It seems that even the Georgia Legislature can have an off schedule week.
First the House Children & Youth Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at the State Capitol got canceled at the last minute. According to the agenda, the topic was supposed to be a discussion about “a system-wide approach” to “children and youth with special needs.”
Then JJIE.org got tipped off that the Senate Judiciary Committee had scheduled a hearing Thursday on Senate Bill 105, which proposes to establish a three-person juvenile parole panel within the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). An hour-and-a-half into the committee’s meeting (following a lively discussion about the controversial immigration-focused Senate Bill 40) we learned that the parole board bill would not be heard that day.
“The committee chairman has the authority to add or delete anything from the agenda,” explained SB 105 sponsor Sen. Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur). “My guess is that they will probably want to hear [his bill] at the same time as the juvenile code rewrite. I could see that it makes sense to do that.”
Sen. Jones now says if a hearing is not scheduled for his bill, he will “attach it” to the Juvenile Code rewrite SB 127, also known as the Child Protection and Public Safety Act.
“If they won’t pull my bill out of committee, I will attach it to [Committee Chairman Sen. Bill] Hamrick’s bill,” he said. “My bill will be heard on the floor of the Senate.”
Sen. Jones said he intends to attach it as an “amendment” to SB 127, which would no longer attach the measure to his name.
“I would have the opportunity to explain my amendment, which is essentially my bill,” he said. “There are many ways to pass legislation and this is one of them. It just would no longer have my name on it, but that doesn’t matter. We can’t lose sight of the primary goal; changing the way we deal with our kids in Georgia.”