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  Northeast Assembly Thread (search mode)
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cinyc
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« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2009, 05:27:17 pm »

I'd like to point out that the Kern High School District requires sexual education. The KHSD is run by theocrats-- literally, people who spend millions to put "In God We Trust" in every classroom and seeks to implement school prayer, and containing a board member who punched out a Prop 8 opponent (a homosexual 20 something).

Really?  Here's what the Kern County HS District's own website says about the "required" HIV/AIDS Prevention Course:

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It forces children to attend a sex education class despite their parents' legitimate religious objections to what is being taught about things like contraception.
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cinyc
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« Reply #26 on: October 02, 2009, 06:01:05 pm »

I attended a KHSD school. The HIV/AIDS is a 3 day class. The sexual health class is a semester long, which most students take as a freshman or in summer school. I personally did not attend the HIV/AIDS seminar but HIV/AIDS is covered in the sexual health class.

There should be no religious objections to promoting safer sexual practices as an alternative to risky sexual practices. There should be no religious objections to presenting alternatives to abortion such as adoption. There should be no religious objections to teaching how to look for cancers such as breast cancer.

EDIT: I didn't even have my parents sign the form to opt out of the 3 day seminar, I just didn't do it. It isn't "required" or part of a grade or anything. Every single student was required to take the semester course to graduate though.

Again, even in ultra-liberal California, the law gives parents the right to opt their children out of high school sexual health education classes:

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My amendment requests nothing less.
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cinyc
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« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2009, 01:16:59 pm »

CA is not ultra-liberal. Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York are "ultra-liberal". Tongue

That particular example, again, applies only to the specific 3-day or week-long seminars focusing mostly on HIV/AIDS. This bill is requiring this as a class to graduate from high school. CA kids still have to take the regular class.

This bill can be considered "public safety." Anything we can do to encourage frequent testing and safe sex practices, as well as anything that may lower the STD rate, protect not only individuals, but the community and region as a whole. Unless a couple is each others' only partner EVER, they are getting mixed in with everyone else's potential diseases. Obviously we can't legislate STDs and abortions and pregnancies and breast cancer out of existence, but we sure can try as hard as we can at the regional level to minimize their reach.

You're wrong about CA's law.  It gives a parental opt-out for all sex ed classes, not just HIV education.

And funny you should mention Vermont - their law has a parental opt-out:
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As do the laws of Maine:
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and Connecticut:
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Rhode Island:
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Massachusetts:
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AND New York
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In fact, almost every state that does not require solely abstinence-only sex education provides for some form of  parental opt-out.   And in my opinion, the law in the remaining handful of states is suspect.

Why shouldn't the Northeast law provide an opt-out?  It would put our law in line with almost all others.
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cinyc
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« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2009, 01:22:32 pm »
« Edited: October 03, 2009, 01:31:19 pm by cinyc »


Your law was proposed at 02:49:35 am Eastern on Friday, October 2.  Under the SOAP, it should be open for debate until 02:49:35 am Eastern on Monday, October 5.  Votes on the two(?) unfriendly amendments should occur from that time until 02:49:35 am on Tuesday, October 6.  A vote on the final bill will be held thereafter, open for 24 hours after the Lt. Governor promptly certifies the vote on the unfriendly amendments - likely some time on Wednesday, October 7.

Unless you want to move to hold a vote earlier.  That vote would have to be open for 24 hours, which will move the votes on the amendments up to tomorrow, if successful.  Not much of a change, really - maybe half-a-day.
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cinyc
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« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2009, 02:03:34 pm »
« Edited: October 03, 2009, 02:17:21 pm by cinyc »

Perhaps it's because the Northeast is more courageous on this issue?

I understand the want to cop out for "religious reasons," but the truth is that there's really nothing to be taught in the original that specifically conflicts with religion.  There's nothing in the bible that says that boys don't have penises, and there's nothing in the bible that says condoms don't prevent the spread of disease.

It's a clear priority of the class to mention that abstinence is the only way to prevent disease and pregnancy for sure.  If parents have concerns, they should supplement the class with their own teachings that, even though condoms are available, it's morally wrong to have sex before you're married, or that homosexuality is a sinful choice, or whatever.

This class does not lecture about morals, it simply provides factual information that, frankly, it's crucial people wind up hearing.  Opt-out is a relic of our conservative, puritan heritage.

