Written And Submitted By D.A. King
Professional licenses are public benefits in Georgia. The Georgia Chamber of Commerce is well aware of that fact as they opposed the law that created it. I was there.
The people who run Georgia are tired of any delays involved in the process of verifying the lawful immigration status of applicants for public benefits.
Georgia law (OCGA 50-36-1) put in place in 2006 and improved several times after that says that applicants for public benefits must swear they are either U.S.citizens or eligible aliens on a notarized affidavit. They are supposed to show “Secure and Verifiable ID.” Then, that lawful presence status is supposed to be checked in a federal database called SAVE (SAVE is not doing their job correctly and we will expose that fact after the session). But the state law still stands.
Professional licenses are public benefits. Contrary to the mislabeling by numerous state and local departments that administer public benefits, this is not a “citizenship affidavit” – but a verification affidavit. One need not be a U.S. citizen to qualify for public benefits but must be a lawfully present alien.
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce is asking House members to vote yes on at least two bills, HB 34 and HB 268. While we have not had time to carefully study these bills, a quick appraisal tells us they are designed to provide “reciprocity” with other states on professional licenses – and to skip the verification process described above.
Do we want to rely on California or New York for immigration verification?
If an individual who has a license to be an occupational therapist in California or New York, for example, relocates to Georgia, the plan is to eliminate much of the licensing process here to put this person to work almost instantly – and to bypass the Georgia law for immigration verification. We would be relying on liberal California, the illegal alien Capital of the world for most of our licensing process.
These bills are apparently on the Rules calendar today – which means they will likely see a vote. I have notified several members with the below-emailed information and they tell me they will now vote “no” – and that author (s) are not aware of the existing law.
This issue is not new
We have been here before under the Gold Dome, just a few weeks ago with: “Libertarian pushed Gold Dome ‘reciprocity’ bill…”) would dismantle screening process for illegal aliens accessing professional licenses.”
This sort of thing is normal procedure in the state Capitol. You may want to forward this to your state Reps to let them know what you learned here.
The below was sent via email to several members and to Kim in Speaker David Ralston’s office this morning:
“After a very quick look: HB 34 has no language I can see that requires compliance with OCGA 50-36-1 (verification of lawful presence for public benefits). Professional licenses are public benefits. A yes vote is a vote to dismantle existing law on illegal immigration – in a state with more illegals than AZ. The senate will take careful note of that fact. I promise. A 30 second “isn’t it true” question should wake people up? I assume the same for CofCommerce HB268. Reciprocity write-up below.
Unless I have missed it in a big hurry here they all need: “Nothing contained in this Code section shall be construed to invalidate, override, or amend any licensing compact entered into by the State of Georgia or to permit the issuance of a license without verification under Code Section 50-36-1.”
Updated – Libertarian pushed Gold Dome ‘reciprocity’ bill (HB147) would dismantle screening process for illegal aliens accessing professional licenses *UPDATED WITH ADDITION OF IDENTICAL SENATE BILL (SB45) INFO
Military spouse not automatically a legal immigrant. Wash Post story:
Below are two letters put on House member’s desks on the floor today.
ATLANTA, Ga. – State lawmakers in both the House and Senate push to end time charge for Georgia once and for all.
For years, Rep. Wes Cantrell (R – Woodstock) has introduced legislation that would prevent people from changing their clocks every March and November, but with little success. If passed, House Bill 44 would recognize daylight saving time year-round. Cantrell admits that the legislation doesn’t grab headlines like the pandemic, but it doesn’t mean legislators can’t tackle both issues.
“There’s a whole spectrum of issues, and we can deal with things that aren’t as important at the same time as things that are important,” said Cantrell
Supporters highlight many potential benefits that could mean fewer car accidents to better mental health, even lower energy costs.
“It’s [daylight saving time] good for health. The afternoon commute is typically when the bulk of accidents occur, and if that commute is in the daylight, it cuts down greatly on car accidents,” says Cantrell. “A lot of petty crime happens in the early evening that we can cut into, along with some energy savings involved when the daylight occurs later in the evening.”
The bill doesn’t come without its detractors. Some suggest that going to daylight saving will put Atlanta into an economic bind with major financial cities like New York and Boston. Others argue that if better mental health is the objective, lawmakers should look at the standard time because it’s associated with less daylight, potentially giving people more opportunity to sleep.
