April 17, 2015 Radio Commentary

Clean Slate in 2015, Over-Load in 2016

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, April 17, 2015 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

When Georgia’s representatives and senators convened for the 2015 General Assembly January 14th, their legislative plate was empty, well it was almost empty, except for several dozen pre-filed bills and resolutions that accumulated after November 15th. Some of them were officially introduced during the session, but those left in limbo could be brought to life as late as next year’s session.

Since the Constitution of the State of Georgia ordains the power structure of the state it, also, outlines the responsibilities of state officials and their terms – two-years for senators and representatives and a two-year life span of legislation. For example: since 2015 was the first half of the current two-year legislative term, bills and resolutions introduced this session remain alive for the 2016 session, unless they passed both House and Senate or were defeated in either House or Senate this year.

House bills and resolutions that remain alive for the 2016 session are returned to committee for next year’s business, along with bills and resolutions that passed the Senate but not the House. Continue reading

April 10, 2015 Radio Commentary

Out with the Old; In with the New Marijuana Law

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, April 10, 2015 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Most people might not know that Georgia victims of cancer and glaucoma have been eligible for marijuana medication for 34 years, but that law is about to change through a process that began last year.

The bill introduced last year to legalize marijuana failed to pass, but the General Assembly did pass S.R. 981 authorizing a study committee to hold hearings across the state and recommend legislation for this year’s session. However, in November Representative Peake pre-empted the committee’s final meeting and subsequent report, by pre-filing H.B. 1, which he officially introduced January 27th. It passed the General Assembly on March 25th. Two days later the governor signed an executive order instructing the Public Health Department and the Board of Regents to get ready to implement the law as soon as he signs it.

To get ready, the Public Health Department will write procedures, rules and regulations, and create a registry for individuals or caregivers authorized to possess low THC oil. To qualify for the registry, patients must be under treatment for cancer, Lou Gehrig’s disease, multiple sclerosis, seizure disorders, Crohn’s disease, mitochondrial disease, Parkinson’s or sickle cell anemia.

Also to get ready, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia will create, or work with others to develop, a low THC oil research program that will produce data about potential treatment for childhood seizures and other debilitating conditions. Continue reading

April 3, 2015 Radio Commentary

April 17th LGBTQAI Day of Silence

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, April 3, 2015 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Since Thursday, April 2nd, was the last day of the legislative session, it’ll take a while to sort out just what happened during those 40 days. So, today I want to remind you of something that occurs every April in schools across the country. It’s not school-sponsored or part of the curriculum. It’s a strategy to promote, propagate and affirm alternate lifestyles to students and school staff.

The Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (a.k.a. GLSEN), an affiliate of the National Education Association, prides itself on “championing LGBT issues in schools K – 12,” and always has pro-homosexual items for sale on a large table-display at NEA conferences. One of GLSEN’s major projects is gay straight alliance (GSA) clubs for students to join at school without parental consent. In 2002, Grady High and Lakeside High were the first schools in Georgia to have GSA clubs. By 2007, GSA clubs were in 37 Georgia high schools. Now, eight years later, there are considerably more, with their sights set on middle schools, as well.

After learning of the clubs in 2002, legislators were asked to pass a law requiring parental consent for students to join ANY school club or activity. Though he thought a parental consent bill might not pass, a senator introduced S.B. 426 to require schools to INFORM parents of ALL school clubs and activities. His bill died in committee that year, but a similar bill that passed later and became law requires school handbooks to list school clubs and extracurricular activities available for students to join. Continue reading

March 27, 2015 Radio Commentary

Shadow School Superintendent, Shadow School District

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, March 27, 2015 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

In his state-of-the-state address in January, Governor Deal announced that he would create an Education Reform Commission to implement his “vision for k – 12 education … system driven by student need [to give] local school and district leaders [real control and flexibility].” The 33 people he appointed to that commission will report back to him.

There’s more to the Governor’s statement than meets the eye. To legalize that particular “vision for k – 12” the State Constitution must be amended. So, the Governor had his Senate floor leader introduce S.R. 287 to add a new paragraph to the State Constitution, which allows the creation of a state-wide Opportunity School District. If voters ratify that change in the 2016 General Election, the Governor would appoint a “shadow” school superintendent who could identify and take over, or close, or re-staff, or reconstitute, and manage and control 20 “failing” public schools, annually (up to a total of 100).

That plan means the current constitutionally elected state school superintendent will lose authority over schools the appointed shadow superintendent selects and commandeers. Rather than giving “local school and district leaders real control and flexibility,” the plan strips control from the state-wide elected-by-voters school superintendent and locally elected boards of education. Meaning, the Governor’s plan, drastically, weakens the power of voters and over-rides local control over education. Continue reading