ATLANTA—Monday was Crossover Day, the final opportunity for lawmakers to approve bills or resolutions and advance them to the opposite chamber. The State Capitol was abuzz shortly after sunrise with guests and lobbyists making rounds throughout the atrium, hallways and staircases. Some were snapping photos; others were wheeling and dealing.

Action heated up just before lunchtime when Sen. Bill Cowsert stood to explain Senate Resolution 140. This 

was his proposal to amend the Georgia Constitution and allow for the formation of a gaming corporation to oversee legalized gambling in Georgia, provide additional funding to education and offer financial support to the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. 

In spite of a passionate plea from the Senator who represents Athens-Clarke, Oconee and Walton counties to allow voters to decide the fate of gambling, Cowsert’s resolution fell eight votes shy of the two-thirds majority needed to push the legislation to the house for consideration.  

“I think they don’t want sports betting, under any circumstances,” a frustrated Cowsert said of his fellow senators who opposed the measure. “It’s pretty clear the majority of the body does not favor sports betting with or without citizens’ approval.” 

Despite passage of Senate Bill 92 last week to create a Prosecuting Attorneys Oversight Commission which empowers a panel to remove elected DAs for “willful misconduct in office,” a similar measure in the form of House Bill 231 was introduced by Rep. Joseph Gullett late Monday afternoon. The bill was co-sponsored by District 120 Houston Gaines, who represents a portion of Oconee County.     

Following passionate speeches on both sides of the aisle on disciplining rogue district attorneys and solicitors general, House Bill 231 finally passed 98-75.

For more on this story, see the March 9 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website. 

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