Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, a supporter of HB 87, said lawmakers were close to an agreement on the illegal immigration measure – the most important piece of legislation facing the chamber on its final day.
Negotiations with the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City, have focused on giving businesses – which would be required to use the federal E-Verify data base to screen hires – a probationary period to correct lapses.
A similar clause already exists in the legislation for local governments found employing illegal immigrants.
Under Rogers’ plan, the Senate would be asked to “agree, with amendments” to the House version – a tactic designed to avoid a conference committee whose Senate members would appointed by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. If successful, another House vote would be required.
Opponents of HB 87’s toughest provisions still hope to push the bill into a conference committee. More background can be found here.
As for that Senate Republican caucus meeting – after 90 minutes, lawmakers returned for a late start to the day, without making any decision on the leadership struggle. The morning gathering capped a six-hour session on Wednesday.
– By Jim Galloway, Political Insider