'Lawmakers': Debates over border security and vaccines dominate Day 19
LISTEN: GPB's Sarah Kallis delivers the Capitol Report for Day 19 of the legislative session.
Lawmakers debated border security and COVID vaccines today under the Gold Dome.
First, senators discussed a Republican-penned resolution allowing Gov. Brian Kemp to allocate resources to help the state of Texas secure the border.
The Senate majority leader blamed the issue on inaction by the federal government, specifically, on President Biden.
Democrats proposed an amendment that placed blame for the issues at the border on Republican policy.
But an emergency on the Senate floor cut the debate short: Sen. Gail Davenport, suffering from an unknown medical issue, was transported to a nearby hospital.
When the session resumed, so did the Democrats’ criticism of the Republican argument linking illegal immigration to the flood of fentanyl being smuggled into the country.
While the Democratic amendment failed to pass, the resolution did, 31 to 15.
Meanwhile, in the House, members approved a bill that supporters say would help prevent vaccine discrimination in organ recipients. It would bar doctors from denying someone an organ donation based solely on COVID-19 vaccination status.
House Bill 576 received heavy debate. Opponents said it undermines trust in vaccines, and pointed out that doctors often decide who receives an organ based on the best chance of success.
It passed 98 to 71.
The House unanimously passed House Bill 1033, which would increase the penalties for attacking a utilities worker. The minimum prison time would increase to three years.
Another bill cleared the House that would require audits for top of ballot races in Georgia, plus another state race chosen by leaders.
That bill passed 164 to 3.
Lawmakers will reach the halfway point of the session tomorrow, on Day 20.
Kemp is also expected to make an announcement related to border security Tuesday.
Join host Donna Lowry and capitol reporter Sarah Kallis at 7 p.m. on GPB-TV for the 54th season of GPB's Lawmakers.