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“The Bill Makes Me Nervous”

February 18, 2010

Thus ends Macon Telegraph reporter Travis Fain’s “Legislative Notebook” today. (See the second item in the column.) The bill in question is SB 321 – Sen. Chip Pearson’s reservoir bill – and the nervous one is state Sen. Dan Weber (R-Dunwoody), who cast the only Nay vote on the bill yesterday in the Senate Natural Resources & Environment Committee, according to Fain. “Weber said he doesn’t think legislators fully understand the implications of this fairly major policy change, and that it needs to be studied more,” Fain writes.

That’s a good point, because even making improvements to portions of this kind of bill – as apparently happened to some degree yesterday – still leaves open the fundamental policy questions at stake. Should reservoir-building for the state of Georgia become a privatized, fast-tracked, little-regulated endeavor? That’s the root question here.

Meanwhile, the top of the Fain column notes the forward movement of Gov. Perdue’s water conservation bill, which could see a full Senate vote fairly soon.

Elsewhere, the Gainesville Times tracks the progress of the parties planning the Glades Reservoir in Hall County. A microcosmic metaphor for the Pearson bill, perhaps?

-Ben Emanuel

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