Right-wing Georgia politicians are seeking a special session in an attempt to override Republican Gov. Nathan Deal's veto of a controversial antigay "religious freedom" bill today.
Only minutes after Deal announced the veto in a press conference, Republican State Sen. Mike Crane called for the special session , reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Crane, currently running for Congress, released a statement on his website, saying, "Our government needs committed conservatives who never stop fighting to protect the constitution."
He also made a statement that appeared to refer to business opposition to House Bill 757 and threats from entertainment companies to boycott Georgia if the bill became law. "The announcement by Governor Deal is another example of how the political class is bought and paid for by corporations and lobbyists," Crane said.
House Speaker David Ralston also denounced the veto. "It is regrettable that the merits of this measure have been ignored in the days since its passage by the critics who had not taken the time to read the bill or understand the legal issues involved," he wrote in a press release.
A special session is unlikely, however. Deal would probably not call one, and Georgia's state constitution allows for lawmakers to come together without the governor's call only if three-fifths of the House and Senate "certify to the governor in writing ... that in their opinion an emergency exists in the affairs of the state," reports the Journal-Constitution. A special session would also come with a high tab for taxpayers: $41,000 per day.
But lawmakers who supported the measure are not giving up yet. The Journal-Constitution reports that Sen. Josh McKoon told Boston NPR station WBUR, "The question we have to resolve is whether or not government is going to be used to punish people with a particular point of view. ... I fully expect we'll be back next year debating this again."