H.B. 200 Update

Passed the House 168-1, 5 not voting, 6 excused on March 2, 2011
Passed the Senate 54-0 March 29, 2011

The sex trafficking section of H.B. 200 effectively camouflaged the real intent of H.B. 200.  That intent was very clear in Senator Unterman’s S.B. 304 of 2010 and H.B. 582 by Representative Willard in 2009.  Both S.B. 304 and H.B. 582 died in committee last year.

The goal of those two bills, as well as H.B. 200, was the decriminalization of sexually explicit conduct for anyone under 18, so they could qualify for victim compensation funds.

When H.B. 200 becomes law (which should be July 1), no criminal charges will be made in Georgia against individuals under age 18 involved in prostitution, sodomy/solicitation of sodomy, masturbation for hire and/or pornography and strip clubs.

Georgia will be a haven for male and female teenagers who choose to earn money with sexually explicit conduct and law enforcement officers will not be a preventive.  Laws will no longer restrict such acts, although sex traffickers, johns and pimps will get stiffer penalties.

They would not acknowledge the very obvious fact that some teenagers choose that lifestyle and should not be classified as victims or rewarded with victim compensation funds and benefits.  They were determined to classify all prostitutes, etc. as victims and they did.

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December 13th ALERT

Constitutional Convention, Too Dangerous to Consider

Although reasons for proposing it may seem noble, a Constitutional Convention (Con Con) would be DISASTROUS for the United States! But, incredibly, a Con Con is the fall-back plan of Republican legislators in Virginia, Utah, South Carolina, Indiana, Texas and Georgia. The plan: (a) Introduce “The Repeal Amendment” in Congress. (b) If it fails to pass, call a Con Con.

Language of The Repeal Amendment:

“Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed.”

The Georgia connection is Senator Judson Hill, who announced plans to introduce a call for a Con Con in 2011. If he does so, he will be jumping to Plan (b) before Plan (a) is tried.

Current Status of Con Con
During the last several decades, 32 state legislatures passed Con Con resolutions, but since 1988 at least twelve states repealed their calls – Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Idaho, Utah, North Dakota, Arizona, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Wyoming and Oklahoma. Georgia’s calls for a Con Con were rescinded when the General Assembly passed H.R. 1343 in 2004.

Congressional Obligation
Congress must act if two-thirds (34) of the states pass a call for a Con Con. The problem: The Constitution of the United States, Article V authorizes a Con Con, but gives no directive for convening, deliberations or control. Critical uncertainties are revealed in a quick read of Article V (quoted below), if the myriad of questions it leaves unanswered are considered by the reader.

Major Unanswered Questions about a Con Con
Are rescinded calls valid? How many states participate? Will delegates be U.S. citizens? What is its locale and length? May the public participate? Who presides or writes rules; how many issues may be considered; could the Constitution be rewritten; could our representative republic be replaced with another form of government?

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”

– The Constitution of the United States, Article V

ACTION – Oppose a Constitutional Convention. Contact (a) Senator Judson Hill, 404 656-0150, fax 404 463-2535;
(b) Governor-Elect Deal’s legislative floor leaders: Senators Chance, 404 463-1366, fax 404 657-0797; Jackson, 404 656-5114, fax 404 657-0797; Butterworth, 404 463-5257, fax 404 463-2535
(c) Representatives Carter, 404 656-0325; Collins, 404 656-0188; Huckaby, 1 706 207-6623, hankhuckaby@charter.net
NOTE: Offices for next session are not assigned. These numbers are current offices of re-elected incumbents. Freshman Representative Huckaby has no General Assembly number, but his local number and email are above.

April 20th Update

Update: Results of Action after April 16th Alert

Thanks for your contacts and prayers.  Several of us attended the meeting to protest changes in H.B. 571, that appeared to accomplish the dreaded outcomes of S.B. 304 that had already died in committee for lack of a quorum.

Just minutes before the meeting convened, Representative Golick asked us to come out in the hall, so he could explain our worries away.  He assured us there is no connection between S.B. 304 and H.B. 571, pertaining to the State Sexual Offender Registry, although similarities in language caused our alarm.

Again, the next day, April 20th, I took all three versions of S.B. 304 to him and explained how the language moved from Code Section to Code Section, causing changes in H.B. 571 to appear as another move to accomplish S.B. 304’s goal.

First, S.B. 304 was in Code Section 16, relating to sexual offenses.  Then, the proposed committee substitute put it in Code Section 15, relating to juvenile offenses, victim compensation and programs and protection for children and youth.  That was outright confirmation that the goal of S.B. 304 was to provide victim compensation for juvenile workers in the sex trade.

In addition to that, Lt. Gov. Cagle’s legal staff had stated to us, personally, that the issue of S.B. 304, deeming juvenile sex workers eligible for victim compensation, would be back in the 2011 session.  So, we’re on high alert for bills that could be used to attach that language before this session is over.

We were assured on Monday, April 19th and I was assured again on Tuesday, April 20th, that H.B. 571 is not being used for that purpose, but we remain vigilant.  One other bill in the current process could be used as a vehicle, but hopefully, that won’t happen, either.

Again, I thank you for your wonderful response.  A really good thing has happened during this process.  Both House and Senate are very aware that any attempt to legalize or decriminalize prostitution, masturbation for hire or pornography (for any age) will be met with stiff opposition.