Lawmakers deadlock on school-to-work, speed trap bill

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Lawmakers deadlock on school-to-work, speed trap bill

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Athens Republican Bill Cowsert is the Senate Majority Leader

Georgia lawmakers were deadlocked Thursday on a school-to-work priority of Senate leaders, and the clock ran out on the legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert, R-Athens, complained he’s “never seen anything like” the “gamesmanship” with legislation this year, as lawmakers gutted bills to use them as vehicles for other legislation or attach riders before sending them to the other chamber.

Senate Bill 3the CONNECT Act, would have established a credentialing program for high school students, plus internships and other career preparation. The House attached speed-trap legislation -- amending the code to allow ticketing by speed-detecting cameras in school zones.

“It has nothing to do with accreditation for the kids coming out of high school to be jobs ready,” Cowsert said.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, for whom SB 3 was a priority, agreed with Cowsert, ruling the amendment “not germane,” and shooting the bill back to the House. The House would have none of it, and sent it back unchanged in the afternoon, forcing what’s known as a “conference committee,” where a handful of lawmakers disappear into a room to try to resolve their differences.

Then, nothing happened, and the legislative session ended.

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