House leaders demand Senate pass ‘clean’ adoption bill

[private]The House leadership reissued its demand Tuesday that the Senate pass a “clean” version of legislation that would modernize the state’s adoption code, HB 159.

“This bill needs to pass quickly, for the good of this session,” Speaker David Ralston said, implicitly threatening to drag out the session if it doesn’t.

HB 159 was torpedoed by the Senate last year when conservative Republicans amended it to allow private adoption agencies to refuse to adopt out to same-sex couples. The bill went down amid wrangling between the two chambers on the final day of the session.

“The bill we passed was facially neutral, meaning it didn’t discriminate against anyone on any basis,” House Majority Whip Christian Coomer said in a speech to the House. “It was a clean bill. It was a good bill.”

“You know that’s true, the senators who’ve been called out on it know that’s true,” Coomer said. “They’ve decided it’s more important to save face than to save families in Georgia.”

Gov. Nathan Deal is also urging quick passage of a clean bill.

The Senate has not indicated when, or if, it might be willing to vote on the version of the bill that came out of the House last year.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who’s running for governor, wants to get the session finished quickly so that he can start fundraising again.

Ralston and the House leadership, however, can keep the session slow-rolling if they don’t get their version of the adoption bill.

© 2018 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: adoption code , David Ralston