Political Insider

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Legislative tip sheet: Weather or not, lawmakers meet

Lawmakers appear to be ready to squeeze in the 21st day of the 40-day session in this morning.

Both the House and Senate convene at 10 a.m. Among the items on the House calendar: H.B. 773 by Rep. Robert Dickey, R-Musella, which would make it illegal to fire a weapon with 50 feet of a public highway.

The Senate calendar is light.

The House Appropriations this morning voted out H.B. 697 by Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Atlanta, which fully funds HOPE grants. That Evans, a Democrat, is being allowed to maintain lead sponsorship on the bill is significant. Also on its agenda is the 2015 budget.

A joint meeting of House and Senate ethics committees will be at 4 p.m., weather permitting, in Room 450 of the state Capitol, as a forum to ask questions about ethics laws that passed last year.

Also sometime today, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston will confer to determine if the General Assembly will convene on Wednesday – or will bow to the weather.

In the Senate on Monday, some senators questioned the constitutionality allowing the lieutenant governor and the speaker this kind of flexibility. “Isn’t it true,” Sen. Steve Thompson, D-Marietta, rebutted during a debate of the matter, “that the chamber has done stranger things?”

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About the Author

Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.