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05 February 2012

Lesson Learned: Read the Bill

"Read the bill! Read the bill!"

As the nation debated enacting ObamaCare three years ago, opponents repeatedly implored Democrats to slow down and read the bill.

Three simple words: Read the bill. It was a simple request, based on the premise that lawmakers should read what they're voting on before they actually vote on it.

Saturday, that premise was on full display, and the lesson learned is that everyone should read the bill.

It does not matter if the bill contains drastic changes to health care in America or if it simply re-draws the district maps for Georgia's Public Service Commission, read the bill.

A simple bill, Senate Bill 382 contains language in it that would require district 2 Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols to stand for re-election two years after he was first elected. Public Service Commission members normally serve six-year terms. If no one had read the bill, and found the typo on line 523 of page 15, Senate Bill 382 would have likely breezed through the legislative process and become law without controversy. If no one had read the bill, Tim Echols would be running for re-election this summer instead of in 2016, when his six-year term expired.

Luckily a blog post on this site prompted district 2 Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols to read the bill, and he's been assured by the bill's authors that the typo was an accident and will be fixed before any action is taken on the legislation.

Again, the lesson here is read the bill. The lesson learned is read the bill. Read the bill.