Per this AJC article, yesterday Bobby Franklin made his yearly hara kiri. As he has done at least one other time since I have been watching, in addition to at least once between 2004 and 2008, he made one of the most dangerous and least successful parliamentary moves available – he challenged the ruling of the Chair (Speaker Ralston).
GPB doesn’t have video archives yet this Session, but here’s what went down, so best as I have determined so far:
Last year, both the House and the Senate passed SB 1, Senator David Shafer’s Zero Based Budget Act. After the Session was over, Governor Perdue vetoed this bill.
Last week, in a VERY rare move, the Senate voted to override that veto, and did so unanimously, 52-0-6. They only needed a 2/3 majority, or 38 votes (there are currently 36 GOP Senators).
That same day, upon learning of the Senate’s veto override, Speaker Ralston let it be known that the House would not take the measure up, but would instead push its own ZBB measure, Rep Steven Allison’s HB 33.
Yesterday, the House got the veto override, and apparently th Speaker assigned it to the Rules Committee. I don’t know exactly what transpired next, but it ended with Rep Franklin making an EXTREMELY politically boneheaded move – the aforementioned challenging of the ruling of the Chair.
Here’s the problem:
Per Article III Section V Section XIII(d) of the Ga Constitution (emphases mine):
During sessions of the General Assembly, any vetoed bill or resolution may upon receipt be immediately considered by the house wherein it originated for the purpose of overriding the veto. If two-thirds of the members to which such house is entitled vote to override the veto of the Governor, the same shall be immediately transmitted to the other house where it shall be immediately considered. Upon the vote to override the veto by two-thirds of the members to which such other house is entitled, such bill or resolution shall become law. All bills and resolutions vetoed during the last three days of the session and not considered for the purpose of overriding the veto and all bills and resolutions vetoed after the General Assembly has adjourned sine die may be considered at the next session of the General Assembly for the purpose of overriding the veto in the manner herein provided. If either house shall fail to override the Governor’s veto, neither house shall again consider such bill or resolution for the purpose of overriding such veto.
In other words, per the Constitution of the State of Georgia, Rep Franklin was absolutely technically correct in challenging the rule of the Chair, if a political idiot.
And the Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives has apparently violated the Constitution of the State of Georgia.
Like it or not, Bobby Franklin was (technically) absolutely correct.