Today is the day Georgia House Speaker David Ralston and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Wendell Willard have set aside to kill the Religious Liberty Restoration Act (“RFRA”) in Georgia.
It comes one day after the State of Indiana passed RFRA. Georgia’s House Leadership, which is largely bought and paid for by outside interests opposed to RFRA, is headed toward a legislative cataclysm in doing this and does not even realize it.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Willard has set up a special sub-committee to kill RFRA, pending as S.B. 129. It will be composed of two Democrats and two Republicans. At best, RFRA will be gutted with an “anti-discrimination” provision inserted. This provision, rejected by most states that have considered it, will incentivize left-wing activists to go to local governments and alter the definition of discrimination. That is how, in places like Texas, boys are suddenly “identifying” as girls to go use the girls’ bathroom.
Adding the discrimination provision guts RFRA, but then allows Wendell Willard et al to vote for it claiming they support religious liberty.
However with Willard stacking the deck against RFRA, it is just as likely that RFRA dies in committee today with the State House leadership claiming the legislation is deeply flawed. It is, if you did not know, the same language signed into law by President Bill Clinton with bipartisan support.
If S.B. 129 does not get a vote, without amendment, on the House floor, war is going to break out in the General Assembly.
Governor Deal’s education plan is going to die. Conservatives have committed to holding it hostage. Conservatives are going to lead a full scale rebellion on the budget, which guts teacher health insurance plans, and on the transportation legislation, which is a massive tax increase.
The war is going to be across chambers with conservatives blocking legislation in the State Senate and and siding with Democrats to kill legislation in the State House.
Essentially, Speaker David Ralston has asked his colleagues to vote for a massive tax increase, gutting teacher health insurance, and reject effective religious liberty legislation. That’s too much for conservatives. They’ve been punished for following rules while those close to the Speaker have not. They’ve been smacked around the Governor who will not help them with RFRA.
With S.B. 129 either dying or getting gutted, the end of this General Assembly could see a cataclysm rarely seen in an often choreographed session of the General Assembly.