Our AJC colleagues Aaron Gould Sheinin and Kristina Torres broke the story tonight about the late arriving “religious liberty” measure that is the talk of the Capitol.
HB 904 seems less of a potential fix to address concerns expressed by critics of HB 757, the bill sent to the governor last week, intended to offer legal shelter to opponents of same-sex marriage.
Rather, the bill appears to be punishment for one class of HB 757 critics — specifically, the Georgia business community.
The measure later went down the drains, but the message was clear.
The bill appears to make it easier for individuals to launch expensive class action suits — which Republicans in the General Assembly have historically opposed — against corporations with anti-discrimination policies that go beyond what is required by federal and state law. Specifically, LGBT protections.
Critics are already describing House Bill 904 as a shot across the bow at the industry groups that have maligned the Legislature for passing the “religious liberty” legislation. “It’s payback time,” said one influential lobbyist.
Here’s a copy of the bill. Let us know what you think.
But let us leave you with this thought: Revenge is usually sought after a cause is lost, and not before. You have to wonder the forces behind this legislation know something about Gov. Nathan Deal’s mind that we don’t.