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Gold Dome Update: Week 4

The Senate completed yet another busy week, completing legislative days nine through twelve. We are now officially a quarter of the way through this session and the groundwork has been laid for many productive discussions on legislation. We were kept occupied this week with some of our first committee meetings of the year and started to get into the rhythm of presenting, debating and passing legislation out of committee. The most significant achievement of the week, however, was passing the Amended 2021 Fiscal year Budget out of committee and onto the full Senate for consideration.

On Monday, the Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 6. This measure, which I sponsored, allows legislators to get a detailed look at which tax credits are producing a positive return on investment back to the state and which tax credits may need a little tweaking. Specifically, SB 6 would allow the Chairmen of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee to request five economic analyses each of a tax credit. These analyses will be carried out by a third-party and are required to include items such as net change in state revenue, net change in economic activity, and other important criteria. I am pleased that this bill passed unanimously and I look forward to working with my friends in the House to see this bill become law this year.

Tuesday, I was honored to present Senate Resolution 47, honoring Firefighters Recognition Day at the state Capitol. In a typical session, we are able to invite groups of firefighters to the Capitol so we can personally recognize and thank them for their service to our state. While COVID-19 restrictions made this impossible this year, I want all of Georgia’s more than 30,000 firefighters to know that you have the full support and appreciation of the General Assembly. As a volunteer firefighter myself, I can personally attest to the sacrifice and dedication to duty exhibited by these brave Georgians. While this resolution may be a small gesture, I hope that it shows how seriously we take supporting our firefighter community.

The Senate Appropriations Committee also made significant progress by passing the Amended Budget for the 2021 Fiscal Year out of committee. This means that the AFY21 budget could be heard for a vote before the entire Senate body by early next week. When completed, we can focus our attention to the General Budget for 2022. As this process continues, I will be sure to keep you updated on the status of both budgets.

While these first four weeks have been eventful, the General Assembly is showing no signs of slowing down. Committees have begun to hit their stride and we expect more bills to be passed out to be eligible for a vote on the floor soon. If I can ever be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office. Thank you for allowing me to serve you.

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Sen. John Albers serves as Chairman of the Public Safety Committee. He represents the 56th Senate District which includes portions of Cherokee and North Fulton counties. He may be reached at his office at 404.463.8055 or by email at john.albers@senate.ga.gov