to a swift end in the Senate required a two-thirds waiving of Senate rules – and thus Democratic votes. Democrats said Cagle threatened that, if they didn’t help bring the bill to the floor, he would make sure the Senate was in session today. He knew that many Senate Democrats had booked Friday flights to Washington for the inauguration.

A Cagle aide didn’t dispute the tale. In fact, he underlined it as something that could be done only under strong leadership.

Aside from the return of a lieutenant governor to power and the debut of the Cagle-Shafer-Chance alliance, the passage of SB 24 also may be remembered as the moment when Senate Republicans rejected the “fiscal cliff” model of governance as practiced by their GOP colleagues in Washington.

Grover Norquist may be angry at Senate Republicans today. But he’ll have to be angry at all of them – or nearly all of them.

***
Perhaps it will take a few days to sink in, but so far we haven’t heard many people talking about what may be the most eye-popping passage in Gov. Nathan Deal’s state-of-the-state speech on Thursday:

”Georgia has had too many school boards placed under the sanctions of potential loss of accreditation. While this is a very serious matter, it is somewhat ironic that the loss of accreditation can only be based on governance issues and not on substandard academic progress of the school system. Unless this is addressed by state legislation, we will continue to have thousands of Georgia’s children trapped in underperforming schools through no fault of their own.

Intervention for poor performance would be a significant extension of state authority over local boards of education. A big fight may be brewing here – perhaps larger than the one over charter schools.

***
After he’d completed his pitch for a resolution in which the state Legislature would formally express remorse for slavery, I asked state Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, one of the most conservative members in the General Assembly, whether he had any interest in a 2014 run for the U.S. Senate.

“I have never considered that. It’s hard for me to predict what’s going to happen, but that is not in any goal that I have,” he said Thursday.

Loudermilk acknowledged that there is a Facebook page out there, pushing him as an alternative to incumbent Saxby Chambliss. “I’m honored that people would think that highly of me, but in reality, there are only about 70 people on that page,” he noted.

***
Attorney General Sam Olens sends word that he’ll be one of the speakers at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Monday, marking Martin Luther King Day.

***
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has aggravated many of his fellow Republicans again with his condemnation of a National Rifle Association ad that points to President Barack Obama’s two daughters.

“Reprehensible” is the key word here:

From the Washington Post:

“To talk about the president’s children or any public officer’s children who have — not by their own choice, but by requirement — to have protection and to use that somehow to try to make a political point I think is reprehensible,” Christie, a potential 2016 White House contender, said at a Thursday news conference. “My children had no choice that I wanted to run for governor. I pretended that they did. I asked them what they thought. But in the end, they had absolutely no choice in whether I ran for governor or not. And they knew that, by the way, when I was asking them, which is why they didn’t spend a whole lot of time answering.”

***
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at statistics cited by a group of college presidents, stating that “in 2010, 2,694 young people were killed by gunfire.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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35 comments Add your comment

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 18th, 2013
10:55 am

I think it’s reprehensible that obozo would hide his daughters behind armed guards while he attempts to disarm the rest of us.

Lars

January 18th, 2013
11:03 am

Aesop, your willful ignorance is showing.

Just Saying..

January 18th, 2013
11:12 am

Aesop = Knee-Jerk

And that’s no fable…

td

January 18th, 2013
11:19 am

You libs are making a mountain out of nothing. The NRA did not show the President’s children or call them by name and the issue is relevant when the Dems came out and savagely attacked the NRA for their suggestion to put armed guards at all schools. Pointing out the hypocrisy of the left and how there children are protected while they do not want all children protected is a legitimate argument. Get over it because the NRA made progressives look like what they are.

td

January 18th, 2013
11:21 am

The only real way to raise our education results in this state is for Republicans to go in and take over these school systems lead by Democrats and have real reform.

jd

January 18th, 2013
11:44 am

TD — The Republicans took over the state board of education in the 90’s (she’s in prison now). Then they took over the Governor’s office and Senate in 2002 and started changing, by law, education policy — first by deleting Barnes’ reforms, and then spending the next 8 years putting those reforms back in place. And, they created charters, tax credits for private education, etc.

At what point do the R’s take responsibility for have zero affect on graduation, drop out, reading, etc?

