Bills that would have provided additional funds for the Hope Scholarship via the legalization of casino gambling and parimutuel betting on horse racing are dead for the remainder of this session, and therefore would need to start from scratch in 2017.
The Parimutuel betting measures, sponsored by Senator Brandon Beach of Alpharetta, failed to get to the Senate floor at all, likely because of opposition to the measure from Senators in middle and south Georgia.
The Casino bill and resolution, sponsored by Rep, Ron Stephens of Savannah, got a hearing late last week in the Regulated Industries, and was placed on a supplemental Rules calendar Friday afternoon. However, Speaker Ralston decided to hold the bill over the weekend, asking legislators to go to church on Sunday, and ask their neighbors what they thought of the bill. Today, the Speaker pronounced the bill dead.
I have found that the people I have talked with [at church] care deeply about the image of this state, that the faith community felt that they had not been heard, and I want them to know that they have been heard. And as a result of that, and I have confirmed with the Study Committee today… As a result of what I have heard, and I know that many of you have heard, House Bill 677 and House Resolutioin 807 will be postponed to the next legislative day.
Since today is Crossover Day, when a bill or resolution must pass in at least one chamber, that means the bills are dead, and are unlikely to be resurrected.
You can listen to Speaker Ralston bringing the news to the House below: