Update from the Gold Dome: Week 11
Update from the Gold Dome
By: Sen. Jeff Mullis (R- Chickamauga)
As we move towards the end of the 2015 legislative session, the Senate’s main responsibility is to review and vote on bills originally drafted in House of Representatives. This week was a very busy one, and the Senate made significant progress vetting and passing legislation. Only two legislative days remain, and any bills that do not receive final passage this year must wait until 2016 for further consideration.
One of the most high-profile bills this session is HB 1, which would allow the use of cannabis oil to relieve the symptoms of certain severe medical conditions. The legislation is very specific, and only individuals suffering from severe or end stage amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, cancer or sickle cell disease would be able to receive cannabis oil to relieve symptoms, as well as those suffering from Crohn’s disease, mitochondrial disease or seizure disorders caused by epilepsy or head trauma. The legislation also outlines the establishment of a patient registry and creates the Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis.
The Senate passed HB 1 this week and incorporated some changes into the bill, which meant HB 1 went back to the House for approval of those changes. The House agreed to the Senate changes, and the bill is now waiting for Gov. Nathan Deal’s signature. The legislature’s approval of cannabis oil will bring the much needed relief to Georgia’s citizens suffering from debilitating diseases.
Here are brief summaries of additional bills passed by the legislature this week:
Senate Bill 72: Known as Tanja’s Law, this bill creates stricter punishments for crimes committed against police dogs, and other law enforcement animals, while performing official duties. I sponsored this bill because Tanja was a police dog who served in my district and gave her life in the line of duty trying to apprehend a suspect. The House voted to pass this bill by substitute, which means the bill will need to come back to the Senate for final approval before being sent to the Governor.
Senate Bill 112: This bill prohibits the removal or transportation of game animal or game bird carcasses, and is in compliance with all applicable hunting reporting laws and regulations. SB 112 passed the House of Representatives this week.
House Bill 62: Current law requires the parents of special needs students seeking certain scholarships to be current Georgia residents who have lived her for at least one year. This legislation waives that requirement for special needs students whose parents are on active military duty and stationed in Georgia within the previous year. The Senate passed HB 62 and it is now awaiting Gov. Deal’s signature.
House Bill 393: Also known as the “Tesla bill,” HB 393 allows manufacturers of zero emission vehicles to sell factory-direct to consumers in Georgia. However, no more than five physical dealerships may exist throughout the state, although there may be an unlimited number of shops that exclusively repair zero emission vehicles.
As we progress through to the end of session, please contact my office any time to discuss pending legislation or to address other concerns in our district. As always, it is my honor to represent you in the 53rd Senate District.
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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 Atlanta office at 404.656.0057 or by email at email@example.com.