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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sonny in a bill-signin' frenzy!

Today is the final day for Gov. Perdue to sign or veto legislation passed during the recent General Assembly. If he does nothing, the bills will still go into law after today, so the signing ceremonies are orchestrated largely for political benefit – to earn support from special-interest groups.

So what has Sonny decided to sign lately? On Tuesday, he notched a photo-op with celebrated miser Clark Howard by lending his John Hancock to HB 130, a consumer-protection bill that allows reg'lar folks to "freeze" their credit report so that it can't be sold to third parties without their approval, as is the norm now. The goal is prevent identity thieves from applying for credit under someone else's name.

So far, so good. But also on Tuesday, Sonny signed SB 1, a bill to effectively restore Georgia's harsh sex-offender residency restrictions that were ruled unconstitutional last fall by the state Supreme Court. The new bill was promoted by its sponsor, Sen. Eric Johnson, R-Savannah, as a less-unfair version of the nullified law, but it still includes no exemptions for registered sex offenders who pose no conceivable threat to society, such as nursing-home residents and invalids.

Johnson added his own touch, a measure that forbids registered sex offenders from photographing kids. Who's gonna enforce that – the GBI's Pixel Posse? The Southern Center for Human Rights, the original litigant against the last law, has already renewed its lawsuit against the new version.

Today is Perdue's last chance to veto HB 89, the bill to allow folks to carry guns into restaurants that serve booze, public parks and on MARTA trains. We're guessing he's going to let that one through.

[Oops. Just as this post was about to go up, the Guv's office sent a notice that he had signed the gun bill. Start loadin'!]

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