(ATLANTA) — One lawmaker’s joke quickly turned into a serious solution for Georgia’s budget troubles Wednesday at the state capitol.
“The hospital tax, the university cuts, the furloughs and layoffs — I tell you, I’m about ready to pull the top off this dome and use it as a spare change cup,” said exasperated lawmaker Clem Rozier of Ghostown.
Later that day, Rep. Thomas Eufrady of Tequilaville put forward a bill to make it happen. Though the deadline for submitting a new bill had passed, Eufrady used the rare O.C.G.A. 17-12-12 provision of the Georgia Constitution, known as the “aw shucks, we’re broke” clause, to jumpstart legislation to pull the gold off the top of the structure.
Amazingly, the bill rolled right through both House and Senate, with only eight detractors. The governor is expected to sign the bill into law today. All sides appear relieved to put this troubling budget season behind them without any painful votes, though critics contend the solution is overly simplistic and will do little to cover the massive revenue shortfall.
Eufrady noted that the spare change idea may or may not be feasible, depending on whether the massive charity cup is structurally sound following the extraction process. Consequently, there is a “plan B.” If the gold dome cannot be used as a huge portable charity cup, it may be sold to Vegas for a tidy profit. Nevada press members report that Vegas is interested in melting down the gold for use as exotic wall ornaments at several new, Tiger-themed, high-end golf and massage resorts.
Eufrady will spearhead a House subcommittee known as the “make a wish upon government solvency” (MAWUGS) committee. It is tasked with overseeing the actual removal of the dome, coordinating transportation of the huge cup to “a-penny-for-your-state” chickenques around Georgia, as well as finding a suitable replacement cover for the capitol’s gold top. Eufrady reports that the new crown on the capitol will be composed of synthetic smoker’s teeth enamel, offering a nice blend with Atlanta smog. It is also the cheapest material available, according to several dental contractors who placed bids on the enormous crown removal. Dental assistants will also be on hand next week to administer Novacaine injections to lawmakers pained by the process. Lawmakers seeking a second injection — or injections outside of the mouth — must get advanced approval from their insurance provider.
The gold dome minus the gold will henceforth just be called the “old dome.”
Eufrady, known in Tequilaville for his love of the filibuster, particularly at the local bar, kept his comments surprisingly brief Wednesday. The representative from the south Georgia town famous for its orange circus peanuts urged his fellow lawmakers to join him as he begged for quarters on the capitol steps.
“Let the Gold Dome ring — with the sound of your sofa change!” Eufrady hollered. He was later seen shaking a nearby Coke machine, shouting: “We’ve got to pay for our roads, don’t we?”
Zach Mitcham is editor of The Madison County Journal and two weeks late for April Fool’s Day.