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 18th, 2013
11:47 am

President Barack Obama sends First Daughters Malia and Sasha to Sidwell Friends School. According to a scan of the school’s online faculty-staff directory, Sidwell has a security department made up of at least 11 people. Many of those are police officers, who are presumably armed.

hypocrite liberal

J Throckmorton Malcontent

January 18th, 2013
12:02 pm

Chock up a win for the Chamber of Commerce Republicans, putting Medicare matching funds safely out of the reach of Tea Party children. And it looks like the Deal-Reed influence swap to get a large building project in Atlanta in return for a good word in the President’s ear for the port of Savannah project might work out, too. You know things were crazy bad there for awhile when you’re happy to see the return of good ol fashioned back scratching and smoke filled rooms. Now let’s do something for transit, save MARTA, and buttress the tax base. There’s plenty more deals to be made.

Just Saying..

January 18th, 2013
12:17 pm

td: “You libs are making a mountain out of nothing.”

Oh my goodness. You said THAT to Gov. Christie?

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/17/chris-christie-rails-against-nra-calls-ad-reprehensible/

Road Scholar

January 18th, 2013
12:21 pm

Look at the new boss….same as the old boss!

Alright td,jd put Georgia’s education into perspective. What’s your whine now? Aesop is your poster child?

Aesop and td: If president Obama came out for oxygen, you would find fault! Besides how would you know anything about proper treatment since you have no morals, ability to understand, manners, or consideration of others. Don’t waste your time responding to me…off to see Lincoln.B…by! Your mommas must be proud!

Danny O

January 18th, 2013
12:21 pm

Can anyone point to one instance in which the President stated that guns should be taken from their lawful owners?

I didn’t think so. Do yourself and the world a favor and please limit discussions of policy to facts.

WOW

January 18th, 2013
12:24 pm

@ Just saying..

You are absolutely correct. Children (and spouses for that matter) should be absolutely off limits, but it never is with Conservatives. Newt and McCain with their Chelsea Clinton comments come to mind.

Cherokee

January 18th, 2013
12:34 pm

“please limit discussions of policy to facts.”

If aesop and td had to lmiit themselves to facts, they wouldnt be able to whine about anything.

By the way, what Mr. Malcontent said. It’s nice to see adults in charge, even if you don’t always agree with them – at least they’re getting things done.

td

January 18th, 2013
12:34 pm

Just Saying..

January 18th, 2013
12:17 pm

td: “You libs are making a mountain out of nothing.”

Oh my goodness. You said THAT to Gov. Christie?

Gov. Christie is doing the same thing to the left as Obama did and it is making them think about his words instead of his actions. While he cusses the “evil tea party”, he is actually implementing the tea party agenda of balancing the budget, cutting taxes and crushing the public sector unions. You leftest do not even see it. LMFAO

Elisha

January 18th, 2013
12:35 pm

Danny O said, “Can anyone point to one instance in which the President stated that guns should be taken from their lawful owners?”

Obama said, “Even if I want to take them away, I don’t have the votes in Congress,’’

Source: ‘I’m Not Going to Take Your Guns Away’ Wall Street Journal September 5, 2008

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

January 18th, 2013
12:35 pm

Obozo’s daughters have armed guards ensuring their safety.

Libtards criticize the NRA for suggesting it might be a good idea at other schools.

Liberal fascists believe the elite have more rights than everyone else.

Lil' Barry Bailout - OBAMAPHONE!!!

January 18th, 2013
12:40 pm

Are Obozo’s kids named in the NRA ad? They are not.

Are Obozo’s kids pictured in the NRA ad? They are not.

Are Obozo’s kids criticized in the NRA ad? They are not.

Have you Obozo receptacles allowed your messiah and his acolytes to get you all worked up about this non-story?

Boo-freakin’-hoo.

MiltonMan

January 18th, 2013
12:40 pm

Obama: I will give guns to Mexican gangs through fast & furious; I will give guns to the wonderful, peaceful Egyptians so that they can overthrow a western-friendly government & install Islamic law, I will arm the friendly Libyans but by God I will take away arms from my fellow law-abiding Americans.

Just Saying..

January 18th, 2013
12:42 pm

Barry, the “elite” will swear in President Obama for his second term on Monday.

Set your DVR…

WOW

January 18th, 2013
12:43 pm

They have guards because it is required by the Constitution and is an issue of national security.

clem

January 18th, 2013
12:44 pm

a shame some of the posters here don’t make like boortz and leave.

