Heath: Week 7 Legislative Update
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.
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.