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Reflections on Ga. legislative session
Failed bills included immigration revamp, paper ballot initiative
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House members toss papers in the air as Sine Die was proclaimed shortly after midnight. Thursday was the 40th and final day of the 2018 General Assembly - photo by Associated Press
ATLANTA — While giving his retirement speech Thursday on the Georgia House floor, Republican Rep. Brooks Coleman reflected on a lesson he learned from Speaker David Ralston: "It's not what we pass down here that makes a difference many times — it's what we don't pass, what we stop."In the Republican-controlled legislature, it's rare for a bill to be voted down. Far more often, bills that don't garner enough support suffer a quiet death and simply never come up for a vote. Out of hundreds of votes taken in the House and Senate this legislative session, only a handful resulted in bills or resolutions being voted down outright.Regardless of the manner in which they failed, here's a look at some of the proposals that did not win final passage this session:IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENTThe Georgia House did not vote on a controversial Senate proposal that supporters say would have strengthened immigration enforcement and cooperation with federal immigration officials.The bill came amid a national debate about sanctuary policies and toughening immigration enforcement under President Donald Trump, who campaigned on building a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.It would have given law enforcement officials leeway in detaining individuals suspected of being in the country illegally and required prosecuting attorneys to notify federal officials if they determined a defendant was in the country illegally.Proponents said the measure would have prevented crimes committed by people that should not be in the country.But critics said the bill would have been unconstitutional, harmful to immigrant communities and could have resulted in people being held unlawfully.
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