Another argument against daylight saving time is that states don’t need Congressional approval for standard time. That’s one of the reasons Sen. Ben Watson (R- Savannah) introduced Senate Bill 100. Watson’s bill favors standard over daylight saving time.
Both HB 44 and SB 100 carry multiple co-sponsors with both Democrat and Republican support, and each bill passed through their respective committees with flying colors.
It wasn’t long after the passage of the federal Uniform Time Act in 1966 that states started to question the validity of time change. In 1967 Hawaii never enforced daylight saving time, mainly because the sun would rise and sets at the same time each day. Excluding the Navajo Nation, Arizona followed suit in 1968. So far, thirty-two states have introduced similar legislation that Cantrell proposes.
Sen. Watson and Rep. Cantrell agree that Georgia is ready to pick one or the other, but not both.
“People hate the time change,” says Cantrell. “Out of all the things I’ve done, this is by far – not even close – this is the most popular thing.”
ATLANTA, Ga. – House members assigned to the Special Committee on Election Integrity currently have a full plate as they sort through numerous bills with more expected to drop.
Before the session, Speaker David Ralston (R – Blue Ridge) expressed the importance of a committee dedicated to tackling voter confidence after the divisive Presidential and Senate elections of 2020 and 2021.
“Many Georgians are concerned about the integrity of our election system. Some of those concerns may or may not be well-founded, but there may be others that are,” said Ralston while speaking at a Chamber of Commerce event.
With a lot riding on the hot button issue, Ralston tapped fellow Republican and lawyer Rep. Barry Fleming (R – Harlem) as Chairman to the Special Committee on Election Integrity.
“I am excited and humbled that Speaker Ralston and the Committee on Assignments has entrusted me with this committee chairmanship on such a vital issue,” Fleming said in a press release.
As of February 4, 14 different pieces of legislation have been sent to the committee for review. On the Senate side, Members of the Senate Ethics Committee are dealing with another 17 election-related bills.
Only one bill, HB 59, carries bipartisan support. In summary, the legislation would create an instant runoff election, also known as a ranked-choice system for military and overseas voters. HB 59 is authored by Rep. Wes Cantrell (R – Woodstock). Also, Rep. Health Clark (R – Warner Robins) and Bonnie Rich (R – Suwanee), have co-sponsored the legislation.
Rep. Bee Nguyen (D – Atlanta), one of three Democrats to co-sponsor the bill, stated, “The bipartisan bill on rank-choice voting is a step in the right direction and would reduce the cost of running elections in the state of Georgia.”
A cautious Ralston previously commented that he would need a “real strong case to convince him” of anything that would challenge Georgia’s no-excuse absentee voting system.
So far, similar legislation has fallen along partisan lines. After social media giant Mark Zuckerberg donated 400 million dollars in the 2020 election cycle, Republican lawmakers have vowed to put an end to private funding aimed at what conservatives feel unfairly influences elections. 42 Georgia counties received private grant money last year. Authored by Rep. Joseph Gullett (R – Dallas), HB 62 would bar local elections officials from accepting private funds. HB 62 currently has five co-sponsors.
One of the more bold pieces of legislation doesn’t come from the House, but rather the Senate. Proposed by Sen. Gloria Butler (D – Stone Mountain), SB 37 calls to replace the electoral college with a National Popular Vote. So far, Butler’s bill has 15 other so-sponsors. 15 states plus the District of Columbia have signed on to similar legislation.
While Republicans still hold to a majority at the state level, 2020 marked the year of the Democrat for Georga after it swung for Joe Biden (D), then Senators Raphael Warnock (D) and Jon Ossoff (D) took their runoffs. Republicans’ legislative action must prove that future elections aren’t lost after 75,000 voters didn’t show for the January run-off.
ATLANTA, Ga. – State Sen. Jason Anavitarte (R-Dallas) introduced this session’s first bill to strengthen voter absentee law in Georgia.
If passed, Senate Bill 29 would require voters to show proof of ID when requesting an absentee ballot and returning them. The bill should be the first of several proposed legislation that lawmakers will consider in this session.
It would be a change from current state law that requires an ID for voting in person, but not for an absentee ballot.
