11/20/2017

May. 26, 2001: One of the values of checking this space is that you will be made privy to important information not available elsewhere.

For example, since the Legislature has adjourned, you have been inundated with analysis by political experts over what got passed and what didn’t and who delivered the most pork to the folks back home so nobody would be mad about changing the state flag. Really mundane stuff.

But no one, dear reader, has alerted you to what is pending in next year’s session. While pundits try to impress you with what has already happened in 2001—old news – your intrepid servant has been busy identifying the major legislative initiatives that will dominate the 2002 session. Once the legislators get through redistricting and assure themselves of safe seats into perpetuity, here is a list of some of the more critical issues they will find awaiting them.

THE BREMEN HIGH SCHOOL FIGHTING MURPHS/MARCH MADNESS ACT. As you remember, Speaker Tom Murphy got tired of the Fighting Murphs at his beloved Bremen High School getting waxed every year by those sissy private schools around Atlanta, so he demanded the Georgia High School Association redistrict them out of Bremen’s league, allowing the Murphs to compete against schools more their speed, like Primrose Path and Mothers Morning Out. Now the Speaker is threatening to do the same thing with the NCAA, which has continually refused Bremen a spot in the Final Four. Chances for passage: Excellent. (You want to be the one to tell Tom Murphy that Bremen can’t play who they want, when they want?)

THE KIM BASINGER PROTECTION ACT. Alec Baldwin, the talent-challenged actor most noted for his role as the conductor in Thomas and the Magic Railroad, threatened to leave the country if George W. Bush got elected president. Instead, he left his wife, Kim Basinger, a Georgia native. This law would assure Baldwin’s arrest if he ever set foot in the state. He would then be dressed in hot pink, given a purse and dropped off in front of a tavern in Clinch County on a Saturday night. Chances for passage: Depends on whether Baldwin leaves the country or not. (Personally, I favor the Clinch County option.)

THE MAJORITY ARE PEOPLE, TOO, INITIATIVE. Black lawmakers fought vigorously in the 2001 session to keep from admitting that Hispanics are a minority group and thus able to feed from Affirmative Action Guilt Trip Trough. Now, constitutional experts are saying that before you can have a minority, you must first have a majority. Therefore, look for all the major minority groups – blacks, Hispanics, gays, Native Americans (except the Atlanta Braves), Eskimos and people who drive the speed limit on our interstate highways – to lobby for recognition of whites as a majority. Chances for passage: Excellent, because all the minority groups make up the majority.

THE DON’T GET GAS PAINS REFORM BILL. The Georgia Public Service Commission has had a bad hair year, given that natural gas prices have increased faster than Hugh Rodham’s waistline. Any mention of that fact, particularly by your scribe, tends to give them a bad case of gas. As a result, they complain to BellSouth from which I retired almost ten years ago. That makes BellSouth cranky at me, which makes me cranky at the PSC so I zing them again, which makes them complain again, etc. etc. This law would require the commissioners to fuss directly to me, wherein I would feel guilty about pricking their thin skin and go after another easy target instead, like that oxymoron, Delta Air Lines customer service. This would please the PSC, BellSouth and me, although I don’t think Delta would be too thrilled about it. Chances for passage: Not good. The guys at the PSC can’t seem to find my telephone number.

THE ZACK WANSLEY DRIVING PROHIBITION LAW. Lawmakers and the governor couldn’t agree this year at what age teenagers could get a drivers license. This compromise legislation would restrict my four grandsons from driving until I say it is okay, starting with the oldest, Zack, who is 14. Chances of passage: Zero. (The grandsons are a formidable lobby.)

There you have it. Thanks to detailed computer analysis, consultation with well-connected political insiders and my trusty Tarot cards, you now know with absolute certainty what will occur in the 2002 General Assembly. (No applause, please. I’m just doing my job.) As for me, I can’t wait to watch the Bremen High Fighting Murphs and Georgia State in next year’s NCAA finals.