March 14, 2014 Radio Commentary

Burying the Death Tax

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, March 14, 2014 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Good morning, Jim. If you’re a baseball fan, you might know Yogi Berra played 19 years for the New York Yankees, played on 10 World Series Championship teams, is a Baseball Hall of Famer, one of the best catchers in baseball history and was voted to the Team of the Century in 1999, but I remember him for things he said, like, “When you get to a fork in the road, take it,” or “It’s like déjà vu all over again!” And that’s what I’m talking about today!

Earlier this week, I noticed a friend sitting in the hall of the capitol, waiting to see what will happen to the pro-life bill she’s working this session. It’s déjà vu all over again, because this happens to right-to-life lobbyists every year. They focus on saving unborn children, so you’d think their bills would sail right through, but they’re always delayed until the end of the session.

When S.B. 98 passed the Senate, it included this statement: “No health insurance plan shall offer coverage for abortion services except in the case of medical emergency.” Not only was that sentence deleted by the House Insurance Committee, the House affirmed rules and regulations that existed January 1, 2014, concerning insurance coverage for abortion services.The surviving version of S.B. 98 that may be voted on by the House DOES include this statement that was in each version of the bill: “It is not the intention of this Code section to make lawful an abortion that is currently unlawful.” For that, we can be very grateful!

With only two days left in the session, it’ll be interesting to see what happens to S.B. 98. Call the House Rules committee 404 656-5141 and ask for a yes vote on S.B. 98! There’s still time!

Whether or not that bill passes, you’ll be happy that H.B. 658 passed almost a year after Representative B.J. Pak introduced it. It stayed in the House Ways and Means committee for eleven months, before they wrote the substitute that passed the House 164 to zero. Then, the Senate Finance committee changed it again, before the Senate passed it 42-8 last Tuesday.

Conclusion: After a year and all those changes, Georgia taxpayers will no longer have to pay state estate taxes on things they inherit, because H.B. 658 repealed the dreaded death tax. For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.