After the Republican Donald Trump’s failed election, many voters in the Republican Party have cried foul and continue to pressure lawmakers to do something. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R-GA) was no stranger to the animosity. His office reported receiving death threats in late November of last year. Others were upset when Governor Brian Kemp opposed calling for a special session. Despite the early and contentious fingerpointing, Republican leadership seems to be singing to the same song. Kemp has told multiple sources that he supports the idea of requiring a photo ID for absentee ballots. Earlier this month, Speaker David Ralston echoed a similar statement about new voter legislation during a press conference when he said, “I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t pass significant measures this session.”
Senate Bill 29 has already gained national attention. While not calling out a specific piece of legislation, newly-elected Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) voiced his opposition on Twitter. “Disenfranchisement will not be tolerated,” Ossoff tweeted. Fair Fight, the brainchild of Stacey Abrams (D-GA), posted, “By requiring access to a printer, which many Georgians obviously do not have, Republicans are attempting to purposely take away the ability of many Georgians to vote by mail simply because they believe too many Democrats and too many people of color voted by mail.”
The bill’s current language gives significant leeway to those assisting voters who somehow are unable to vote in person.
Georgia law allows anyone to cast a provisional ballot even if you fail to have one of the seven accepted forms of identification.
Senate Bill 29 is the first piece of legislation introduced by the first-year lawmaker from Dallas. Anavitarte did not respond in time to this report.
Dalton’s Republican state Rep. Kasey Carpenter (R-Dalton) denounced his home GOP on the House floor in defense of his legislation (HB 120) to grant illegal aliens in-state tuition rates. The bill would allow undocumented international students living in Georgia to pay less tuition than Americans and legal immigrants from most other states in Georgia’s public universities and the technical college system.
“As far as DACA recipients receiving in-state tuition rates, These individuals are here thru no fault of their own. They are or will be taxpayers in the state of Georgia. I am interested in creating more givers than takers to our economy. Affordable College education is a step in that direction. The state pays the same rate whether that student pays in-state or out-of-state tuition. It is the university or college that takes the hit. Many take that hit on students from surrounding states. The federal government has failed America in regard to immigration. Unfortunately, we have to come up with the best solutions with the situation we have been handed. Making lemonade out of lemons,” Carpenter told FYN.
For the academic year 2019-2020, the average tuition & fees for Colleges in Georgia is $4,721 for in-state and $16,879 for out-of-state, according to collegetuitioncompare.com.
Last week Rep Carpenter made a short speech to the Georgia House blasting his bill’s opponents, lamenting the period in history when the U.S. had “a show-up” immigration policy, verbally merged ‘immigrants’ with illegals – and with an audible groan from an off-camera House member, cited the biblical story of Joseph and his family in ancient Egypt to defend his tuition legislation.
The now growing controversy began when the Whitfield Republican Party sent out an email opposing the legislation shortly after its introduction. The email read, “Carpenter is renewing his attempts to make Georgia a magnet for a new wave of illegal.” Rep Carpenter responded with a Facebook post saying his tuition bill was crafted for DACA recipients and would “only apply to individuals considered lawfully present in Georgia as of 2013, aka DACA.”
Carpenter had the following to say about Whitfield GOP, “My problem with our local GOP is they sent out miss information about this bill without even calling beforehand. Sometimes local parties have individuals involved with their own agenda. It doesn’t speak to the entire party but A select few.”
A 2019 11th Circuit Appellate Court decision ruled that DACA does not provide lawful status and denied a group of DACA recipient’s lawsuit demand for admission to the three public-funded public Georgia universities that do not allow illegal aliens to attend at any tuition rate.
DACA is a 2012 executive amnesty program put in place by then-President Barack Obama that grants deferred action on deportation along with a work permit and Social Security Number to illegal aliens. Georgia issues driver’s licenses and official state ID Cards to DACA recipients as well as other “public benefits.”
“I am having our legislative Council review the 2019 Appellate Court decision. If they are considered not lawfully present, I am regards to this bill, then in-state tuition would not be required by this bill,” Carpenter stated.
Carpenter also blasted the bill’s opponents on Facebook, saying, “looks like it may be time for a new Republican Group to be established in Whitfield County.”
“This is the first time I remember seeing a state legislator of any party move to replace his county party apparatus,” said Gold Dome denizen D.A. King. “But I have only been involved in state politics for seventeen years. It seems that the Whitfield Republican Party is overly conservative for the man they sent to Atlanta to represent them,” King chuckled. King, a recognized authority on illegal immigration and president of the Dustin Inman Society, is an outspoken critic of Carpenter’s tuition legislation.