Pending state budget still includes $580k for ‘Election Police’
During its meeting yesterday evening, the Senate Ethics Committee replaced the “elections omnibus” bill with a new, much shorter substitute version that only includes the provisions related to employees’ leave to vote.
The new version strips out previous language creating a version of the “Election Police” recently approved by Florida’s Legislature.
However, the pending 2023 state budget still includes $579,936 for “four fulltime positions and operating expenses to investigate elections complaints” within the Georgia Bureau of Elections. (Line 2711 of the pending state budget.) This special unit to investigate elections complaints was first proposed by Governor Brian Kemp, at a slightly lower amount. (pdf page 248 of the Governor’s Budget)
Statement of Common Cause Georgia Executive Director Aunna Dennis
We applaud the members of the Senate Ethics Committee for listening to the many elections officials and others who spoke up against the previous version of this bill.
As we keep saying, Georgia does not need to follow Florida down the path of creating an expensive ‘Election Police’ force. Again, look at the example of Texas, where taxpayers spent more than $2 million on an investigative unit that worked for a full year and closed just three cases. And Florida is one-upping Texas – Sunshine State taxpayers will be spending $3.7 million a year on their ‘Election Police.’
Georgia taxpayers do not need to have our money spent on a Peach State version of this. Our tax money should be better spent fully funding our elections offices. Or improving our economy and creating better jobs. Or improving our public schools. Instead, our Governor and state legislators want to spend $580,000 trying to satisfy partisan extremists who refuse to believe the 2020 presidential election results – even after the ballots were counted three times!
Again, we applaud the Senate Ethics Committee for removing the ‘Election Police’ provisions from HB 1464.
Now, we call on the members of the Budget Conference Committee to remove the spending from the state budget.
And we urge the full Senate – and the House – to accept the Ethics Committee’s changes to the bill.
Read “Senate Committee Holds Public Hearing on Georgia’s ‘Election Police’ Bill” here.
Read “‘Déjà vu all over again’ as the Georgia Senate considers another ‘elections omnibus’” here.
Read “Crossover Day Dust Settles – ‘Voters are not being well-served’” here.
Read “Georgia House to Consider Another Bill Changing Elections Procedures” here.