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14 Days: General Assembly Chuggin’ Along

February 8, 2013

Here is a quick summary of a resolution and bill of interest – fourteen days into the forty-day-long session.

Before that – in case you don’t remember how a bill becomes a law – have no fear, Schoolhouse Rock to the rescue!  Or, see the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government visual for a Georgia specific representation.

Interbasin Transfer: House Resolution 4 – which was actually pre-filled in December – is an interbasin transfer (IBT) pipe dream.  The resolution proposes to settle a nearly 200 year old boundary “dispute” between Georgia and Tennessee.  This one-sided “dispute” appears to be an annual preoccupation with legislators and consultants, including a northwest Georgia cohort intent on engineering an expensive and complicated transfer of water from the Tennessee River’s Nickajack Lake to metro-Atlanta via pipe, abandoned rail-way corridors, pumps, rock quarries, and existing Corps of Engineers’ reservoirs.  This year’s co-sponsors signal an attempt to broaden the appeal, according to this Creative Loafing post.  See also this Saporta Report story with a map.  Regardless, I have written about this folly in other posts (start here).

In the hopper: House Bill 225 – like many bills – is an interesting case.  This bill would amend the law so that: “no rule or regulation…which is to be administered by the Environmental Protection Division of the Department of Natural Resources shall become effective until approved by the General Assembly through the adoption of a joint resolution so stating.”  That’s right, Gov. Nathan Deal’s recently reconstituted Board of Natural Resources is apparently running rough-shod over the legislature and is too soft on regulation.  Go figure.  It’s hard to imagine which body – a two-house General Assembly of 236 members that only meets for forty days a year or the nineteen-member DNR Board which meets ten times a year – is more adept at shaping the regulatory process.  This bill will simply make “government bigger” and grind the regulatory process to a halt.  We all know Gov. Deal wants to streamline the regulatory process in the name of making it more “business friendly” – HB 225 will not streamline anything.

-Chris Manganiello

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