Tuesday, April 8, 2008

40 Days and 40 Nights

Georgia’s constitution protects citizens against the General Assembly being in session more than 40 days and 40 nights, the Biblical duration of calamity and pestilence. Now the 2008 Georgia Legislature has ended sine die, which is what the good old boys like to say to show they went to law school in the state university system. Others just say, “The last dog died.” It is ok to come out of the root cellar and inventory the damage.

A proposal to abolish property taxes and substitute an expanded, broad based consumption tax will not happen this time around. Despite promotion by the Speaker of the Georgia House, or maybe because of Mr. Speaker, the plan succeeded mainly in unifying the opposition. “Democrats have no better friend than Glenn Richardson,” Amy Morton, Democratic activist, blogs mockingly.

But why focus on failure? Look at what they accomplished. Citizens can now take wine home from restaurants. No doggie bags. It must be resealed and locked in the trunk or glove compartment of your car. Or you can just buy a stiff drink from your limo driver. Once you get home, you can order your wine over the internet or telephone directly from your favorite winery. All in the name of civic dedication and public service by our elected state representatives.

Legislative action increased prison sentences and fines for dog-fighting and criminalized betting on this illegal activity. Meanwhile, professional wrestlers will not be subjected to random drug testing and physical examinations. A requirement that animal shelters use lethal injection, rather than gas chambers, to euthanize animals was rejected by this session of the legislature.

However, tax credits for making movies in Georgia were enacted, while tax credits for homeowners and businesses to install water-saving equipment were not. Not to worry. A Georgia-Tennessee border survey from 1818 was declared invalid, so that Georgia can tap the the waters of the Tennessee River.

Last, but not least, persons with concealed-weapons permits may now legally enter restaurants, state parks, public transportation, and workplace parking lots, armed and fully loaded, thanks to the 2008 Georgia Legislature.

No wonder the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found 10 Atlanta area legislators who just plain went AWOL, although some had good excuses, such as being unable to find last-minute child-care or pressing business at their day-jobs.

Copyright 2008 by William C. Cotter


Tina said...

...not to speak of a whole lot of scent-marking, tail-feather displays, and strutting...

EHT said...

I loved your comparison of the Great Flood and the Georgia Legislative season....Wasn't it just a stellar deluge of a bunch of nothing. Sometimes I think we'd be better off leaving well enough alone. Yes, I know...this coming from someone who teaches government at certain points during the year. :)


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