The Georgia Senate is Rocking and Rolling
The Senate reconvened for week four after a busy third week of budget hearings and committee meetings. It was also a very productive week in that we’ve finally got the ball rolling on a number of pieces of legislation that are sure to benefit the people of Georgia. We also heard the first two bills of the session on the floor last week—signaling that the 2016 legislative session is well underway. Senate Bill 137 would expand current Georgia law to allow corporations to collect full property insurance payouts when a residence is completely destroyed by fire, and was unanimously passed. Senate Bill 263 would allow police officers who are retiring or injured on-the-job to retain their badge and firearm as compensation.
Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court Hugh P. Thompson presented the annual State of the Judiciary address to a joint session of the House and Senate on Wednesday. Chief Justice Thompson outlined a plan for modernizing Georgia’s highest court so that it will only hear the most critical cases in our state that have the potential to alter existing law. The change will bring Georgia in line with other southern states which have made similar transitions in recent years.
It was an honor to host Kristian Bush, a member of the country music duo Sugarland, in the Senate Chamber this week. Many of you know that I am a proud supporter of the Georgia music industry, and there is nothing better than watching a Georgia musician become a successful, nationally-known artist. As the Chairman of the Senate Music Industry Committee and through my work with the Friends of Georgia Music Festival, Inc., it was my honor to induct Sugarland into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame back in 2012. Bush is one of many artists joining together in 2016 for the “Year of Georgia Music,” and I am glad to have such a talented musician representing our state.
Senate committees are now regularly meeting to examine and recommend bills for the floor. The committee process is essential because it allows for the proper vetting of legislation, ensuring that it will truly benefit the people of Georgia. Budget subcommittees will begin meeting next week to more closely review state agency funding requests for the amended FY 2016 budget. These subcommittee meetings are especially important, because they ensure state funds are allocated fairly and responsibly.
I am honored that you have put your trust in me and I will always put your best interests at the forefront of my decision making while here at the Capitol. 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!