Georgia Democrats will withhold support for bills that require cross-party support, including a bill that would legalize online sports betting in Georgia.
Democratic Party halts support for cross-party bills
Potential legalization of online sports betting in Georgia may take longer than initially expected. Georgia Democrats have begun withholding their support for bills that require cross-party support to pass. The party's decision comes in response to a move by Republicans that could roll back universal ballot access.
The move would affect a number of bills, and one of the first appears to be House Bill 86 , which would lead to the legalization of online sports betting in the state of Georgia . The bill was voted on Thursday, but was withdrawn at the last minute.
According to James Beverly, a Democrat and parliamentary minority leaders Macon, now is the right time for the Democratic party to use its available leverage. At the same time, Beverly said he is aware that this strategy will only work in cases where Republicans are divided on an issue. Currently, the Republican Party holds a majority of seats in the Georgia House and Senate.
Democrats' decision comes in response to Republicans' restrictive voting laws
The Democratic Party's decision is a reaction to a series of bills brought by Republicans in this year. In all, more than a dozen bills would have negative impact on the possibility of early voting . The proposals include, among other things, requiring photo ID for absentee voting, restrictions on who can vote absentee, and even banning ballot boxes. Some of the proposals are currently being implemented.
According to Democrats and voting rights groups, the bills are a clear reaction on former President Donald Trump's rhetoric about voter fraud . Opponents further argue that the bills would have a disproportionately strong impact on black voters, whose involvement has proven crucial to Democratic Party victories in Georgia.
Party conflict likely to slow legalization
The Democratic Party's current strategy could potentially slow down House Bill 86 . If introduced, the bill would legalize online sports betting-a step that many other states have taken or are considering . As it stands, the bill would likely require strong bipartisan support if it is to pass.
One reason for this is the very nature of gambling. Some conservative and religious factions within the Republican Party have long Are opposed to gambling on moral or ethical grounds . That means the bill is unlikely to get unanimous or majority support from Republicans and would require a Democratic vote to pass.
Savannah Republican Representative Ron Stephens , which is the main sponsor of House Bill 86, has so far not commented on the situation.