‘Crossover Day’ was eventful at the state Capitol’

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Wednesday, March 8th, marked the 30th legislative day of the 2012 session.

Known as “Crossover Day,” this critical point in the session marks the last chance for most bills to pass the legislative chamber where they are introduced.

This is because by the end of Crossover Day, all legislation passed by the House must “cross-over” to the Senate, and vice versa.

As a result, any House bill that has not passed the House by the end of Crossover Day will have little chance of becoming law this year.

Due to this deadline, the House worked long hours this [past] week, debating and voting on numerous pieces of pending legislation.

Of all the legislation passed on Crossover Day, the most important was House Bill 742, the Fiscal Year 2013 (FY 2013) state budget.

The Georgia Constitution requires only one thing of the General Assembly, to pass a balanced state budget. As passed by the House, the FY 2013 budget will direct spending for all state agencies, departments, and programs from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013.

The $19.2 billion state budget that we passed for FY 2013 represents state funding levels of over 20 percent less per capita than a decade ago. This is evidence of our state’s commitment to balancing its budget via belt-tightening, rather than tax increases.

The budget measure provides funding for critical state services such as education, healthcare and public safety.

In the area of education the budget provides funding for enrollment growth and to support Governor Deal’s initiative aimed at getting all third-grade students up to grade level in reading.

In addition, the measure seeks to address one of the greatest healthcare problems facing our state, which is a lack of doctors, particularly in rural areas.

The FY 2013 provides funding to expand the state’s student residency program. Through this funding, the state will attract future doctors to Georgia with nine new osteopathic residency slots and 214 rural Southwest Georgia and Suburban Metro-Atlanta.

The FY 2013 budget also provides the funds necessary to meet Georgia’s public safety needs. One of the pressing needs we met by providing additional funding for fuel our State Patrol, which will help keep our troopers patrolling our roads despite rising gas prices.

One of the measures that I helped author as co-sponsor that passed the House on Wednesday was HB 861, which will require applicants seeking taxpayer-funded monetary assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to pass a drug test before receiving any public funds.

This simple measure would ensure drug addicts do not abuse taxpayer dollars to support their illicit habit.

If a TANF recipient that has dependent children fails the drug test, the funds for the children would be reallocated to a trustee who will ensure the children’s basic needs are met by the TANF funds as they are intended, rather than used to subsidize a drug habit.

Another measure that I worked on as a co-sponsor and author was HB 872, which aims to protect Georgians from the growing problem of metal theft.

With metal prices at an all-time high, many criminals have begun stealing appliances, cables, copper wiring, and other recyclable metal to sell for a quick profit.

Even Georgians that have not been a direct victim of this crime are impacted because all of our insurance premiums rise because of the significant losses resulting from these criminal acts.

HB 872 would combat metal theft by requiring metal sellers to show a valid ID and a work order or receipt to prove the metal was not stolen.

Metal recyclers must also maintain a record of all purchases, so that police may more easily investigate metal theft incidents.

As HB 872 makes its way to the Senate and our law enforcement officers continue to fight metal theft throughout Georgia, I encourage you to visit stopmetaltheft.com to learn how you can protect your home from metal theft.

Now that Crossover Day has passed, the FY 2013 state budget and all other House bills are now in the Senate.

While there, House legislation will once again go through the committee process before making its way to the Senate floor for consideration.

Only if the House and Senate can agree on identical versions of the legislation will they be sent to the governor for consideration.

The remaining 10 legislative days of session will be used to consider legislation already passed by the Senate.

Please let me know if you have any comments or questions regarding any Senate legislation that is now in the House.

As the Senate bills begin to make their way through the House committee process I welcome and encourage input from citizens in this community.

As always, thank you for allowing me the honor of serving Fayette County at the state Capitol.

[Rep. Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City) was first elected to the District 72 post in December 2007. He is a law partner with Warner, Hooper, and Ramsey, P.C., in Peachtree City. His email is matt.ramsey@house.ga.gov.]

zoes
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Politician conversation

Voter: What is your stance/opinion on abortion?

Politician;
Politically and Professionally - the issue isn't relevant to my job.
Personally - it isn't any of your business.

Problem Solved.

ZoeS

Spyglass
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Hey Matt, not that you care

but I totally disagree with any new abortion regs, and also with the increased penalties on assisted suicide. We treat our animals better, and that's a shame.

lion
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Matt Ramsey and abortion politics

Did Matt Ramsey join the other gyno-Republicans in the Georgia Legislature in caving into the anti-abortion fanaticism sweeping America and vote for the ban on abortions after 20 weeks (with few limited exceptions)?

It is amazing how conservatives can treat half of their constituents(women) as incapable of making their own decisions involving their bodies.

ginga1414
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lion and RWM

Our beautiful daughter would not be here today without abortion laws. Her biological parents already had two children and were determined not to have another one. They sought out abortion doctors across this country, but because my little girl was just a few days past the 20 week limit none of the doctors would agree to the procedure.

There but for the grace of God our daughter would be a statistic on a page somewhere. When she was 8 weeks old, we brought her home from the adoption agency, two days before Mother's Day. She has been a blessing every day of her life, and the most wonderful Mother's Day present anyone could ever hope for.

Davids mom
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Ginga

Ethical doctors are to be congratulated. You are a blessing for your daughter. Legislators who are bowing to politics don't need to be involved.

Robert W. Morgan
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This is how you lose elections

Even this one in November against the worst President we have ever had. Seems impossible to lose to Obama or any Democrat, but the control freaks on the extreme right wing of the Republican Party are making it possible by annoying women. Add the Hispanic vote to the mix and we could get a second Obama term. That is gross mis-management and if the Republican Party doesn't get away from micro managing their people and candidates on meaningless (yes, meaningless) social issues they will exist no more.

