Jekyll Bills Die without a Committee Hearing
On March 22, at 11:49 a.m., Rep. Terry Barnard responded to the flood of phone calls and emails he received urging him to allow a vote on the Jekyll bills by doing the opposite -- he abruptly canceled the committee hearing that had been scheduled for the bills! And, as of today, March 26, the bills are officially dead.
Public input is supposed to be part of the democratic legislative process—legislators are supposed to listen to people—but in the case of the Jekyll bills citizens seeking to express their views have been treated as a nuisance, and the legislation they supported has been killed before it could be discussed in committee.
The effort to secure what the effort what the Jekyll bills set out to accomplish will continue. At the heart of this effort is public concern that the 1971 act requiring that 65 percent of Jekyll Island State Park remains in its natural condition may have been violated. This concern will only deepen and assume new forms as long as this problem remains unresolved.