Thursday, February 2, 2012

Over twitter limit, so updates coming here ***CONSTANT UPDATES, SO USE REFRESH BUTTON***

Twitter has goofed, and says I'm over the limit.  Updates will come here on the blog.

Evans offers amendment to allow for penalty for false reporting.  GOP votes it down 43-77.

New Evans amendment to remove deacon from definition of "member of clergy".  Gipson says bill not intended to expand priest-penitent privilege, just to require deacons to report.  Rep. Cecil Brown now questioning Evans. Amendment voted down by 44-74.

Gunn got called out by Rep. Cecil Brown for ignoring calls for roll call vote.  Gunn says those wishing for roll call must stand.

Evans now seeks to amend definition of "members of clergy" to include the proper definition of priest-penitent privilege.  Gipson says proper definition not necessary.  Evans responds by saying it would cut down on needless litigation.  Amendment fails 41-78.

Gunn is now just doing all votes on amendments by roll call.

Evans now offering amendment to include school superintendents as mandatory reporters.  Appears to be an oversight.  Gipson says it's unnecessary.  Problem is that school principals are listed and superintendents are not.  Rep. Tyrone Ellis makes that point.  It does seem as though drafter just forgot to add that.  Amendment fails 43-78.

Evans moves to reconsider vote on amendment 5, which was the vote no roll call was held for.  That was the amendment that would have included "life of the mother" in the abortion language.  Concern is that GOP will use this definition to prevent abortions in instance of life of the mother.  Motion fails 41-77, meaning those 77 are against making an exception for in cases where the life of the mother is in doubt.

Rep. Ed Blackmon (D - Canton) is now offering an amendment that would provide for a hearing for those accused by these mandatory reports.  Blackmon says that the House needs to take these amendments seriously (I agree).  Blackmon now telling story from his personal experience about a woman wrongly charged with kidnapping.  Says his amendment would protect people from false reports.  Rep. Willie Bailey (D - Greenville) now questioning Blackmon.  Points out that law enforcement and teachers have similar protections.  Gipson comes out in favor of the bill.  Amendment passes unanimously.  Link to amendment.

Rep. Steve Holland (D - Plantersville) now offering amendment.  Holland's amendment arises from child rapes at Tupelo High School that were rampant in early 2000s.  5 young men later committed suicide.  Holland asks that the bill be renamed for 5th suicide victim.  That victim was the nephew of the teacher who abused some 40 young boys.  Gipson opposes it.  Good Lord.  That's tactless.  Amendment passes on voice vote over Gipson's opposition.

Rep. Adrienne Wooten asks for bill to be read.  Whole bill will now be read in whole.  This is a warning to Republicans who try to ram legislation through like they did with this bill.  HB 16 was assigned to committee and passed out of that committee with no debate allowed.  Gunn then tried to ram it through a day later (yesterday), but was held on a point of order.  I doubt we'll see attempts to circumvent the legislative process like that again.

Rep. Bob Evans (D - Monticello) has raised a point of order.  Gunn is having him write it down, so there is a break in the action.  Evans is raising the point that the bill amends by reference other sections of the Mississippi Code.  I didn't catch the code sections Evans listed, but I believe he's referring to the doctor-patient privilege and the priest-penitent privilege.  He's raising the issue that the bill 1) outright requires doctors to violate patient confidentiality, and 2) possibly adds deacons to the priest-penitent privilege.  Amending other statutes this way is frowned upon because it creates "catch-22" situations in the law.  Here, one statute would force a doctor to report a confidential communication, while another would punish him for doing so.

Sure is taking a long time to rule on this point of order.

It's 6:20, approximately 3.5 hours into the debate on HB 16, and we're waiting on a ruling on a point of order.  I'm calling it a night.

20 comments:

bill said...

Hmm...Blackmon's amendment makes sense. Glad they passed it. It was starting to look like all the amendments were going down just because they could.

bill said...

Holland may have lost his chair but he hasn't lost his flair...

Cottonmouth said...

Bill, you were right on that. Heck, they all made sense. The Senate will have its work cut out for it on this one.

bill said...

I have no problem with the passage of Holland's amendment, but I also understand Gipson's opposition. I think that there are lots of kids could have their names on this bill, and calling it the Child Protective Act recognizes that none are any less important than the others.

bill said...

So this is how the minority punishes the majority? By forcing the reading of the bill at 5:00 in the afternoon? If this is all they have then it's going to be a long session for the minority.

Cottonmouth said...

