ATLANTA – Georgia lawmakers went noisily into the night just after midnight on Wednesday.
The Senate and House of Representatives did it with the traditional paper storm – the clearance of forty days of work that will largely rest through January 2022.
Before she left, lawmakers passed Republican law preventing local governments from drastically cutting police budgets. They also passed a bipartisan law that would repeal the Law on Arresting Georgian Citizens, first enacted in 1863.
“It makes it clear that lethal violence is not a force that can be used in these property defense matters,” MP Bert Reeves (R-Marietta) told the House before the passage.
Reeves acknowledged that the law passed in 1863 was written by a man who became a founding member of the Ku Klux Klan. He added that Georgia will be the first state in the nation to repeal its Citizens Detention Law, enacted during that period.
“That is absolutely true and makes me very proud,” said Reeves.
The citizen arrest law was brought into the spotlight by the racially accused murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a black jogger, in Glynn County last year.
Governor Brian Kemp has announced that he will sign the repeal of the Law on the Arrest of Citizens.
It took Senate lawmakers more than an hour out of a stormy day to pass a “granny cam” bill that ultimately failed to become law.
The measure is intended to enable surveillance cameras in senior citizens’ homes.
However, critics said the law banning hidden cameras actually did not protect seniors from employees who harmed them.
The House of Representatives had passed the bill, but the Senate changed it on Wednesday. And just before the legislature was adjourned, the House voted against the amended measure, killing the bill for that year.
An unexpected measure aimed to punish Delta Air Lines on this last day of the legislature.
Delta President Ed Bastian made some critical statements on Georgia’s new Voting Bill, passed by the Legislature against Democratic objections and signed by Governor Kemp last week.
RELATED: Delta CEO Says Georgia New Electoral Law “Based On A Lie” Calls Final Bill “Unacceptable”.
“It was very disappointing,” said House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) of Bastian’s statement.
The Republicans in the State House, led by Ralston, have passed a cancellation of a multi-million dollar jet fuel tax break granted to Delta Air Lines.
“You don’t feed a dog that bites your hand. Sometimes you have to keep that in mind, ”Ralston said when asked about the retaliatory bill that the House of Representatives passed but never received a vote in the state Senate until it was adjourned.
The Republican majorities also finally passed a measure that would prohibit local governments from slashing their police budgets.
They also passed a law adding a program to train young drivers on how to deal with the police. Although the move easily passed the Senate, House Democrats resisted the law, saying it places the security burden on drivers rather than cops in such encounters.
A Republican supporter said it was “a good common sense law that has been turned into … a political football”.