Many Christian churches teach that sex outside of wedlock is a sin, the ONLY permissible, 100% effective method of birth control is abstinence, and the use of condoms or other birth control methods is sinful.  It is in the Bible - spilling the seed and all that.  This class WILL lecture about morals - or more accurately, amorality - that using birth control is just a-okay, when many religious traditions teach otherwise.

If parents have concerns that the state will teach their children differently on moral matters, then they should be able to take them out of those classes without penalty.   Parents have the primary responsibility for the moral education of their children, not the state.
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cinyc
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« Reply #30 on: October 04, 2009, 04:33:06 pm »
« Edited: October 04, 2009, 04:35:33 pm by cinyc »

Representative Alexander Hamilton:

Here are the three sets of proposed amendments.  Can you please specify which you have taken as friendly so that we know which need to proceed to a vote:

First: Motion to strike section A, subsection 2 in its entirity.

There's no need to limit this to schools with 401+ students.  If anything, it's the rural populations that need access to this information even more.

Second: Motion to strike section A, subsection 3 in its entirity, and replace it with:
2. The requirements included in this act take effect with the school year starting September 2011.


Certainly, districts will need to create a curriculum and text book publishers will need time to create materials to conform to the requirements of this act.  Once in place, there's no need to exclude people in the class of 2014, 13, and 12.

Motion to amend by insertion as Section B.6:
6. The course must address the issue of homosexuality and concerns specific to that portion of the student population, such as how same-sex partners can limit the risk of transmission of sexually transmitted disease, "coming out," and sexual discrimination.



Section B.5, motion to amend:
5.   The course must teach the common indicators of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer, as well as how to check the body for irregularities that are common indicators.


Testicular cancer is a far greater risk to this age population, and can be detected much easier via self-examination.

Oh, and motion to strike Section D.4.  I'd gladly debate its merit as a separate bill, but it seems ill-placed in this one.

I move to amend the bill as follows (even though it will be viewed as unfriendly and be put to a vote):

Freedom of Conscience Amendment

Section B(1) shall be amended as follows:
1.  Except as provided in subsection B(6), completion of at least one semester of sexual health is required for all high school students in order to graduate.

A new Section B(6) shall be added:
6.  Before the beginning of the relevant semester, every school shall send a permission slip to parents or guardians of children who would otherwise be enrolled in sexual health class.  A parent or guardian shall be entitled to remove their child from all or any portion of a sexual health class, specifically including any portion of that class teaching methods of contraception, masturbation or homosexuality.   No school shall take any action against a student whose parent opts out of enrolling their child in all or any portion of a sexual health class, nor shall that student's grade, grade-point average, or ability to graduate be affected.

As I understand, you've deemed the proposed Teaching About Homosexualty and Freedom of Conscience amendments unfriendly.  What about the Proposed Amendment striking Section D.4?
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cinyc
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« Reply #31 on: October 04, 2009, 11:35:47 pm »
« Edited: October 04, 2009, 11:50:29 pm by cinyc »

Before voting begins, please allow me to make one last plea for my Freedom of Conscience Amendment.

As many of you know, the Atlasian Supreme Court recently decided a controversial case called Peter v. Atlasia, striking down an Act that would have otherwise prohibited minors from attending places that try to make someone who thinks they are gay not be gay.  Justice Sam Spade struck down that Act in part because it "violate[d] a parentís fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of his children in the manner he sees fit."

Without my amendment, the Safe Sex Education Bill suffers from a similar flaw and is Constitutionally suspect.  The Northeast Assembly's first act ought not to be to pass a constitutionally suspect law.

Thank you.
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cinyc
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« Reply #32 on: October 04, 2009, 11:52:33 pm »
« Edited: October 04, 2009, 11:56:16 pm by cinyc »

I apologize, but I simply cannot be up at 2:49 AM to bring the Amendments to the Safe Sex Education Bill. I will do so now, and since it appears there is no further debate, I do not believe it would block any Representative from sharing their opinions of the Bill.

Also, since Representative Hamilton has not confirmed which Amendments are friendly, and which are not, they shall all be brought to a vote:

Freedom of Conscience Amendment

Section B(1) shall be amended as follows:
1.  Except as provided in subsection B(6), completion of at least one semester of sexual health is required for all high school students in order to graduate.

A new Section B(6) shall be added:
6.  Before the beginning of the relevant semester, every school shall send a permission slip to parents or guardians of children who would otherwise be enrolled in sexual health class.  A parent or guardian shall be entitled to remove their child from all or any portion of a sexual health class, specifically including any portion of that class teaching methods of contraception, masturbation or homosexuality.   No school shall take any action against a student whose parent opts out of enrolling their child in all or any portion of a sexual health class, nor shall that student's grade, grade-point average, or ability to graduate be affected.

