Georgia Republicans Move Quickly to Pass Anti-Picketing Bill, Slashing Unemployment Insurance While They're At It
The Republican-led [House Industrial Relations] committee held the sudden vote on Monday morning with little notice, posting the hearing on the calendar less than an hour prior—and waiting until just 10 minutes beforehand to post a note on the hearing room door. Not surprisingly, the measure easily sailed out of the committee without any legislators present to represent Georgia's working families. The committee also voted to pass S.B. 447, which would gut unemployment insurance down to the fewest number of weeks in the country.
The state House Rules Committee subsequently amended the bill so that the ban on picketing at private residences applies more broadly. Until now, the prohibition has just targeted picketing around labor disputes; now, it ostensibly applies to everyone. However, specific references to unions have only been taken out of some parts of the bill, not others, so the final result is unclear. The bill, written by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, started out confusing and has only gotten worse.
Unions are rallying against the bill Thursday morning at 10 AM at the Capitol. Thursday is the last day of the legislative session, so the bill is expected to be voted on then. If you're a Georgia resident, email your state representative opposing this anti-picketing bill.