Really a shame to risk losing he whole country to Barak "wait and see what I can get away with in my second term" Obama because some old white guys want to control women's bodies. Who cares? Most aborted babies are offspring to liberals anyway, so it is not like it is a potential productive person.

Davids mom
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Local ethical behavior/Georgia

House Bill 875

Not all of our Georgia politicians are unethical. Senator John Bulloch tried to pass a bill that would protect the ID of those applying for hunting and/ or fishing licenses. (Nothing wrong with that!). But a conference committee added a section which would seal the names of legislators who were under investigation by the ethics committee from the public. Senator Bulloch was presenting this bill at the last minute, hoping that no one would notice the addition to the bill. The addition had been added by House members WIlkerson, David Knight, and Tom McCall. The Senators who joined them were Bulloch, Balfour and Mullis. Fortunately, those persons who take the time to read bills noticed the addition, and posted it on Twitter and Facebook. The bill went down in flames - 25-143. We, as observant voters can demand and expect ethical behavior from our representatives. . . and vote them out when the don't exhibit ethical behavior. How did your representative vote?

(as reported in the AJC and verified by House voting records)

http://www.ajc.com/news/house-blocks-ethics-switch-1402984.html
http://www.coshoctontribune.com/usatoday/article/38927851?odyssey=mod%7C...

MYTMITE
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RWM, sometimes your crassness is only superceded by your

ignorance. Regardless of what your feelings are on abortion or any like matters, to make the statement you made shows your true character. Or maybe you thought you were being cute or clever??? If so, as usual you missed the mark by a mile. Too bad your parents weren't included in that liberal non-productive group.

Robert W. Morgan
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Explain where I am wrong Mytimite

Don't just attack the messenger - tell me how or where what I said was incorrect or how I missed the mark.

The mark being the religious right wing which needs to control personal decisions by women and somehow thinks that is important on the national political stage. Right there where women voters may resent that and vote for the dope or just sit on their hands.

Huh? Huh?

And my parents certainly were not slackers or layabouts in anyway. I was raised right (meaning correctly) by wonderful parents who instilled a strong work ethic within me. As an example I never once mugged anybody on the cart path, nor have I ever held up a 7-11 for a six-pack of beer. How about you?

rmoc
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Abortion issue

Sorry folks ..but I think that the only people who have the true right to debate abortion are WOMEN!!! Both parties are wrong..The conservative wing of the Republican party wants no abortion and limits to birth control...I think this is awful..Make birth control easily accessible and you will reduce the need for abortion..The far left wants abortion on demand..I think that abortion is wrong after the first trimester unless there is no chance of the child living or serious health risk to mother.. I think that my opinion is close to what many Americans think but give one side an inch and they take a mile..

lion
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rmoc and abortion issue

You are correct that if only women dealt with the abortion issue then the discussion would be much different.

But both parties are not wrong.

The pro-choice voices are not trying to make anyone have an abortion if they do not choose to do so.

But all over America the anti-choice forces are dreaming up more and more government mandated obstacles to women's control over their own bodies--ultrasounds, waiting periods, mandating inaccurate physician advice, forcing clinics to close, intimidating doctors and women, and I could go on and on. And then there are the personhood bills.

And "abortion on demand" is a political phrase created by the anti-abortion forces and implies that abortion is a cavalier matter for women.

Robert W. Morgan
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True lion, only women have a dog in that fight

So, that means all men back off of trying to control or liberate women and I would contend that means the federal government, presidential candidates,the supreme court, political parties, unions, trade organizations and journalists back off as well. Where that leaves us is that abortion is legal, but if an individual or a church are opposed to abortion - they don't have to have one and they can rail on about the morality of it all they want as individual free speech, but please leave the government out of it.

To me all abortion zealots on both sides should be treated the way we do PETA - with amusement, all the time realizing it is a worthy cause, but can be absurd when taken to extremes and certainly hands-off for government to intervene.

It is really pretty simple and those opposing that view are intent on gaining power over others and therefore should not be trusted.

AtHomeGym
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rmoc & "both parties are wrong"

Agree but in my opinion, because they both want to pander to certain voters with social issues when the economy is the most critical issue. All simply for the power that elections confer. Sad, but that is what we have to deal with.

MYTMITE
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RWM, sorry to be so late getting back to you but had to go back

for that case of Ripple I left in the woods after knocking off that 7-11(don't drink beer.) I'm not as young as I used to be and everything takes a little longer.

As for where you are wrong--if you are too obtuse to know no amount of my explaining would be of benefit. All I can say is that your wonderful parents may have instilled a strong work ethic in you but they either did not teach you how to live with and accept others or you were too busy sucking on your toes to listen when they did. Who are you to judge if someone is likely to be a potential productive person? So many of your rantings are just that--rantings to gain attention. I don't care about your religious affiliation, your political bent or what color your eyes may be, that is your business but evidently I am not the only one who thinks your ramblings are over the top. Perhaps your body has passed the age of consent but your mind and brain have not caught up. If that is the case, I apologize.

Davids mom
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Right or wrong? Nope RWM
Quote:

Sometimes your crassness is only superseded by your ignorance

Definition of crass: So crude and unrefined as to be lacking in discrimination and sensibility.

halfdollarandlost
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Morgan

Your parents goofed up somewhere if you can trivialize someone's life who never had a chance to live it. Can you say like...obtuse.

SPQR
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the really BIG issue

No mention of the ethics bill that would have slowed down the corruption spawned by lobbyists buying votes with no cap on the perks provided to some of our legislators that need a little help understanding what personal integrity is all about.

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