As we move forward to "crossover" day, next Friday, March 13th, House floor and committee
activity accelerates, and tensions sometime rise. Crossover day, the 30th day of our 40 day Session, is the last day a bill may pass either the House or Senate and have time for final passage in 2015 to become law. This rule does not apply to local legislation which is particularly relevant to DeKalb County this year.
One of my primary legislative goals before crossover day is passage from the House of HB 507 to create a child abuse registry that is recommended by Governor Deal's Child Welfare Reform Commission. Stay tuned!
ANNEXATION AND CITYHOOD SPECIAL REPORT
Many of you are closely following all the cityhood and annexation activities in DeKalb County, and there has been movement and accelerating confusion in the last week. See Mark Niese's AJC story of March 5th,ilink here. House bills to create new cities of Tucker, LaVista Hills, South Fulton, have been introduced, and passed in less than 48 hours out of subcommittee and full committee of Governmental Affairs. All three proposed cities have border disputes with adjoining cities or proposed annexations by the City of Atlanta.
Passage violated the Governmental Affairs Committee rules just adopted at the beginning of this Session that allegedly denied a city the right to move forward as long as border disputes existed. I made formal objections to passage based on rule violations, to no avail. Oh well.
I anticipate, however, that the City of Atlanta will offer a specific map for voters in the 82nd House District to have a referendum on whether they wish to be included in the City of Atlanta in 2015, and that the proposed new cities of LaVista Hills and Tucker may also pass the Legislature this year. Border disputes must and will be resolved, but I do not know how or when, or how these resolutions may impact Decatur's decision on annexation of a limited area of commercial and residential areas.
Our process on these important issues of cityhood is not clear, and the issues are very contentious. I hope to report in the last days of the 2015 Session on decisions made with greater transparency and clarity that will help you know your referendum options.
Thank you for your patience. I am hoping for a higher degree of patience myself. Whatever happens, please remember that ultimate decisions on cities or annexations will be made by the voters by referendum.
THANK YOU! I am interested in your advice and comments.