Betty Price, prior to her election to the state House. AJC file Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Betty Price says she opposed drive-talk restrictions ‘because they ignored my bill last year’

Last year, state Rep. Betty Price, R-Roswell, introduced House Bill 163, a measure to restrict use of cellphones by Georgia drivers. It never made it out of the House public safety committee.

On Thursday, the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee took up a similar bill. HB 673 is the work of state Rep. John Carson, R-Marietta. The bill won passage, but one “no” vote stood out. It belonged to Price.

At some point after the vote, Price walked into a state Capitol elevator that also carried the widow of a Henry County physician killed by a distracted driver. A cell phone video picked up Price’s explanation for her vote, and made its way into the hands of Nicole Carr of Channel 2 Action News. 

“Yeah, um, it’s just a protest because they ignored my bill last year,” Price was recorded as saying. “I’m just causing trouble. I’m not philosophically opposed.” You can watch the report here:

What happened isn’t unheard of in the Capitol. What’s different is that Price gave voice to it.

Never one to mince words, Price has apparently felt more free to express herself more bluntly since her husband, Tom Price, was cut loose from the Trump administration, where he served as secretary of health and human services.

Shortly after Tom Price resigned, Betty Price -- like her husband, a physician – asked in a state House study committee whether people who were infected with HIV but resisted treatment could be legally quarantined.

Earlier this month, at a Fulton County GOP breakfast, Price denigrated Democratic women, saying one of the opposition party’s greatest achievements was “the evolution of their women to have higher testosterone levels than many of their men.”

Betty Price said her remarks were “tongue-in-cheek.”

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About the Author

Jim Galloway
Jim Galloway
Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.

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