Heath: Week 7 Leg­isla­tive Up­date

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By State Sen. Bill Heath R-Bre­men

Week seven marks the most pro­duc­tive week yet with the Se­nate pass­ing over 20 pieces of leg­is­la­tion and com­mit­tees hold­ing meet­ings late into the even­ing. Next week we will be in for two leg­isla­tive days be­fore Cross­over Day on Thurs­day, March 7th.

This is the last day for leg­is­la­tion orig­i­nat­ing in the Se­nate to pass the cham­ber to be el­i­gi­ble to be­come law. Although this date is des­ig­nated as a dead­line, it is im­por­tant to note that leg­is­la­tion that didn’t make the cut, or pieces of it, can be added in bills that did pass with the same code sec­tion as amend­ments.

This is the part of ses­sion where things start be­ing added and re­moved as mem­bers try to get their leg­is­la­tion passed in their cham­ber and on the Gov­er­nor’s desk.

With only 15 days left this ses­sion, I will con­tinue to keep my eye on ma­jor pieces of leg­is­la­tion that could po­ten­tially be harm­ful if amended or “added to” be­fore Sine Die.

Along with the cross­over dead­line, stand­ing com­mit­tees have un­til the Se­nate con­venes on Mon­day to fin­ish up their vet­ting process and to pass bills to be con­sid­ered by the Se­nate be­fore Thurs­day.

I am happy to say that the com­mit­tee I chair, Gov­ern­ment Over­sight, wrapped up our week pass­ing three bills and hear­ing one. Of the three bills passed, I am proud to say that Se­nate Res­o­lu­tion 214, which I spon­sored, passed with unan­i­mous and bi­par­ti­san sup­port.

A ver­sion of this leg­is­la­tion has been passed in the Se­nate be­fore and ad­dresses the pa­per pam­phlets state agen­cies and de­part­ments pub­lish for the Ge­or­gia Gen­eral Assem­bly an­nu­ally. Although I believe the in­for­ma­tion they pro­vide is valu­able, the pa­per ver­sion most often ends up in the trash.

I believe hav­ing these im­por­tant re­ports pub­lished elec­tron­i­cally is a more ef­fi­cient way for us to uti­lize these re­sources be­cause we can look at them at any time, no mat­ter where we are. I com­mend our com­mit­tee mem­bers for tak­ing ac­tion on this mea­sure and I look for­ward to hav­ing it on the Se­nate floor next week.

In ad­di­tion to SR 214, the com­mit­tee also passed Se­nate Bill 77 which would ex­tend mon­u­ment pro­tec­tion for all mon­u­ments not just mil­i­tary mon­u­ments and memo­ri­als pro­tected un­der cur­rent law.

I believe this is a good piece of leg­is­la­tion be­cause it aims to pro­tect all mon­u­ments and with that all of Ge­or­gia’s his­tory. Although some may not agree, it is im­por­tant to pre­serve Ge­or­gia’s rich his­tory, the good and the bad, so that our chil­dren and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions can re­mem­ber where we came from and what makes our state so unique and rich with cul­ture.

By pro­tect­ing our mon­u­ments, we can add to our state’s his­tory with­out delet­ing what oc­curred in the past.

While our com­mit­tee and oth­ers were busy at work, we also passed sev­eral bills on the Se­nate Floor which I believe are im­por­tant to high­light:

♦Se­nate Bill 15, the “Keep­ing Ge­or­gia’s Schools Safe Act,” cre­ates pro­vi­sions for a site threat as­sess­ment to be com­pleted ev­ery four years in each of Ge­or­gia’s pub­lic schools by a third party agency and out­lines ways in which com­mu­ni­ca­tion can be im­proved be­tween schools, law en­force­ment and state safety de­part­ments.

Se­nate Bill 65 would al­low an in­di­vid­ual to trans­fer ti­tles be­tween le­gal en­ti­ties of which they own at least 50 per­cent with­out pay­ing an ad­di­tional ti­tle ad val­orem tax.

Se­nate Bill 66, also known as the “Stream­lin­ing Wire­less Fa­cil­i­ties and An­ten­nas Act,” would ad­dress the use of pub­lic rights of way by wire­less providers to de­ploy wire­less broad­band by col­lo­cat­ing small wire­less fa­cil­i­ties (an­ten­nas) on ex­ist­ing or new poles.

Se­nate Bill 149 would re­move the re­quire­ment that law en­force­ment of­fi­cers must tow a ve­hi­cle that has been pulled over for im­proper tag de­cals.

House Bill 62 would re­quire health care fa­cil­i­ties that con­duct mam­mo­grams to no­tify the pa­tient when their re­sults show dense breast tis­sue.

These are just a few of the pieces of leg­is­la­tion that passed this week. Please let me know if you have any ques­tions about any of the bills men­tioned or any oth­ers that have passed or are in the process. I am never too busy to hear from you so please reach out with any ques­tions, feed­back or con­cerns. Thank you for your con­tin­ued trust to rep­re­sent you here un­der the Gold Dome.

/ kevin Myrick

Cedar­town Com­mis­sion­ers lis­tened on as Glenn Robin­son talked about the ben­e­fits of a mixed-use agri­cul­ture cen­ter in Fish Creek dur­ing the March work ses­sion.

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