Mullis: Feb. 12 Update from the Gold Dome

The Georgia General Assembly is officially halfway through with the 2016 legislative session and just 10 legislative days away from a significant deadline: Crossover Day. The 30th legislative day, or Crossover Day, is the last day for Senate bills to be carried to the House for consideration, and vice versa. The Senate will dedicate the next few weeks to improving and vetting bills before they go before the entire General Assembly for approval.

Waites: Campus Carry is Expensive and Dangerous

As a member of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, I found it difficult to watch supporters of House Bill 859 speak with such insensitivity and disrespect before the Bishop family, who are the parents of one of the victims from the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting. Similar legislation was proposed in 2014 with HB 512, but, in my opinion, HB 859 is far worse. At some point common sense should prevail.

Mullis: Georgia Senate completed the fourth legislative week

The Georgia Senate crossed legislative day 16 off the calendar this week as we completed the fourth legislative week. Several bills received Senate approval this week, and it is likely that the amended FY 2016 budget will be presented on the floor within the next couple of weeks. The Georgia General Assembly has only one constitutionally required task, and that is to pass a balanced budget each year. Our duty to carefully vet and approve legislation remains important; however, one of our most critical responsibilities is the fiscally responsible allocation of Georgia’s tax dollars.

Cantrell: Roll the Dice or off to the Races? Don’t Bet on Either to Restore HOPE or Benefit Georgia

House Bill 677, a 127 page bill to legalize casino gambling in Georgia was introduced at the end of the 2015 legislative session. A similar bill, SB 264, to legalize pari-mutuel betting on horse racing, passed out of a Senate committee last week. What makes them similar? Both would lead to casino gambling and both are bad for our state. Georgians should oppose these bills for many reasons.

How Should We Use Casino Gaming Funds?

If you were given control of one billion dollars per year in state funding, how would you spend it? Casino revenues are projected to net one billion dollars per year, and legislation for casino gaming is currently before your General Assembly. However, the debate as to where the funds should go is still on-going.