Bill, I couldn't believe Gipson came out against naming the bill after Ryan Petit, the Tupelo High abuse victim who committed suicide.

bill said...

Yeah, I wasn't sure why so many of the others were voted down, but now I am beginning to understand the posturing that's taking place. We're going to vote your amendments down because we can. Oh, yeah? Then get ready to stick around for the floor vote, because we're going to force the entire bill to be read. Neener, neener, neener. Can we move out of junior high at some point?

bill said...

I think this one is important enough that there won't be a lot of grandstanding on the Senate side. Of course, I've been wrong before...

James said...

Don't know that your reporting on the process indicates any more "ramming down" legislation than what the House is accustomed to from the past. Demanding Roll Call votes has a necessary process as you know. Brown wasn't following it. And aren't you the person that has been crowing that nothing was happening in the legislature. Now you don't like the fact that a committee reports out a bill, and since the calendar is not full, it is brought to the floor. Guess you just want to bitch.

billy b said...

ilortIf this was some attempt for Gunn to "assert his authority", it appears to have not been orchestrated terribly well after the bill left committee. How could someone not realize that Superintendents were left out of the language when the word "principal" wasn't? I wonder if Gunn has suffered some rather serious mental issues surrounding his whole Clinton church scandal? I have seen guilt consume a lot of souls...

Cottonmouth said...

James, it's February. Congrats on taking a month to figure out how to bring a bill to the floor.

bill said...

Billy, please. Rather serious mental issues? Frankly, as the chair aptly put it, inclusion of "superintendent" in the bill was unnecessary, and in the legislative process allowing a bill to be amended can open up new avenues of debate that potentially can derail the process.

Your attacks on Gunn and Republicans in general need to be more specific or you risk losing credibility. That would be too bad, since we in the majority need credible opposition to keep us from anarchy. You were so good the last time with specific things you brought up. You should try to continue to do that and dial back on the personal insults of public officials - that really doesn't add to the debate. BB

billy b said...

Cottonmouth makes an important point here. The House basically wasted the entire month of January doing nothing, I mean nothing, but collecting their pay and expenses and pension and benefits. All of this wasted time while the state of Mississippi has the United States of America's 4th highest state unemployment rate. Regardless of party affiliation or partisanship, I think most Mississippian's would rather pay these people from either party to go to Jackson and try and do something to solve their basic problems. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure-out that citizens should report any type of child abuse or molestation to the police. Apparently, you do in fact need a rocket scientist to try and lead the Mississippi state House to address the serious needs of the taxpayers and citizens.

bill said...

Billy, just because people should know to do something doesn't mean that they'll do it. I suspect there are plenty of sex abuse cases that, when finally reported, reveal that someone either had knowledge or suspicion of something prior to the official discovery of the crime. It needs to be against the law to know and not report it.

As far as the level of activity in the legislature, I think I'll hold my comments until the session is over and see what went unaddressed. I'm very concerned about redistricting, but we have all sorts of fires to put out in this legislative session. Maybe they can recover from their slow start. Bill

James said...

Billy B - just cause cottenchicken and his partner in the Dem Trust - Mr. Jones - say something doesn't make it true. The legislature hasn't spent the last month "doing nothing" - they just don't like what the legislature was doing. For (the first time in over a century, you have new leadership in the House. Every time there is an election, the legislature has to reorganize. This time, because there was a new Speaker, you couldn't begin that reorganization until after the Speaker took office. (Matt would have you believe that Gunn could have been doing this in Nov & Dec. Wrong. Had to be elected Speaker in January BEFORE he could get the requests from members as to their committee assignments. The Rules of the House REQUIRE that requests be taken and a certain percentage of request honored.)

House had to receive member requests and then assign the 122 members to committees. That isn't done overnight - AND never has been done overnight. Has taken longer when there was a new Speaker (2004, 1988). And this time, much to Cottonchicken's consternation, there were going to be NEW Committee Chairmen.

So now, just because they want to bitch about everything since they are not in control, they point to the month of January. Members have been filing bills (deadline this year is Feb 20 rather than Jan 20th -- wonder why its a month later???) and committees have organized.

And more importantly, after the committees were named - many of those long-time,entrusted with all knowledge, committee chairmen, had to move out of their offices! Most didn't choose to do that in December - they waited until after the committee chairmenships were made. Why did they waste that "valuable" January time getting out so that they new chairmen could move in?

Thanks for playing, but I'd bet this session adjourns on time - unlike those conducted by FOMAB (Friends of Matt & Brandon).

billy b said...

