Two down, one to go. But the last hurdle is huge for the recreation of Milton County.
By a close voice vote, the plan for Milton County revival squeezed through the state House Rules committee and is en route to a Friday floor vote.
"It's essentially the net result of years of the mass exportation of services and tax dollars" from north Fulton county, said Rep. Mark Burkhalter (R-Alpharetta), explaining his support of the resolution. It would start the constitutional change that would enable Milton to secede from Fulton County. Rep. Tom Rice (R-Norcross), whose district covers part of north Fulton, said the resolution is long since due.
House Resolution 21 can't be substantially amended on the House floor, according to parliamentary procedure. But it must pass on Friday; that's "crossover day", the deadline for bills and resolution to make it through one chamber or the other.
If it passes the House and is heard and amended by the Senate, House leadership must agree to changes or the full house may try to amend the resolution. House Speaker Pro-Tem Jan Jones (R-Milton) has pledged not to bring the bill to the House floor unless she's sure it will be passed.
BURKHALTER ON OVERDRIVE
Sources say supporters are now just a hand full of votes short.
Burkhalter, who has taken the reigns as Jones' defacto floor leader and majority whip on the issue, is said to be working around the clock this week under the Dome to corral last minute support for the amendment. Jones's caucus leadership is divided on the issue, as her Majority Whip, Ed Lindsey (R-Buckhead), dubbed "Buckhead Ed" by this newspaper, is working against the initiative. If Jones and Burkhalter bring HR21 to floor, it means they have the votes they need --or are within one -- to win passage on Friday. They need 119 votes, now that Rep. Graves (R-Gainsville) has resigned from the house to run for Congress.
The legislative session will end ten working days after crossover day.