Like most Georgians, it is my opinion that all votes under the Gold Dome should be recorded and the record readily available to the public.

As D.A. King has noted on InsiderAdvantage (‘State Senate rule allowing unrecorded votes should be scrapped’, January 4), in the Georgia Senate, the default method for approving amendments to legislation that has already cleared public scrutiny in the committee process is an unrecorded, hand vote. When this happens, there is no record of the vote from any member on the vote machine or in the permanent Senate Journal.

Current rules require a total of five senators to request a traditional, recorded vote on floor amendments. Most such votes go unrecorded.

In an effort to add to the transparency of state government and eliminate the possibility of confusion on any senator’s vote in the senate chamber, I have filed Senate Resolution 24. It would change the existing Senate rule so that any one senator could ask for a recorded, Roll Call vote on floor amendments.

SR 24 is open for co-signers and I hope for full bipartisan support from the 56 Senate members this week when we return to business. I also hope that voters will make their support for SR 24 clear to their own state senators, regardless of party affiliation.

It is my experienced opinion that changing this outdated Senate rule will protect all members and aid in the public’s ability to understand the legislative process. Passage of my proposed rule change requires a two-thirds majority if SR 24 is allowed to go to the full Senate.

Georgians of all political views need to know that unless five senators say otherwise, a vote on changing the unrecorded rule could be done with an unrecorded vote — if SR 24 makes it to the senate floor.

Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, represents Georgia Senate District 29.


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