Before, During & After the 2010 Legislative Session
Radio Commentary, WMVV 90.7 New Life FM, June 4, 2010
By Sue Ella Deadwyler
Good morning, Jim. As the General Assembly convened this year, the 995 resolutions and bills held over from 2009 could’ve kept them busy the entire 40-day session, but it was just the beginning. Representatives and senators began prefiling bills the middle of November, although the 2010 session didn’t begin until the second Monday in January. Then, it dragged on 107 days, through April 29th, the 40th day, making it the longest session in Georgia history!
In those 40 days, over 3,000 new bills were introduced and some were pretty bad. However, I’m happy to report the death of three bills that would have given juveniles the freedom to participate in and earn money in prostitution, intimate massage and the porn industry without fear of police interference. Those bills were killed, but I’m sorry to say, a Senate staff attorney assured us the issue would be reintroduced in the 2011 session.
If three other bills had not died, the state gambling business would’ve been expanded to include legalized cockfighting, offshore gambling and pari-mutuel betting on horse races. Even with a busted budget, our legislators knew those were bad ideas, but here’s something else that may surprise you. Of several bills introduced to stop mandatory participation in the new federal healthcare plan, all but one of them died. It would’ve died, too, if it hadn’t been attached to another bill that DID pass.
On April 14th H.B. 194 finally passed, after working its way through two legislative sessions. It was introduced in 2009 to prevent pharmacists from substituting generic drugs for brand names, without indicating the substitute on the label. With the passage of H.B. 194, you can be sure which medication you’re taking. After it goes into effect October 1st, pharmacists who substitute a generic drug for a brand name must show both the brand name and the generic name on the prescription label, unless the doctor indicates otherwise.
Tune in again next week to learn more about action in the 2010 General Assembly. By the way, the governor has until Tuesday to veto bills he doesn’t like. For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.