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11 March 2014

State Senate Ends Donzella James' Obstruction of Douglas County School Board Bill

On a 35 - 14 vote, the Georgia State Senate ended Donzella James' obstruction of a bill to cut the pay of Douglas County School Board members by 10 percent.

According to the Douglas County Sentinel, Douglas County School Board members are the second-highest paid school board in the state. House Bill 1108 would change that, and was widely expected to breeze through the legislature as local legislation.

Local legislation is legislation that only affects a local city, county, or school board. Local legislation does not have statewide implications, and is traditionally approved by lawmakers so long as the local legislative delegation supports the legislation.

Senator Donzella James (D - Atlanta) is a member of the Douglas County local legislative delegation, despite the fact that she lives in Fulton County. Under the rules of the Georgia Senate, Senator James could block the bill to cut the pay of Douglas County School Board members by 10 percent. And block it she did until Monday, when Senators made House Bill 1108 a general bill.

As a general bill, House Bill 1108 falls under a different section of Senate Rules. A general bill cannot be blocked by a single Senator, but it can be changed by any Senator, regardless of where the lawmaker lives or which district they represent.

In addition, a general bill must make it onto the Senate Rules Calendar by the thirty-ninth (39th) legislative day or else it is dead for the year.

House Bill 1108 was referred the Senate Committee on State Local and Governmental Operations.