Update From the Gold Dome: Week 6
By: Sen. Jeff Mullis (R – Chickamauga)
The Georgia General Assembly got off to a delayed start this week when then threat of severe winter weather closed Capitol Hill offices on Monday. Although Monday wasn’t an official legislative day, it did impact the time legislators and staff members need to properly prepare for the week. Many of us still spent the day at home reviewing bills or completing other legislative tasks.
I was pleased to see the Georgia Senate approve two bills this week that will create and enhance the educational and work opportunities available to our military service men and women. These individuals make great sacrifices in order to keep our nation safe, and it is important that we do everything possible to support their career goals both in and outside of the military. Senate Bill 18 will allow practical military work skills or experience to be accepted by the Technical College System of Georgia as academic credit. This means that valuable experience in highly skilled military jobs will help our soldiers be able to reach their educational goals more quickly and efficiently.
Senate Bill 58 is a bill that will create the Georgia Leadership and Service Admissions Act. This Act will give each legislator the ability to recommend one student each year for admission to a school within the University System of Georgia, as long as the student meets HOPE scholarship requirements and commits to serving in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) throughout their term of enrollment.
Other bills the Georgia Senate took action on this week include:
• Senate Bill 79: This bill will increase the amount of victim compensation available to family members when a crime results in death. This money can be used by the victim’s family to help pay for funeral expenses, lost wages, counseling and other financial hardship.
• Senate Bill 51: This is a bill that clarifies standards and procedures for pharmacists when dispensing substitutions for certain name-brand biological medications.
• Senate Bill 4: Current law states that certain projects or land use may qualify for public and private funding if used in urban redevelopment efforts. SB 4 expands the number of rehabilitation projects to include surface transportation projects.
• Senate Bill 72: In Georgia, a person who injures or kills a police animal faces one to five years in prison. SB 72 increases the sentence for those convicted of such crimes to 10 - 30 years in prison. The bill, also called “Tanja’s Law,” is named in memory of a Walker County K-9 killed in the line of duty.
The Senate also finalized the amended FY 2015 budget this week. The supplemental appropriations bill has already been signed by Governor Deal, and now the Senate will shift its focus to reviewing the general FY 2016 budget over the next few weeks.
As always, I am honored to represent you in the 53rd Senate District. Please feel free to contact my office at any time to talk about pending legislation or address other concerns in our district – my door and phone lines are always open!
# # # #
Sen. Jeff Mullis serves as Chairman of the Rules Committee. He represents the 53rd Senate District, which includes Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties and portions of Chattooga County. He can be reached at his office in Atlanta at 404.656.0057 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.