What’s New On The City Front?

For those curious about the legislative process we’re entering, here’s some general info on the next steps.

In general, a bill has to be entered and passed in one chamber of the legislature before the 30th day of the legislative session (“crossover day”). We’re around day 16 now. After a bill passes in one chamber, it goes to a Committee in the other chamber. For anything to happen, that Committee has to approve a bill; then it goes to the full Chamber for a vote. If the second bill is different in any way from the first bill, a Committeeof the two chambers reconciles the bills and then sends it back to the two separate chambers for a final vote, before the 40th day of the session.

There is no need for separate bills to be entered in the legislature; all of the discussion will be around the first bill to be entered. Other bills will be submitted in Committee as “substitutes” for the initial bill.

The Lakeside City bill has been entered in the Senate (with a new map that’s not on their website). It has gone through a sub-committee hearing and passed. Everybody expects that it will pass in the full Committee, and then in the Senate. The Senate is easy for a starter.


Then the unknowns and fun begins.


The Speaker of the House will decide on a House Committee/ Sub-Committee to consider the Senate bill. The first hint of the outcome will be: Where is the bill assigned?  For example, it might be assigned to the House Governmental Affairs Committee. That’s a sign that the House leadership has decided to take action this year. On the other hand, Speaker Ralston could assign the bill to the special sub-committee of the DeKalb Delegation.  That’s a sign that the leadership doesn’t want to deal with it this year.

If the House leadership decides that they want to take action this year, then a proposal to substitute the Briarcliff bill for the Lakeside bill will be entered in the committee. (And a Tucker bill will also be proposed, and a moratorium bill.)

The Committee (or Sub-Committee) will hear testimony, and will vote on its modified version of the Senate bill.  That modified version may be the Briarcliff bill; the Tucker bill; or a changed version of the Lakeside bill; or it could be a bill encompassing two separate cities. They really can do anything they want.

This House bill will then be voted on in the full House, and will go to a conference committee of the House and Senate to come up with a final version. That bill will go to both chambers for a vote.


If the modified bill passes in both chambers, it goes to the Governor for his signature; then after another series of events, it goes to the voters in a referendum. (If there are two cities in the bill, there would be two referendums.)


There are a lot of permutations possible in this process. And the leadership of the House could just decide at any point that it’s alltoo complex; or there’s not enough time; or House membersdon’t want to antagonize any potential voters. Then a bill will emerge to delay action for a year.


It’s unfortunate that there’s still no “merger” or combination among the cityhood proposals. There’s still time, and if even two could get together, there probably could be a simple agreement for something. So far that hasn’t happened. This plays into the “do nothing” hand, because much of the House would prefer to spend their time on something else (campaign fundraising).


So we’ll see soon.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Cheryl Miller February 11, 2014 at 05:23 AM
Maybe if you had not been so quick to judge me, Frannie, we could have made a lot more headway. But, you chose to believe lies, rumors and LCA political hogwash and then you chose to ignore the truth when you were confronted with it. You should step away because you are trying to now act rational about a process that is nothing but smoke and mirrors. None of these folks (or very few, anyway) actually care about living here. They care about politics or their investments, but not us.
Cheryl Miller February 11, 2014 at 05:38 AM
Lakeside = Briarcliff, remember?? Read the early online posts on their yahoo page and other places.... the same players involved now, were involved then. Remember when LCA said they would be dissolved and a new team of lobbyist/activists that were pro-city would be formed? Well.... wa-la... You now have Briarcliff. The good cop. You don't work on this stuff for an admitted five or more years and not have a few decent "tricks" up your sleeve, right? Things are not always as they appear. In this case, we have two small factions of the same group, trying to gain power over what is rightfully Tucker. What exactly is the compromise that anyone thinks Tucker should be making in this case? And WE (Save Tucker!) asked for the placeholder bill, not anyone on Tucker 2014. They attacked us before we knew who they were or what they wanted. Now it is clear. They want to be a part of Lakeside. They let someone else draw a map for us that is destined to fail. They won't answer simple questions and they are doing a poor job of advocating for a city that goes against every public comment anyone made at any of their meetings. Tucker does not need to compromise with anyone about anything that is truly, historically, currently called Tucker. Leave us out. If you can form a city without stealing from Tucker, then form your city. If parts of Tucker want in, let them vote to be annexed. Simple as that. The best thing I can say right now about Tucker is that we have fewer politicians per square mile than anywhere else in Central DeKalb. That alone should make our properties skyrocket, once we find out who the few Lakeside folks really are and help them promptly pack their bags and move.
Herman Lorenz February 11, 2014 at 07:51 AM
Todd: I don't understand the comment that I exerted an insane amount of pressure on the Tucker community. I have stated repeatedly that I support a city of Tucker, and that I don't like the unexplained creeping monster out there. I have come to many Tucker meetings, and sent my photos from Santa Claus' package delivery to members of T2014; and posted them on a web site, congratulating them. I sent some analysis of the CVI/ GSU studies to members of T2014, showing how they work, and the reasons for some of the differences. Last June I stood up at the last Tucker Together meeting and encouraged the people there to move forward. I have also said that I hope Briarcliff and Tucker can work together. None of that was to pressure anyone; but to help emphasize that cities can provide value to their communities.
Herman Lorenz February 11, 2014 at 08:05 AM
Fred: I am not a "member" of the Tucker Town Talk site. Since they don't allow any of the comments to be public, it's impossible for me to comment on anything said there. And even more so, I can't comment on comments made about things that may have been said there. However, I personally would be careful about the use of words like "lie" in a context in which I am not a party to the conversation, and am only hearing about the event second or third hand. Also, if I was not a member of one of the organizations, I would not make categorical statements that something did or did not happen. You may find out that not all actions by T2014 or its members are public; just like not all actions or discussions by COBI or its members are public. These things tend to gradually creep out into the public domain. ***And since there seems to be a lot of confusion about the proposed mediation, I'll try to write something a little more complete about it.
Todd Chester February 11, 2014 at 09:02 AM
Herman. All of the support that you listed in your comment took place up prior to 2014. Lets recap the titles of your blog posts since January 1. "Decision Time" "Kind of Shocking Isnt It" "Does Anyone Notice Obvious Lines" "Montreal 1960" "How Many People Remember Central DeKalb Pre-285" "Where is Tucker" "Another View of Tucker" "Where Are We". The Blog that YOU, Herman Lorenz, maintain on the Tucker Patch and North Druid Hills Patch is title, The City of Briarcliff - My Opinion. This is interesting since the overwhelming majority of the blog posts that you have made since 1/1/14 have dealt with Tucker and its "perceived" (by you) inability to have an identity. Heck, you have more blog posts with the name Tucker in the title than Briarcliff. This is the insane amount of pressure that I speak of. When did these "alleged negotiations" between COBI and Tucker break down? If I was a betting man, I would say somewhere around Christmas. If you were only an innocent by-standard in this situation, I could see the argument that you are trying to educate, but as a COBI board member, your "Opinions" matter just a little more... This is my explanation for the comment "I think that COBI is trying to hold Tucker hostage." I challenge you to make a reasonable argument against it.


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