May 26, 2017 Radio Commentary

New Laws: Two for Guns, Three for Opioids

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, May 26, 2017 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

When Governor Deal vetoed last year’s campus carry bill, he was concerned that it would have allowed firearms on preschool campuses or in disciplinary hearings or in faculty and administrative offices.

Since this year’s campus carry bill alleviates those concerns and restricts firearms in even more sensitive places, Governor Deal explained his change-of-heart this way: “While H.B. 280 addresses the rights and restrictions relating to weapons carry license holders on a college campus, it in effect may have greater significance for students who are going to or coming from a campus.  Unfortunately, in parts of the state, the path to higher education travels through dangerous territory…. In recent years, we’ve witnessed college students fall victim to violent attacks in or while traveling to libraries and academic buildings, and while traveling to and from their homes to class.”

H.B. 280, also, prohibits the carrying of concealed weapons onto or into athletic events; student housing, dormitories, fraternities and sororities; preschools and childcare facilities; as well as rooms or spaces used by colleges, career academies or other special schools.  Continue reading

May 19, 2017 Radio Commentary

Governor Deal explained His Vetoes

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, May 19, 2017 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Governor Deal’s 40 days to sign or veto bills ended at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, May 9th.  On that day he went by state helicopter to Macon where hesigned several bills, including three about law enforcement.  He signed S.B. 174 to focus state probation system resources at the front-end of prison terms and reform the parole process.

He signed S.B. 175 to reduce juvenile delinquency and protect the public when a juvenile is deemed incompetent to go forward in the judicial process and to mandate parental accountability and parental involvement, as a strategy for reducing further delinquent conduct.

He signed S.B. 176 requiring notification of violators before bench warrants are issued for failing to go to court.  Also, it changes terms for handling Habitual Violator driving licenses.

On May 9th, the governor’s explanations for his nine vetoes were posted online.  For example:  H.B. 425 would have authorized local school systems to allow students to take assessments with paper-and-pencil, which the governor thinks would slow down the return of data and increase the possibility of cheating.  So, he vetoed H.B. 425. Continue reading

May 12, 2017 Radio Commentary

New Laws for Education

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, May 12, 2017 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Since 11:59 p.m. last Tuesday was the end of Governor Deal’s 40-day period to sign or veto bills, today’s subject is two education bills he decided to sign.  One became law the day he signed it; the other becomes law July 1st.

Of eight education bills he signed April 27th, only S.B. 211 concerning federal assessments of student progress became law that day.  A mention of “grouping” in S.B. 211 reminded me that, until recent years, students were always grouped according to learning ability, but not so, now.  Though grouping is mentioned in this bill, it’s unclear whether grouping is for testing only or for everyday classwork.

Also, it’s important to note that writing performance will continue to be assessed within reading, math, science, or social studies assessments, but there’s no mention of cursive writing, which seems to be more or less abandoned in today’s education.  What a loss!

S.B. 211 gives the State Board of Education until July 1st to include in workgroups a component about maximum flexibility for local assessments under federal law.  It, also, protects the right of students who take dual credit courses to be school valedictorian or salutatorian, which could affect this year’s graduating students, since it became law on April 27th.

Several weeks will pass before H.B. 37 becomes law on July 1st and prohibits sanctuary policies on private college and university campuses.  The bill says violators will lose funding, but time will tell whether that happens.   H.B. 37’s delayed date-of-effect reminds me of the time Moses asked Pharaoh when he wanted God to remove judgment and, surprisingly, Pharaoh said tomorrow, leaving Egypt under that particular judgment for another 24 hours or so.  Maybe wise administrators will use the weeks before H.B. 37 becomes law to redirect their illegal students. Continue reading

May 5, 2017 Radio Commentary

Thanks for Prohibiting Sanctuary Colleges in Georgia

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, May 5, 2017 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

What a relief it was when H.B. 37 passed this session. It’s a ray of hope for law-abiding citizens who believe that national boundaries should be respected and laws should be enforced against violators. Today, I applaud Representative Earl Ehrhart, who introduced H.B. 37, and Representatives England, Morris, Williams and Petrea who co-signed it. Also, I want to thank the 112 House members and 37 senators that voted for it. Thanks to them, the law against illegal entry into the United States has more teeth in it in Georgia.

While that doesn’t mean illegal aliens will be sent back home, Representative Ehrhart’s bill prohibits sanctuary policies in private colleges and universities and punishes them for adopting a regulation, rule, policy, or practice that gives safe space for students who are here illegally. Since crossing the border is illegal, individuals, agencies and organizations are encouraging illegal behavior if they protect illegals from federal and state immigration laws.

Because a Georgia county, reportedly, harbors illegal aliens, Georgia is listed among states that provide sanctuary, despite a 2016 state law that made it illegal for publicly-funded programs and local governments to provide sanctuary. The 2016 law applies to state colleges and universities because they are publicly funded by taxes, but it does not apply to private institutions. So, H.B. 37 corrected that by prohibiting sanctuary policies in private colleges and universities, as well. Continue reading