Last week Sen. Steven Gooch and Rep. Kevin Tanner wrote about the end of the general session and the bills they had sponsored and that had been passed. Some good was done.
Tanner's "sludge" bill will keep Dawsonville and other communities from dealing with this issue in the future. But the bill Gooch spoke of, what most of us call the "guns everywhere" bill, is according to some, "a gun bill that shames the entire state of Georgia."
Some lawmakers claim that they have added $900 million to the education budget. This is misleading because most of the cost only covers additional students. We are still $686 million short of funding public education in Georgia. We will continue to see over-crowded classrooms, no new textbooks, a shortage of supplies and materials, cuts in transportation and no teacher raises.
The defiance of the federal health care law will cause direct harm to hundreds of thousands of Georgians. More than 500,000 Georgians could be covered by Medicaid with its expansion.
Gov. Nathan Deal says blocking it is one of his finest accomplishments, but to sick and dying Georgian's, it is life-threatening. A bill which does not allow state and local government workers to advise Georgians about the Affordable Care Act also passed, 1.8 million Georgians would benefit from purchasing insurance through the exchange.
A bill passed which will place a cap on the state income tax, which according to Alan Essig of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, "threatens permanent damage to the state by limiting the options of future lawmakers . . ."
Not passing the medical marijuana bill was politics at its worst and left thousands of families devastated by its consequences. Thousands of Georgia families are left to watch their loved ones suffer unnecessarily.
And lastly, passing a bill that requires families who are struggling to feed their children to pass a drug test before receiving the food is ludicrous. Our state should be tackling the issue of poverty, not making it harder for hungry Georgians to get food.
In looking over the bills that passed, there are some that can be labeled "good" and we thank our legislators for that. But the bills mentioned here will damage Georgia families for years to come.