Georgia Republicans Stopped Caring About the Lives of Children this Week
It’s not often that a person living in the Deep South state of Georgia is surprised by their legislators. After all, this is the state where a member of the Georgia GOP recently suggested lifting the sanction which prevented convicted sexual predators from loitering around schools and playgrounds. After the end of the 2013-2014 legislative season, though, not many forward-thinking individuals weren’t astounded by the level of immorality exhibited by their elected officials directed at children. If you read no other part of this, make sure you read the last section.
The Guns Everywhere Bill
Georgia legislators have been in a continuing fight over their attempt to allow guns just about everywhere in the state. From college universities and churches to bars where a drunken fight breaking out is no surprise, they were literally gunning for the stars. Numerous church officials and university presidents fought against this bill, and it did undergo significant changes. Unfortunately, it’s still a bit on the insane side.
In the late night final hours of the legislative session, Republicans held good to their devotion to the NRA. By the time all was said and done, they had passed a law which would allow guns in nightclubs, bars, sporting facilities, libraries, and even secondary schools. In anticipation of this new law, a petition had been circulated informing bar owners that those who signed would not frequent their establishments if they didn’t post a “No Firearms Permitted” sign at their door. All hoped that this petition wouldn’t prove necessary, but in the end, it did.
Drug testing “certain” welfare recipients
Another law that was passed related to drug testing and welfare recipients. Although allowing guns just about everywhere in the state undoubtedly puts children in danger, this bill may directly prevent them from eating. While it may seem like a good idea to require drug testing for welfare recipients, it’s really the innocent children who will suffer based on their parents’ decisions.
In addition, when Florida implemented this law, it actually lost nearly $50,000 since the overwhelming majority of people passed the tests. Georgia politicians thought they could sidestep this issue by not requiring everyone to take the test. In fact, state officials will pick and choose who they think should be tested. Yeah, because this in no way will lead to any type of profiling. Very constitutional.
Taking Medicaid expansion from the voters
Georgia’s governor, Nathan Deal, has consistently said that he will not expand Medicaid in the state. Sadly, this affects the 220,000 children in Georgia who are uninsured. This is literally the fourth highest number of all states in America. Fortunately, a recent poll showed that Jimmy Carter’s Democratic grandson, Jason Carter, was leading the most unethical governor in America in the polls.
This, of course, meant that Medicaid would likely be expanded if Carter won. Well, being the party that cheats to get what it wants, the Republicans weren’t hearing of it. They passed a law that would strip the state’s governor of the ability to expand Medicaid. In turn, it put the decision into the hands of the overwhelmingly-Republican state legislative branches. The worst part? Nathan Deal says he supports it, so it seems as if the GOP in Georgia is willing to ignore the will of the people next election day.
But this, really takes the cake
As mentioned, logical Georgia voters have become accustomed to the insanity that ensues when their conservative counterparts vote the GOP into power, so the aforementioned bills were no surprise. It’s what wasn’t passed, though, that really got the blood flowing. A bill was making its way through the process, with bipartisan support, which would’ve legalized the medical use of cannabis oil.
Keep in mind, this oil doesn’t have enough THC to get a person high. The reason this was even an issue is because the oil can treat children who literally live day to day suffering 100+ seizures. This medical marijuana has been shown to end this suffering, and in many cases, it could literally save a child’s life. A Republican legislator supported the bill after being inspired to do so by Haleigh Cox, a four-year-old child who suffers about 70 intense seizures daily, and who could easily be treated with cannabis oil.
The bill failed when Renee Unterman, a Republican, attached an amendment at the last moment which prevented an agreement from being reached. The page devoted to little Haleigh Cox informed its followers that she’ll now have to stay separated from her father, who lives in Georgia, so that she can receive the care she needs in Colorado, where the drug is legal. The page said it best:
“Hi, I am Haleigh Cox. My friends and I were used as political pawns last night. We were caught in the crossfire of a political war… Lawmakers, please think about us when you go home to perfectly healthy children. Think about us when you go to sleep at night and know your child will wake up the next morning, and ours possibly will not.”
Georgia Republicans have screwed our children. Tim McIlrath said it best: “If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.”
You can keep up to date with developing stories from this fiasco at the Facebook page of Living Blue in Georgia.