ByteMe

January 18th, 2013
12:49 pm

I’m honored that people would think that highly of me, but in reality, there are only about 70 people on that page

He counted? So much for not having much interest.

Just Saying..

January 18th, 2013
12:53 pm

MiltonMan @ 12:40: Well, at least you acknowledge that the President believes in God…

JC

January 18th, 2013
1:03 pm

Jim, are you sure Gov. Deal wasn’t criticizing SACS for the criteria they use when making accreditation decisions. A lot of people feel that it’s wrong for school systems to lose their accreditation because the adults don’t know how to behave, rather than the children. This was the issue in Clayton County, and also appears to be the main issue in Dekalb. One could interpret that paragraph in multiple ways.

Kris

January 18th, 2013
1:13 pm

Shady crooked dealer said…..”"”Georgia has had too many school boards placed under the sanctions of potential loss of accreditation. While this is a very serious matter, it is somewhat ironic that the loss of accreditation can only be based on governance issues…

If Georgia a had a GOVERNOR WITH A SPINE. Looking out for the tax payers instead of lining his pockets, provide funding for Schools , wow wonder what would happen..

Just saying…..

Bye Shady deal 2014….and some of the legislature as well.

Marlboro Man

January 18th, 2013
1:21 pm

The NRA only takes your money, that’s all.

GFY

January 18th, 2013
2:00 pm

What is the common link between Dekalb County school board and those in Clayton County and Dougherty County?

Halftrack

January 18th, 2013
2:18 pm

IF Democrats want to save children, and protect their safety, WHY is it that every 94 seconds there is an abortion performed by Planned Parent Assoc. No one is talking about that. Also Obummer & Co. want to take away rights by incremental means. Registration is a slippery slope to confiscation. Some of the biggest bigots are people like Tom Brokaw, who compares this movement to the 1960’s. He impugns the people of the South. The South is part of the U.S. Our President should uphold the Constitution for all Americans. Yes the gun owners are standing up for their 2nd Amendment rights. Americans of Color were once denied this right. The 2nd Amendment covers all Americans, Black, Red, Yellow, or White; including all regions of the U.S.

Just Saying..

January 18th, 2013
3:03 pm

Gen Halftrack: Ever notice that gun confiscation is a certainty, while global warming is a theory?

td, answer the question

January 18th, 2013
3:35 pm

The Republicans have controlled this state for almost a decade, how can you still blame Democrats?

Danny O

January 18th, 2013
3:57 pm

@ Elisha:

The heading of the blog that you cited DIRECTLY CONTRADICTS YOUR POINT and contains this statement from the President:

“If you’ve got a gun in your house, I’m not taking it”

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/09/05/obama-im-not-going-to-take-your-guns-away/

By placing the word “even” in front of a statement, you indicate to the listener that you are referring to a moot impossibility. It is moot because it is not reality. For example, if I wanted to illustrate the impossibility of thinking that the government is after me, I might say:

“Even if I wanted to believe that people in power are out to get me, I couldn’t, because I’m not a brainwashed sheep who ignores quotations from articles that I cite.”

clanmack

January 18th, 2013
4:35 pm

@ Aesop 11:48 If you want your children to be guarded by armed people, send them to a school that provides them. The NRA is jumping into something the NRA created. Read the transcript of O’Bama’s announcement and you will see he was reluctant to safeguard our children by ONLY putting armed guard in the schools. Another example of the NRA and you having an axe to grind and only hearing what you want to hear.. You should have the integrity to say “nevermind” ala Roseanne Roseannadanna. What a putz you are!

clanmack

January 18th, 2013
4:40 pm

Halftrack at 2:14 Tell me how you can square the local, state and federal police taking the 14th amendment rights against “unreasonable search and seizure” and eviscerating the Civil Rights Act for people of color, i.e. anyone who is not white. The Jim Crow of the 20th Century has morphed into “mass incarceration” ina the late 20th and 21st Century. Why aren’t you screaming about that?

[...] a legislative record that prompted the AJC‘s Jim Galloway to call him “one of the most conservative members in the General Assembly,” Loudermilk’s slavery remorse resolution also calls his political motive into [...]

Lord of the Rings

January 19th, 2013
11:18 am

Wait a minute. I thought Cagle was in charge for the first bed tax and arm twisting to pass it was why he lost control of the Senate? At least that’s what you reported at the time. I’m confused.