Tip sheet: A rush to dispose of 'religious liberty' issue

Days remaining in the legislative session: 17

The Senate and House go in at 10 a.m. The Senate today takes up HB 757, the so-called Pastor Protection Bill.

The bill was amended in the Senate Rules Committee this week to include provisions of the more controversial First Amendment Defense Act of Georgia (SB 284). If there's Senate sign-off, there's talk there may be a rush to send it back to the House today for final approval – perhaps allowing the Legislature to dispose of a highly controversial issue before the weekend.

One possible reason for the push: A crush of local GOP precincts hold meetings across the state on Saturday, and this could give Republican lawmakers some red meat to take home to the conservative activists who make up the party's base.

Big on the House calendar is a record $23.7 billion state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. It would fund what could be the largest pay raise 200,000 teachers and state employees have seen since the Great Recession.

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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.