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LYNN'S LIST

 

LYNN’S LIST FOR FEBRUARY 22, 2021

 

Fair and Representative Elections

State

 

The bills that have been introduced to suppress voting are so numerous it is hard to keep up.  Committees are meeting in secret and they all center around the perception that the election wasn’t trustworthy because their candidate didn’t win.  Bills that would expand or protect voting don’t even get a hearing.

 

HB531 dropped at the last minute on Thursday with only Republican input and was presented before all committee members got a chance to review it. Contact Speaker Ralston and the members of the House Special Committee on Election Integrity to let them know this is unacceptable and blatantly racist. Some things that are in the bill include: 

 
  • Sunday voting would be canceled, a blow to Black churches that host “Souls to the Polls” get-out-the-vote events.  

  • Absentee ballot drop boxes could only be located inside in-person early voting sites during working hours.

  • Provisional ballots cast by voters in the wrong precinct would be disqualified altogether. Currently, votes for all eligible candidates are counted.  

  • Giving food and drinks for voters waiting in line would be made illegal.  

  • It incorporates initiatives such as requiring a voter to submit either a driver’s license number, state ID number or copy of photo ID when requesting an absentee ballot. 

  • The bill also sets an absentee ballot request deadline 11 days before election day.

  • Bans acceptance of private grants to help local elections offices buy equipment, pay overtime or provide hazard pay. 

 

This is a Republican bill, so we will only contact the Republicans on the committee, as well as Speaker Ralston, for the sake of time. Target any of the provisions in the bill, if you are passionate about any of the provisions or write something general such as the suggested script:  My name is --- and I am from ---.  I am distressed and disgusted by the Special Election Integrity Committee’s blatant voter suppression bills that reek of Jim Crow.  You say you are writing these bills because of the perception that the election wasn’t trustworthy.  Secretary of State Raffensperger wrote in a Washington Post op ed on November 21, 2020, “Georgia’s voting system has never been more secure or trustworthy.” Georgia voting systems manager Gabriel Sterling held a news conference to deliver a point-by-point rebuttal of false claims being spread about voter fraud in the November election, including misinformation repeated by president Trump. "This is all easily, provably false," Sterling said.  How about telling Georgians this?  How about saying there was no widespread fraud?  How about telling the voters that the election was not stolen?  How about telling Georgians that the election has never been more secure or trustworthy instead of spreading lies and conspiracies?  HB153 is undemocratic and unpatriotic.  It brings shame on Georgia and on each of the supporters of voter suppression. Vote NO.

 

David Ralston, House Speaker  david.ralston@house.ga.gov  (404) 656-5020

Barry Fleming, Chairman  barry.fleming@house.ga.gov  (404) 656-5105

Alan Powell  alan.powell@house.ga.gov  (404) 463-3793

Shaw Blackmon  shaw.blackmon@house.ga.gov  (404) 656-5103

Buddy DeLoach  buddy.deloach@house.ga.gov  (404) 656-0178

Houston Gaines  houston.gaines@house.ga.gov  (404) 656-0298

Jan Jones  (Speaker Pro Tempore) jan.jones@house.ga.gov  (404) 656-5072

Chuck Martin  chuck.martin@house.ga.gov  (404) 656-5146

Bonnie Rich  bonnie.rich@house.ga.gov  (404) 656-5087

Lynn Smith  lynn.smith@house.ga.gov  (404) 656-7149

Rick Williams  rick.williams@house.ga.gov   (404) 656-0254

 

In the Senate Ethics Committee, numerous bills are being considered 

 

SB 69: Would repeal automatic voter registration.

SB 177: Would repeal no-excuse absentee voting and require a doctor’s note from those under 75 to request an absentee ballot.

SB 71: Would repeal no-excuse absentee voting.  Again, these are Republican bills, so we will only contact the Republicans for the sake of time.

Script:  This committee is named the Senate Ethics Committee.  It is NOT ethical, democratic, or patriotic to find ways to suppress voting.  In fact, it reeks of Jim Crow.  The ethical thing would be to listen to what Secretary of State Raffensperger said in an op ed in the Washington Post dated November 20, 2020.  In that piece he said, “Georgia’s voting system has never been more secure or trustworthy.”  The ethical thing would be to tell the voters that our system is safe, secure and trustworthy.  The ethical thing would be to listen to Georgia voting systems manager Gabriel Sterling when he said "This is all easily, provably false."  The ethical thing would be to dispel lies and conspiracies.  I oppose SB69, 177, and 71, all which make it more difficult to vote in Georgia. Do the ethical thing and vote NO.

