If the tax overhaul is dead for this session of the Legislature, how can a bill to address illegal immigration survive?
One hour after House Speaker David Ralston announced the end of a third effort to push through a rewrite of the Georgia tax code, that was the thought rushing through the heads of many lawmakers and lobbyists at the state Capitol.
HB 87, designated as the vehicle of choice by supporters of tougher approaches to both businesses and the non-citizens they hire, is at the bottom of today’s Senate calendar. Maybe the senators get to it, maybe they don’t.
But with tax rewrite gone, lawmakers will have one less reason – and a very large one — to hang on and hammer out a difficult agreement that pits the GOP base against its money. With a House ready to bolt on one side and a fractured Senate on the other.
We’ve been told – by Democrats – that both tax reform and HB 87 were topics at a Senate Republican caucus meeting that immediately followed the House decision to abandon the tax rewrite.
Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams has summoned the Committee on Assignments – the formal ruling body of the Senate – to a meeting in his office that’s occurring now.
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats held a quick, impromptu press conference – commandeering the secretary of the Senate’s office – to call for their Republican brethren to drop consideration of HB 87. They pointed to a 9th District U.S. Court of Appeals decision upholding a lower court judge’s decision to block enforcement of the Arizona law that Georgia is attempting to mimic.
“There’s no reason for us to be going ahead on this,” said state Sen. Curt Thompson of Tucker, flanked by four other Democrats.
– By Jim Galloway, Political Insider