Bill - I try to keep my comments to things that are fairly rational and logical. The fact that I spent days and months prior to the start of the January 3rd, 2012 legislative session reading daily and weekly news stories in the Clarion Ledger, Daily Journal, and Sun Herald newspapers, the three with the highest circulation rates in Mississippi, about incoming Speaker Philip Gunn's involvement as a member, a Deacon, and an attorney for his Clinton, MS Baptist church, and it's headline-grabbing "minister child sexual molestation" scandal, then watch as his first bill introduced into the Mississippi House of Representatives involves this very same-type of issue, leads me, as a rational and logical person, to assume that he has some sort of lingering problem, fixation, underlying guilt complex, or something related to these things, going-on within himself. I think that if this were explained to most rational, logical, thinking people, they would tend to agree. As my 'ol ganddady used to say "sonny, where there is smoke, there is usually fire".

billy b said...

Bill - As far as the State Legislature wasting time, practically the entire month of January, basically trying to show-boat for the media with speeches and ceremonies and swearing-ins and rumor-filled days wondering who would be appointed to what committee and get to park in which parking space etc. etc. etc., leads me and most regular taxpaying citizens of Mississippi wondering just exactly what are they doing? Imagine if at the start of each new school year the teacher took a month to call the roll and seat the children and pass out books, the parents would demand their heads!!!

billy b said...

I have never seen or heard Phil Bryant in front of a group of Tea Party members, or some Republican rally, FAIL to mention what a Republican Party paradise Rankin County is with an ALL Republican elected delegation and county government. Absolute power corrupts absolutely!!!

From Crisp this morning in the CL, dates Feb. 4th, 2012: A Rankin County lawmaker in his second term in office has been ordered to repay the state $346,554 from public printing contracts that went to his family business and pay a $50,000 fine for the dealings.

billy b said...

Lets recap the last 3 months here in Mississippi.
1. 4th District Republican Congressman Steven Palazzo gains national media attention for running a DC Congressional office that to most appears to be patterned after the movie "Animal House", with police calls to his event at a college football game in Maryland that involve drunkeness, lying to police by Palazzo staffers claiming to be the Congressman, and the dismissal of staffers.
2. Current Republican Mayor of Mississippi's 3rd largest city, Southaven, and former Republican 1st District Congressional candidate, Greg Davis, is accused of charging over $170,000 dollars to the city, which prompts him to issue a statement that he is in fact a "gay" man, then he disappears into some type of rehab program. His City Council calls on him to resign, he tells them and the taxpayers of Southaven to basically pound sand. He remains under FBI investigation.
3. Incoming Republican House Speaker Philip Gunn of Clinton, MS, becomes embroiled in his own baptist church's child sexual molestation scandal when it becomes publicly known that Gunn contacted the families of the molested child victims and tried to "cut a deal or settlement" with them in order to keep them and this whole sordid affair out of the public view. Law enforcement continues their investigation into the incident, and Speaker Gunn has basically, along with the blessing of the Mississippi state media and press, never actually, publicly addressed or answered to the voters, taxpayers, and citizens exactly what role, and to what extent he was personally involved in this perverted affair.
4. Outgoing Republican Governor Haley Barbour issues perhaps the largest amount of "pardons" to people previously convicted of state crimes in Mississippi, including murder, rape, assault, driving drunk and causing the death of others, etc. etc. etc., ever in the history of the state, and perhaps in the history of any of the 50 states in the entire history of the United States of America since it's inception in 1776. National media attention is still discussing the whole twisted, bizarre escapade daily and what they are uncovering continues to boggle the mind of any sane and rational American.
5. A Rankin County Republican state legislator is ordered by the State Ethics commission to repay well over $300,000 dollars to the state because his own local printing business was contacting with state agencies for business services. This guy is so clueless, apparently, that he sees no connection between his service in elected office in the state legislature, and his own private family company taking money from the state agencies that he votes to fund and control and oversee.

Anyone around see a pattern here? I think in most places now days the buzz-phrase is applied called "culture of corruption"!!!

bill said...

Billy, my grandpa had one s well. Never try to teach a pig to sing - it won't work and it annoys the pig. I've tried to debate you on civil terms, but you seem to have a limited ability to discuss issues. You'd much rather hate everything Republican and point out every misdeed of GOP officials anywhere. I'll not get into a shouting match with you over Democrats that have screwed up - talk about culture of corruption! - nor will I waste time defending individual politician. It won't work and it will probably annoy you. When you decide to engage in civil discussion of issues - such as political ethics in general, not just in certain cases - then I'll be here. BB