Legislative Notebook: Bill to eliminate short Macon Water Authority terms

February 10, 2014 

If a seat comes open on the Macon Water Authority in between elections, Macon-Bibb County’s three state senators want to avoid short-term appointments.

Their tweak to the MWA charter says if a seat comes open within a year of a general election, the seven-member authority board can operate with one member short, rather than having a judge appoint someone for a term that could be measured in months.

Senate Bill 366 by state Sen. David Lucas, D-Macon, should move through the Senate without opposition.

File under ‘No hearing expected’

A lot of bills never get a hearing. As many as half didn’t pass one chamber during the 2011-2012 two-year term.

Yet, there they are, maybe a few hundred bills that are filed as a matter of principle for the authors.

State Sen. David Lucas, D-Macon, filed a bill to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18. Under current code, defendants as young as 13 years old can go to adult court for the most serious crimes. But Senate Bill 362 is not a priority in a Legislature that passed over that provision in a major juvenile code rewrite last year.

A bill that would open certain government contractors’ records for public inspection is not likely to get a hearing either. Rep. James Beverly, D-Macon, who authored House Bill 936, says any company that gets a state contract worth more than $50,000 must open all documents related to the deal. The Legislature passed an open records act redo two years ago and did not consider such a thing.

-- Compiled by Maggie Lee

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