Georgia’s own revolving door!
We’ve all heard the stories of the revolving door in Washington D.C, where bureaucrats will migrate from a public position at a federal agency to the private sector and back again to the federal agency to implement changes to public policy then back to the private sector resulting in tremendous personal gain at the expense of taxpayers. Well, we have a similar situation here in Georgia. Before the Georgia legislature this session is HB520 under the title: Buildings and housing; tenant selection; revise provisions.
The title sounds innocuous but what this bill really does is create a boondoggle for its sponsor, a current member of the Georgia House of Representatives as well as at least two former house members. As previously reported, the sponsor attempted to have provisions of this bill included in last years massive HB1013 Mental Health Bill.
True free enterprise is a hallmark of American culture and there is no issue with businesses creating and offering a product to the state or counties to improve efficiency and save money. The problem is the unethical conflict of interest by a representative proposing legislation from which they would financially benefit. Here is Representative Todd Jones identifying as the co-founder and chairman of Talitrix on video speaking to the Tennessee Senate to promote his patented device , the Talitrix smartwatch monitoring device. Alongside him is former Georgia House Representative Micah Gravley, the Vice President of Business Development for Talitrix. On further research, we learn that former Representative Marc Morris is also involved with Talitrix as the Chief People Officer. There are potentially other house members as reported by The Georgia Record which has released a two part series on Who is TalitrixPart I, Part II. For more background on the reason for the big push on mental health policy changes found in HB1013 and HB520, see these reports by Hank Sullivan, here and here and here.
Along with an unethical conflict of interest as explained above, the bill has the following unconstitutional provisions:
•Unlawful involuntary detainment of an individual on the affidavit of two anonymous sources which violates parental rights and due process. This violates Article I, Section I, Paragraph I of the Georgia #Constitution – No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property except by due process of law. And, 2021 Georgia Mental Health Code OCGA 37-4-5.1.
•Unlawfully allowing immunity from any civil or criminal prosecution for misdeeds by any person or entity covered under HB520. This violates Article I, Section I, Paragraph II of the Georgia Constitution – No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws.
•Unconstitutional monitoring, collection and sharing of data through state agencies which violates privacy as guaranteed by the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution and the Article I, Section I, Paragraph XIII of the Georgia Constitution.
•One subject matter expressed. No bill shall pass which refers to more than one subject matter or contains matter different from what is expressed in the title thereof per Georgia Constitution Article III, Section V, Paragraph III.
• And finally, the bill proposes financially imprudent use of taxpayer money for studies that could be conducted and funded through an existing Georgia Department of Behavioral Health.
In summary, HB520 cannot be salvaged. It imposes immoral, unconstitutional, unethical practices and is against a civil public policy and good government. Those that vote for this bill are violating their oath of office to the US and Georgia Constitutions.
The Health and Human Services Committee meets at 3pm on Wednesday, March 22, 2023. Take action now and contact these Georgia Senators and have them vote NO on HB520. Call these senators now and firmly but respectfully voice your concerns.
Ben Watson (404) 656-7880 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kay Kirkpatrick (404) 656-3932 email@example.com
Ed Setzler (404) 656-0256 firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Brass (404) 656-0057 email@example.com
Gloria Butler (404) 656-0075 firstname.lastname@example.org
Shelly Echols (404) 463-3931 email@example.com
Sonya Halpern (404) 463-1351 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bo Hatchett (404) 651-7745 email@example.com
Mike Hodges (404) 463-1309 firstname.lastname@example.org
Chuck Hufstetler (404) 656-0034 email@example.com
Kim Jackson (404) 656-6882 firstname.lastname@example.org
John Kennedy (404) 656-6578 email@example.com
David Lucas (404) 656-0150 firstname.lastname@example.org
Nan Orruck (404) 463-8054 email@example.com
Brian Strickland (404) 463-6598 firstname.lastname@example.org
Larry Walker III (404) 656-0095 email@example.com