Spon: Rep. cinyc

Motion to strike section A, subsection 2 in its entirity.

Spon: Rep. Mr. Moderate

Motion to strike section A, subsection 3 in its entirity, and replace it with:
2. The requirements included in this act take effect with the school year starting September 2011.

Spon: Rep. Mr. Moderate

Motion to amend by insertion as Section B.6:
6. The course must address the issue of homosexuality and concerns specific to that portion of the student population, such as how same-sex partners can limit the risk of transmission of sexually transmitted disease, "coming out," and sexual discrimination.

Spon: Rep. Mr. Moderate

Section B.5, motion to amend:
5.   The course must teach the common indicators of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer, as well as how to check the body for irregularities that are common indicators.

Spon: Rep. Mr. Moderate
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please vote Aye, nay, or Abstain. Voting last twenty-four hours.


I think you missed the vote on the motion to strike Section D.4.
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cinyc
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« Reply #33 on: October 04, 2009, 11:55:32 pm »

Curious bystander, what is the purpose of having a Speaker if the Lt. Governor is doing all the jobs of the Speaker?

Forgive me if I missed something, as I have been quite busy and haven't had the opportunity to look over the SOAP guidelines. Was the Speaker eliminated in favor of the President of the Assembly?

The Lt. Governor usually presides over the Senate, but the Speaker takes over when the Lt. Governor publicly states he is unavailable.   

Presiding over the Senate (and casting tie votes) gives the Lt. Governor something to do.  His other Constitutional duties are fairly slim - pretty much just sitting around waiting for the Governor to resign.
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cinyc
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« Reply #34 on: October 05, 2009, 02:05:10 am »

Freedom of Conscience Amendment: Aye.

Not including this amendment renders the bill unconstitutional.

Motion to strike section A, subsection 2 in its entirity.:
I believe this was accepted as friendly, Aye.

Motion to strike section A, subsection 3 in its entirity, and replace it:
I believe this was accepted as friendly, so Aye.

Had it not been, I would be voting nay.  2011 is too soon to be phasing a new curriculum requirement in and may harm current students' chances to take AP or other courses.  There's not enough time to plan.  Any new curriculum requirement should start with incoming freshmen who have not yet begun to plan their schedules and have yet to take any similar classes that suddenly don't count due to some newfangled regional mandate.

Motion to amend by insertion as Section B.6:
Nay.

Another thing that's controversial and best left to be taught at home.

Motion to amend Section B.5:
I believe this was accepted as friendly, Aye.

Motion to strike Section D.4:
Nay.
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cinyc
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« Reply #35 on: October 05, 2009, 12:52:25 pm »

Personally, I believe that Section D, subsection 4 should be included in whatever act presently legalises abortion, however in absense of an amending Act, I am satisfied with including it here. I would ideally like to see an Act to Amend both this Act and the Act legalising abortion to include this subsection in that Act and to remove it from this Act.

If we're going to discuss abortion in this bill, then I'm going to want to insert some stuff on parental notification.  Frankly, I strongly suggest it get removed and re-introduced as a separate bill, or we're going to get bogged down on this bill for quite some time.  It's going to prove to be a distraction.

We're not going to get bogged down on this bill for some time unless we amend the SOPA.  An up or down vote on the bill with all friendly and passed amendments is next.  There's no further opportunity for amendment.
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cinyc
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« Reply #36 on: October 05, 2009, 11:03:18 pm »

All non votes are counted as nay?  What planet is this?

That's only true for extraordinary motions waiving the SOAP, like those asking for less debate time, a shorter voting period or taking up multiple bills on the floor simultaneously (basically, to make sure that an outright majority of the Assembly consent to things that could disenfranchise members who might not be around every waking hour of the day).  Otherwise, abstentions should be treated as abstentions - i.e. non-votes.
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cinyc
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« Reply #37 on: October 05, 2009, 11:05:01 pm »


On what?
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cinyc
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« Reply #38 on: October 05, 2009, 11:26:51 pm »

Nay on the (likely unconstitutional) Safe Sex Education Bill.
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cinyc
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« Reply #39 on: October 06, 2009, 12:12:30 am »
« Edited: October 06, 2009, 12:15:29 am by cinyc »

Now hold on.  Before we can vote, the Lt. Governor needs to resolve our ties.  Unsure
If you include Alexander Hamilton's votes, there should be no ties.  Hamilton's vote should be counted, either because the vote should have been held open until 2:49AM or because Hamilton got it in within 24 hours of the Lt. Governor opening the vote at 12:07AM yesterday.

