There are two Legislative days left in the 2014 session. Tuesday will be the 39th day and Thursday will be the 40th day, when we must sine die, or adjourn for the year. Since I've been in the Legislature, the 40th day has been reserved for voting on conference committee reports and what's known as agree/disagree motions. When a bill passes the House, for example, and is taken up by the Senate, if a change is made to the bill so that it's different than what we passed in the House, we must vote on that bill again. If the author of the bill finds the changes acceptable, he or she will make a motion that the House accept those changes. If he or she opposes the changes a motion will be made to oppose the changes. If we vote to oppose the changes the Senate can then retreat from it's position and approve the original version of the bill or insist on it's position and form a conference committee. I point all this out to give you some idea of what we will be doing on Thursday and let you know that in reality, Tuesday is the last day this year the House and Senate will vote on Legislation for the first time.
Given the frantic nature of these last two days, and two years work on a piece of legislation comes down to just a few hours, it's extremely important that Legislators like me pay close attention to what is going on. Thankfully one of my colleagues, Rep. Mike Dudgeon of John's Creek, wrote a bill comparison program that we used for the first time last session. This program highlights changes that were made to bills by the Senate. It also allows us to clearly see changes proposed by conference committees. Every member of the House has access to this program so we should all know exactly what we are voting on during the chaos of sine die.
There are a number of bills still left to be dealt with. The Senate is dealing with HB875 the "safe carry protection act," HB885 the medical marijuana bill, and the fiscal year 2015 budget is in conference. The House has several bills up for consideration which can be seen on this list and this list. Additionally, any Senate bill on this list can be brought to the floor for a vote by the Rules committee.
To see a list of all votes cast this session, click here.
Last week's poll: Should the House pass Senate bill 167 restricting the use of the Common Core educational standards and the collection of non-academic student data? Yes: 86%. No: 14%
This week's poll is about SB397 which would require insurance policies sold in Georgia cover autism. This bill is known as "Ava's Law" in honor of a young girl with autism whose mother has been at the forefront of this issue. 17 other states require such coverage.
You can vote in the vote4buzz app or by clicking here.
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