The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

Here’s some bills Deal should sign


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Apr. 05, 2017 - 6:17 AM

Now that legislators have returned to their homes after 40 days of considering bills, Gov. Nathan Deal has his own 40-day period to decide which of what they passed should be signed into law or vetoed. Here’s some recommendations on bills he should sign.

House Bill 126 restructures the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the agency that polices misconduct by judges. The bill creates separate panels for investigations and for hearings while also requiring public disclosure of proceedings and informal dispositions.

Senate Bill 104 includes provisions outlawing photography through or under clothing, closing a loophole discovered in a court case where a man was let off charges of snapping “upskirt” pictures. Deal should sign it because care was made to ensure that legitimate photojournalists are not inadvertently crippled from doing their jobs. Not that they would intentionally seek lurid photos, but sometimes news isn’t pretty, and these new protections should not become a tool to punish the media for reporting bad news.

HB 481 prohibits local governments from imposing rules on aerial drones that conflict with state or federal regulations. For instance, this would keep a city or county from enacting ordinances designed to block media-owned drones from recording scenes local officials would find embarrassing, such as over a mismanaged landfill or dog pound.

HB 1 opens the door wider to creation of a spaceport on the Georgia coast, limiting the launch companies’ liability in some cases. This may seem far-fetched until you realize that Georgia universities produce the most aerospace engineers but they have to leave the state for work. Plus, the shape and location of the Peach State coast is uniquely ideal for certain launch trajectories favored by the growing cadre of independent space corporations.