Including Hamilton's votes:
The Freedom of Conscience Amendment and Homosexuality Amendments (B.6) were voted down, 2 Aye to 3 Nay.
The Motion on D.4 was either never put to a vote or defeated 0-2.

The Motions to strike A.2 and amend B.5 passed unanimously (5-0).  
The Motion to amend A.3 passed 3-1.

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cinyc
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« Reply #40 on: October 06, 2009, 01:16:48 pm »

Sorry, I might get lost

When will we end with amendments debate and vote on the bill?

You're already lost.  I believe we're voting on final passage right now.

This body is in desperate need of new governing rules.

No - we just need the rules to be followed and to work out any kinks.

The main problem is that this bill was put on the floor by Hamilton before the vote on the SOAP was finalized very early in the morning for most of us, and the Lt. Governor changed the voting period from when it should have started.  No one should be expected to open voting at 2:49AM. 

I would expect the Lt. Governor to introduce the next bill at a more sane hour (between 9AM and 9PM Eastern) so that the schedule is clearer and cleaner.  We'll then have 72 hours to debate and propose amendments, followed by 24 hours to vote on any unfriendly amendments and 24 hours to vote on final passage.  4 or 5 days, depending on whether there are unfriendly amendments.
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cinyc
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« Reply #41 on: October 06, 2009, 03:57:18 pm »
« Edited: October 06, 2009, 04:19:04 pm by cinyc »

I call for an emergency vote to revisit the SOAP to address its unconstitutionality.

The SOAP provides a mechanism for overriding the Governor's veto.  However, by Article IV, Section xi, the Legislature is constitutionally prohibited from doing so.  Once legislation has been vetoed, it is dead for good.

I don't see what you're claiming in Article IV, Clause xi.  Here's the text:
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(emphasis added)

In other words, as I read it, the GOVERNOR can't veto a bill a second time should the legislature pass it again - by a simple majority.  I see no prohibition on us putting vetoed legislation up to another vote.  What am I missing?  Is the General Assembly (not defined in the Constitution) some other body?

In addition to the constitutional issue, I have amended to remove the set-in-stone time requirement to give the LG more discretion for starting votes, so that votes need not be opened or closed in the middle of the night.  It further allows for him to, at his discretion, allow debate to continue past the firm 72-hour mark.

I have no problem with this amendment or your motion as long as you also amend the motion to allow other business to go forward while we debate this minor, common-sense change to the SOAP.  We have quite a queue building up, including on legislation requested by the GM.
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cinyc
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« Reply #42 on: October 06, 2009, 04:36:50 pm »

Well, instead of me trying to interpret that sentence, let me put it this way instead: It's an issue of separation of powers.  There is nothing in the Northeastern Constitution that provides for a veto override.

The third sentence of Article IV, Clause xi allows the General Assembly of the Northeast to pass the law again, rendering it veto-proof.  That's equivalent an override.

We really should propose an amendment to the constitution cleaning up the language Article IV (what the heck is the General Assembly now - us, I'd assume, since there is no other Assembly?) and creating a veto override provision that makes more sense - perhaps requiring a 2/3rds vote.  The ond rules made sense because there would be at least a one month delay in between when a law was vetoed and came up again for a vote.
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cinyc
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« Reply #43 on: October 06, 2009, 08:54:42 pm »

Thank you, Mr. Lt. Governor.

This temporary tax cut bill is in response to GM Purple State's suggestion that the Northeast provide "a one-time tax credit for small businesses and middle-income workers" in order to fight the recession.   It is targeted to provide tax relief for ALL Atlasian taxpayers who pay taxes on earned income in 2009.

Section 1 provides for an investment tax credit to all Atlasian businesses,whether conducting business as a corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership or LLC.  It allows Atlasian businesses to expense the cost of any capital investment made in 2009 if it would otherwise have been required to be depreciated over a number of years.  It includes a recapture provision so that Atlasian businesses can't game the system buy buying capital assets and selling them later this year or next (i.e. they'd have to pay back the portion of the credit that they otherwise would not have been able to depreciate under current law to the government if they sell the property).  And it includes a provision for the Northeast Tax Commissioner to promulgate regulations to prevent any other abuse.

It's my hope that the Investment Tax Credit would cause Northeast businesses to buy big ticket items like computer systems, cars and equipment, helping fuel economic recovery in the Northeast and the rest of Atlasia.

