So the 2006 Legislative Session kicked off in Atlanta yesterday, and by all accounts we’ve been seeing and hearing over the last few months, it’s going to be a relatively quiet session. For what it’s worth, the GOP seems to want to get the dirty work over with as soon as possible, so that the voters don’t notice, and so that the legislators of both parties can get back home to raise money for re-election.
There are two big issues that you’ll be hearing about that we wanted to briefly address today. The first is the Voter ID law. As you’ll see from reading in just about any newspaper of record in the state, the GOP hustled a bill through committee to make some changes to the Voter ID law, including authorizing county Boards of Elections to issue the mandatory IDs, and – in a shocking development for the GOP – actually appropriating money to buy the necessary equipment for the local BOEs.
Here at AthPo, we’ve been opposed to this law from Day 1, but we’ll be the first to admit that this is a good change. Still, we have to wonder why the GOP are still beating this particular dead horse, given the major Constitutional issues involved. Face it, the law is going to be thrown out in the Courts. (Read here for more information about our problems with the law, including the Constitutional issues.) In any event, while we’re about 95% sure that no self-respecting court would uphold the law, even with the changes just submitted, we’re glad that the GOP has made those changes.
The other bill you’ll be hearing about is the so-called 65% Solution. The ABH disses it today, but frankly we’re not completely decided on the whole thing. We did a post on it sometime ago – find it here. If you’re too wrapped up in reading our rambling to check on the background, here’s the gist of the thing. The Gubner wants to pass a bill that requires all of Georgia’s 180 school districts to spend at least 65% of all of their income in the classroom. We’ll get into the 65% Solution in a later post that we’re typing up now.