Crawford spoke at the noon meeting of the Rockart/Polk County Rotary Club.
He said many bills that would have benefited Georgians failed to pass, while other "bad" bills passed the House and Senate and were sent to the Governor for signing. Crawford said he was most concerned about some of the education initiatives that passed.
In fact, some of the bills passed by the Legislature "seem to undermine education more than to assist it," Crawford said.
One bill to which Crawford objected was HB 881, the charter schools bill.
"I have no problem with charter schools and, in fact, think them to be very useful under appropriate circumstances," he said. "However, this bill sets up a state commission that has the power to approve a charter school even if the local jurisdiction doesn't want it, which concerns me, and could result in local funds being diverted by the state to the charter school the local jurisdiction didn't want in the first place, which I strongly object to."
Crawford also expressed concerns about HB 1133, which provides for tax credits for contributions to private foundations -- the funds from which can then be used to give scholarships to private schools.
"This is nothing but a back door way of diverting tax dollars to private schools, and I strongly object to it," Crawford said.
Both those bills were still pending action from Gov. Sonny Perdue on Wednesday. However, another bill that Crawford opposed was signed by Perdue Wednesday.
Crawford said HB 1209, now signed into law, allows school systems to "voluntarily" enter contracts with the state that would grant waivers from the state for things like class sizes, restrictions on how state funds are spent, and so on. However, the catch is that schools must meet whatever performance benchmarks are established by the contract. If they don't, they are subject to "loss of governance," Crawford explained.
"This means that they ultimately could be involuntarily converted to charter schools, turned over to another school system to operate, or even turned over to private entities (including for-profit companies) to operate," Crawford said. "Thus, the duly elected school board would be divested of any authority over the operation of the school.
"That this would even be proposed, much less passed, is utterly unbelievable to me."
Crawford also discussed other bills that were proposed and failed to gain traction in this past session. Tax legislation proposed as a comprehensive overhaul of the tax system in Georgia got watered down, changed and ultimately went nowhere, he said.
The House voted to eliminate the property tax on cars. The Senate countered with an income tax cut, and the two sides never got much closer than that. According to a Morris News Service review of the session, House Speaker Glenn Richardson, R-Hiram -- who sponsored the initial tax reform proposal -- gave a scathing speech an hour before the session ended, pinning the blame on Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who presides over the Senate.
"Every time they pay it (the car tax), they can think of Casey Cagle because Casey Cagle solely and exclusively left it on for them," Richardson said.
Crawford said news accounts of the belligerence and animosity exhibited in this session were not exaggerated.
"Things that really needed to have some action taken this session ended up having no action taken," Crawford said.
Another trait of this session was how supporters and opponents of some bills -- particularly, the new statewide water bill -- were separated not by party affiliation, but by geography.
Crawford said the two camps were "those with limited water resources" and "those like us, with plentiful water ... concerned that others will try to finagle a way to get our water resources."
Crawford voted against the state's water plan because of too many unanswered questions and other concerns, such as how water districts were drawn. Crawford said common sense would dictate that water districts should follow the natural boundaries of the water resources. Instead, they were drawn along political interests, he said.
Supporters encouraged voting on the bill, with the idea that "we could fix it later," Crawford recounted.
"That turned out pretty much as I expected," Crawford said. "Nothing much got fixed."