Section 2 provides a $1,000"making work pay" tax credit to all Northeast citizens who worked for a living this year.  That is, working Northeast citizens will not be required to pay the first $1,000 in tax that they otherwise would have. 

It's my hope that Northeast citizens will use their tax savings to make ends meet, pay down debt and buy stuff, stimulating the Northeast and Atlasian economies.

Section 3 provides a tax break for those Northeast citizens who have lost their job and are collecting unemployment benefits in 2009 and 2010.  The last thing they need to worry about in these tough economic times is how they're going to pay Northeast taxes that would otherwise be owed on their unemployment benefits.   It's also important to provide this tax relief to put our unemployed citizens on rough par with working Atlasians who are entitled to the $1,000 "making work pay tax" credit in 2009.

Granted, these tax relief provisions may put our budget temporarily into deficit.  But all three provisions are temporary.  In fact, the Investment Tax Credit may actually increase potential tax collections in future years, since companies otherwise would be depreciating those assets over time, cutting their tax bill in those years and may be subject to recapture.  And providing tax relief is the right thing to do in these tough economic times.

Thank you.  I now open the floor to debate and amendments.
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cinyc
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« Reply #44 on: October 06, 2009, 09:07:42 pm »

Since everyone has voted, there is no reason to keep voting open until Midnight. Smiley

With four Ayes and two Nays, I hereby certify that the Bipartisan Safe Sex Education Bill has received enough votes to pass.

I hereby present it to the Governor for his Signature or Veto.

The Governor has vetoed the Bipartisan Safe Sex Education Bill.
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cinyc
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« Reply #45 on: October 06, 2009, 09:18:50 pm »
« Edited: October 06, 2009, 09:20:48 pm by cinyc »

I move that the vote on the veto override be suspended until the vote on Representative Mr.  Moderate's motion to amend the SOAP is resolved.  (And vote Aye)

I also vote Aye on Rep. Mr. Moderate's motion to discuss amending the SOAP.

I think he needs another vote for it to come on the agenda. 

I also move that we discuss Rep. Mr. Moderate's motion to amend the SOAP simultaneously with the current bill on the floor.   (And vote Aye)
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cinyc
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« Reply #46 on: October 06, 2009, 09:22:54 pm »

I move that the vote on the veto override be suspended until the vote on Representative Mr.  motion to amend the SOAP is resolved.  (And vote Aye)

I also vote Aye on Rep. Mr. Moderate's motion to discuss amending the SOAP.

I think he needs another vote for it to come on the agenda. 

I also move that we discuss Rep. Mr. Moderate's motion to amend the SOAP simultaneously with the current bill on the floor.   (And vote Aye)

Good point. I will remove this form the agenda, UNTIL the SOAP discussion is finished. So, make it short guys. I don't want to be overriding this veto in November! Wink

I don't think you can do this unilaterally.
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cinyc
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« Reply #47 on: October 07, 2009, 12:48:28 am »

Well, under the SOAP, we can't take up the amendments to it until after the current piece of legislation is off of it.  So we either have to agree to my motion to take SOAP amendments under consideration simultaneously with the current legislation on the floor, or I may have to table my bill.

And we still have to decide what to do about the override.  That's why I made my motion to suspend voting until after the SOAP amendment discussion is complete.  There's no sense trying to override if we conclude that we don't have that power.
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cinyc
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« Reply #48 on: October 07, 2009, 12:49:10 am »


On what?
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cinyc
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« Reply #49 on: October 07, 2009, 01:14:08 am »
« Edited: October 07, 2009, 01:16:20 am by cinyc »

Since nobody seems to want to vote on holding two votes simultaneously, I hereby table the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 2009 so that we can discuss amendments to the SOAP ASAP.

I propose one additional set of amendments to the SOAP.  Let's call them the "If everyone has Voted Amendment", which makes clear that Lt. Governor Barnes' position that he can close votes early if everyone has voted is correct:

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I support Representative Antonio V's amendment limiting debate to 48 hours (subject to deleting the override language if we agree we don't have that power).  That's about all we needed on the first bill.

I still question whether we are constitutionally blocked from overriding vetoes.  Under my interpretation of the New Northeast Constitution, if the Assembly passes a bill again after a veto, it is effectively overridden.  Perhaps the SOAP's terminology isn't correct - instead of a veto override, we should be calling it re-passage of the bill.   I'd be interested in hearing other Representatives' thoughts on the matter.
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