 

Max Burns, Chairman  max.burns@senate.ga.gov  (404) 656-7586

Dean Burke, Vice Chairman  dean.burke@senate.ga.gov   (404) 656-0040

Jason Anavitarte  jason.anavitarte@senate.ga.gov  (404) 656-0085

Mike Dugan  mike.dugan@senate.ga.gov  (404) 656-7872

Steve Gooch  steve.gooch@senate.ga.gov  (404) 656-9221

Bo Hatchett  bo.hatchett@senate.ga.gov  (404) 656-7454

Randy Robertson  randy.robertson@senate.ga.gov  (404) 463-3931

Brian Strickland  brian.strickland@senate.ga.gov  (404) 463-6598

 

The following bill is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Again, we will only target Republicans for the sake of time.

SB 92: Would require a photocopy of a photo ID to be submitted TWICE for absentee voting.

Suggested script:  My name is ---- and I am from ---.  A bill requiring TWO copies of a photo ID for absentee voting gives twice the possibility of identity fraud and double the poll tax.  What if you don’t have a printer?  You are asking voters to go somewhere to make two copies.  What if you vote absentee because you don’t drive?  This an undue burden on both Republican and Democratic seniors, the disabled and non-drivers.  Vote NO on SB92.

 

Brian Strickland, Chairman brian.strickland@senate.ga.gov  (404) 463-6598

Bill Cowsert, Vice Chairman  bill.cowsert@senate.ga.gov  (404) 463-1366

John Kennedy  john.kennedy@senate.ga.gov  (404) 656-0045

Bo Hatchett  bo.hatchett@senate.ga.gov  (404) 656-7454

Kay Kirkpatrick  kay.kirkpatrick@senate.ga.gov  (404) 656-3932

Blake Tillery  blake.tillery@senate.ga.gov  (404) 656-5038

Ben Watson  ben.watson@senate.ga.gov  (404) 656-7880

 

Protection of the Environment

 

The legislation corresponding to last year’s Amendment for Dedicated Fees (Trust Fund Honesty) has finally dropped.  House Bill 511 would ensure that fees collected by the state for a specific trust fund are truly dedicated to their intended purpose.  Amendment 1 was approved by 82% of Georgia voters that allowed the state to establish rules and conditions ensuring a true dedication of fees. HB 511 has a significant bearing on trust funds such as the solid and hazardous waste funds, which for years have had dollars diverted from the environmentally-important programs. House Bill 511 is currently in the House Appropriations Committee. There are 89 members of the House Appropriations Committee, so we will not contact each member.  Click on this link to see if your Representative is on the Committee membership list and ask him/her for a yes vote on HB511. 


Access to Affordable Healthcare

State

 

Good news! HB163 overwhelmingly passed the House. Express Lane Eligibility automatically enrolls children in Medicaid (PeachCare) when they are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.   It hasn’t been assigned to a Senate Committee yet, but when it is, we will continue to advocate for its passage.


Protection of Civil Liberties

Federal

 

The American Rescue Plan may receive a vote in the House next week. Time is of the essence. The bill includes extended unemployment benefits, financial assistance, nutrition assistance, housing aid, tax credits, and money for small businesses among others.  Here is a link for a synopsis of the bill.  Contact your Congressman with the suggested script:  My name is ---- and I am from -----.  Please vote Yes when the American Rescue Plan comes to the House floor for a vote.

 

Access to Affordable Healthcare

Federal

Black women are more than three times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy-related complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC attributes the disparities to “unequal access to care, structural racism and implicit biases in the health care system that also can lead to a higher prevalence of underlying health conditions that complicate pregnancy.”  Reps. Lauren Underwood, Alma Adams (co-chairs of the House Black Maternal Health Caucus) and Senator Cory Booker introduced an omnibus bill aimed at combating the significant health inequities that Black mothers face across the country called the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021.  The Act is a set of 12 different bills that invest in maternal health outcomes, address racism and discrimination in maternity care settings, fund community maternal health organizations, and improve data collection.  

Contact Congressman Bishop or Scott and both Senators Ossoff and Warnock with the suggested script:  My name is ----- and I am your constituent from----.  The CDC reports that Black women are more than three times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy related complications.  The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021 aims at addressing these health inequities.  Please be a co-sponsor of this important legislation.


If you were not able to attend the letter writing for Ocmulgee National Park instructional meeting on Sunday February 21, the event was recorded and we will share the link when available.

 

Guess what?  89 weeks until the 2022 midterm elections.  It’s a marathon and not a sprint.

 

The link to your legislators is here.  The list is incomplete until all the contact information is available.

 

Stay safe and wear your mask.

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