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Gold Dome Update: Week 9

Crossover Day has officially come and gone and the Senate is already hard at work considering the many bills that were passed over from the House. Crossover Day, like in most other years, had us debating and passing legislation well into the evening. When the gavel finally fell and signaled the end of our legislative day, the Senate had considered and passed more than 30 bills and resolutions. Our work did not end on Monday, however, as we continued to advance proposals, both in the Senate Chamber and in our committees, for the benefit of Georgia and all who live here.

This week, we had the opportunity to pass several measures in support of our military veterans and our public safety community. Senate Bills 225 and 237 would allow for the creation of license plates that recognize those who served alongside the United States as part of an allied country, and our United States Army Rangers, respectively. While these military veterans deserve much more, these license plates will serve as a reminder to all who see them of the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform. The Senate also passed House Bill 129, which would raise the salaries of sheriffs in several counties throughout the state. These sheriffs were unfortunately left out of a raise that was intended to increase the pay of all sheriffs and this bill is needed urgently to ensure every sheriff in Georgia is compensated fairly for their service.

This week also marked the beginning of Senate Appropriations Subcommittee meetings on the general budget for the 2022 fiscal year. The version of this budget that was sent over to the Senate, in the form of House Bill 81, totals $27 billion in state funds and represents the growing strength of our economy as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. As Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety, we spent several hours hearing testimony from Georgia’s public safety agencies on their budgetary priorities looking forward. One consistent concern was that of a lack of qualified personnel to fill certain positions, which will be a priority moving forward. While a few details are still being worked out for the Senate version of the budget, we expect it to receive a vote on the Senate floor in the next few days.

With Crossover Day firmly behind us, our sights are now set on Sine Die. We have only eight legislative days remaining in order to finish the people’s business under the Gold Dome and many issues still to take up. Namely, passing the 2022 fiscal year budget will be out next primary goal, as it remains our only remaining constitutionally required mandate. If you have any questions about any of the bills we passed on Crossover Day or about any bills sent over to the Senate, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

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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