Republicans Hide, Cover-Up True Cost of HB 87

Georgia – State republicans continue to hide the true cost of HB 87 to Georgia’s citizens. This week, State Senator Buddy Carter (R-Pooler) downplayed the damage to the agribusiness community with an estimate in the “millions of dollars”, although Time Magazine has estimated losses as high as $9 billion.

There have been no publicly available studies on the legislation’s damaging economic effects, nor any estimate of the cost to Georgia’s taxpayers. Normally, a fiscal note- or estimate of a bill’s cost – would be affixed to the legislation. In this case, a fiscal note was not included.

Georgia’s anti-immigration law HB 87 goes into effect on July 1.

“We warned of HB 87’s potential for damage to the fragile state economy, yet the law passed- despite no fiscal note that would explain the costs to taxpayers and no studies to predict the extent of the labor shortage,” said State Senator Curt Thompson (D-Norcross). “Many businesses fought against this law.”

Two subsequent reports from the Agriculture Commissioner’s office and the Georgia Agribusiness Council reveal that Georgia’s farms are experiencing a dire labor shortage. News reports suggest that farmers are allowing crops to rot in the field for lack of workers.

While this data explains part of the story, “it does not address the fundamental question, how much will this law cost our taxpayers?” said Thompson.

“Why is there no research about the costs?” questioned Thompson. “Republicans are covering-up their role in damaging our state’s farms.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Contact: Eric Gray
Communications Director
(678) 278-2108
Eric@GeorgiaDemocrat.org